Last Round

Round 4


I don’t know if it’s because first-round team-pairings mess up the color allocations for later rounds or because we have so many lower-rated players who play now, but I got three opponents rated under 1200, and one Master, in a four round tournament.

My opponent was an unrated boy, playing in his first rated tournament, and had two wins going into our game, as did I.

7…Nf6   7…Be6 is best, it aims at a2, where White will look to castle queenside, and clears the way for …0-0-0

10…Be6.  Both b3 and g3 were concessions by White, so Black can act quicker than this by playing 10…Bf5!, 11.NxB QxB, 12.d3 0-0-0, 13.0-0 (forced) h5.

13.Ne4??  It’s not so apparent, but the real problem with this move is that all of the pieces can clear the e-file quickly for a rook, and then the position of the king will be a huge detriment to White’s position.  After this mistake, there were quicker wins, but that part hardly matters.

At the board, after I had played 13…Bxe3 I suddenly saw that he could reply 14.BxNf6, and thought that might be alright for him.  When I got home, 14…Bxd2, 15.Nxd2 looked best, then considering sacking the exchange on d2, or taking on f6, but actually it’s that open e-file again that comes to the answer in every continuation, with his king uncastled.  So, 15…Bg4 with …Rhe8 coming, for example.  It’s over because his king has nowhere to go.

As it was, I was disturbed by this possibility, and chose to take a restroom break.  When I got back he had not moved.  I decided to sit down to see if that would hurry him up, and for once that actually worked, he moved within ten seconds of me sitting down.  Of course, I hadn’t actually analyzed the position after 14.BxNf6, and he had a losing position in every continuation, but I would have had to spend quite a bit more time at the board had he played it.

As it was, I finished the game with half an hour on my clock.  My longest think was on …Qh4, close to 20 minutes.



[Event “Tuesday Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.06.26”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Joel Hicks”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1879”]
[ECO “C68”]
[EventDate “2018.06.26”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. Nxe5 Qd4 6. Ng4 Qxe4+ 7. Ne3 Nf6
8. Nc3 Qh4 9. g3 Qh3 10. b3 Be6 11. Bb2 O-O-O 12. Qf3 Bc5 13. Ne4 Bxe3 14. fxe3
Nxe4 15. Qxe4 Bd5 16. Qe7 Bxh1 17. Be5 Rd7 18. Qc5 Kb8 19. Bxg7 Rg8 20. Bd4
Rxd4 21. Qxd4 Bf3 22. Qf4 Qg2 23. Qxf7 Qg1# 0-1


Dropped Pawns

Round 3

I was thinking I’d probably get Daniel, but surprisingly got Ayush, I’m guessing due to colors.

I did spend half an hour on a move, but still finished the game with 38 minutes remaining.  On move 31, I missed both a mate-in-one, and a mate-in-two, although I was looking forward to getting some endgame practice in, converting the pawn advantage.  Ultimately, it wasn’t such a challenging ending, as my opponent’s biggest weakness is perhaps maintaining concentration at the board (he’s susceptible to making quick moves).

Ayush actually managed to draw Expert Paul A. in round one, something I haven’t managed to do.  I stayed to watch a marathon game between Paul and Mark.  Mark won as Black in 158 moves, longest game that I’ve witnessed in moves.

[Event “June Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.06.19”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Ayush Vispute”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1110”]
[ECO “B76”]
[EventDate “2018.06.19”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1879”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2
Nc6 9. O-O-O Qa5 10. Kb1 Nxd4 11. Bxd4 Be6 12. Nd5 Qxd2 13. Nxe7+ Kh8 14. Rxd2
Rae8 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Nd5 Bg5 17. Rd1 Bxd5 18. Rxd5 Be7 19. Bc4 Rc8 20. Bb3
Rc5 21. Rhd1 Rfc8 22. Rxc5 dxc5 23. Bxf7 Rd8 24. Rxd8+ Bxd8 25. Kc1 Kg7 26. Bd5
Kf6 27. Bxb7 Bc7 28. g3 Ke5 29. Kd2 Kd4 30. c3+ Kc4 31. Bd5+ Kb5 32. f4 Kb6 33.
e5 Bd8 34. Kd3 Kc7 35. Ke4 Kd7 36. Bg8 Ke8 37. Bxh7 g5 38. f5 Be7 39. f6 Bf8
40. Bg6+ Kd8 41. e6 Be7 42. fxe7+ Kxe7 43. Ke5 g4 44. Bf5 a5 45. Bxg4 a4 46. a3
c4 47. Kd5 Ke8 48. Kxc4 Ke7 49. Kd5 Kf6 50. Kd6 Kg5 51. Bh3 Kh6 52. e7 Kh5 53.
e8=Q+ Kh6 54. Ke6 Kh7 55. Bf5+ Kg7 56. Qf7+ Kh8 57. Qh7# 1-0

Round 2

Round 2

18…Rd8?  My intuition told me to blitz/play 18…Re8, but I tried to figure out why.  I thought that I could respond …Nb6 after 19.Ba5, but then I remembered the pin on the long diagonal.  Somehow the intuition can spot and remember even when the brain is too tired to consciously do this.  I got plenty of sleep, but I’m still not used to staying up so late from the sleep-schedule flip last week.

Even though it should be equal after 18…Re8, I’m confident that Josh would have beaten me another way had I not messed up on this move.  Black’s position is much harder to play than White’s, and I didn’t have enough mental energy to do it.  I blundered my rook and resigned, although Josh wasn’t looking at it, hadn’t reached for it.  Doesn’t matter, he showed me a bunch of winning plans for White after the game.  I felt a bit overwhelmed, playing such a technical position as this.  Like I’ve said before, it’s the technical positions that can really wear one out.  I managed to equalize in the wild-and-crazy phase of the game.

I am in awe of Masters, they can never let themselves have energy let-down issues, and are always full of ideas, in many given positions they can find brilliant ideas.

I want to throw out this game that I just played on Lichess as food for thought.  I figured during the whole game that were I to win it would be based on defensive skills.  At one point I played 15…Bc7 without any conscious thought.  My immediate reaction was “Why did I not just take the pawn?”  Even after asking myself this question, I still did not see that White had a royal fork on b6, which my bishop move just prevented.

This isn’t dumb-luck, or I wouldn’t even mention it.  This is subconscious, intuitive, pattern-recognition which isn’t easily understood by the part of the brain that tries to apply reason.  This part of the brain that tries to be “reasonable, yay even rational” is a complete duffer at chess, never understood chess never will – it’s like it wants to try and apply coupons to a game of chess.

I mean, the above logic is exactly what lead me to play 18…Rd8? instead of 18…Re8 in my game.  My intuition told me not to do it, but the coupon-cutter part of my brain that doesn’t understand chess beyond winning material and putting the rook on a less blocked file, wanted me to do it.  Even for such a seemingly simple blunder-check analysis, I find that it actually takes a massive amount of energy to try and overcome the inertia of intuition, once the intuition takes over and starts playing the game for you.  Part of playing in a reduced time scenario is relying on the intuition.  After the game we want to analyze why each move was played, but the reality is that this is not how chess is often played OTB at the time the game is being played, given this particular situation that I described, which is very intuitive.


[Event “June Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.06.12”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Josh Bloomer”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1879”]
[ECO “E05”]
[EventDate “2018.06.12”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “2324”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7. Qc2 c5 8. dxc5
Na6 9. Na3 Qa5 10. Nxc4 Qxc5 11. Be3 Qh5 12. Nfe5 Nb4 13. Qb3 Nfd5 14. Bd2 b5
15. g4 bxc4 16. Qg3 Qh4 17. Qxh4 Bxh4 18. Bxb4 Rd8 19. Ba5 Re8 20. Nxc4 Ba6 21.
b3 Bf6 22. Rac1 Be7 23. e3 Rac8 24. Rfd1 Bxc4 25. Rxc4 Rxc4 26. bxc4 Nb6 27.
Bf1 Rc8 28. Rc1 Na4 29. Rb1 Nc5 30. Bc3 h6 31. Bd4 Kf8 32. Rb5 Bd6 33. Ra5 Rc7
34. Bg2 f6 35. h4 e5 36. Bc3 Ke7 37. Bd5 a6 38. h5 Ra7 39. Bd2 Kd7 40. e4 Kc7
41. Be3 Nd3 1-0

Class E discovers theory at the board

Round 1

My young opponent, who said before the game “Let’s get this over with” (he always this sort of thing, while it takes me longer each time to beat him), to which I replied “You never know”, played far better than his consistently so far 1,000 rating would suggest.  One never knows when a kid like this will jump up a few hundred rating points, and I could tell OTB that it won’t be long now.

5.Qd3  The DB shows their are about 20 moves here for White, but I figure a lot of them must involve sacking the e-pawn after taking on c3, e4, then …Qh4+.

9.Qg5  Surprisingly, a novelty.  I too wanted to play 9.a3 or 9.0-0-0 for which there are three games in the database each, but I didn’t want to wait for his attack so much.

9…Ng6  =  I was happy to see this move, and engine confirms that after 9…0-0 Black is on the better side of equal.

9.QxQ  I considered 9.Qe3 and 9.Qg3, and it would seem I am giving up development, but I was happy to at least know he would not be castling queenside, and his …RxQd8 made the position look more conventional.

9.e5  Premature, as after his reply 9.Be7 my next move, which I didn’t notice before, is now more or less forced.

15…cxd4  Now I have a positive feeling about this game.  Before, I had considered Kb1, Nc1-d3, now he is developing this knight for free, although I may have covered the d4 square with Nc3-b5xd4 in some cases.  The trade of light bishops also gave me this light-color square complex to use for my knights.

After this, I avoided some of the better complications for sake of time and accuracy.  Grayson does play fast – he used ten minutes for the game.

26…Be7??  I knew he had to play 26…Bd6 here; naturally, after the game he mentioned he didn’t want to trade minors, but I didn’t want to trade either, for tempos sake.

28.Nxd4  Grayson let out a sigh “Oh, I didn’t see that!”, but of course it was his next two moves, and the fact that he didn’t stop here to deeply reconsider the position, that did him in so quickly.

30…Kd6  I pointed out after the game that he was also getting mated after 30…Kc5

I finished the game with 44 minutes, which seems about right – I should prefer to keep half the time on my clock, given the game lasted only 31 moves.

It seems hard to believe that we were playing  a totally legitimate game, twenty five moves into it.  I’d say that Grayson should probably be a hundred points higher than his rating, but I also know that there are quite a few under-rated players in the Class E range at the club who are quite strong, but get their ratings suppressed from playing up in class too much.

On a personal note, I almost didn’t go, but ate a plate of spaghetti right before, and that gave me the energy to stay up normally.  I’ve flipped my sleep-schedule successfully, woke up at 6am this morning.  I figured that the Hermans would show up, so this makes it a strong tournament, and with only four rounds one doesn’t want to take a bye.

[Event “Tuesday Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.06.05”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Grayson Harris”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1009”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1848”]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 e6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Qd3 b6 6. Nge2 Ba6 7. Qe3 Ne7 8. Bd2
Nd7 9. Qg5 Ng6 10. Qxd8+ Rxd8 11. O-O-O Bc4 12. a3 Bd6 13. e5 Be7 14. g3 c5
15. f4 cxd4 16. Nxd4 Bxf1 17. Rhxf1 Bc5 18. Ndb5 d4 19. Ne4 f5 20. exf6 Nxf6
21. Nxf6+ gxf6 22. Rfe1 Kd7 23. Nxa7 Ra8 24. Nb5 Kc6 25. c4 e5 26. b4 Be7 27.
f5 Nf8 28. Nxd4+ exd4 29. Rxe7 Rxa3 30. b5+ Kd6 31. Bb4# 1-0