MLK 2018 Tournament

I played this tournament impromptu.  Alex was going up to Denver to see his mom, and needed a ride, so he offered to pay my EF.  It took me an hour and a half to get out the door, and I was not planning on playing at all.  Ironically, the restaurants in Denver are nearly all upscale, so I spent quite a bit on food as usual.

I got maybe two and a half hours of sleep each night, but I guess that is my usual state anyhow.

I’ll add to this post round-by-round, so it will be a work in progress until all five rounds are completed.

I just analyzed this game without a computer, so my first notes that I post here can contain errors.  I’ll look at it with engines later.

It wasn’t a great tournament for me, lots of crazy results, did well to come out of it with only surrendering four rating points, in some ways.

LM Brian Wall presented me a trophy in front of all the participants that says “Strongest 1600 – 2012.  Longest Think – 2017.  Best Chess Blog 2018.” after I said I’ve never gotten a trophy in chess.  Very nice gesture on his part!  🙂

LM Brian Wall told me that the problem with my blog is that I discuss tactics but not strategy.  I tried to focus on strategy more after he told me that, but I think it only worked for one move, and after that I was back to doing my same old tactical mad-hacks.  I will work on the strategy part though.  Master Shtivelband, in our post-mortem emphasized that he wanted to take away my plan, and that my pawn moves were concessions, and he praised a move of mine for it’s prophylaxis, and was focused on moves that developed pieces.


Round 5

This game, I wanted to play more quickly,  something I had played before rather than something new – I thought about playing …g6,…c6.

14…c4? Played too quickly. After I moved, I realized that I was going to lose too much time holding this pawn. 14…Qc7, 15.Ne3 Rfd8 (preventing the immediate 16.Nd5, and allowing for 16.Nf8 Bf8).

15…b5? Another weak move. It was if I had mentally switched to clock focus over board focus, given how the rest of the tournament had gone. 15…Re8 (preparing …Bf8, which I had wanted to do). 16.Qa4, and now 16…Qa4 fails to 17.QxQ NxQ, 18.Nxe5, but 16…a6, 17.Nxc? b5 forks. So 15…b5 was actually unprovoked.

16…Bd8 No doubt I will regret this. I looked at 16…NxN, 17.exN Bf5, 18.Qe2 Bd3, 19.Qe3, and could not see how to hold the e-pawn, after the Nc6 moves, although even this may not be as bad as the game continuation. 16…Nd7, 17.NxB NxN with idea of …f6 looks as though that should hold.

17…g5 His kingside attack is beginning to look alarming. 17…Nh7 appears a much better way to keep the g5 push at bay. At this point, I hadn’t seen his potential knight sacs on h6, and then one g5, yet.

18…Kg7? 18…Nh7 is still a way to defend against the kingside attack. Also, 18…Nd7 would stop Bc5, and prepare …f6 to be played one move sooner. The king also gets checked on g7.

24…Bd8?! 24…Rg8, 25.Ne7 NxN, 26.BxN Bd8 appears to defend the kingside. 24…Nb6, 25.hxg hxg, 26.Nxg fxN, 27.Qxg5 BxN, 28.QxB+ QxQ, 27.exQ Rac8.

25…Be7?? After 25…BxN, 26.exBf5 Nb6, 27.Nd4 exd4. If 27.Nxe5 fxe5, 28.Qd6 Ne7, 29.BxR QxB. Another line is 27…Nxe5, 28.BxR QxB. Another idea is 25…Rg8 with …Rb8 to follow.

31.QxN?? 31.BxN picks up a piece versus just regaining the piece lost, and Black can resign.

32…Nf6 32…Nc5 allows 33.f6 Rc7, 34.Bf3, and Black is in command compared to the game.

33…Rb6? The other move I nearly played was 33…e4!, 35.Bxe Nxe, 36.fxe Rxe, 37.Rd7+ Kh6, 38.Rxa7 (38.Kh2 preparing Rh1 makes no difference) Rxg4+ and Black is fine, while 35.fxe Nxg4 covers the e5 square.

35…a6? I realized how useless this move was as soon as I had played it. It was the last chance to play 35…e4.

40…Rb7 40…b4, 41.Rc6 b3, 42.a3 is obviously lost for Black.

46.e5 I was expecting 46.Ra3 here.

52.Rg4 Was happy to see this. 52.Ra4 is resignable.

The rest of the game is a recreation and very close to what actually happened. My scorekeeping became hit or miss in terms of squares and such.

[Event “MLK”]
[Site “Centennial Holiday Inn Express”]
[Date “2018.01.14”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Mukund Gurumurthri”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1848”]
[ECO “A08”]
[EventDate “2018.01.14”]
[TimeControl “G/90”]
[WhiteElo “1509”]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. g3 d5 3. Bg2 c5 4. O-O Nc6 5. d3 e5 6. Nbd2 Bf5 7. Re1 Be7 8. e4
dxe4 9. dxe4 Bg4 10. c3 h6 11. Qc2 O-O 12. h3 Be6 13. Nf1 c4 14. Ne3 b5 15. Rd1
Qc8 16. Nd5 Bd8 17. g4 g5 18. Be3 Kg7 19. Bc5 Re8 20. Bd6 Nd7 21. Ne3 Bc7 22.
Nf5+ Kh7 23. Qd2 f6 24. h4 Bd8 25. Ba3 Be7 26. Bxe7 Bxf5 27. exf5 Rxe7 28. hxg5
hxg5 29. Qd6 Rb8 30. Nxg5+ fxg5 31. Qxc6 Qxc6 32. Bxc6 Nf6 33. f3 Rb6 34. Rd6
Kg7 35. Rad1 a6 36. Be4 Rxd6 37. Rxd6 Nxe4 38. fxe4 Kf7 39. Kf2 a5 40. Ke3 Rb7
41. Re6 b4 42. Rxe5 bxc3 43. bxc3 Rb2 44. Rxa5 Rg2 45. Kf3 Rc2 46. e5 Rxc3+ 47.
Ke4 Rg3 48. Rc5 Rxg4+ 49. Kd5 Rh4 50. Rc7+ Ke8 51. Rxc4 Rh2 52. Rg4 Rxa2 53.
Rxg5 Ra5+ 54. Ke4 Ra4+ 55. Kf3 Kf7 56. Rg4 Ra3+ 57. Kf4 Ra4+ 58. Kg5 Ra8 59.
Re4 Rg8+ 60. Kf4 Rg1 61. e6+ Kf6 62. e7 Rg8 63. Re5 Kf7 64. f6 Rh8 65. Kf5 Rh5+
66. Ke4 Rh4+ 67. Kd5 Ke8 68. Re4 Rh1 69. Ke5 Kf7 70. Kd6 Rd1+ 71. Ke5 Ra1 72.
Rd4 Ra5+ 73. Rd5 Ra8 74. Kf5 Ra1 75. Kg5 Rg1+ 76. Kh6 Rh1+ 77. Rh5 Rf1 78. Kg5
Rg1+ 79. Kf4 Rf1+ 80. Ke5 Ra1 81. e8=Q+ Kxe8 1/2-1/2





Playing into a hole

Round 2

Even though I was playing a Class E player (she has been Class D before), I got down to 4 minutes versus her time of over an hour remaining.  There was a lot to look at, too much in a sense.

5.c4 5.Bb5 is another interesting move that the DB gives.

6.d5 The most aggressive, and probably best, continuation.

7…e6 It’s worth noting that 7…c6!? is a dubious move here.

8.Be2 This is not objectively the best move. 8.Be3, 8.Qd4, 8.Bf4 (after 8.Bg5 Be7, 9.BxB QxB, Black has survived the opening), are more natural or interesting moves with ideas of continuing the attack by castling queenside, should Black play too aggressively. The power of 8.Be2 lies in allowing Black to win the pawn on d5, which I didn’t notice until she played the expected 8…Bb4, but I was happy to see this pawn after the initial moment of surprise that I had not seen it before (my search on the previous move had been quite wide, and I knew that I had liked this position in any event, as I had seriously been considering 8.a3 on the previous move, but decided that the position was too fast and open to worry about such a preventative move.

9.0-0 I did seriously consider 9.Qb3, and spent quite some time on it, but this is still where one should be in their book, for clock purposes, as it would be easy to waste too much time on all of Black’s responses/continuations. That was a big “problem” I ran into during this game, the large number of continuations to consider.

11.cxd5 I didn’t really want to play this move, once I got here, seeing as 11…Qxd5 would free Black quite a bit, though I still had my idea that I played. I just didn’t think that 11.c5 Nd7, 12.Qxd5 was too big a deal, although it turned out to be the #1 continuation given by both Stockfish and Houdini.

The real problem with 11.cxd5 is that it drifts into +=/= positions. 11…QxQ. 12.RaxQ Be6, 13.Rfe1 Nd7, 14. Ng5 0-0-0!, 15.NxBe6 fxN, 16.Bg4 Nf8! and although I do preserve a minor-exchange (bishop vs. knight) this position is equal. At the time, I thought this would be be better for me than 11.Nd4 or 11.Re1 where White gets to castle.

12.c5?? The blunder I had hoped for, but not expected since it obviously drops a pawn. She was moving quickly.

12.QxQ Here is the position where I could not quite put it all together. I seriously considered, and calculated 12.c4, but after 12..QxQ, 13.RaxQ her knights are less developed but still defending well at an immediate concrete level, as far as I could see. Still, I should have more faith or consideration for the addditional attacking resources in White’s position that will come from pawn pushes and piece maneuvers, since Black is totally strapped down in this line.

The killer-blow was actually 12.Qc2, reminiscent of a tactical move that I missed against LM Brian Wall, and even more surprising that I missed it again, perhaps because I was calculating too deeply rather than looking for more tactical ideas in the position. 12.Qc2 BxB?? 13.Rad1.

16.BxBd7 This was the position I had calculated, and decided upon when trading queens, but when I got here I immediately knew that 16.Bc4 was the correct move, but also less fathomable in some way. I had planned, in this case, to play 16.Bc4 Nxc3, 17.Bxc5. At this point, the problem with my game became that I intentionally chose 2nd rate moves in order to force the position into where I could calculate some immediately winning position, rather than simply letting the position play itself, which is what I should have done. This thinking was all because my clock was now getting lower than I should have let it get to.

In reality, instead of 17.Bxc5 in that above line, White should play 17.Ne5 Be8 first, an idea I had seen, but I was feeling “tight” in time-pressure, and most of my opponents figure there chances lie on the clock, anyway.

18…Kc7?? I felt this move would be bad for her, when calculating, so gave most of my time finding the best line 18…Rhe8, 19.Ne5! and was planning on playing that.

19.Bd6? One of the funny things about time-pressure is not wanting to give things up. I had seen 19.BxNd6, but didn’t want to give up the a-file, seeing 19…axB, 20.Re7 Rhd7, but missing 21.Ne5!, but in any case even without that theatric the strength of this continuation should have been plain obvious. Perhaps it was because it was now getting into endgame territory, and I still wanted to calculate a “middle-game” that I let this stunt my thinking.

20.Ne5? Of course the bullet-move I had prepared was 20.Re7, but now wanted to force some things against her king (mistaken middle-game mindset still).

21.Na4! This move had completely escaped my attention. Of course, I had wanted to play for mate after 21.Rhe8??, 22.Rc5+. After her move, I felt a bit lost, and made my reply with 3 1/2 minutes remaining.

I had wanted to play 21.Be7, but didn’t want to try and make that work in time-pressure, and get caught in a blunder. As it turns out, that move is only equal and 21.Re7 is the best try for a win. So, I begin to back-pedal into a loss here with 21.Ba3(?)!

23…Nxc3?? Of course, I had only expected this in my wildest dreams, but she played it rather quickly. I was expecting (or dreading) 23…Rhe8, 24.g3, not seeing this idea here of 24…RexR, 25.RxR Nxc3!, 26.Rc1? (Kg2) Rd1+! trading rooks, and now it is Black who has a winning endgame!

On the one hand, it’s startling to see how this game turned on me, but it’s also much easier to envision how Clifton (1800) could have drawn Selah a couple months back – she drew him.

It takes a lot more to win or draw a chess game than it does to lose a chess game, and this is a big reason that clock-management is so key. The night before I played in an 11 round blitz tournament, did alright (score-wise, but not board-wise), but it’s easy to see how blitz does not translate over into moving more quickly in a classical game, as moving quickly means you don’t calculate a lot of the things that one should have calculated.

I figured out a while back that moving more quickly in slow-chess has to do with other things, not simply training your reflexes to move faster. In slow chess, it’s a more conscious decision on when, where, why to cut calculation shorter (and it may depend on how fast your opponent is moving). The only alternative is to learn to increase the speed and accuracy of your calculation, which is often done by solving combinations (aka “tactics”).

I’ll get a tough opponent, as Black, in the next round.  There are a few strong players, such as Calvin and Sam and Mark, but Mark got upset (crushed) by Jesse in this last round.  There is no slow-chess tournament on Tuesdays this month.

[Event “Classical Wednesdays”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.01.10”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Selah Williams”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1174”]
[ECO “B01”]
[EventDate “2018.01.10”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1848”]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. d4 Nxd5 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. c4 Nb6 6. d5 Nb8 7. Nc3 e6 8. Be2
Bb4 9. O-O Bxc3 10. bxc3 exd5 11. cxd5 Qxd5 12. Ba3 c5 13. Bb5+ Bd7 14. Re1+
Kd8 15. Qxd5 Nxd5 16. Bxd7 Nxd7 17. Rad1 N5b6 18. Bxc5 Kc7 19. Bd6+ Kc6 20.
Ne5+ Nxe5 21. Rxe5 Na4 22. Ba3 Rad8 23. Ree1 Nxc3 24. Rc1 Rd3 25. Bb4 Kb6 26.
Bxc3 Rhd8 27. Bxg7 Rd2 28. Be5 R8d3 29. Bc7+ Ka6 30. a4 Ra2 31. a5 Rdd2 32. Rf1
h5 33. h4 Rac2 34. g3 Rb2 35. Bf4 Re2 36. Rcd1 Rec2 37. Rd7 Kxa5 1-0













Last game in California

Match of one game

In what is likely to have been my last game in CA, and my last game for quite a while I guess, I got a brand new opponent.  Joe is an older gentleman, who was an Expert back in the 90’s and before they computerized the ratings in 1992.  He finished last months Wednesday tournament in 2nd place out of 24 players, and has played in 421 tournaments listed, to my 330 or so, quite an experienced player.

I was Black, but once again I feel that I blew any real chances that I had in time-pressure, making the move 30 time-control with but 20 seconds to spare (30/90, G/30, d/5).

2…e6  I felt this move was premature, after I had played it.  It offers White to play the London with 3.Bf4, where I can’t counter with the easing …Bf5.  Still, my move is seen in a system at the top-level against the London, I remembered.

3…c5  An offer to sharpen the play, but he counters with the Colle, so I figure he’s probably played this system forever and knows the ins-and-outs of it.

6…Nc6  Again, trying to sharpen the play as ….Nbd7 ought to be less risky.

9…Re8  Rather optimistic.  I didn’t play …Qc7 (which would control e5) because I was trying to stop the e4 push with the threat of winning the d4 pawn.  Perhaps more prudent would have been 9…b6, 10.Ne5 Bb7, in the nick of time, and then …Rc8.  The rook on f8 is actually doing a good job of defending f7, I thought later, to my chagrin.  😉

10…Bd7  I played this move to connect the rooks, as I was concerned about, for example 10…Qc7, 11.Nxf7+ KxN, 12.Bxh7 (tattering up my kingside) Nxh7, 13.Qh5+ Kg8, 14.QxRe8.

12…Rd8  During the game, I was concerned this had been too optimistic, that I should take the Ne5 now, less he play 13.g5 Ne4, 14.NxBd7, but then looking now I see 14…NxNd2, 15.Ne5 Ne4, and I am still not losing a pawn (didn’t want to lose both pawn and minor-exchange).

15…NxNe5  Other moves considered were …f6 and …f5.  OTB, I was scared off by 15…f6, 16.Bxh7+ KxB, 17.Qh5+ Kg8, 18.Qf7+ Kh8, and 19.Ng6+, but that is hand-waving as I can see now that simply 18.g6 should do the job for White.  15…f5, 16.exf Bxf, 17.Qh5 BxNe5, 18.Qxh7+ Kg8, 19.fxBe5 is going to be winning for White, and 17…g6, 18.Bxg6 hxg6, 19.Qxg6+ Kh2, 20.Nf7 mate rules out …f5, so I thought I did well to rule out these two moves OTB.

17…BxBe4  I considered 17…Bd5, 18.c4 Bxc, 19.Bxb7 Bd5, 20.BxB RxB, but saw no need to ruin my pawn chain and give him all the freedom of removing his c3 pawn and stopping me from simply playing ….c4 first.  Plus, I wanted his queen stuck in front of his e-pawn upon recapture, when he likely spends another tempo moving his queen.

19.Rb1  In relative time-pressure, I missed this move, only seeing 19.Qc2.

21…Qc6  I am panicking a bit in time-pressure.  I had seen when I had played …Rd5 that I could counter b3 with …Rb5, and now would be the time to play it, as after …b3, c3 hangs, and otherwise I have …Ba3, exploiting the pin, which looks quite bad for White.

23…Rc5  Again, panic-mode in time-pressure.  I rejected 23…gxh, 24.f5!, but perhaps I should not have rejected 23…Rd1, 24.QxQ bxQ, 25.Ke2 RxR, 26.KxR Rd3, 27.Ke2 when White now has both Bd2 and a3 available, so it was correct to avoid this variation.  However, the other variation that I was looking at 23…Qd7 (my ”back-out” plan), 24.b3 Rb5 does still look good.  I was too unsure of myself when I decided to trade queens in  time-pressure.  However, I was also trying to somehow “avoid” 24.b4, which I saw in this position, and which would not be possible had I played …Rb5 earlier, instead of …Qc6.

26….Rcd5  Unfortunately, this was already a blitz move, as I had grossly mismanaged my clock.  26…Rcb5 just looks screaming to be played, and after I had played this move realized I had let the cat out of the bag with his 27.b3.  Somehow, when calculating tactics so much in time-pressure, it can be easy to lose sight of the strategic picture.  The strategic picture is easier to gain sight of when thinking on the opponent’s clock.

27…cxb3  This is not what I had previously had in mind; this is another good example of how time-pressure can warp your strategic thinking.  27…Rb5 looks very natural, and then 28.b4, and if …a5, 28.a3 looks kind of okay for Black, so 28…Rb5-d5 (once again, very natural).  If 29.Ba3, then …a5, but 29.Kf3 looks like it can hold.  29…Rd1, 30.RxR RxR, 31.Ke2 Rh1, 32.a3 Rh2+, 33.Ke2 followed by Bd2 with Kc2, letting the rook out in mind, looks like it could or should hold.

30.Rh6  My lack of technical strength/experience caused me to miss this idea of weaseling the rooks on the h-file and/or 7th rank.

30….BxBb4  His bishop is cutting off my king’s access to the f8 escape square.

33.Ke2  He spent around four minutes and then played 33.Ra3, which I immediately pointed out was illegal.  I had 24 minutes, and although we were playing on a house chronos clock, I felt no need to summon the arbiter to get two minutes added, especially since he just gave me a free four-minute think on a forced move!  He felt that his missing of the check was in bad form, and a likely disturbance to me (it wasn’t), so he offered me a draw.  See, so if you are a gentleman to your opponent, and not an a-hole like a  lot of players in CO who jump at every chance to add two minutes their clock, your opponent may return the favor and simply offer a draw; what a novel concept!

At this point, I was happy to get the draw, looking at the defensive-minded line 33…Rc2, 34.a3 Rd2, 35.Rb1 Rh2, 36.RxR RxR, 37. Rd1

After the game, he said he was going to play, after 33…Rc2, 34.Ra3 and it went Rxb, 35.Rxa Ra4, 36.Rb6! This caught me off guard, and I hadn’t realized that 36…Rxa??, 37.Rb8+! was mating, which he soon figured out, so 36…Rd8, 37.Rxb Rxa, and I eventually did manage to draw after all the pawns got traded down, but can’t say it was all best moves as it should probably still be winning for White.  I definitely did blow my opportunities in time-pressure (blow you name it in time-pressure) as per the usual flaw-fatale in my games.  So, it was nice to get a fun, interesting game, as Black, with a draw.  I actually was happy to get Black since I knew it would give me a more challenging game, and there is no tournament on the line or anything like that.

So….now I can look at the game with an engine!  I just downloaded ChessX on my new (Windows7) laptop that I got for Christmas.

So far, looking at it with Stockfish has been much as I suspected.   21…Qc6?  When I played this move, I strongly wanted to play 21…Rd1 at first, but then thought I’d try this cheapo and then play …Qd7 once he steps out of it.  21…Rd1 is actually winning for Black!  Also, now is the only time to play it with winning chances.  After this, it is only a draw until I play …cxb3, as then I am just worse.















Final round of tournament in Cali

Round 7

I played on Wednesday in California in the  last round of their two-month tournament.  I got a new opponent, of course, who was nice and complimentary but also a bit chatty.

3…d5  I decided for a “favorable French” over a Sicilian defense, and was willing to get some practice in a technical game, in general.

7…Be7  I seriously considered 7…Qb6, but decided it might look a bit silly giving up doubled pawns so soon in the opening – this was the first of many favorable opportunities in this game that I let slip by.

13…Rfc8?! Each time  I detected a threat, I reacted badly to it in this game.  13…cxd, 14.Nxd Nxd, 15.cxd Rfc8 is quite favorable for Black.

15…Rxc6!  This was the sharper option.  I saw that 15…bxN, 16.cxd c5, 17.Nf3 c4 looked quite  promising for Black, but decided to go for more, knowing this line would require more accuracy on Black’s part.

16…dxc  I played this move quickly, with the pawn sac next move in mind.  I looked at 16…d3, 17.Bf3, and here 17…Ne4 is now strong, stopped considering at move 17.Bf3.  Right after I moved, I noticed I had 17…Re6, where he said after the game  that he was planning on playing 18.Be5, but I notice right away that I can grab the bishop pair with 18…Ng4, 19.BxNg4 BxB – which is favorable for Black.

17….Ne4  My longest think of the game, and i saw this move right away but did not want to resort to playing it.   I saw 17…d4, 18.Bxd4 Rc2 (spent most of my time calculating 18…Rad8, 19.Nf3), 19.Bc3 Nf5, 20.Bd1 NxNc3, 21.BxR BxB and rejected it here, but I didn’t notice the intermezzo 21.Ne2+! winning – saving the knight.  After this expenditure of time, he asked to know what I was thinking here after the game.

19….Bc5  at this point, the previous think had gotten to me, and I couldn’t rein in my chess common-sense.  Actually, after his next move he said “This guy is good!” while a spectator was watching, and I starting shaking my head as I was having a difficult time focusing and the words had distracted me a bit – nothing worse that being flattered before or during a chess game, when it comes to maintaining the ability to concentrate.  Nevetherless, it’s my fault for playing the moves that I did.

19…Bf6 was the other move I was considering, and it is correct here, play up the pawn, same colored bishops.  I played this move hastily.

20…Bf5  This move is virtually incomprehensible, particularly considering that I knew I wanted White to play f3, and I also knew he would resond with 21.Bf3.  After  the game, 21…b5 appeared obvious, with his bishop going to the other side of the board, no engine required to point that one out.  I had simply lost focus in the nervous tension  of battle, and clock.

21…Rd6??  Obviously, 21…Rd8 was the move, I figured this miss out again without a computer.  I visualized this move for three seconds in my mind before playing it, as the “visual blunder-check”, but this is too short, should spend at least ten seconds on a visual, after playing the move in one’s mind.  Once I pressed the clock and wrote down the move, I looked up and saw b4 right away, and knew he’d play it as it was so obvious.

He offered me a draw once before I played 17…Ne4, and one which I accepted at the end of the game.  I spent five minutes, then took the draw when I reached ten minutes remaining, but I wanted to play on  and really felt he shouldn’t have offered it, but also felt I was losing.

Immediately after the game, he wanted to play on to see what would happen.  Well, was winning of course, but I did trick him in a losing position and pull it out, so there is a decent chance I would have won by playing on.  I had mixed feelings about accepting thee draw, and wasn’t thinking  that a draw is “half a loss” (lost 14 rating points).  I was prepared to play on and was  a little disappointed about how it ended, but decided to be objective about it when I took the draw.  That’s what draws are, sober objective judgments of the position.  Draws don’t happen out of thin-air, most draws, and draws as a rule, are very deliberate decisions and actions.

Before the game, he said “Take it easy on me, I haven’t played in six months!”, but that is a bit of a fib, as I can see he played  all seven rounds, with a 4 out of 7 score, and finished over 1400.

I’m on an 8 game winning streak in blitz on lichess, since this unfortunate draw.  Spending quality-time on all moves is  something difficult to build the discipline for, but it’s a goal to work toward.  Stronger technical chess is still my goal when playing.







Last game in Cali for this year

Round 2

I’m not going to make a long blog post about this game, as it will appear as a silly loss anyway.

15…Nd5??  My instinct was to play the correct 15..f6, but I saw ghosts in that line, and upon a second look at the game instantly noticed the …Nd4 resource to take away a lot of threats after 15…f6, 16.Nh5 Nd4, but that wasn’t the biggest takeaway.  My analysis methodology was off, i wasn’t applying “process of elimination” correctly.  In a tired moment I played this blunder, and noticed it as soon as I planted the piece.  I don’t do a blundercheck of holding the piece on the square for a few seconds, to make sure it isn’t really a blunder, as Isaac Martinez once used to do (he made Expert, then quit chess for music).  I consider that bad form.

I thought about resigning, but Paul took five minutes to show up at the board, then five minutes playing 16.e4, which struck me as rather odd, and so I decided to play on.  Paul prances around quickly while the position is even, then slows to a crawl once he is winning.  I was surprised at one point that he had gotten down to 17 minutes, much of his time spent after my blunder.  In fact, after 16…f6, he was going to play 17.Qc1 to torture me on the clock some more, seemingly.  I guess once he is an hour up on the clock, if not already winning by then, then he can allow himself to play for a win with a massive time-advantage.

Anyway, 25…Qd2?? I missed 25…Rd4 in time-pressure, though it was still a lost position here.

I did spend some time looking at the game and opening with an engine, but it’s not really pertinent to what happened in the game.

One of the real tests of analysis comes when defending rather than attacking.  Attacking is usually more pattern-recognition.  Defending tests one’s methodology more, when remembering and choosing between lines.

Ironically, before this game I would get to sleep by midnight, and got tired during the game, and afterward I am back to getting to sleep later and waking up later.  Some players such as Paul seem to have boundless energy even at 1am.  The thing I like least about Tuesdays is the late start time, as I don’t believe I would have played so poorly during the day.  Even if life was only about chess, the late start time would still make it difficult for a player to alternate between early morning weekend events, and late night weekday events.

I’ve seen Paul play one weekend event that I can recall over the seven years I have played in CO.  He appeared out of it, his results were off, lost many rating points.  His analysis was just as sharp as ever, but he appeared to have trouble holding his thoughts together, which is exactly what has happened to me many times on Tuesdays nights, in long games.

Time-Warp Chess

Round 1 Tuesdays

We both started this game off with 1 hr, 30 minutes.  I finished the game with approx. 1 hr. 45 minutes left, to his 1 hr, 28 minutes.

19.Kf2  I was writing down my move, for example, when he played 18…Nd3, so I basically looked at the board for a moment and played this move.  It’s a bit comical that I didn’t take his bishop, since it would have only taken a couple of seconds to notice that is hanging.  Such was the pace of my play, bullet-chess speed.

After the game, I offered to play him an “extra” game (rated, but not part of the tournament) as Black, but he declined and said he had homework to finish.  Well, at least this kid has his priorities straight!

When Grayson (young teenager) reached to play 11.Bxf5, he said “What can I say?  My generations, we don’t have to take responsibility!”  lol.

[Event “Tuesdays Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2017.12.05”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Grayson Harris”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1013”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1869”]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 Nf6 3. Nc3 e5 4. Nf3 c6 5. dxe5 dxe5 6. Qxd8+ Kxd8 7. Nxe5 Bd6
8. Nxf7+ Kc7 9. Nxh8 Be6 10. f4 Bb4 11. f5 Bxf5 12. exf5 Nbd7 13. Bf4+ Kb6 14.
Nf7 Re8+ 15. Be2 Ne4 16. Nd6 Nxc3 17. Nxe8 Nd5+ 18. Bd2 Ne3 19. Kf2 Bxd2 20.
Rad1 Nxd1+ 21. Rxd1 Nc5 22. Rxd2 Ne4+ 23. Ke3 Nxd2 24. Kxd2 Kc5 25. Nxg7 Kd6
26. f6 Kd7 27. Bc4 b5 28. Ne6 Ke8 29. Bb3 Kf7 30. Nd8+ Kxf6 31. Nxc6 a6 32. a4
h5 33. axb5 axb5 34. Nd4 Kg5 35. Nxb5 h4 36. Bd5 Kf4 37. Kd3 Ke5 38. c4 Kf6
39. Nd4 Ke5 40. Nf3+ Kd6 41. Nxh4 Kc5 42. Nf5 Kb6 43. b4 Kc7 44. Kd4 Kd7 45.
Ke5 Kc8 46. Ke6 Kd8 47. Ng7 Kc7 48. Ke7 Kb6 49. Kd7 Ka7 50. Kc7 Ka6 51. Ne6
Ka7 52. Nd8 Ka6 53. Bb7+ Ka7 54. Nc6# 1-0