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


2 thoughts on “Last Round

  1. 13. Ne4 doesn’t make sense from a positional point of view, as White should castle queenside as soon as possible. It is a mistake also from a tactical point of view, as it takes out one of the defenders of d5 square (another one goes away after exchange) and allows the skewer.

  2. Yeah, you are right of course. I can only guess he had a case of wanting to draw the higher rated player by trading pieces, even before castling (which might give too much of his intentions away).

    The first question he asked me was how long I had been playing chess for (young kid). I said that I’d been playing in tournaments since 1993, which was probably twice as long as he was old.

    13.Ne4 didn’t come as a total surprise, only a mild surprise, as it’s one of the only attacking ideas on the board. But I think even he realized it was premature and there was more to it, after making his move. I could sort of tell by his reaction and eyes, which he didn’t try to hide.

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