Candy Cane Classic

This was a great tournament.  Even though I didn’t get a chance to play one of the two Master’s, there is always good comaraderie there.  The tournament also helped to put out of mind the sudden passing of my niece the day before, during the games and while I hung out with my chess buddies.

Round 1

I was five minutes late, and still felt a depressive lethargy during the game.  I noticed I was under 20 minutes, forgetting that it was G/70 to start with, and I felt I was in some time-warp for moving too slow, so decided not to blunder-check and play more nervously, bad idea.

16.Rd1? Loses the exchange.  While plugging this into my computer, I noticed the continuations 16.0-0, and 16.f4 Nc4, 17.Qd4 b5, 18.NxNf6 within five minutes of looking at the position.  For me, this was like a performance loss, I simply was not performing at my best, wasn’t in the right mental state.  After this round, I talked with my mom on the phone, and it pepped me up for the rest of the tournament.

[Event “Candy Cane Classic”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.12.29”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Dean Brown”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1405”]
[ECO “A32”]
[EventDate “2018.12.29”]
[TimeControl “G/70, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1851”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. Nf3 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Bc5 6. e3 O-O 7. g3 Nc6 8. Bg2
Qb6 9. Nb3 Bb4 10. Bd2 Ne5 11. Qe2 d5 12. cxd5 Rd8 13. e4 exd5 14. Nxd5 Bxd2+
15. Qxd2 Qd6 16. Rd1 Bg4 17. O-O Bxd1 18. Rxd1 Nc6 19. f4 Nxd5 20. exd5 Ne7 21.
Qd4 Qb6 22. d6 Rxd6 0-1

 

Round 2

The insidious, and insipid Scotch Gambit.  Luckily, I played a new line …f5, that he wasn’t prepared for.  It’s not very good, it’s just that he didn’t know that he should play c4 against it, rather than his usual plan.

[Event “Candy Cane Classic”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.12.29”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Blaine Newcomb”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1852”]
[ECO “C55”]
[EventDate “2018.12.29”]
[TimeControl “G/70, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1885”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. e5 d5 6. Bb5 Ne4 7. Nxd4 Bd7 8.
Bxc6 bxc6 9. O-O Bc5 10. Be3 O-O 11. f3 Ng5 12. f4 Ne4 13. Nd2 f5 14. Nxe4 fxe4
15. Qd2 Qe7 16. Nb3 Bb6 17. Qc3 Rae8 18. a4 g5 19. fxg5 Qxe5 20. Rxf8+ Kxf8 21.
Nc5 Bc8 22. a5 Qxc3 23. bxc3 Bxc5 24. Bxc5+ Kg8 25. Bxa7 Ba6 26. Rb1 Kf7 27.
Kf2 Kg6 28. Rb8 Rxb8 29. Bxb8 Kxg5 30. Bxc7 Kf5 1/2-1/2

 

Round 3

Will Wolf, the master of trappy lines and gambit openings, play “the Borg” against me.  He said that he accidentally played …b5 instead of …c5, and so dubbed it “the Monkey’s Bum”.  He touched my bishop and resigned, because it was guarded by my queen.  If he had simply moved his queen, I would have let him play on normally, but he insisted on resigning.  I mean, he wouldn’t have had to capture my bishop, since I figured it was a finger-fehler rather than an intentional touch (the two pieces were right next to each other).  Will will make a move, and then go out to joke around in the skittles room, so obviously just sits down and makes his move before paying attention first.

[Event “Candy Cane Classic”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.12.29”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Will Wolf”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1300”]
[ECO “B00”]
[EventDate “2018.12.29”]
[TimeControl “G/70, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1853”]

1. e4 g5 2. d4 Bg7 3. Bxg5 b5 4. Bxb5 c5 5. c3 Qb6 6. Qe2 cxd4 7. Nf3 1-0

 

Round 4

This was the game for the sole third-place prize.  The last few moves of the game are a recreation, since we repeated somewhere, and my handwriting got very sloppy as we both played on the increment for the last half of the game.

[Event “Candy Cane Classic”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.12.29”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Christopher Motley”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1853”]
[ECO “C44”]
[EventDate “2018.12.29”]
[TimeControl “G/70, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1605”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 Nf6 4. d4 exd4 5. e5 Nd5 6. cxd4 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Bxd2+ 8.
Qxd2 d6 9. Bb5 O-O 10. O-O Bg4 11. Bxc6 bxc6 12. Ne1 f6 13. Nd3 fxe5 14. dxe5
Qh4 15. Nc3 Rae8 16. Nxd5 cxd5 17. f3 Be6 18. f4 d4 19. b3 Bf5 20. g3 Qd8 21.
Rae1 Bxd3 22. Qxd3 dxe5 23. fxe5 Rxf1+ 24. Kxf1 Qd5 25. Qc4 Qxc4+ 26. bxc4 Kf7
27. Re4 c5 28. Ke1 Ke6 29. g4 Rb8 30. Re2 Rb4 31. Rc2 Kxe5 32. Kd2 Kf4 33. Kd3
Ra4 34. Rb2 Ra3+ 35. Ke2 Rc3 36. Rb7 Rxc4 37. Rxa7 g5 38. Rxh7 Rc2+ 39. Kd3
Rxa2 40. Kc4 Rc2+ 41. Kd3 Rc3+ 42. Ke2 c4 43. Rf7+ Kxg4 44. Rd7 d3+ 45. Ke3 Rc2
46. Rd5 Re2+ 47. Kd4 d2 48. Kxc4 Rxh2 49. Rd3 Kh4 50. Kd4 g4 51. Ke4 Rf2 52.
Rd8 Kh3 53. Rh8+ Kg3 54. Rd8 Kg2 55. Ke3 g3 0-1

My rating after this tournament dropped to 1833, even though I was happy that I played in it, and got third place!  🙂

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Solid Swiss

Round 4

My opponents in this tournament played quite solid.  I had a chance against Mark, but even there I didn’t see that the win was a win, and went on to lose that one.  My rating, after this tournament, will drop to somewhere between 1845 and 1850.

I had never played Bill before, didn’t know his repertoire, although I guessed that he would play the Sicilian, and was hoping not see the Najdorf, which is exactly what I got.  I offered Bill a draw, but then he offered me a draw after I played Re1.  I told him “Make a move” and he played the move I didn’t want to see, ….Kd6.  I had 3 min and 40 seconds when I began to consider the draw.  I figured that 34.Bf5 (the move I would have played) exf??, 35.Re6+! would be winning for White, but once I found 34…Ng8 for him, I agreed to the draw, figuring that was good enough, in my time pressure, although it’s about +.66.  34…Nb6! would draw for him, however, and he also has …Kc6 and …Kc7 to draw with.  Oh, I noticed, while plugging in the moves, that he could also play 34…Rb7, and that that draws.  He basically just has to avoid blundering here.  I was also under 2 minutes when I accepted the draw.

We had a quick post-mortem where he said he could probably take the pawn on f4, then I said that would be winning for White, and no sooner had I finished my sentence than he said “I can draw with this then” and whipped out …Re8, which is impressive, speed-wise.  ….Re8?? would actually lose to Rd1+, winning the knight, but he had 27 minutes left on his clock, and no doubt would have spent plenty of time on that move, as he was not rushing during the game.  Bill only needed a draw to win the tournament.  After the game, I figured that part of endgame skill is also leaving enough time on one’s clock to play one.  Overall, in this tournament, my opponent’s exercised a lot of self-control, and played quite solid.

 

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.12.26”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Bill Weihmiller”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1825”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1884”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Bg5 e6 7. f4 Be7 8. Bd3
Nbd7 9. Qf3 Qc7 10. Nb3 h6 11. Bh4 Nxe4 12. Bxe7 Nxc3 13. Bxd6 Qxd6 14. bxc3
O-O 15. O-O Nf6 16. Rad1 Qb6+ 17. Kh1 Bd7 18. Nd4 Bc6 19. Nxc6 Qxc6 20. Qxc6
bxc6 21. c4 c5 22. Rb1 Rab8 23. h3 Nh5 24. Rxb8 Rxb8 25. Kh2 Kf8 26. g4 Nf6
27. Kg2 Ke7 28. Kf2 Rb2 29. Ra1 Nd7 30. Ke3 f6 31. Kd2 e5 32. Kc3 Rb8 33. Re1
Kd6 1/2-1/2

Round 3, Strong Swiss

Round 3

It’s amazed me how humbling it’s been, playing strong players the past two months.  Try to win a level position, and you lose, and otherwise you just draw anyway.

Blaine entered the tournament this round, and his rating is usually around Expert – for him, it’s the lowest rating in the past couple years.  His last tournament was the World Open, where he dropped below 1900.  He also played in the World Open last year, where he was rated 2048 going into it.  He really knows his stuff.  So, for example, on move 23 he still had 1hr 29 minutes left, or IOW had only used 1 minute of his clock time for his first 23 moves.

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.12.19”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Blaine Newcomb”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1884”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1887”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. e5 d5 6. Bb5 Ne4 7. Nxd4 Bd7 8.
Bxc6 bxc6 9. O-O Bc5 10. f3 Ng5 11. f4 Ne4 12. Be3 O-O 13. Nd2 Nxd2 14. Qxd2
f6 15. Nb3 Bb6 16. Qc3 Qe7 17. Rae1 fxe5 18. fxe5 Rxf1+ 19. Rxf1 Rf8 20. Rxf8+
Qxf8 21. Nc5 Bf5 22. b4 Qf7 23. Qd2 h6 24. a4 Qg6 25. a5 Bxc5 26. Bxc5 a6 27.
c3 Kf7 28. Qf4 Ke6 29. g3 Bh3 30. Qh4 Qb1+ 31. Kf2 Qc2+ 32. Ke1 Qc1+ 33. Ke2
Qc2+ 34. Ke1 Qxc3+ 35. Kd1 Qb3+ 36. Kc1 Qc3+ 37. Kd1 Qd3+ 38. Kc1 Qc3+ 39. Kd1
Qb3+ 40. Kd2 Qb2+ 41. Kd1 Qb3+ 42. Ke1 1/2-1/2

No adjournments

Round 4, final round

Pretty sure I could have figured out a draw, with an adjournment, but with three minutes OTB, it proved an impossible task for me.

43.exf6?  I was going to play the best move 43.Nc2, but figuring out the next ten to twenty moves from this proved overwhelming.  I was going to resign after this move, but played it out, not realizing that I could play Nh2, and give up the g3 pawn.  I had just assumed that the f and h pawns would go with it, but there is a crafty defense and it is still drawable.  Of course, Paul could make all those instant moves with his king, and I could see nothing, needed a long think.  Suspected I might be able to move the knight and sac that pawn, but I was rather depressed at this point, as a crowd gathered and I felt I had no answer.

[Event “December Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.12.18”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Paul Anderson”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1953”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1895”]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Na6 4. c3 Nc7 5. Bd3 g6 6. h3 h5 7. Nf3 Bf5 8. Bxf5
gxf5 9. Qb3 Qc8 10. O-O Bh6 11. Bxh6 Nxh6 12. Nbd2 Ne6 13. c4 Qd7 14. cxd5
cxd5 15. Rfc1 O-O 16. Qd3 Rfc8 17. Nh4 Ng7 18. f4 Rc6 19. Rxc6 Qxc6 20. Nb3
Rc8 21. Rc1 Qe8 22. Rc3 b6 23. g3 Rc6 24. Qb5 Rxc3 25. Qxe8+ Nxe8 26. bxc3 Nc7
27. a4 Kf8 28. Kf2 e6 29. Ke2 Ng8 30. Kd3 Ne7 31. Na1 Nc6 32. Nc2 Na5 33. Na3
a6 34. Nf3 Kg7 35. h4 Kg6 36. Nd2 b5 37. axb5 axb5 38. Kc2 Nc4 39. Naxc4 bxc4
40. Kb2 Nb5 41. Nb1 f6 42. Na3 Na7 43. exf6 Kxf6 44. Nc2 Nb5 45. Ne3 Nd6 46.
Kc2 Ne4 47. Nf1 Ke7 48. Kb2 Kd6 49. Kc2 Kc6 50. Kb2 Kb5 51. Kc2 Ka5 52. Kb2
Ka4 53. Kc2 Ka3 54. Kc1 Kb3 55. Kd1 Kxc3 56. Ke2 Kxd4 57. Kf3 c3 58. Ne3 Kd3
59. g4 fxg4+ 60. Nxg4 hxg4+ 61. Kxg4 c2 0-1

Very Strong Swiss

Round 2

Hard to believe Sam is sitting on his 1800 floor.

We were both down to 2 minutes, when I blundered.  I saw the mate as soon as I took my hand off the piece, and Sam didn’t hesitate to play it.  After the game, I said that I should play 37.Nd1, and then 37…f2, which the engine agrees, but he also has 37…Rxa2, which I pointed out, but hadn’t seen the cascade of mating threats that these two rooks can then provide.  We concluded that the position ought to be a draw at this point, I just didn’t stay as composed as he, in time-pressure.

Again, I also need to manage my clock better.  I quickly played 6.Qc2, thinking I could play f3 on the next move, and after …Ng4 should have played Qd3 and let him win my bishop for knight.  Not prudent.  Actually, I would have been much better than in the game, had I played 11.0-0-0, like I almost did, but decided to get fancy with the tricky 11.Bg5?  Apparently, even the trick doesn’t work, and I never saw …f4 coming.  Sam never got caught up in any of my tricks, except for somehow at the very end, and even then I only had a draw with best play.

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.12.12”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Sam Bridle”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1800”]
[ECO “B00”]
[EventDate “2018.12.12”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1895”]

1. e4 Nc6 2. d4 e5 3. d5 Nce7 4. c4 Ng6 5. Be3 Nf6 6. Qc2 Ng4 7. Bd2 Bc5 8. Nh3
O-O 9. Be2 d6 10. Nc3 f5 11. Bg5 Qe8 12. O-O-O f4 13. g3 h6 14. Bh4 Nxh4 15.
gxh4 Nxf2 16. Nxf2 Bxf2 17. Rdf1 Bxh4 18. h3 g5 19. Qd1 Bd7 20. Bh5 Qc8 21. Qf3
a6 22. Bg4 Bxg4 23. hxg4 Qd7 24. Kb1 b5 25. b3 bxc4 26. bxc4 Rab8+ 27. Kc2 Rb4
28. Kd3 Rfb8 29. Rxh4 gxh4 30. g5 Qf7 31. Rg1 Qg6 32. Rg4 hxg5 33. Qg2 Rb2 34.
Qg1 Kh7 35. Rxg5 Qh6 36. Qg4 f3 37. Rh5 Rd2# 0-1

 

Light’s out in London

Round 2

Okay, so I was going to give this post a generic name, but I think anyone who wins against the tricky London System is allowed to play this song for themselves; I haven’t heard it in forever.  I feel like the London is one of these systems that appears shallow, when it is actually quite deep.  I’ll have to spend some time going over this game, as I don’t even understand the things that the engine is trying to tell me.  Perhaps …d6, with a fianchetto is the best way to play against the London, but that is further out of my repertoire zone; I’ve tried playing that in a few games before, and it is also quite scary to play as Black.

The game was interesting, and it was dead equal when my young opponent decided to sac a piece.  Grayson has moved up 300 rating points in the last 6 months, and drew Expert Paul A. last week!  He’s definitely got quite a bit talent, and no doubt he will make further rating gains the longer he continues to stick with playing; like he has so regularly the past few months at both CSCC, and at Club Chess!!

 

[Event “December Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.11.12”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Grayson Harris”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1895”]
[ECO “A45”]
[EventDate “2018.11.12”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1402”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Bf4 d5 3. e3 Bf5 4. Nd2 e6 5. Ngf3 Be7 6. h3 h6 7. Ne5 Nbd7 8. Nd3
O-O 9. Be2 c5 10. c3 Qb6 11. Qb3 c4 12. Qxb6 Nxb6 13. Ne5 Na4 14. Ndxc4 dxc4
15. Nxc4 Rac8 16. Bd6 Rfe8 17. Bxe7 Rxe7 18. Nd6 Rd8 19. Nxf5 exf5 20. Rb1 f4
21. Bb5 Nb6 22. Kd2 Ne4+ 23. Kc2 Nxf2 24. Rhf1 fxe3 25. Rbe1 Kf8 26. Bd3 Nd5
27. Bc4 f5 28. g3 g5 29. h4 f4 30. gxf4 gxf4 31. Rg1 Nf6 0-1

Friday Quick Chess

This event was only quick-rated, but as per usual I put their regular ratings because it better indicates a player’s true playing strength.

 

Round 1 –  bye

Round 2

[Event “Friday Quick Chess”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.12.07”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Ron Rossi”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1895”]
[ECO “C54”]
[EventDate “2018.12.07”]
[TimeControl “G/24, Inc/5”]
[WhiteElo “1940”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. c3 Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 Bb4+ 7. Nc3 Nxe4 8.
O-O Bxc3 9. d5 Bf6 10. Re1 O-O 11. Rxe4 Ne7 12. Bg5 Nf5 13. Qd2 Nd6 14. Rg4
Bxg5 15. Nxg5 Nxc4 16. Rxc4 d6 17. Rac1 c5 18. dxc6 bxc6 19. Rxc6 d5 20. Rc7 h6
21. Nf3 Qd6 22. h3 Be6 23. Qd4 Rab8 24. Rxa7 Rb4 25. Qe5 Qb6 26. Qc7 Rxb2 27.
Qxb6 Rxb6 28. Rcc7 Rb1+ 29. Kh2 Rd1 30. Ne5 d4 31. a4 Rd2 32. Kg3 Ra2 33. a5 d3
34. Rc3 d2 35. Rd3 Ra3 0-1

Round 3

[Event “Friday Quick Chess”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.12.07”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Dean Brown”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1401”]
[ECO “B27”]
[EventDate “2018.12.07”]
[TimeControl “G/24, Inc/5”]
[WhiteElo “1895”]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Qxd4 Nf6 5. e5 Nc6 6. Qa4 Nd5 7. Qe4 Nc7 8. Bc4
Bg7 9. Nc3 O-O 10. Bg5 d6 11. exd6 Qxd6 12. O-O Bf5 13. Qe3 Bxc2 14. Rac1 Bf5
15. a3 Ne5 16. Be2 Ng4 17. Qxe7 Qxe7 18. Bxe7 Rfe8 19. Bd6 Ne6 20. Bb5 Rec8 21.
h3 a6 22. Be2 Bh6 23. hxg4 Bxc1 24. gxf5 Bxb2 25. Nd1 Bxa3 26. Bxa3 Nf4 27. Re1
Re8 28. Ne3 Nxe2+ 29. Rxe2 gxf5 30. Kf1 Rac8 31. Nxf5 Rc1+ 32. Re1 Rexe1+ 33.
Nxe1 Kh8 34. Ke2 Rxe1+ 35. Kxe1 h5 36. Kd2 a5 37. Nd6 b6 38. Nxf7+ Kg7 39. Nd6
b5 40. Nxb5 Kg6 41. Bb2 h4 42. Nc3 Kf5 43. Na4 Kg4 44. Bc3 h3 45. gxh3+ Kxh3
46. Bxa5 Kg4 47. Ke3 Kf5 48. f4 Kf6 49. Ke4 Ke6 50. f5+ Kf6 51. Bc3+ Ke7 52.
Ke5 Kf7 53. f6 Ke8 54. Ke6 Kf8 55. Bb4+ Kg8 56. f7+ Kg7 57. f8=Q+ Kg6 58. Qf5+
Kg7 59. Bc3+ Kg8 1-0

Round 4

[Event “Friday Quick Chess”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.12.07”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Jesse Williams”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1733”]
[ECO “B01”]
[EventDate “2018.12.07”]
[TimeControl “G/24, Inc 5”]
[WhiteElo “1895”]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd8 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. d4 Bf5 6. Bc4 e6 7. O-O Be7 8. h3
a6 9. Nh4 Bg6 10. Nxg6 hxg6 11. Re1 c6 12. Qf3 Bd6 13. Bf4 Bxf4 14. Qxf4 O-O
15. Rad1 Nbd7 16. a3 Rc8 17. b4 Nb6 18. Bb3 Nbd5 19. Nxd5 cxd5 20. Rc1 Qc7 21.
Qxc7 Rxc7 22. c4 dxc4 23. Rxc4 Rfc8 24. Rec1 Rxc4 25. Rxc4 Rxc4 26. Bxc4 b5 27.
Be2 Kf8 28. Kf1 Ke7 29. Bf3 Nd5 30. Bxd5 exd5 31. h4 Kd6 32. Ke2 Kc6 33. Ke3
Kb6 34. Kf4 f6 35. g4 a5 36. h5 axb4 37. axb4 Kc6 38. hxg6 Kd6 39. Kf5 Kd7 40.
f4 Kd6 41. g5 fxg5 42. fxg5 Kd7 43. Ke5 Kc6 44. Ke6 Kc7 45. Kxd5 Kd7 1-0