Another week, another match, this time as board 2 for the second team instead of bottom board for the firsts. Background: In the review my rating has gone up slightly to 142 ECF (~1765 Elo). My opponent I've played a couple of times before with one win a piece, but this is my first black against him. I know he doesn't like to mess about and is pretty direct, but then again that's my style as well so no problem there! I'm mildly surprised to see he is now ECF 126 (~1645 Elo), he's been higher than that. Time limit is 75 minutes for all moves (no increment), and time is a bit of a factor as at the end I have ~20 minutes left whereas he is down to his last 2.
[White "A.N.Other"] [Black "Ian Bush"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A60"] [PlyCount "86"] [FEN ""] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. d5 e6 4. e3 exd5 5. cxd5 d6 6. Nc3 g6 7. Bd3 Bg7 8. Nge2 O-O 9. O-O Re8 10. Qc2 Na6 11. a3 Nc7 12. e4 b5 13. Nxb5 Nxb5 14. Bxb5 Rxe4 15. Bc6 Rb8 16. Bg5 Bf5 17. Ng3 Re5 18. Nxf5 Rxf5 19. Bxf6 Qxf6 20. b4 cxb4 21. Rab1 a5 22. axb4 Rxb4 23. Rfe1 Rxb1 24. Qxb1 Rxf2 25. Qb6 Rb2 26. Qe3 Qd4 27. Qxd4 Bxd4+ 28. Kf1 Rf2+ 29. Kg1 Re2+ 30. Kf1 Rxe1+ 31. Kxe1 f5 32. Kd1 Kg7 33. Kc2 Kf6 34. Kd3 Ke5 35. g3 Bg1 36. h3 Bf2 37. g4 fxg4 38. hxg4 h5 39. Bd7 Kf4 40. gxh5 gxh5 41. Kc4 Kg3 42. Kb5 Be1 43. Kc6 Bb4 0-1
1) (Least important) I forgot to ask him afterwards but the body language clearly said his 4 e3 was a finger slip - I assume he got ahead of himself, forgetting Nc3 (and cxd5) came first. My thoughts here were "great, no nassty flick knife attack, and the bishop isn't getting to f4 quickly so I should have a nice easy opening as d6 won't be under pressure" so I just played the obvious moves. Went OK, but in the very unlikely event I ever see this again can anybody see anything better?
2) Again I'm pleased with my play, but any constructive comments appreciated
3) For once I remembered something from Mr Silman, enough to know that the opposite coloured Bishop ending was winning for black, hence Re2+ as the extra pawns are sufficiently separated. Is this the most practical decision here? Is there any easier way to convert? If it is relevant time pressure was beginning to tell on my opponent by that point.
4) I have a feeling that my opponent didn't make life as difficult for me as he could in the ending, again possibly time pressure. So did I play the ending OK, did I have the right ideas? And is there anything different I should have done, especially if my opponent had found some stronger moves?