A stupid loss of tempo
Yesterday I played as White against my old friend Martin. I came better out of the opening but my positional advantage was only minimal when we came to this position after the eleventh move of Black.
White to move.
My small advantage is a faster connection of the Rooks and better prospects of taking the e file, hoping to invade the seventh rank. Going for this plan, I should have played 12. Re1 or 12. Bxg5. I rejected the latter because I did not want to give his Queen a tempo.
I played 12. Be3 with the vague idea of taking back with the pawn, opening a battery on f7. But after he took the Bishop I came to the conclusion that this attack can easily be parried, leaving me with a wrecked pawn structure. So I took with the Queen, he attacked the Queen and I lost one more tempo. The advantage has gone, and after another twelve moves the game was drawn.
Somehow I was not able to keep books of the tempi. His Bishop g5 has used 2 tempi so far, mine at c1 has used none. Whether I wait for the Bishop being taken or take myself on g5 does not matter, I always gain tempo. The only thing to avoid is giving a tempo by moving the Bishop on e3 or f4. Which I did, unfortunately.
After Bxc1 Rxc1 my Rook has lost a tempo because it will not remain there, but this loss is fully compensated by the tempo loss of the black Bishop.
A second fault in this position was not ruling out the attack battery plan on f7 at once. If this plan is not feasible, then Be3 has no purpose at all.