a) Delaying …a6 is a relatively new idea. But I wanted to avoid 6…a6 because of 7.f3! Nf6 7.g4!? which is hardly ever played but I find annoying.
b) Paco is the first to be creative, playing a rarely seen line. 7.Qd2 a6 8.000 Bb4 9.f3 is standard.
c) I spent a lot of time here. Nothing appealed to me: 8… b5?! 9. e5!; 8… Bb4 9. Nxc6! Bxc3 (9… bxc6 10. Bd4! e5? 11. Qg3) 10. Nd4 Bb4 11. Bf4 and Black is uncomfortable.But worth serious consideration is 8… Nxd4 9. Bxd4 e5!?
d) The immediate 9.Qg3 is worth a try
e) Black decides to castle. I considered the logical 9… Nxd4 and if 10. Rxd4 b5!? but was worried that I might be walking into a prepared line and did not want my King stuck in the centre.
f) 11. Bh6 Ne8 keeps things under control
g) Not the immediate 11… Bd7?! 12. e5! with advantage in all lines: 12… dxe5 13. fxe5 Qxe5? (13… Nxe5? 14. Nf3 Nfg4 15. Bf4 Bf6 16. Ne4) 14. Nxc6! And taking the Bishop on e7 with check!. But quite reasonable seems 11… d5!? which I did not even consider during the game: 12. e5 ( Perhaps more accurate is 12. exd5!? Nxd5 13. Nxd5 exd5 14. Bf3 Rd8 15. Kb1 though 15… Bf6 is ok for Black) 12… Ne4! 13. Nxe4 dxe4 14. Kb1 b5 and Black gets enough counterplay.
h) Instead 12. e5?! dxe5 13. fxe5 Qxe5! and there is no check on e7; Interesting is 12. Nxc6 bxc6 13. e5 though 13… dxe5 14. fxe5 Nd5 15. Bd2 Rb8 gives counterplay
i) 12… b5? 13. Nxc6 Qxc6 14. e5 dxe5 15. fxe5 Nd5 16. Bf3
j) Not necessary, but thematic. White gets full compensation plus the initiative.
k) Desperate is 15… Qxd4 16. Rxd4 Nxd4 17. Bd3! and the Black King is in trouble: 17… Bc6 (17… Nc6 18. Qh4) 18. Qh3 Nf5 19. g4 winning
l) 16… Qb6? 17. Bc7 Qa7 18. Rxf6 Bxf6 19. Rxd7 and the 2 pieces are better than the Rook and pawn
m) 17… Qb8 allows White to get the 2 pieces again
n) Consistent. Another approach, but slower, is 18. Kb1 Rad8 19. a3 Qb7 20. Bf3 Be8 21. Na4 keeping up the pressure for the pawn.
o) Probably it is wiser to delay this. 21. Qg3 is interesting; 21. Kb1 is my preference: 21… f5 22. gxf6 Bxf6 23. Qf4 Bg6 24. Qd6 keeping up the pressure.
p) Now Black gets counterplay no matter how White plays.
q) Greedy. 22… e5 was more precise
r) Paco thought that 23. Bxf4!? e5 24. Qg2! was only equal and wanted a more complex game.
s) A natural move. 25… g6 is the chess engine move, but it did not (and still does not) appeal to me.
t) A very good resource! White threatens a3 in many lines, trapping the Knight
u) It felt safer for my King to take this pawn. Perhaps best is 28… Qc7 29. a3 (29. Qe2 Ne6) 29… Nbd3 30. cxd3 Nxd3 31. Qh4 but things are too complicated to say for sure
v) 29. a3 a5!? 30. Rg1 h6 is just an inversion of moves
w) 30. a3 Nbd3! 31. cxd3 Nxd3 32. Qe2 Nf2 33. Nc2 Nxd1 34. Rxd1 Qc7 is slightly worse for White; but 30. Qe2 e4! Is definitely good for Black
x) Here lack of time takes a toll and I start to miss my chances: 30… Qc7 31. a3 Nbd3 32. cxd3 Nxd3 33. Rxd3 Bxd3 34. Nc2 e4 35. Bxe4 Rbe8 36. Qh4 Rxe4 37. Rxg5 hxg5 38. Qxg5 Kh8; But I prefer the ‘’human’’ 30… Rbe8!? after 31. a3 Nbd3! 32. cxd3 Nxd3 33. Rxd3 Bxd3 34. Nc2 Qd7 35. Be4 Rf6 Black is on top.
y) Again better is probably 31… Nbd3! 32. cxd3 Nxd3 33. Rxd3 Bxd3 34. Nc2 Qd7 35. Be4 Rbd8 with control
z) 32. axb4 axb4 33. Nb5 Qa4! is good for Black
aa) I did not even consider 32… Nbd3! 33. Nxa7 Nxe1 34. Rdxe1 e4 when Black is fine!
bb) White is now better, maybe much so. But Black is still fighting
cc) 35… e3! Is the only good move!
dd) 36. Qc3!
ee) 36…Kh7! Keeps the game alive
ff) With just seconds on his clock, and already having almost flagged, Paco offers a draw. He said afterwards that he did not see how to stop my pawns. I accepted because I am worse (maybe not lost, but close to it) and did not want to play poker. A WILD GAME!