Herman – Rountree Match

Game 1

9….Na5  The Tchigorin Defense.

12…Bd7?!  Over-thinking it, the simple 12…cxd4 was best.

14….Rb8?  Already a tired move, it’s goal is that if White plays a4 and axb5, then there would be no hanging rook on a8.

Me and Alex spend a couple hours looking for his phone the night before, and he bought me a couple drinks at the bar, and I could feel the energy loss before the game.  Went home after this game, ate dinner, and hit the bed, although as I write this I then only slept for three hours.

17…Nf8?!  Around this point, I didn’t have the experience to play this sort of position, and went awry.  LM Brian Wall said after the game that I had no feel for the Lopez.  A part of that is that I almost never play the Chigorin, for example.  I do struggle in the different Ruy Lopez variations, but on the other hand I haven’t played the Lopez that much as black in OTB tournament chess, it’s mostly been the Open Variation, and this might the first rated Chigorin I’ve ever played OTB as Black.

In fact, I may have played it twice before, and of those time against Daniel, the two games were over a two month span as well, but I’m not sure because normally I play Archangelsk, which seems similar but …Bc5, not ….Be7 (which is why I don’t remember ever playing the Chigorin).  The Howell Attack, with Qe2 often gets a similar type of feel to the Chigorin, but is also very different from it.  I’ve also played the Breyer online quite a bit, as well as the fianchetto variation.  I like to play new variations, and I might play another new variation, for me, next time!

17….Nb6! would have been much better, as Black needs to make headway on the queenside.

18…BxN?!  Black should have tried keeping this bishop on the board, as …g6 might be a desirable move in the future.

It can be very easy for Black to drift into a strategically lost position in the Lopez, and this game helps show why.  Even had I not sacked a pawn, the engines were practically winning it for White, in a sort of “shootout” style.


[Event “Rountree-Herman match”]
[Site “Panera Bread”]
[Date “2018.05.26”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Daniel Herman”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1835”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “2046”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3
O-O 9. h3 Na5 10. Bc2 c5 11. d4 Qc7 12. Nbd2 Bb7 13. d5 Nd7 14. b3 Rab8 15.
Nf1 Bc8 16. Ng3 Re8 17. Nf5 Nf8 18. N3h4 Bxh4 19. Nxh4 Ng6 20. Nf5 Nb7 21. h4
c4 22. b4 Ne7 23. g4 Ng6 24. h5 Nf4 25. Bxf4 exf4 26. Qf3 Bxf5 27. gxf5 Qe7
28. Qxf4 Qe5 29. Qe3 Re7 30. f4 Qf6 31. Kf2 Rbe8 32. Qg3 Kh8 33. Rg1 Qh6 34.
Qg5 Qxg5 35. fxg5 Nd8 36. a4 f6 37. g6 h6 38. axb5 axb5 39. Ra6 Nb7 40. Rb6
Rb8 41. Ra1 Ree8 42. Rxb5 Kg8 43. Ra7 Re7 44. Rb6 Kf8 45. Ba4 Nc5 46. Rxb8+ 1-0

Game 2

Game 3

Game 4

Game 5



From the Opening to the Endgame

The late GM Edmar Mednis had a series of books by this title.

Round 4, Wednesdays

Hadn’t played Dean in a whole month, having withdrawls.

A very interesting game where I decided to not bother blunder-checking my e5 move, and it should have cost me, I feel.  c5 was the database move.





[Event “Classical Wednesdays”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.05.23”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Dean Brown”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1514”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1835”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. Nc3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Nc6 6. Ndb5 a6 7. Nd6+ Bxd6
8. Qxd6 Qe7 9. Bf4 O-O 10. e4 Qxd6 11. Bxd6 Re8 12. e5 Ng4 13. f4 f6 14. Be2
Ne3 15. Kf2 Nf5 16. Ne4 fxe5 17. Bxe5 Nxe5 18. fxe5 b6 19. Rhd1 Rf8 20. Kg1
Rf7 21. Nd6 Nxd6 22. Rxd6 Rb8 23. Bf3 a5 24. Be4 Ba6 25. b3 a4 26. Rad1 axb3
27. axb3 Bc8 28. g3 g6 29. Ra1 b5 30. c5 b4 31. Rb6 1-0

The Raccoon

It was the final round of Tuesdays, as at our membership meeting it was voted on that any fifth week will be some other format than regular G/90, Inc 30 Swiss.  So, since a committee can’t run an organization, it was decided by the board to fill it with quick-chess.  A regrettable compromise.

Tonight was the final round.  I told Mark after the game that I wasn’t thinking about prize-money, but he kept pointing out how much a win and a draw were worth to me after the game.  Okay, a win would have netted me $44 and a draw just under $25, that’s the economic effect of this game, I guess you could say.

Round 4

2…exf.   I was honestly expecting  the Falkbeer Counter-Gambit when I saw this move, not LM Brian Wall’s concoction, The Racoon, although Brian W. mostly named it and promoted it – it’s an old and rarely seen variation, but has gained traction in CO.

4.Bc4  My longest think of the game, I don’t know how long, maybe 25 minutes.  I spent most of the time calculating this move, and very little on my alternate move 4.h4, which is not as positional, as g3 is weak, but g6 isn’t for example, and the Nf3 blocks the attack on h5, unlike his attack on h4, although that is not a major point.  4.d4 is the theoretical move here, but it transposes into the game.

4…h4.  I knew this move was coming next, as it forms the “claw” of the Racoon.

6….Bb4  I figured this was a mistake when I saw it, and he said as much after the game, that he should have used this bishop to defend his kingside.

7.0-0  During the game, I spent a long while considering 7.Ne5 Nh6, 8.Qh5 BxN+ 9.bxB Qf6, 10.0-0 d6, noting now that 11.Nxf7 NxN, 12.BxN+ Kf8 is a waste of a piece.  However, after 9…d6, 10.Nf3 (attacking g5) Rg8, 11.e5! (I noticed during the game, blindfolding, that I could not play both Ne5 and e5, but in this long variation White has gotten both moves in!) 11…Qg6, 12.QxQ RxQ, and White is += out of a King’s Gambit, with the bishop pair, just like that.  Too bad I wasn’t thinking more positional like this, but I really didn’t know.

8.bxB  During the game, I briefly looked at 8.Ne5 Nh6, 9.bxB, and actually this is fine for White after 9…d6, 10.Nf3 g4, 11.Ne1 (can even sac it) or 10…Bg4, 11.h3 Bh5, 12.Qe2, as is the simple recapture as played in the game.  Without the dark-bishop, Black has no fangs in this position, it’s equal, but the simple recapture was best +=.

9.Bxf7+?  Not advisable.  I saw all kinds of variations on this move.  Best is to proceed positionally still with either Qc2, h3, or Rb1, += in all cases, so again a positional advantage out of a Kings’ Gambit, for White.

11.Bxf4  During the game, I meant to play 11.Rxf4 when I started sacking pieces, but I missed 11…Kg6.  Actually, I did spot 12.Rf5 for a fleeting moment, but was a little too nervous to track that one down here, after sacking two pieces.  Actually, it’s losing for White because of 11…Nf6, when White can’t get in e5.  The visual appearance of a KG can be deceiving, and I missed that one.

11….Qh5!  Missed this.  I was only expecting 11….Qg4, when White is still okay.  White is really busted here.  Houdini recommends 12.Be5+, but it’s eval goes up for Black as moves are played – White needs to keep pieces on here, if possible.

16.Qxc7??  purposely not commenting on the moves leading up to this.  During the game, of course, I thought he couldn’t do this, but I was under two minutes and I had this bad thing about wanting to try and stay at two minutes, to make moves just to do this.

Perhaps it sounds crazy to say, but I missed after 16.BxN cxB, 17.Qf7+ Kh6 (…Kg6, same thing), 18.Rf6+ Kg5, 19.Qg7+!  I completely missed this seemingly obvious move, which mates.  In my irrational thoughts, I had stopped analyzing after move 18, and thought that the king might somehow be able to run up the board, even though the kings will end up being mated on either g5 or g3.  In any case, I tried taking the easy way out, and it backfired.

After the game, I told him that he could also let me keep the knight, as he saw the mate, but he kept insisting that he would recapture the knight (and let me mate him).  I tried to show him how ludicrous that was, but I guess I would have stumbled into his defective thinking had I lasted another move, just like he stumbled into my defective thinking when I took on c7, which he knew was bad, but I was rather clueless.

18.Bd2  I had generalized in time-pressure, thinking this was some wide-open position, with an exposed king, when in actuality he soon develops all his pieces with amazing control of all the critical squares of the board.  My queen had no squares left!  So had to make this move to give her an escape.

After this, in time-pressure, more me than him, he managed his time much better than I had, I couldn’t figure out what to do, lost the thread of the game, but White is indeed lost here.

28.dxe7  My idea here was to play the intermezzo 28.Qd4, but even if the Qh5 weren’t defending this rook, which I hadn’t noticed in time, it’s still a worthless idea that drops an exchange.  I was simply grasping at straws.

My weaknesses in this game, in time-pressure were.

1) Horrible ability to blindfold visualize in a reasonable amount of time.

2) Superficial variations.

3) Believing the move played.  He actually spent quite a bit of time on the losing move 15…Nd6, and I wasn’t expecting it because I didn’t think it was possible, had been calculating other variations.

4) Not calculating square-control, and in fact being oblivious to the fact that his pieces were going to control all the important squares on the board, where he didn’t need pawns to protect his king, and his …Qh5 was doing a superb job somehow.

My six pawns controlled nine squares on move 22, whereas my queen controlled ten squares.  The important base ability of a chessplayer is to calculate square-control, and that is what I didn’t do.

I have to give credit to Mark, he can defend, and likes to combine attack with defense; in almost any irrational position, he whips up a defense and is quick to defend first.  Mark is more at home, when positions break down, than am I.

I can play strong in the opening, but don’t consider enough different moves, ideas, get too monolithic on some forcing line.  My rating strength must be on some linear trajectory downward during a game.  On move 1, I play at about 2100 strength, and by move 15 in this game, I was already reduced to making a 1300 level move.  lol.  Okay, that is obviously a joke, and something like a Yogi-Berra-ism, but there is some truth to that.  Like Brian Wall/Andy Soltis say, a person plays 600 points weaker in time-pressure.














[Event “Tuesdays Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.05.22”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Mark McGough”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1779”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1820”]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 exf4 3. Nf3 h5 4. Bc4 h4 5. d4 g5 6. Nc3 Bb4 7. O-O Bxc3 8.
bxc3 d6 9. Bxf7+ Kxf7 10. Nxg5+ Qxg5 11. Bxf4 Qh5 12. Qd3 Kg6 13. Qc4 Nf6 14.
e5 Ne8 15. exd6 Nxd6 16. Qxc7 Nf5 17. Rae1 Nc6 18. Bd2 Rh7 19. Qf4 Bd7 20. d5
Nce7 21. c4 Rc8 22. Re4 a6 23. Rb1 b5 24. d6 Ng8 25. c5 Rxc5 26. c3 Nf6 27.
Re7 Nxe7 28. dxe7 Rxe7 29. Qd6 Qe5 30. Qd3+ Bf5 31. Qf1 Bxb1 32. Qxb1+ Qe4 33.
Qb3 Rd5 34. Qb2 Rxd2 35. Qxd2 Qe3+ 36. Qxe3 Rxe3 0-1

The defender is always “on the hook”

Round 3

This is Teah’s first classical tournament since the Denver Open.  Unfortunately, chess is often not kind to a person who doesn’t play at a specific time-control regularly, although we were both tied for first this month with 2/2.

I had looked at our last games as Black and White before driving to the club, even though Teah was widely thought to have left for St. Louis on Sunday, to be with her teacher there, WGM Katerina Nemcova.  It wasn’t long before she deviated and played longer into a standard main-line, which “un-prepared me”.  hehe.  Okay, it really was ridiculous because she was at 1:32 (hrs/min), when I had just played 12…Na5, and was down to only 38 minutes remaining!  After move 18, I was down to 20 minutes.  So, just because of the clock, it was anyone’s game, and I thought we might even draw.

My …Bg4 and …Ng4 moves were largely an attempt to trade down pieces in time-pressure, but her play wasn’t best, and that got me somewhere.

After the game, I told her that when she played 27…Qxb5 (“He who takes the b-pawn sleeps in the streets!” is an old chess adage), that the game had just entered the “weird zone” and was not going to end in a draw after that, someone would win it.

30.Rxd6  I was expecting her to instantly reply 30.Nf1, but she was taking a while, so I finally decided to use the restroom for the first and only time.  When I got back, she was still thinking, hadn’t moved, at first I figured she was just being chivalrous, but after another five, maybe seven minutes I thought that she might be looking at something else, and immediately noticed 30.Nf1 Qe2 with a windmill attack on g2.

31…Ra3??  When I played 31…Qe1+ she turned beet-red, and I really felt sorry for her, since she otherwise can play so well outside of the occasional blunder.  Final clock-times, I had 10 minutes, and she had 56 minutes remaining.



[Event “Classical Wednesdays”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.05.16”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Teah Williams”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1820”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1712”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. Nbd2
O-O 9. Nf1 d5 10. Qe2 dxe4 11. dxe4 Qe7 12. Ng3 Na5 13. Bc2 Nc4 14. O-O h6 15.
a4 Rb8 16. Nh4 Bg4 17. Nf3 Rfe8 18. h3 Bc8 19. Nh4 Nd6 20. Kh1 Ng4 21. Nhf5
Nxf5 22. exf5 Nf6 23. axb5 axb5 24. b3 Bb7 25. Rd1 e4 26. b4 Bd6 27. Qxb5 e3
28. Qe2 exf2 29. Qxf2 Qe5 30. Rxd6 cxd6 31. Ra3 Qe1+ 32. Qg1 Qxg3 33. Bd2 Re2 0-1

The Ragozin Defense – part two

Round 3

I had only prepared for White against Sara, as you may remember I won last week against Paul A. with this same defense.  Sara is difficult enough to handle with the White pieces, so that I didn’t mind having Black against her.

Sara’s trademark with the White pieces is that at some point she likes to go on a mating attack against me.

10…Nd5  Okay, so I figured this move might be bad, moving the same piece twice, yada yada, but I hadn’t seen a refutation yet.  …Bb7 or …Nbd7 are more principled moves.  Black has a serious development lag here, but I was playing ignorant at this point.

11…Qa5?  I had always wanted to play this move, but I could see that it was just bad after 12.Rc1, what was I thinking?

12.0-0!  The super-refutation.  After this, I spend over half an hour and most of that time wasn’t even analyzing so much as I felt I wanted to resign in frustration that none of my plans worked out – I think I spent 20 minutes just getting over the utter disbelief.  After the game, Sara confirmed/said my …Qa5 move was just bad, which I already knew.

12…BxN, 13.axb Qb4, 14.bxBc3 Qxc3, 15.QxQ NxQ, 16.Bxc4, for example.  Black is simply undeveloped, and White has a big attack.

12…NxNc3, 13.bxN Bxc3, 14.Ra2! this is what I had missed, not too deep is it?  More like a visual neglect from optimism and not calculating deep enough before playing …Qa5 (or wide enough).  Anyway, after 14.Ra2 Bb4, 15.Rfb1, and if 14…b4, 15.Bxc4, so it’s all kind of bad news as you can see.

13…Qb6.  Played with 33 minutes left on my clock, after the headshaking was over, I felt resigned to see how I could resist, or roll with the punches.

15.Nd6  Sara spent a long time on this move, which I was happy to see.  What I didn’t want to see  her do was to blitz out 15.Bg3.  Though I was a bit puzzled, I did see her elaborate point to connect the advanced pawns, and wasn’t too bothered by it, particularly since she was still burning up time, and we eventually caught up on time around the 17 minute point.

17…Qc5  Blacks normal developing moves, ….a6 or …Bb7 or …c5, for example, are fraught with danger, and so I had to force things in a concrete manner.

18.Rad1  During the game, I was looking at 18.b3 Qxd6, 19.Rfd1 Nb4, 20.RxQ NxQ, 21.Rxc6, which looks like a crazy continuation to be concerned about.  Certainly, I noticed that 18.Rad1 only strengthened this somewhat bizarre idea.  18…Ba6 is what I had planned on playing by the time she moved (if she had played 18.b3).  In any case, it was as if I had to snap out of this daydream variation and get back to 18….Rfd8, which is what I had planned all along.  This variation explains why I didn’t want to play 18….Qxd6 here, but it also colored my reasoning for not playing 19….Nb4, after 19.e4.

I saw 19…Nb4, 20.Qd2 Nd3, 21.BxN Rxd, but White can sidestep this line, in any case, with 20.Qc3!, when …Nd3 would drop the piece.  I did see 20…Rxd6, and was planning on playing this for while, but it’s enough to see 21.RxR, QxR, 22.Qf6 Qf8, 23.Rd1 Bb7, 24.d7 Rad8, 25.Ne5 with Black’s huge initiative.

21…a5?  An auto-pilot move.  In time-pressure, not forseeing White’s last move, I balked at playing 21….Rxd6, 22. RxR QxR, 23.Rd1 Qe7 (only move I looked at) 24.Ne5 Bb7, 25. Rd7 wins a piece, for example, but why not simply 23….Qc7(?), a scary line from White could then be 24.h4 g4, 25.Nd4 h5, 25.Qe3 f6, 26.Qh6  The best reply there, though, may simply be 24….gxh4!?, 25.Nxh4 e5!  So this was probably Black’s best try, this line.  I just couldn’t calm my nerves enough to find a line like this, and play calmly.

24.Qe3.   White’s attack came as a complete surprise to me.  I only expected 24.Rfd1 here.

25.Nxg5  This is what I wanted her to do, thinking that I could perhaps get a draw if she didn’t mate my king.  I was more worried about 25.Rfc1, the positional approach.  I saw 25.Nxg5, followed by 26.Nxe6, and thought there might be a good chance for a draw there for Black, if not more.

25…BxR  Here, I saw that 25…hxN, 26.Qxg+ Kf8, 27.Qe7+ Kg8, 28.Rg4+ leads to mate, so the choice was obvious enough.

26…QxRd4  I used 6 of my last 7 minutes on this move, sensing that my position might be resignable, and still no reason to not use up the remaining time.  I quickly saw the tactic, 26…fxNe6, 27.Rg4+ Kh7, 28.QxQ and now …Be2 hitting the rook, or ….Bd3 helping to promote, while also allowing a …Bg6 defense was probably the best line, decision.  This should have been much better for Black than the game continuation.

36…b3  Uggh, during the game, I saw 36…Rc8, but was too nervous to play it.  I had two minutes or less, and she had less time, under a minute.  36…Rc8 looks straight-up winning.  36…Rc8, 37.Qc1 (White can’t allow the check to promote, doesn’t work.  Like Josh B. said after the game, she should have played Kg2 (instead of one those wasteful queen moves) somewhere).  Nerves, and clock management lead to this draw as much as anything, IMHO.  37…Bf5! stopping d7.  During the game, I saw this idea, but thought I had to forgo it back when I played …Bg6, but the king is on an uncheckable square now.  How sad.  Well, let’s see what the engine says now.  Yup, 36…Rc8 was winning, uggh, and I saw the correct winning line before flipping on the engine.  I considered playing 36…Rc8, but wanted to play safe on the clock and board at this point, as she was the one going wrong with little prompting.  Even though I had maybe 2 min 14 seconds at most, at one point in all this, probably here I was more like 1 min 27 seconds or so when I made my move.  I did want to give myself the best chance possible of securing the draw, I was already thinking about that.

What’s worse is I saw 36…Rc8, 37.Qc1 d7, 38.b2 thinking that that should somehow be a draw, but it’s totally winning for Black, as promotion comes with check in any line.  For example, 38.d7xR(Q) bxQ(Q)+, and Black will have two queens and a bishop for queen.  Just not looking deep enough nor wide enough there.  I could have spent another minute, was simply nervous and tight, and thinking glad to have survived with a draw.  I was also still hoping to see 37.QxR??, a hope-chess move, or non-analysis, better put.  I also missed a simple geometrical pattern OTB.  36…Rc7, 37.d7 c1(Q)+!  I missed here that both the Kg1, and the Qg5 are being attacked.  Even if the queen were on f6 instead of g5, though, White’s pawn would exchange for the rook, and Black would still be up a bishop for two pawns, and winning.  Yeah, I was really just trying to secure the draw here, thought there might be something to that line, but wasn’t willing to look deep at anything, afraid I might miss something simple around my king in time-pressure.  If I had been more experienced, I would have realized that his d7 pawn was worth a rook, and my c2 pawn worth a queen.  Checks are like a free-move, so they have to be calculated, and not merely noticed/appreciated.


























[Event “May Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.05.15”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Sarah Herman”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1820”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1971”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 dxc4 7. e3 b5 8. a4
c6 9. Be2 g5 10. Bg3 Nd5 11. Qc2 Qa5 12. O-O Qb6 13. Be5 O-O 14. Ne4 Nd7 15.
Nd6 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Bxd6 17. exd6 Qc5 18. Rad1 Rd8 19. e4 Nf4 20. g3 Nxe2+ 21.
Qxe2 a5 22. e5 b4 23. Rd4 Ba6 24. Qe3 c3 25. Nxg5 Bxf1 26. Nxe6 Qxd4 27. Nxd4
cxb2 28. Qb3 c5 29. Nc6 c4 30. Qxb2 Bd3 31. Nxd8 Rxd8 32. Qc1 c3 33. Qxh6 c2
34. Qg5+ Kh7 35. Qd2 Bg6 36. Qg5 b3 37. Qh4+ Kg7 38. Qf6+ Kh7 39. Qh4+ Kg7 40.
Qf6+ Kh7 41. Qh4+ 1/2-1/2



Ultimate Endgame

Round 2


Another Battle-Royale with Jesse; I think that this matchup has helped both of our chess game.

Okay, so I’ll do my stream-of-conscious commenting, alongside the computer(Stockfish).

6.e6? I also thought that 6…Qd6 was his only way out here, but I had no sense of the true eval of the position.

7…Qd6?! I’m not surprised that …Qc8 is listed as the best moved, I suspected it might be a move like this.

8.Bf4 8.g4! is listed as best. I did see this move here, and wanted to work it in, but it seemed way over-optimistic to me that this should work. Besides, I really hadn’t seen 8…Nge7! until he played it, and it took me aback.

9.g4 Struck me as best, but I did not see the best move, 9.Qf3. 9.Qf3 is best as I can see that it puts three strikers on c6, as well as defends Bf4, preparing 10.Ne5xc6, discovering an attack on the queen and hence winning a piece. 10.NxNc6 was a move I desperately wanted to make happen. In fact, if Jesse had played 8…Rd8, or 8…0-0-0, I was going to take on c6, ….QxBf4, NxRd3, winning an exchange.

OTB, I saw that 9.a3 a6. Also, 9.Bg3 Qb4, 10.Nc4 (say) Ng6, 11.a3 Qe7, 12.Be3 h5. A lot of the lines looked fine for White, but I was trying to determine the best move. White could, for example, play 9.Nxf7 QxBf4, 10.NxR, and that might be fine for White, probably is, but is also not entirely clear after …Rd8 or …0-0-0, maybe it is, dunno.

Right away, I saw that the obvious and planned 9.Ng6 is met by …e5, now 10.NxR QxB doesn’t even net the f-pawn, whereas 10.Ng6xe5 and it’s White’s turn with initiative, and the abscence of Black’s e6 pawn is helpful in some ways to him. Also, 9.NxN QxB, 10.NxN KxN looks fine for White, but it’s easy to feel something has slipped through White’s fingers.

Even 9.Qf3 has to be calculated. For example, I can quickly see that 9.Qf3 Qxd, 10.NxN bxN, 11.Bxc6+ NxB, 12.QxN+ Ke7, 13.QxR QxB, calculated that rapidly, and as soon as I had done that process-of-elimination immediately suggests 9.Qf3 Qxd, 10.Rd1 Qc5, 11.b4 Qxb, 12.NxN bxN, 13.Bxb+ NxB, 14.QxN+ Ke7, 15.Bxc7 Kf6, 16.Be5+ Kg6, 17.0-0 Be7 Actually, White had 15.QxRa8 QxB, or 15…QxN+, 16.Bd2, and in both cases up an exchange. So, there might be an easy answer to all this, but this is what it is for a human player to decide upon.

Okay, so I switched on Stockfish. It points out the win to 9.Qf3 Qxd4 is 10.NxN bxN, 11.Bxc6+ NxB, 12.Qc6+ Ke7, 13.Rd1! QxBf4, 14.Rd7+ Kf6, 15.Nd5+!! forking king and queen; that is what you had to see. It’s worth noting that if you saw all the way up to move fifteen, and then played 15.QxRa8, Black has both 15…Qc1+ (+1), and 15…Bc5 (0.0)

My second option was 9.Ng6 e5, 10.Nxe5, but it’s worth noting that I plugged in 10…a6 here (instead of …Qf6), and Stockfish says that 11.0-0 and if a6xBb5, 12.Nxb5 is +3. No easy line! If the human 11.BxNc6 is played, that is only +.8, so, White has to know what he/she’s doing.

If White his the EASY button, and plays 9.Nxf7 QxB, 10.NxR g6 (which I predicted), 11.0-0, that is less than .5 advantage for White.


[Event “Classical Wednesdays”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.05.09”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Jesse Williams”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1665”]
[ECO “B01”]
[EventDate “2018.05.09”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1820”]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nf3 Bf5 4. Nc3 Qd7 5. d4 Nc6 6. Bb5 e6 7. Ne5 Qd6 8.
Bf4 Ne7 9. g4 Bxg4 10. Qxg4 Qxd4 11. Rd1 Qb4 12. Bc1 Qxg4 13. Nxg4 a6 14. Be2
Nb4 15. Rd2 Rd8 16. Rxd8+ Kxd8 17. Ne3 c6 18. a3 Nbd5 19. Ncxd5 exd5 20. Bd2 g6
21. Bc3 Rg8 22. Ng4 Bg7 23. Nf6 Bxf6 24. Bxf6 Re8 25. Bg4 Kc7 26. Kd2 Ng8 27.
Bh4 f5 28. Be2 Nh6 29. f3 Nf7 30. Re1 Kd7 31. Bd3 Ne5 32. Be2 b5 33. f4 Nf7 34.
Bf3 Rxe1 35. Bxe1 Nd6 36. b3 Ne4+ 37. Bxe4 fxe4 38. Bf2 Ke6 39. Bc5 Kf5 40. Bd6
d4 41. Bc5 Kxf4 42. Bxd4 Kf3 43. Be3 Kg4 44. Ke2 g5 45. h3+ Kf5 46. Kf2 g4 47.
hxg4+ Kxg4 48. Bh6 Kf5 49. Ke3 Ke5 50. Bg7+ Kd5 51. Bh6 Ke5 52. Kd2 Kd4 53.
Be3+ Kd5 54. Kc3 c5 55. Bh6 a5 56. Kd2 b4 57. axb4 axb4 58. Ke3 Ke5 59. Bg7+
Kd5 60. Bh6 Ke5 61. Bf8 Kd5 62. Kf4 h5 63. Be7 Kd4 64. Bf6+ Kd5 65. Ke3 Ke6 66.
Bh4 Kd5 67. Bg3 c4 68. Be1 cxb3 69. cxb3 Ke5 70. Bh4 Kd5 71. Bg5 Ke5 72. Be7
Kd5 73. Bf6 Ke6 74. Bh4 Kd5 75. Be1 Ke5 76. Bxb4 h4 77. Be1 h3 78. Kf2 Kd4 79.
Kg3 1-0

Chasing the C-pawn

One of LM Brian Wall’s worst chess fears was realized in Expert Paul Anderson’s game against me tonight.

I donated my Ragozin book the CS Chess Club a while back, but not before extracting the main ideas from it.  After the game, I told Paul that a simple solution to the Ragozin for White is to play cxd, that’s how opening gurus like Kraminik, and local Class C player Matthew Hansen handle it; they would never let me take on c4.


Round 2


[Event “May Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.05.08”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Paul Anderson”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1820”]
[ECO “D38”]
[EventDate “2018.05.08”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “2032”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 Bb4 5. Qc2 dxc4 6. Qa4+ Nc6 7. e3 Bd7 8. Qc2
b5 9. Be2 a6 10. O-O O-O 11. a3 Bxc3 12. bxc3 Re8 13. Ne5 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Nd5 15.
Rd1 Qc8 16. Rd4 f5 17. e4 c5 18. Rd1 fxe4 19. f4 Bc6 20. g3 Qc7 21. Bf1 g5 22.
Bg2 gxf4 23. gxf4 Kh8 24. Rxd5 exd5 25. Be3 Bd7 26. Qf2 Rac8 27. Rd1 Be6 28.
Qh4 Qe7 29. Qh5 Qf7 30. Qh4 Qe7 31. Qh5 Rf8 32. Kh1 a5 33. Qe2 b4 34. axb4 axb4
35. cxb4 cxb4 36. Ra1 Ra8 37. Qb2 c3 38. Qc1 Bg4 39. Qg1 Rg8 40. Rxa8 Rxa8 41.
Bxe4 Rg8 42. Bxd5 Bf3+ 43. Bxf3 Rxg1+ 44. Kxg1 b3 45. Be4 Qb4 46. Bd3 b2 47.
Bb1 c2 48. Bxc2 Qe1+ 49. Kg2 Qxe3 50. Bxh7 Kxh7 0-1