The imponderables

Round 3 City Championship

Once upon a time, it seemed essential for me to have nervous energy before a game, and so I had a cherry pepsi on the way, but I was only far too nervous in the first part of the game, and too amped to quietly look for moves in the second part of it, which is part of why this game came to an abrupt end.  Once again the playing hall was hot for me (last time, I turned down the temp during the game after complaining about it a few times).  It is really more about me, though, because I get too nervous when I’m hot, when playing, and vice-versa.

I had 17 minutes at the end of the game, and my opponent close to an hour.  I had the advantage, but this is just the type of technical position, ala Magnus Carlsen, that I prefer to avoid.  I thought during the game that if there were a second time-control, that I would play on to reach it, but I did not want this type of game to be decided in my time-pressure.  It was really difficult for me to figure on how to go about proceeding in it, I have to admit, so did look at it with a computer for a while.

After the game, some Experts went over my game and easily converted the a-pawn, and won it for Black.  Expert Dan Avery, the highest seed, told me that the a-pawn is worth a piece.  Well, I got some good chess lessons from the Expert and from 1900 Peter.  This type of position is like a hole in my game, where one side is set to convert a pawn in the next 10-15 moves.  I feel lost in it, so it is good to practice it even if that’s only after the game.  This is not the first time that Mike has taken me into a technical position where I found it difficult to proceed correctly.

Me and Mike were both 2/2 going into this third round.  In the previous round Mike won against an Expert.  Still, this was no reason for me to play without keeping my cool.  This happens to me quite a bit, I get nervous in third rounds after going two out of two, but I am also too nervous of a player, in general.  Need to find a way to play more calmly.

[Event “City Championship”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.10.16”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Mike Evars Smith”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1893”]
[ECO “C55”]
[EventDate “2018.10.16”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1598”]

1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. e5 d5 6. Bb3 Ne4 7. O-O Bc5 8. c3
dxc3 9. Qxd5 Qxd5 10. Bxd5 cxb2 11. Bxb2 Nxf2 12. Bxc6+ bxc6 13. Rxf2 Bxf2+ 14.
Kxf2 Bf5 15. Nbd2 O-O 16. Nd4 Bd7 17. Rc1 Rab8 18. Ba3 Rfe8 19. e6 Bxe6 20.
Nxc6 Rb6 21. Ne7+ Kh8 22. Rxc7 Ra6 23. Bc5 Rxa2 24. Be3 Rd8 25. Ke1 Ra1+ 26.
Kf2 Ra2 27. Ke1 Ra1+ 28. Kf2 1/2-1/2


2 thoughts on “The imponderables

  1. I think the game generally speaking pretty equal.
    Never heard such a thing that passed rook pawn in the original position is worth a piece. Computer confirmed, evaluating the final position as just 0.6 in your favor.

    Even after 50 more moves computer fails to win it for Black.
    So your decision look reasonable also taking into account that your opponent had almost 4 times more time. 17 minutes is definitely not enough here.

  2. Thank you! Yeah, me neither, I was surprised to hear him so confident about the pawn being equal to a piece. I actually found an apparently difficult move that they didn’t believe in, White’s only defense, during the post-mortem, but of course against an engine I couldn’t hold it for White.

    The engine says to play …Rd3, and I was only considering a …Ra8 move. As soon as I saw that move on Mike’s phone after the game, I realized I could have played on. I said after the game to Mike that if I could have found a line where to trade rooks that I would have played on, and apparently that was a likely possibility, I was just stunned that his king being in the open was a huge weakness for him, rather than a strength of his king vs mine which wasn’t participating.

    Apparently, the safe king that is completely out of play was far better to have than the ultimately mobile king that could be pinned down by tactics. Did not know this at the time.

    Thanks for your comments! Hopefully, I will do better on Tuesday. 🙂

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