In the opening, it first appeared we were headed for a Four Knights, but then it became a Four Knights Scotch. In both cases, I was planning to play …Bb4.
8.0-0?! Technically, this is a bit of a mistake by Black. 8.exd5 is the correct move here, and the reason why is that otherwise the e4 pawn remains a target for Black. If instead, 8.e5? Ng4, 9.f4 Bc5, 10.Qf3 Nf2, 11.Na5 Bd4 is a real problem for White, and Black is better.
8…0-0 This was my longest think of the game. The best line for Black here is 8….BxN, 9.bxB dxe, 10.Bc4 Qd6! (this idea, I did not see, came close to playing this line though), 11.Qd4 0-0, and now if 12.Bg5 Be6!, 13.BxN QxQ, 14.BxQ BxBc4, and Black is better.
10…g5 Stockfish at first prefers 10…BxN!?, 11.bxB dxe, 12.BxN QxB, 13.Bxe Qxc3. Black is up a doubled c-pawn =+, and it’s very close to equality, but when it sees the …g5 line being played, it changes it’s mind and gives this a higher score for Black.
14.Qe2 This makes sense in that it allows White to play f4, but an important resource that I believe we both missed was 14.Qd4, which blocks the diagonal to White’s king, which would allow f4 to be played.
14…Nd5. 14…Rfe8 was my first instinct, and is in fact also a very strong move for Black, and in this line, the 15…Qc5 move is more incisive than in the line I played.
15.Qd2 At the board, I was worried about how to deal with 15.Qh5 Kg7, 16.f4 for example, but here simply 16….f5 is good for Black.
15…Qc5 This move looks good optically, but is also superficial compared to some insightful alternatives. For example, I missed 15…f5, 16.BxN cxB, 17.Qxd5?? Be6 followed by ….f4, trapping the bishop. 15…Be6 straight away is also reasonable here.
16.BxN?! He spent a long time on this move, and I was more worried about 16.Qd4! here, as I pointed out to Clint after the game, simply didn’t see it before I played my last move.
18…Qe7?! I was going to play 18…Qd6!, but over-thought it, and second-guessed myself.
19…c5?! After 19…f5, Black is playing for a win, around +1.5 in Black’s favor. After the game, I told Clint that my move was a mistake.
20.h4! I realized that this would be his best play, during his time. I no longer had time to waste, so played the obvious 20…f6, but a strong and deep idea is 20…Kh7, and if 21.hxg hxg, 22. Rg8! In practice, the better player should come out on top from such a complex position.
28….Bd7. 28…f5 is best.
29….Qe6. 29…Rbe8 is best, and part of the reason for this is that the rook on b8 is actually a hanging piece, which is why 30.f4 would have been his best follow-up to my move.
The rest of the game is easy to understand, and he seemed surprised that I was blitzing my moves out (as opposed to taking so long on moves, as was previously the case).
[Event “Colorado Springs City Championship”]
[White “Clint Eads”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. d4 exd4 5. Nxd4 Bb4 6. Nxc6 bxc6 7. Bd3 d5 8.
O-O O-O 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bh4 g5 11. Bg3 Bxc3 12. bxc3 dxe4 13. Bc4 Qe7 14. Qe2 Nd5
15. Qd2 Qc5 16. Bxd5 cxd5 17. Be5 Ba6 18. Bd4 Qe7 19. Rfe1 c5 20. Be3 Bc4 21.
h4 f6 22. a4 a5 23. Rab1 Rab8 24. Rb5 Bxb5 25. Qxd5+ Qf7 26. Qxe4 Rfe8 27. Qf5
Re5 28. Qg4 Bd7 29. Qg3 Qe6 30. hxg5 hxg5 31. Qh2 Kg7 32. Qg3 Qg4 33. Qxg4 Bxg4
34. f3 Bd7 35. Kf2 Rbe8 36. Bd2 Rxe1 37. Bxe1 Bxa4 38. c4 Rxe1 39. Kxe1 Bxc2
40. Kd2 Ba4 41. g3 Bc6 42. f4 gxf4 43. gxf4 Kg6 0-1