The heat here is oppressive outside the hotel but we braved it anyway. Even after the game at 7pm I could have filled a bucket. I and a friend, IM Atanu Lahiri from India, went for a walk to sample some local street-food and were not disappointed.
By the way, 60 Baht is about AUD$2 so dinner need not be expensive.
And you can always see your food being made.
Ok, on to the game. Monika mishandled my slightly offbeat opening. Since she has nearly 2000 games in the database and a very well worked out repertoire I thought it better to take her on a road less travelled and it worked out quite well for a while. By move 30 I was completely winning but could not believe I was not just winning a piece and looked at all the different moves that threatened to take the pinned Knight on f4. 30g3 is best but after Nh3 + 31.Kg2 f4 I missed the killing 32.Bd5.
My next best alternative was 30.Qb4 which leads to a winning ending but I thought Qd4 was better, completely missing 30....Qg2. Luckily white keeps an advantage anyway. I then continued to miss embarrassingly easy instant wins like 43. Kc3 winning a piece instantly instead of the "positional" Kc5. puhing b6 also won on several occasions but I wanted to avoid all calculation since my brain was just not working anymore.
In the end I managed to finally beat a higher rated player for the first time in months. Phew...
As my reward I now get to play her husband, GM Bartosz Socko 2635!. Scary as he will be out for revenge and I have yet to beat a 2600+ player. I need you all to cross your fingers and toes and send your combined brainpower my way :-)