For many years my standard defense to 1.e4 was the Ruy Lopez, either the Breyer Defense or the Old Steinitz Defense. On the Internet I’ve been experimenting with the Schliemann Variation (3…f5) and the Bird Defense (3…Nd4). The former has a dubious reputation and sometimes White has difficulty in keeping control of things, so the line can pay off if you are aggressive enough. Even so, I’ve not found it to be entirely satisfactory. The Bird Defense really hasn’t confused anybody and the positions I’ve gotten have, for the most part, been rather passive.
In this game my opponent had a decent rating so I decided to play something more ‘normal.’ Obviously he knew the book because he blitzed out the first 18 moves very quickly. The game was played at 8 minutes/5 second increment. When I looked at the times after 18 moves he was slightly over 8 minutes to my 6 minutes. The problem was he continued to play at the same pace and at the end when he resigned he should have played on because my advantage wasn’t that great...not to mention his 3 minute time lead. Apparently his first glance at the position after my last move looked to him like he was going to lose quickly but considering his K was closer to the action than mine and opposite color B’s were present he shouldn’t have been so hasty in resigning. Once again, one needs to think occasionally. All-in-all not a bad game. Not flashy though.