To be or not to be

Round 2

Winning this game would put my “live rating” just over 1900, and still not a peak rating at that, which for me was 1910 five years ago.  If anything, that’s a slightly depressing thought, since I was playing and working full-time back then.

There aren’t a lot of high-rated active players in the Colorado Springs area though, like there were back then.  In that one weeknight tournament, there was Wise, Shand, Loving, Freeman, Covington, Herman, Rhett, Pahk, Shook, Carson, etc all playing in it – most of them were or did make Expert.  Dean Brown was still the TD back then, of the Panera tournament, and it was played at G/90, d/5.

I have no Candidate Master norms (which is like an Expert title, but doesn’t go away due to rating fluctuations).  I have to finish better against higher-rated players, it’s been a bugaboo for me.

 

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Quick Games

Round 1

On Tuesday, Dean and I played in the first week of the two week “Quick Six” quick-chess event.  Somehow, that speed seemed to carry over into Wednesday’s game as our game was done in a flash, for slow chess.  I had 1 hr 24 minutes remaining on my clock, whereas in the past, I’ve barely survived flagging many times against Dean.

11…Ne4?  Practically creating a “hook” for White.

12.Qc2.   12.Nd2! puts the question to Black’s knight, and White’s attack begins to roll.

12…NxBg3?!  12…Nc6 Black had better tries, such as …Nc6, …Nbd7, and …Qa5.

13.hxg.  Stockfish likes 13.fxg as well.

13…Qf6??  As I told Dean after the game, 13…Kg7 should hold for a long while.

14.Ne5  White is winning, but the win isn’t obvious yet, as Black can try to defend with 14…Kg7, 15.Ng4 Qf5, and OTB I liked 16.QxQ exQ, 17.Ne3, which is +1.

14…Nd7??  Now the position is both a win, and an obvious win.  Dean didn’t spend much time on this move, and said he didn’t see 15.Ng4.

15…Qg7??  Here the position goes from near obvious win to near definite win.

Dean resigned because he saw 17.Nf5+ winning the queen.  I saw 17.Nxf+, but even here it’s a windmill, since White can first win the f7 pawn and then the queen.

 

[Event “Classical Wednesdays”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.07.04”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Dean Brown”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1473”]
[ECO “B14”]
[EventDate “2018.07.04”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1893”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. e3 cxd4 5. exd4 d5 6. Nc3 Bb4 7. a3 Bxc3+ 8.
bxc3 O-O 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bh4 g5 11. Bg3 Ne4 12. Qc2 Nxg3 13. hxg3 Qf6 14. Ne5 Nd7
15. Ng4 Qg7 16. Nxh6+ 1-0

In Quick-chess on Tuesday, I went 1 out of 3, losing to a Master and a near Expert.

 

Patriot’s Open

Round 1 – bye

Round 2

49…g5?  At the end of the evening, Mark wanted to go over some of this game, so I set this position up, and pointed out that 49…a5! would have won.  I saw OTB for a moment, but was a jumble of nerves.  I need to be less nervous when I play, particularly when I know I’m playing well.

I also quickly pointed out that I thought that 51…Kh6 was drawing, and 51…Kg8 was winning.  I had some difficulty controlling my nervous energy OTB, which can turn into fatigue when I get too nervous.

Funny thing happened at the end of this game, which lasted 125 moves, three scoresheets.  Mark got under half a minute like I was, and still didn’t want a draw.  I made a wrong 50 move rule claim at one point.  The funny part is that I finally forced a rook endgame, and other games around us for the next round had already started.  I was gazing over at the game next to us, when I suddenly saw 9 seconds remaining on my clock and slapped it, as it was counting down.  Mark let me know he had made a move.  Oh, we weren’t even writing down our last few moves, we had both stopped, so it was about 130 moves then.  I didn’t even know what his move was, since I was in no danger on the board whatsoever, and yet there’s just two kings and two rooks, both of our kings being cut off from one another.

So, just imagine the absurdity of this moment.  Other games have started (they set up next to us), we both stopped keeping score in an obviously drawn position, and I almost flagged in a position where we each had king and rook because I hadn’t realized he had moved.  In situations like these, just the ability to concentrate, notice the move, and write the move down seems like an admirable task.  Mark was setting traps for me to the very end.

I still don’t know what his move was, as you may understand the position was completely unremarkable, both sides making random rook moves in a position that a FIDE arbiter would probably adjudicate as a draw on the spot.

After the game, we were both given a 15 minute break before our next game.  I went out and got dinner.  Mark said why bother and started his next game immediately.  Mark drew all three rounds, drew Selah W., and also Jesse W.

[Event “Patriots Open”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.06.30”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Mark Krowcyzk”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1880”]
[ECO “D31”]
[EventDate “2018.06.30”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “2010”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Qb3 Nc6 5. e3 Nf6 6. Bd2 O-O 7. Nf3 dxc4 8. Bxc4
a6 9. a3 Bd6 10. Qc2 e5 11. O-O exd4 12. exd4 h6 13. h3 Ne7 14. Rad1 Bf5 15.
Qb3 b5 16. Be2 c6 17. Ne5 Qc7 18. f4 c5 19. Be3 c4 20. Qa2 Ned5 21. Nxd5 Nxd5
22. Bc1 Rad8 23. Bf3 Nb6 24. Bd2 f6 25. Ng4 Kh8 26. g3 Rfe8 27. Rfe1 Qd7 28.
Ba5 Bc7 29. d5 Rxe1+ 30. Rxe1 Nxd5 31. Bxc7 Qxc7 32. Bxd5 Rxd5 33. Ne3 Qc5 34.
b3 cxb3 35. Qxb3 Rd3 36. Qb4 Qxb4 37. axb4 Bxh3 38. Kf2 Rd2+ 39. Kf3 Bd7 40.
Rc1 Rd6 41. g4 Bc6+ 42. Ke2 Be4 43. Rc8+ Kh7 44. Re8 Bd3+ 45. Kf3 Rd4 46. f5
Rxb4 47. Ng2 h5 48. Nf4 hxg4+ 49. Kxg4 g5 50. fxg6+ Bxg6 51. Re7+ Kh6 52. Re6
Kg7 53. Rxa6 Bc2 54. Kf3 Rb3+ 55. Ke2 f5 56. Ne6+ Kf7 57. Nd4 Rb2 58. Kd2 Be4+
59. Kc3 Rb1 60. Rb6 b4+ 61. Rxb4 Rc1+ 62. Kd2 Ra1 63. Ke3 Kf6 64. Kf4 Rf1+ 65.
Ke3 1/2-1/2

 

Round 3

[Event “Patriots Open”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.06.30”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Ayush Vispute”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1356”]
[ECO “B76”]
[EventDate “2018.06.30”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1880”]

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 Nxd4 10. Bxd4 Be6 11. g4 Qa5 12. Kb1 Rac8 13. a3 a6 14. Nd5 Qd8
15. Nxf6+ Bxf6 16. Bxf6 exf6 17. Qxd6 Qa5 18. Qb4 Rfd8 19. Rxd8+ Rxd8 20. Bd3
Qxb4 21. axb4 Rd4 22. Rd1 Rxb4 23. Be2 a5 24. Rd8+ Kg7 25. Kc1 Bc4 26. c3 Ra4
27. Bxc4 Rxc4 28. Kc2 b5 29. Rd5 f5 30. b3 Rc8 31. gxf5 b4 32. c4 a4 33. fxg6
hxg6 34. bxa4 Rxc4+ 35. Kb3 Rc3+ 36. Kxb4 Rxf3 37. a5 Rf1 38. a6 Ra1 39. Ra5
Rb1+ 40. Kc5 Rb8 41. a7 Ra8 42. Kb6 Rxa7 43. Rxa7 Kf6 44. Kc5 Ke6 45. Kd4 f5
46. Ra6+ Kf7 47. exf5 gxf5 48. Ke5 Kg7 49. Kxf5 Kh7 50. Kg5 Kg7 51. Ra7+ Kf8
52. h4 Kg8 53. Kg6 Kf8 54. h5 Ke8 55. h6 Kd8 56. h7 Kc8 57. h8=R# 1-0

 

Round 4

I was 20 minutes late to this game, late waking up.

6…Bc5 This is a blunder, I thought I could let her play 7.d4 Bb6, 8.dxe Ng4, but that would hang the knight.  Actually, I had also been looking at the line 6…d5, the engines choice, which helps explain why I thought the …Ng4 would not hang.

10…dxe.  Stockfish wanted …d5 this whole time, and now wants 10…Be6 here.  I’m forcing things too much in the opening, and it’s dragging down my clock and play.

11…h6.  Not best because it’s just not forced.  Stockfish likes 11…Re8, but 11…Be6 could be played because it already threatens 12…Bc4.

12.Ng3  Computer likes 12.Ne3, which I liked for her, too.

13…Qe7.  13…b4 is best.  This is the move that often eludes me in the Lopez, when to play …b4.

14…Qc5.  It felt like I should play 14…Rfe8, engine likes …Rfd8, but I allow time-pressure to warp my play into being too attacking.

15…Nfg4?  Again, …Rfd8 is the move.  I saw the reply 16.b4! right after I moved, and hoped she wouldn’t play it.

18…a5?!  My intuition told to play 18…Qxc2, but I couldn’t work out why (it’s because the b3 pawn will hang).

19…Qc3?  19…Nxf2 is best, but it’s a computer line.  I missed that after 20.Bd1 that the Ba3 covers the Rc1.

21…h3? I had hoped she wouldn’t take the knight on b4, which was best.

22.Nxf2?? I was shocked when she made this instant blunder, figuring I was winning here.

24…Ne3??  As soon as I played I said to myself “Why did I do this??”  I realized that I was going to capture on b4 to preserve the critical tempo to allow …f6, and then I played this lemon anyway.

28…Bxb3?  Stupid, I should have gotten out of the Nd7 fork first, which I saw.  That pawn will be a target on b3 for a while.

30…Bc2  Black had to make a subtle move here, and 30…Rc8 was the correct one.

35.Nd5  She had spent a long time, a few moves ago, and now we both whisked to this position, as I was playing on the increment, under 2 minutes, so I didn’t have time to examine this position on her clock.

35…Kh7??  I think she even seem surprised by this move.  The terrible thing is that while I was putting this move into the computer (analysis off), I saw that to my horror, I could play 35…Re5, and if 36.Rc5, which I thought was a trade, OTB, I play 36…BxN winning her piece.  Of course, I flicked on the engine and got confirmation.  It’s weird, it’s like I knew the winning moves for these games, didn’t play them, and when I went over the games I stopped where I thought I messed up, turned on the engine and got confirmation.  It used to be not the case, that I was missing something.  Now, when my intuition or quick calculation tells me something, it does seem to overwhelmingly be the case.

You can imagine how distraught I could be after seeing this win of a piece as I was plugging in the moves, like no thought required, but at the board my nerves were making me see ghosts.

[Event “Patriots Open”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.07.01”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Teah Williams”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1880”]
[ECO “C77”]
[EventDate “2018.07.01”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1701”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. c3 b5 6. Bc2 Bc5 7. d3 O-O 8. Nbd2
Bb6 9. Nf1 d5 10. Qe2 dxe4 11. dxe4 h6 12. Ng3 Be6 13. b3 Qe7 14. O-O Qc5 15.
Bb2 Ng4 16. a4 b4 17. cxb4 Nxb4 18. Ba3 a5 19. Rac1 Qc3 20. Bd1 Qd3 21. h3 Qxe2
22. Nxe2 Nxf2 23. Kh2 Nxd1 24. Bxb4 Ne3 25. Bxf8 Nxf1+ 26. Rxf1 Rxf8 27. Nxe5
Bxb3 28. Nd7 Re8 29. Nxb6 cxb6 30. Nc3 Bc2 31. Nd5 Rxe4 32. Nxb6 Bxa4 33. Ra1
Bc6 34. Rxa5 Re2 35. Nd5 Kh7 36. Rc5 Ba8 37. Ra5 Bc6 38. Rc5 Bd7 39. Nf4 Re4
40. Rc7 Be6 41. Kg3 Re3+ 42. Kf2 Ra3 43. Nxe6 fxe6 44. Rc6 e5 45. Rc5 e4 46.
Re5 Ra4 47. Ke3 Ra2 48. g3 Rg2 49. Kf4 Rh2 50. h4 Rf2+ 51. Kxe4 Re2+ 52. Kf4
Rxe5 53. Kxe5 1/2-1/2

 

Round 5

This last game is a little more self-explanatory, as my opponent played into my hands.  I had never played him before, and wanted to do well.

[Event “Patriots Open”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.07.01”]
[Round “5”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Ron Rossi”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1891”]
[ECO “C30”]
[EventDate “2018.07.01”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1880”]

1. e4 e5 2. f4 Bc5 3. Nf3 d6 4. c3 Bg4 5. Bc4 Nf6 6. fxe5 dxe5 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.
Nxe5+ Ke8 9. Nxg4 Nxg4 10. Qxg4 Qe7 11. d4 Nd7 12. Bg5 Nf6 13. Bxf6 gxf6 14.
dxc5 Rd8 15. Nd2 h5 16. Qg6+ Kf8 17. O-O-O Rg8 18. Qh6+ Rg7 19. Rhf1 Kg8 20. g3
Qxc5 21. Qxf6 Rdd7 22. Qe6+ Kh8 23. Rf6 Qd6 24. Qe8+ Rg8 25. Rh6+ Rh7 26. Rxh7+
Kxh7 27. Qxh5+ Kg7 28. Rf1 Qe6 29. Qg5+ Kh7 30. Qf5+ Qxf5 31. exf5 Rf8 32. g4
Kg7 33. h4 c5 34. Re1 b5 35. Re7+ Kh8 36. Ne4 a5 37. f6 b4 38. g5 a4 39. g6 b3
40. g7+ Kg8 41. gxf8=Q+ Kxf8 42. axb3 axb3 43. Nxc5 Kg8 44. Ne6 Kh8 45. f7 Kh7
46. f8=Q+ Kg6 47. Rg7+ Kh5 48. Qh8# 1-0

 

As a result of this tournament, I improved my rating to 1893, but failed in my goal to reach 1900.  I could have done so much better, in terms of me getting the most out of myself.

Next month I will play on Wednesdays, which means playing down a whole bunch, every round, but this tournament confirmed that I need to keep working on my form, and not worry about rating so much.  Also, there is no normal tournament on Tuesdays, it’s quick-chess for two weeks, and then G/45, d/10 the other two weeks, which I’m not thrilled about, and don’t plan on showing up for.  After that, Tuesdays will be normal for the next few months again.   Round 1 for Wednesdays is the 4th of July.