Going into the last round, there were four of us players contending for the title of City Champion. My opponent, and I, as well as Paul Anderson and Dan Avery on the other board. There had been a lot of upsets in this tournament, and many in the lower-half of the draw finished with three points or so.
I was the clear favorite going into the last round, since I had White against a lower-rated opponent, however I choked in the opening, and it wasn’t long before I was simply defending a losing position.
At the end of the game, Black needs to play either 47…Rf5 or …Rh5. After the game, I showed Jesse that I was looking at the line 47…RxR, 48.NxR Rxf, 49.Ng5, but then instantly realized I can’t give up the b4 pawn, even for his e6 pawn. I believe that 49.Ke3 or Kd3 is the move, then 49…Rf3+, 50.Kd4 (if 49.Rf1 Rxg), and the position looks clearly losing for Black.
This game came down to hanging in there as White, and the move 29…Ng4??; whereas, I was expecting either …Nd7-e5, …Qc7 or …Qd6. He might have tried 29…Ne5, followed by …Nh5-f4, for example. It was a critical point for Jesse to determine how he wanted to decide the game.
His move was more understandable, in light of not looking for opponent’s best replies. When a player doesn’t frequently study tactics (I don’t know whether he does or not, in his case), it’s natural to not look too hard for refutations. Most tactics positions have refutations for plausible wrong answers.
In the end, he flagged, and so this is how I became the 2018 Colorado Springs City Champion! 🙂
After the game, everyone congratulated me, including the Hermans, and Master Josh Bloomer. Expert Earl Wikle said “Welcome to the club!” when he shook my hand (reminded me of when they give the green jacket to the Masters golf tournament winner).
I was only the 7th seed in a field of 19, whereas in a normal monthly tournament, like next month’s, I would possibly be the 2nd seed. A big reason why this tournament gets such a strong turnout, and the longest and most competitive games of any month, is because it is called the City Championship, and the winner gets their name on the club plaque for the current year. I believe there are three plaques that I have seen, as the tournament dates back to the 1940’s, but of the two plaques that Paul had up on the wall, the yearly list of names goes back to 1960’s, before I was born.
It would have been neat to tell my dad that I had won. I never told him about any of my chess successes, back when I had the chance to.
[Event “City Championship”]
[White “Brian John Rountree”]
[Black “Jesse Williams”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd8 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. d4 Bf5 6. Bc4 e6 7. Nh4 Bg6 8.
Nxg6 hxg6 9. Be3 c6 10. a4 Bb4 11. Qf3 Nbd7 12. O-O Qc7 13. Bf4 Bd6 14. Bxd6
Qxd6 15. h3 Qxd4 16. Bb3 Qh4 17. Rfe1 O-O-O 18. a5 a6 19. Ra4 Qh5 20. Qe3 Qc5
21. Qe2 Rh5 22. Bc4 Qa7 23. Raa1 Re5 24. Qf1 Rh8 25. Bd3 Rhh5 26. b4 Reg5 27.
Re3 Qb8 28. Be2 Rh4 29. Rb1 Ng4 30. Rg3 Qe5 31. hxg4 f5 32. Qe1 Nf6 33. Bf3 Qd6
34. Qd1 Qxd1+ 35. Rxd1 fxg4 36. Be4 Rgh5 37. Kf1 Re5 38. f3 gxf3 39. gxf3 Rh1+
40. Rg1 Rh2 41. Rg2 Rh1+ 42. Ke2 Rh3 43. Kf2 g5 44. Re1 g4 45. f4 Nxe4+ 46.
Rxe4 Rf3+ 47. Ke2 1-0
Here is one of those beautiful songs from the 1970’s that they’ve long since stopped playing on the radio: