Mistakes

 

 

Round 2 Strong Swiss

 

11.Bg5  White wants to play 12.NxN, which is best, but doesn’t want to allow the recapture 12…NxN, as I was planning to play (recapturing with the queen on d7 represents a loss of tempo, as the Black queen wants to remain on dark-squared diagonals).

We both spent lots of time leading up to this move, and he had gone under 20 minutes, and I had a 20 minute advantage on the clock.  11.Bg5 took me completely by surprise, and instead of trying to understand it, I picked up the pace of my play, even though I knew that this move had changed the nature of the position, of possible combinations and such.

12…Qxd7  I almost played 12…c4 here, and regretted not having played it after the game, but I didn’t analyze that right, either.  For example, I saw 12…c4, 13.Nd7xNf6+ gxN, 14.Qe2 f6xB.  What I didn’t see is 12..c4, 13.NxN+ gxN, 14.Bxf6! cxQ, 15.BxQ RxB, 16.cxd winning a pawn for White – actually, this would lose a second pawn 14…QxBf6 is necessary there, and the queens stay on.  I was wasting too much time deciding between lines, and in the end analyzing inaccurately, and missing replies.

11…c5?!  This is a mistake.  The best move is 11…Nb6.  The basic idea is that Black shouldn’t allow White to trade knights on d7, as now the recapture there with the knight is no longer possible.

13…Rxc5??  I simply missed this “still knight” move reply 14.Nc3e4; I’m going to call it that because it’s as if the whole position is still, and the knight gets to make a move without negative repercussion, due to the pin.  The correct idea is to play 13…Qe7 (allowing any Black recapture on c5), or 13…Qd8 (staying on the d8-a5 diagonal); both moves remove the pin on the d-file, which gives White a winning tactic.  The Black pawn on d5 controls the e4 square, so the Nf6 and Bg5 both aren’t doing much outside of this d-file pin, which White was able to use in the game via a winning tactic.

The knight practically seemed glued to c3, since it had been kept there so long without his moving it.  I should have always been checking this Ne4 move for the knight, and I had even realized that I didn’t want my queen and king on light squares like this.  My next mistake was to spend around 15 minutes just realizing my blunder, even though I hadn’t seen it until he played the move.

19…Qe5?  I played this move quickly, and realized just as suddenly that I should have played …h6 first.  After dropping the exchange, I became more impatient.

20…Kh8?  Another quickly played move.  This is simply too much of a concession, to assume that I either won’t have back-rank issues, or will be able to live with playing a future …Bf8 move is not realistic.

40…Qa7??  My fortieth move, a quick blunder.  I realized that I had just hung my knight on b5, then luckily he did not see it.

41…Qc6?  I figured that this was a weak move, and was going to look for an aggressive reply, but then told myself to find a defense to his mate-in-two move first.  I must have been down to 20 seconds when I decided to play the only purely defensive reply because after I moved, my clock read 50 seconds.  I simply forgot to look for an attacking move, which oddly enough would have been the best defending move.  He had seen that I had 42.Qa7, and though that he may even have been losing there.  White is still winning, for example 41…Qa7, 42.c3 Qa2+, 43.Kx2 d3, 44.Kxd3 QxRb3, 45.QxR+.  It’s really forced for Black to find this continuation, so that should make it easier, and he was up on the clock, had over two minutes left.  Wasting so much time after my blunder, was nearly as poor as the blunder itself.

 

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2020.03.11”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Mark McGough”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1924”]
[ECO “D00”]
[EventDate “2020.03.11”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1805”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Bf4 Bf5 4. e3 e6 5. Bd3 Bxd3 6. Qxd3 a6 7. Nf3 Nbd7 8.
O-O-O Bb4 9. Ne5 Rc8 10. f3 O-O 11. Bg5 c5 12. Nxd7 Qxd7 13. dxc5 Rxc5 14. Bxf6
gxf6 15. Ne4 Kg7 16. Nxc5 Bxc5 17. Kb1 Rc8 18. h4 Qc7 19. h5 Qe5 20. h6+ Kh8
21. e4 d4 22. Rh4 Qg5 23. Rh2 Bd6 24. Rhh1 e5 25. g4 Qg8 26. Rh5 Qd8 27. Qb3
Qe7 28. Rh2 Rc5 29. Rd3 Rb5 30. Qc4 Rc5 31. Qa4 Qc7 32. Rb3 b5 33. Qxa6 Qd7 34.
Qa8+ Rc8 35. Qd5 Rb8 36. Rh5 Kg8 37. Rh2 b4 38. a3 Qc7 39. axb4 Bxb4 40. Rh1
Qa7 41. Qc6 Qb6 42. Qxb6 Rxb6 43. c3 dxc3 44. bxc3 Bc5 45. Rxb6 Bxb6 46. Kc2
Kf8 47. Kb3 Ke7 48. Kc4 Be3 49. Kd5 Bd2 50. c4 Be3 51. c5 Bf4 52. c6 Be3 53.
Rb1 Bxh6 54. Rb7+ Kd8 55. Kd6 Kc8 56. Rxf7 Kb8 57. Rxh7 Bg5 58. c7+ Kb7 59. Rh8
Be3 60. c8=Q+ Ka7 61. Kc6 Bb6 62. Qb7# 1-0

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The Draw Habit

Strong Swiss, Round 1

Normally, Sam gets into time-pressure against me, but this game was the other way around.  I went deep into the tank early, and then began playing sloppy late, even though I realized that it was going to take a while for this game to really bloom.

21.Na2?!  Instead of having the guts to play either f4, or g4, or Ra4, or Bd4, or… I played this wimpy move, whence Sam gave a puzzling expression.  My idea was to play c4, then Na2-c1-d3, and trade the four pieces on the d3 square.  That was my “bold” idea.  Of course, this idea of mine was slow, if not unambitious.

It mostly comes down to poor time-management, as I spend all this time looking for stuff after Black played …Nc5, and after half an hour of coming up with nothing, played the move that I was going to play, and had already prepared before his last move, anyway.  These lulls where I go into the tank, it’s simply due to inefficient calculation and decision-making, I spend too much time early in the game.  I even wanted to play a4 and Bc4 in the opening, which the engine liked, saw this right away, but also didn’t have the guts to play, and wasted too much time in the early opening as well.

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2020.03.04”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Sam Bridle”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1800”]
[ECO “B00”]
[EventDate “2020.03.04”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1924”]

1. e4 Nc6 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nf6 4. Nc3 g6 5. d5 Nb8 6. Be2 Bg7 7. O-O O-O 8. h3
Nbd7 9. Be3 Nc5 10. Nd2 e6 11. Bf3 exd5 12. exd5 Nfd7 13. Nb3 Nxb3 14. axb3 a6
15. Qc1 Ne5 16. Be2 Re8 17. Bg5 f6 18. Be3 Bf5 19. Qd2 Qe7 20. Rfe1 Qf7 21. Na2
g5 22. c4 g4 23. hxg4 Bxg4 24. Bxg4 Nxg4 25. Bf4 Qg6 26. Nc3 f5 27. Ne2 Qf6 28.
Nc3 Qd4 29. Rad1 Qxd2 30. Bxd2 Bd4 31. Rxe8+ Rxe8 32. Rf1 Kg7 33. g3 Kg6 34.
Kg2 1/2-1/2

Colorado Springs Open

Saturday

Round 1

[Event “Colorado Springs Open”]
[Site “Manitou Springs City Hall”]
[Date “2020.02.29”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Ayush Vispute”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1400”]
[ECO “B34”]
[EventDate “2020.02.29”]
[TimeControl “G/90, d/5”]
[WhiteElo “1924”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. e5 Ng8 8.
Bc4 Bg7 9. Bf4 Qb6 10. a3 Qxb2 11. Na4 Qb8 12. Rb1 Qc7 13. O-O Bxe5 14. Bxe5
Qxe5 15. Re1 Qa5 16. Qd4 Nf6 17. Qxf6 1-0

 

Round 2

[Event “Colorado Springs Open”]
[Site “Manitou Springs City Hall”]
[Date “2020.02.29”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Brian Wall”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1924”]
[ECO “E00”]
[EventDate “2020.02.29”]
[TimeControl “G/90, d/5”]
[WhiteElo “2249”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. a3 d5 4. c5 b6 5. b4 a5 6. Bb2 axb4 7. axb4 Rxa1 8. Bxa1
bxc5 9. dxc5 Ba6 10. Nf3 c6 11. g3 Be7 12. Bg2 O-O 13. O-O Nfd7 14. Nd4 Qc7 15.
Re1 Bf6 16. Nc3 Qb7 17. Nc2 Bc4 18. Qd2 Bb3 19. Rb1 Bxc2 20. Qxc2 Na6 21. b5
Naxc5 22. bxc6 Qxc6 1/2-1/2

 

Round 3

[Event “Colorado Springs Open”]
[Site “Manitou Springs City Hall”]
[Date “2020.02.29”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Earle Wikle”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “2041”]
[ECO “B12”]
[EventDate “2020.02.29”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1924”]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 e6 4. Nc3 Qb6 5. a3 Nd7 6. Be3 Ngf6 7. Rb1 Be7 8. Nge2
dxe4 9. Nxe4 O-O 10. N2c3 Nxe4 11. fxe4 f5 12. Bd3 Ne5 13. O-O Ng4 14. Qd2 Nxe3
15. Qxe3 e5 16. Ne2 f4 17. Bc4+ Kh8 18. Qf3 Bd7 19. c3 Rf6 20. Kh1 exd4 21.
cxd4 Raf8 22. b4 Qd8 23. Nc3 Qc8 24. e5 Rh6 25. Ne4 Bg4 26. Qd3 Qf5 27. Nf2 f3
28. Qxf5 fxg2+ 29. Kxg2 Bxf5 30. Bd3 1/2-1/2

 

Sunday

Round 4

[Event “Colorado Springs Open”]
[Site “Manitou Springs City Hall”]
[Date “2020.03.01”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Daniel Herman”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “2146”]
[ECO “B43”]
[EventDate “2020.03.01”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1924”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Nc3 Qc7 6. g3 Bb4 7. Qd3 Nf6 8. Bg2
Nc6 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. a3 Bc5 11. b4 Ba7 12. O-O O-O 13. h3 d5 14. Bf4 e5 15. Bg5
Nxe4 16. Nxe4 dxe4 17. Qxe4 Be6 18. c4 Bd4 19. Rac1 Rab8 20. Rc2 c5 21. Rb1 Qd7
22. g4 f5 23. Qc6 Qxc6 24. Bxc6 fxg4 25. hxg4 Bxg4 26. Bd5+ Kh8 27. Ra2 Rb6 28.
Be3 Rg6 29. Kh2 Rf5 30. Bxd4 Rh5+ 31. Kg1 Bf3+ 32. Kf1 Rh1# 0-1

Round 5

[Event “Colorado Springs Open”]
[Site “Manitou Springs City Hall”]
[Date “2020.03.01”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Aditya Krishna”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1924”]
[ECO “C88”]
[EventDate “2020.03.01”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1576”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O b5 ( 5… Be7)6. Bb3 Be7 7. Re1
d6 8. h3 Na5 9. c3 Nxb3 10. axb3 Bb7 11. d3 O-O 12. Nbd2 Re8 13. Nf1 c5 14. Ng3
g6 15. Bh6 Bf8 16. Bxf8 Kxf8 17. Qd2 Kg7 18. Qg5 Bc8 19. Nh4 Ng8 20. Nhf5+ Kf8
21. Qxd8 Rxd8 22. Ne3 Nf6 23. Ra5 Bb7 24. Rea1 h5 25. f3 Kg7 26. h4 Rd7 27. Kf2
Rad8 28. c4 b4 29. Ngf1 Kf8 30. Nd2 Ke7 31. Nd5+ Nxd5 32. cxd5 1/2-1/2

 

Dropped another piece

Round 4 final round

This time I was playing as White against the Ruy Lopez.  It’s been a while since I’ve played the Lopez as White, OTB.  Last memorable time I played it was sacking my queen against Teah for a forced win, whereupon WGM Katerina Nemcova remarked “You played this move?! (wow)”  She was impressed at my move, and she was also impressed by Alex’ F. Game, but what was that, two years ago?

This time, I missed a shot in the opening, and instead played a blunder myself, Re1.  It was maybe 10-20 seconds after making my move that I realized I had dropped a piece.  Luckily, I was getting it back.

People praise computers for chess virtually non-stop, but I’ve discovered that there is quite a curse that can go along with too much chess playing on the computer, lack of patience!  I was slowly doing ChessTempo tactics, got 29 right in a row, then I got one wrong and got about 20 of the next 30 wrong.  It happens more and more, impatience, then you challenge yourself to learning more quickly, and soon there is no patience to even think, the mind becomes short-circuited by guess-and-error.  Now I know why people went to solving tactics in blitz-mode on ChessTempo, they think they need more patterns, but the problems are too game-like.  For example, attack for two moves, and then defend for two moves.  The problems are much more like real game situations, with a positive outcome, than a tactics problem, let alone any so-called pattern.

Anyway, lately I’ve been moving too fast, started the repetition with 47 minutes left on my clock.  I was ready for another game, or two.  I really need to move my training away from the computer, it’s helped turn me into a passive spectator who tries different moves.  I stopped playing blitz because it was hurting my ability to play slower.

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2020.02.26”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Mark McGough”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1809”]
[ECO “C67”]
[EventDate “2020.02.26”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1926”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Nxe5 Bd7 7. Re1 Nxe5 8.
Bxd7+ Nxd7 9. f3 Nf6 10. Bg5 Be7 11. fxe4 Nxe4 12. Bxe7 Qxe7 13. Nc3 Rd8 14.
Qf3 O-O 15. Nxd5 Rxd5 16. Qxe4 Qxe4 17. Rxe4 f5 18. Re7 Rf7 19. Re8+ Rf8 20.
Re7 Rf7 21. Re8+ Rf8 22. Re7 Rf7 23. Re8+ Rf8 1/2-1/2

 

The case of the dropped piece

Round 3

It’s like a Hardy Boys mystery.  hehe.  Neither of us saw it, but I can confirm that I have been playing too much bullet recently.  I was up 58 minutes on the clock at one point, my largest margin ever against Mark, but it was to no avail.  Final clock times, I had 28 minutes to Mark’s 8 remaining, but as you can probably guess this still worked to my favor when considering the outcome.

 

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2020.02.19”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Mark McGough”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1926”]
[ECO “C50”]
[EventDate “2020.02.19”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1805”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 d6 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. h3 Na5 7. Na4 Nxc4 8. Nxc5
dxc5 9. dxc4 Qxd1+ 10. Kxd1 Nxe4 11. Be3 f6 12. Nd2 Nxd2 13. Kxd2 b6 14. Rad1
f5 15. Rhe1 O-O 16. f3 Be6 17. Kc3 h6 18. Bg1 e4 19. fxe4 fxe4 20. Rxe4 Bf5 21.
Re7 Rfe8 22. Rde1 Kf8 23. Rxe8+ Rxe8 24. Rxe8+ Kxe8 25. Bh2 1/2-1/2

3rd Annual Valentines Day Open

Round 1

4.Nc3.  4.d5 is stronger

6.Nb5?!  6.g3, 6.e3, and 6.Bd2 are all stronger moves.

7.Qa4?!  7.Bg5 and 7.cxd4 (keeping the d-file clogged) are both better moves.

8.Bd2  At this point, I am in “just don’t get mated” mode.  8.e3 now was the correct move order.  I was glad to see 8…0-0?, but …d4 was -2, in Black’s favor.

12….NxQ?  I hadn’t even considered this, and it’s bad, but you still need a concrete line to know why.

13.Nxd5  I was in time-pressure, and not sure whether my knight would become trapped.  However, there is a concrete line that will determine the answer as to the fate of this knight, starting with 13.Rd1.  If this had been G/90, Inc 30, I’m pretty sure that I would have figured this out.  13.Rd1 wins the d5 pawn.  After this, I was fortunate to draw, although with enough time, which I didn’t have, I don’t believe that I would have had too much difficulty in drawing this game, since I was able to do so rather easily in the post-mortem against both Dean, and my Round 4 2100 opponent, Eric.

I actually made a hallucination during my analysis.  I told myself that when Black plays BxNd5 that because he is winning a pawn, he is not up a piece, but he is up a piece, and so I had to recapture.

[Event “Valentine’s Day Open”]
[Site “Club Chess”]
[Date “2020.02.15”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Dean Brown”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1937”]
[ECO “A32”]
[EventDate “2020.02.15”]
[TimeControl “G/70, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1447”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. Nc3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bb4 6. Nb5 d5 7. Qa4 Nc6 8. Bd2
O-O 9. e3 Qa5 10. Qxa5 Nxa5 11. Nc7 Rb8 12. cxd5 exd5 13. N7xd5 Nxd5 14. Nxd5
Bxd2+ 15. Kxd2 Rd8 16. e4 Be6 17. b4 Bxd5 18. exd5 Rxd5+ 19. Ke3 Re8+ 20. Kf3
Nc6 21. g3 Rf5+ 22. Kg2 Nxb4 23. Bc4 1/2-1/2

 

Round 2

This is one of those games where you want to throw out the scoresheet, just as much as it is worth witnessing the train-wreck that occurs in this game.  I should have traded knights on e5 a bunch of times, but was calculating too slowly, particularly for this time-control, to make the deep calculations that I normally make at slower controls.  This is also why I gave up the piece, I simply couldn’t calculate deep enough.  His pager went off twice, once during that move, and once right before it.  Both times he walked out of the room, but the situation I was in was so stressful that it did bother me, though I didn’t say anything about it.

15.Nxc4  I played this move quickly, after coming back from the restroom, but realized that it had been a big mistake not to have traded knights on e5 before playing this move, as I had been aware of his …Ng4 idea, previously.  Never having played an opponent before, not knowing their repertoire, and playing at a quicker time-control, for me is not a comfortable feeling.

[Event “Valentine’s Day Open”]
[Site “Club Chess”]
[Date “2020.02.15”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Nick Derosier”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1454”]
[ECO “C02”]
[EventDate “2020.02.15”]
[TimeControl “G/70, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1937”]

1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bd7 4. Nf3 c5 5. c3 Nc6 6. Be2 Nge7 7. Na3 a6 8. O-O Qb6
9. dxc5 Qc7 10. b4 Nxe5 11. Re1 N7g6 12. Be3 Be7 13. Rc1 O-O 14. c4 dxc4 15.
Nxc4 Ng4 16. Qd4 e5 17. Nfxe5 N4xe5 18. Nxe5 Nxe5 19. Bf4 Nc6 20. Qe4 Qc8 21.
Bd3 g6 22. Bh6 Re8 23. Bc4 Bf5 24. Qf4 Bf6 25. g4 Be5 26. Bxf7+ Kxf7 27. Qf3
Qe6 28. gxf5 Qxf5 29. Qb3+ Kf6 30. Re3 Qg4+ 31. Kh1 Nd4 32. Qd5 Qh4 33. Rxe5
Rxe5 34. Bg7+ Kxg7 35. Qxe5+ Kh6 36. Qe3+ g5 37. Rd1 Rd8 38. Qe7 Rg8 39. Qf6+
Rg6 40. Qxd4 Qxd4 41. Rxd4 Kh5 42. Rd7 b6 43. Rd6 bxc5 44. bxc5 Rg7 45. Rxa6
Rc7 46. c6 h6 47. a4 Kg4 48. a5 Kf3 49. Rb6 Kxf2 50. Rb2+ Ke3 51. Rc2 Kd4 52.
a6 Kd5 53. a7 Rc8 54. c7 Kd6 55. a8=Q Rxa8 56. c8=Q Rxc8 57. Rxc8 Ke5 58. Rh8
Kf5 59. Rxh6 g4 60. Kg2 Kf4 61. Rf6+ Kg5 62. Rf8 1-0

Round 3

26…NxNd2.  Intuitively, I felt that 26…Bxh3 would turn out to be the crushing move, but couldn’t see how between my time-pressure and slow calculations.  Actually, if it weren’t for my time-pressure, my opponent wouldn’t have played his blunder so quickly and riskily, as he said after the game that he was trying to capitalize on my time-pressure.

We both missed quite a few moves and ideas in this opening that are quite apart from the game, that it sort of randomized the result just a bit.  Our biggest opponent in this game seemed to be the opening itself, which frankly neither of us have such a great grasp of.

[Event “Valentine’s Day Open”]
[Site “Club Chess”]
[Date “2020.02.15”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Bill Weihmiller”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1937”]
[ECO “C87”]
[EventDate “2020.02.15”]
[TimeControl “G/70, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1745”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 d6 7. c3 O-O 8. h3
Bd7 9. d4 b5 10. Bc2 Re8 11. Be3 Bf8 12. Nbd2 exd4 13. cxd4 Nb4 14. Bb1 c5 15.
Qe2 Rc8 16. d5 a5 17. a3 Na6 18. Qd1 g6 19. Bf4 Nh5 20. Bh2 Nf6 21. a4 Qb6 22.
Qb3 c4 23. Qc3 Bg7 24. axb5 Nxe4 25. Qxa5 Qxf2+ 26. Kh1 Nxd2 27. Rxe8+ Rxe8 28.
Qxd2 Qxd2 29. Nxd2 Re1+ 30. Bg1 Bxb5 31. Ra5 Nc7 32. Ra7 Rxg1+ 33. Kh2 Rd1 34.
Ne4 Be5+ 35. g3 Rxb1 36. Rxc7 Rxb2+ 0-1

Round 4

4…d6.  Now the dark-squared bishop is trapped outside of it’s pawn-chain, for the knight exchange.  4…c6 is a more flexible, better move.  4…c6 keeps out Nd5, and dulls Na4 from forcing the minor exchange.

5…Bb6.  5…Nbd7 is just as well played, and keeps more tension in the position.

9…Nd4?!  This is an inaccuracy, as it is better to play 9…exf4 first, which avoids the combinative sequence about to play out.

10…dxe?  Quickly played.  After I had played my last move, a crowd gathered around me, but after 11.Bxf2! I blurted out “I was hoping I hadn’t missed a shot”, and just like that the crowd once again dispersed.  10…NxN+, 11.gxN Bh6, 12.exNf6 BxRf8, 13.f6xg7 Rg8, 14.QxBf8 wins two pieces for a rook, for White.  I didn’t consider 10…BxNf6! because it would give up “my advantage”.  Actually, Black is lucky to have 10…BxNf6, soon to be followed by a Nd4xBb3 move (after …b5), and this should be hold-able for Black.

11.Bxf7+  The e5 square had had it’s d6 defender removed after the central pawn-exchange there.

14….Qe8?!  Played to prevent 15.Bg5, but 15…h6 would better serve that same measure.

17…h6?  Stockfish wants to immediately run the Black king all the way to b8.

18.Qe2?!  Stockfish much prefers 18.Qg1, which is the move that I was also most worried about.

18….Nh5  The computer does not like my aggressive play, as it preferred …Kd8 on the previous move, and here it prefers 18…g5, and if 19.Rg3, then …Be6, and Black is okay.

19.c3?!  This is slow.  The engine much prefers 19.Qd2 with the idea of 20.a5, as the wing attack is faster than this central roller.

21. Bxf4?!  I was happy to see this concession, and the engine agrees with me.

22…c6??  I was in time-pressure, after mis-managing my clock, and here my judgment is in grave error, as I was more concerned about White’s attack from the center, and didn’t give his wing attack any real credibility, thinking that it would slow him down, but it was quite the opposite.  22…Qc6, which is what I initially wanted to play, is nearly equal.  White will be up two pawns temporarily, which is what I had worried about.

23…Kd7?  Little did I realize that my king was also running the wrong way!  …Kf6 is better.

26…Qf8??  26…Qd8! is much better, like a last saving chance.  I saw this move, but knowing that I was down a pawn did not want to trade queens.  In this game, I didn’t trust my intuition enough, and also did not play good defensive moves when I needed to.  It’s as if in chess, the attack is much easier to stop than the defense.  I was in sever time-pressure at this moment, to his 44 minutes.

For the rest of this game, the engine is screaming for Black to play this ….Kc7, followed by …Qb8 idea, which I had seen, but felt as though it were too good to be true, and that White might have some shot that I was missing.  It appears that it really was that good, with no downside to it!  This game was a real head-shaker, as even when I saw the defensive ideas, I didn’t trust them, to my regret.  I didn’t trust any purely defensive moves.

 

[Event “Valentine’s Day Open”]
[Site “Club Chess”]
[Date “2020.02.15”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Eric Billaux”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1937”]
[ECO “C26”]
[EventDate “2020.02.15”]
[TimeControl “G/70, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “2089”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 d6 5. Na4 Bb6 6. Nxb6 axb6 7. f4 Nc6 8. Nf3
Bg4 9. O-O Nd4 10. fxe5 dxe5 11. Bxf7+ Ke7 12. Bb3 Nxf3+ 13. gxf3 Bh3 14. Rf2
Qe8 15. Be3 Rf8 16. Kh1 h6 17. Qe2 Rd8 18. Rg1 Nh5 19. c3 g5 20. d4 Nf4 21.
Bxf4 Rxf4 22. Qc4 c6 23. Qb4+ Kd7 24. Qxb6 Kc8 25. d5 Rd6 26. a4 Qf8 27. Qa7 g4
28. Rg3 h5 29. a5 h4 30. Rg1 Rxf3 31. Qa8+ 1-0

 

Victory through prophylaxis

Round 2

Sometimes, the best road is the easy road.

We’d been over this line before, and I don’t believe I had tried castling queenside.  I chose to double the e-pawns because I figured it would give me a manageable game, and because “if it aint broke, why fix it?”, as I simply hadn’t been trouble in this line before.

10.Qd2  I played this move rather quickly, as my bigger concern had been 10…Nh5.  Perhaps, I should have played 10.g4 I later thought, either here or on the next move, but looking at it now I’d say perhaps not because 10.g4 e6 followed by …f5 looks fine for Black.

Teah sacked a pawn on b5.  Often, the engine won’t take this sort of pawn, and I most always want to take it.  So, I spent about 17 minutes here before deciding to win the pawn.

One attractive line was the tricky looking 13.d6 Qxd6, 14.Qd5+ QxQ, 15.NxQ, and if …e6, 16.Ne7+ Kh8, 17.NxBc8, followed by winning the pawn on b5.  The reply to 13.d6 that I didn’t like was ….Be6, which my nice pawn-formation was currently preventing.

17.Na7!?  This is a nice, active move, that took me some time to find.  I felt that the passive approach would be okay, but difficult to make progress in after 17.Nc3 Bc4, 18.b3, but perhaps I could play Nc3-a4-c5 at some point, since the center is no longer attacked.

19.Nxe7+  I was strongly tempted to play 19.Qb4 here, to trade off queens before going after the sad looking e-pawn.

23.Nc6  23.Qxc7 looked insane, and besides …Bd3+ appears to win for Black.

29.Rh1  This move has the side-benefit that, upon Black playing a …Bh6 move, that White’s two rooks aren’t skewered.  A sensible reply from Black, here, might have been …h5, followed by …Kh6.  Black should want to leave her queen on the 6th rank, so that it could be played to f6, should I take on e5.  The capture on e5 was observed for many moves. but never played – we were both looking at it though, since after the game I remarked about taking it, and she also acknowledged that it was the eventual way forward for White.

I really got lucky for how the game ended, since I was down to 5 minutes on the clock, to her 47 minutes when she resigned.

 

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2020.02.12”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Teah Williams”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1745”]
[ECO “E91”]
[EventDate “2020.02.12”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1937”]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. c4 Nf6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 Nc6 7. d5 Ne5 8. Nxe5
dxe5 9. Be3 a6 10. f3 Ne8 11. Qd2 f5 12. O-O-O b5 13. cxb5 axb5 14. Bxb5 Nd6
15. Kb1 Nxb5 16. Nxb5 Ba6 17. Na7 Qb8 18. Nc6 Qb7 19. Nxe7+ Kh8 20. Qc3 Be2 21.
Rd2 Qa6 22. b3 Rfb8 23. Nc6 Rb7 24. Re1 Bc4 25. Rc1 Bb5 26. h4 Qa3 27. Bc5 Qa6
28. Be3 Qa3 29. Rh1 Ba4 30. Bc5 1-0

Buckle up, Buckaroo!

Round 4

You’ll need your crash-helmets for this one.  Plenty of blunders, and that’s before I turn on the engine.

2.f4  I would never chance this against Rhett, who has toasted me whenever I’ve tried it against him, but I wasn’t suspecting that Teah was going to lead me into a Fischer variation of the King’s Gambit that I had never played OTB!

10…Ne7??

11.e5!!  I spent a solid forty minutes on this move.  One cute variation goes like this 11.e5 Qf5, 12.Bd3 Qd7, 14.Nh5! attacking the unprotected bishop, and if …BxBc1, 15.Nf6+ royal-fork is the point.

Of course, I didn’t feel like 11.e5 should be strictly necessary, and would be downright foolish to give up the f5 square like that, let alone pawn that can be recaptured with check, without some solid ideas or lines.  I likely would not have played this move, until I had considered my alternatives, such as 11.a4 in order to play Bc4.  The dilemma is how to protect the d4 pawn.  If 11.Be3, followed by 12.Bd3, then ….BxNf4, BxB Qxd4 is no bueno.  A realistic line might be to play 11.a4 and then Be3 and 0-0-0, but it felt like White should be playing for more.  I always see these KG lines and am thinking “Really, that’s the best you could do as White?” like the hound-dog puppy shaking it’s head meme.

22.Qd6+?  Oh no’s, I’m a piece up in a totally won position, it’s panic time!!  Just putting in the moves, it’s obvious to me that 22.Bh6+, followed by Nf6+, and Qd6 mate, unless Black gives up queen for knight.  I was under six minutes, and just panicked here.

23.Nf6+?  More panic.  It’s easy to see, sitting here, that 23.Bh6 Rd8, 24.Nf6+ wins the queen for knight.  By the way, I already knew at the board that …f2+, Kf1 is fine for White.   Also, 23.Bh6 Qxe+, 24.QxQ NxQ, 25.Nf6+ is mate – easy stuff!

24.Bh6+?  I hallucinated here that the line 24….KxB, 25.Ne8++ Kh5, 26.Ng7+ wins the queen by fork, only one problem, 25.Ne8 is not double-check!!  Before I played Bh6, a Ne8 move would be double-check, which explains how this might have happened.  I was caught trying to calculate in my head, while still getting fooled by looking at the present position, in my nervous state, so I mixed the two.

Again, 24.0-0-0 is the calm of your own home, no-brainer move.  For example, 24.0-0-0, and if …h6??, 25.Nh5+ Kh7, 26.Qxh6+ Kg8, 27.Qg7 mate.  I think part of the panic is when you realize that your opponent, Teah in this case, has been kicking butt lately and is a star on the rise, and you suddenly realize who you are playing against in time-pressure.  I’m around 1550 rated in quick-chess, Teah is a whole class above me there, and this is a reminder of why such a thing happens.

27.Qd2+?  Now I am in extreme time-pressure.  I was going to play what I should have played 27.g4 Qe6, 28.g5+ Kg6, 29.QxQ fxQ, 30.Ng4 except that I hadn’t seen quite that far, and my brain’s evaluation function was in pure “setting traps in time-pressure” mode.

34.Rd4?  I instantly played this pre-move, which is always dangerous and not to be recommended while playing on the increment (versus a five second delay).  My eyes were horrified, while moving the rook, to see that I had missed the Nd6 fork.

34…f5??  Black finally blunders!  As I mentioned to Teah after the game, …f2 is probably just winning, as the pawn is too fast.

At the end, Teah was distracted for a moment, looked over her shoulder, before making the final move which overlooked a simple mate.

 

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2020.01.22”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Teah Williams”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1701”]
[ECO “C34”]
[EventDate “2020.01.22”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1920”]

1. e4 d6 2. f4 e5 3. Nf3 exf4 4. d4 g5 5. h4 g4 6. Ng1 Qf6 7. Nc3 c6 8. Nge2 f3
9. Nf4 Bh6 10. g3 Ne7 11. e5 dxe5 12. Ne4 Qg7 13. Nh5 Qg6 14. Nef6+ Kf8 15.
dxe5 Nd5 16. Bd3 Bf5 17. Bxf5 Qxf5 18. Bxh6+ Ke7 19. Nxd5+ cxd5 20. Bg5+ Kf8
21. Qxd5 Nc6 22. Qd6+ Kg8 23. Nf6+ Kg7 24. Bh6+ Kxh6 25. Nxg4+ Kh5 26. Nf6+ Kh6
27. Qd2+ Kg7 28. O-O-O Nxe5 29. Nd5 Rhd8 30. Qe3 Rac8 31. Nc3 Ng4 32. Qe4 Qxe4
33. Nxe4 Re8 34. Rd4 f5 35. Nd6 Red8 36. Nxf5+ Kf6 37. Rxg4 Kxf5 38. Rf4+ Kg6
39. Rxf3 Rc7 40. Rhf1 Rcd7 41. g4 Re8 42. Rf5 Ree7 43. Rg5+ 1-0

 

 

 

Confidence

Round 3

Playing with Mark, you never know what the eventual result will be for quite a while, and until then it helps to stay confident.

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2020.01.15”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Mark McGough”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1920”]
[ECO “C45”]
[EventDate “2020.01.15”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1815”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Be3 Qf6 6. c3 Nge7 7. Bc4 Ne5 8.
Bb3 d6 9. f3 O-O 10. O-O Bd7 11. Qd2 N7c6 12. Nxc6 Bxe3+ 13. Qxe3 Bxc6 14. c4
Nd7 15. Nc3 Nc5 16. Bc2 a5 17. b3 Ne6 18. Rad1 Nf4 19. Ne2 Nxe2+ 20. Qxe2 Qb2
21. Qd3 g6 22. Bb1 Rae8 23. Qd4 Qxd4+ 24. Rxd4 Re7 25. a3 b6 26. b4 axb4 27.
axb4 Ra8 28. Rf2 Ra1 29. Rb2 f5 30. Kf2 fxe4 31. Bxe4 Bxe4 32. Rxe4 Rxe4 33.
fxe4 Rc1 34. Ke3 Rxc4 35. b5 Kf7 36. Kd3 Rc5 37. g4 Ke6 38. Kd4 Rc1 39. Rf2
Rd1+ 40. Kc4 Rg1 41. h3 Rc1+ 42. Kd4 Rc5 43. Rb2 Ke7 44. h4 Rc1 45. Kd5 Kd7 46.
Rf2 Ke7 47. g5 Rc5+ 48. Kd4 Rxb5 49. Ra2 Rc5 50. Ra8 b5 51. Rh8 b4 52. Rb8 Rc1
53. Rb7 Kd7 54. Kd5 Rd1+ 55. Kc4 Rh1 56. Rxb4 Rxh4 57. Kd3 Rh5 58. Rb5 h6 59.
Rb2 Rxg5 60. Rh2 h5 0-1