"ZZZZZZZZ Maybe I should have taken a bye for round four."
"I have a bone to pick with you."
" No, you will not be the next King Kong."
I can't even begin to understand what happened to me in round four that night. Starting out the evening 0-3 can be rough on the psyche, but I've managed to bounce back and win the last round before. It seemed like I should have been able to do it again. I had gotten paired down against a 1600 who was having an equally rough evening. It looked like his evening was going to get even rougher when he dropped a knight on move 11. That was until a little over confidence on my part combined with a serious brain fart starting on move 13. Maybe finger fart would be the correct term since I let go of the queen a little too quickly.
I had been considering 13. Qf3 and 13. Qe2. I had decided the knight on c3 was defended enough and that it was more important not to allow his rook to come to my second rank with 13...Rxb2. However when I picked up the queen I stopped at f3 instead of e2 and let go of her. That's not the losing move, but the psychological impact was tremendous. I started seeing things that weren't there, and not seeing what was there. I knew at any point he could play Bxc3+ and pick up the pawn on a2 with either the rook or the queen. The prospect of his picking up a second pawn and having two of his major pieces in my territory was causing me utter panic. Winning the second pawn doesn't help Black all that much, but I couldn't see that at the time.
I spent 6 minutes on my 14th move before deciding to break the pin with Kd1. I kept worrying about what would happen if I played Be2 and then castled. For some reason I was convinced I would lose the piece and the a2 pawn. I'm not going to lose the piece with correct play, but I couldn't look at the position objectively. Even after Kd1 I'm okay. I'm still not lost. It wasn't until I played Be2 a move later that the position went all to hell. Despite spending 4 minutes on that move, I totally missed Bg4, and all the problems that causes. Another 5 minutes was spent overlooking the mate in two after Rc2.
So what did I learn from this mess? STAY CALM! Take a deep breath after making a finger fehler move, even if it means leaving the board for a minute or two to compose myself. Trying to analyze a position when you're having a mental panic attack doesn't work. One has to get over the past and work with what is in the present position.