Last round Strong Swiss

Round 4

First, let’s get the excuses out of the way.  I had only gotten maybe 5 1/2 hours sleep the night before, and a draw would win first outright, so I was hoping to draw this game from the outset.  Of course, it didn’t cross my mind at the time that only $40 EF was paid into this tournament (4×10), so that the prizes would be small.

I’ve gone over this endgame a bit with an engine, and it’s trickier than it looks, especially for Black who has the odd pawn-structure.  I was planning to continue with 21…c4, when Sam offered a draw (I had offered one a few moves earlier).  I had 41 minutes remaining to Sam’s maybe 37-39 minutes.  I think that this is where Experts and Masters really shine, is in these sorts of endgames that look more like a big nothing-burger to us Class players.

When the game ended, I pointed out to Sam that 21…c4, followed by 22…cxb, 23.axb seems like nothing, but actually a5, to name one example, is a big target for White, with the a-file and fourth rank to it wide open.

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2019.02.27”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Sam Bridle”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1897”]
[ECO “A01”]
[EventDate “2019.02.27”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1800”]

1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. e3 d5 4. Bb5 Bd6 5. f4 Qe7 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. fxe5 Bxe5 8.
Bxe5 Bxf3 9. Qxf3 Qxe5 10. Nc3 Nf6 11. Bxc6+ bxc6 12. O-O O-O 13. Qf4 Rfe8 14.
Rf3 c5 15. Raf1 Qxf4 16. Rxf4 Re7 17. Ra4 a5 18. Raf4 c6 19. R1f3 Nd7 20. Kf2
Ne5 21. Rh3 1/2-1/2

To not leave you with that draw, here is a blitz game I just played as White, where there was no endgame in sight.

French Advanced game

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A long battle for first place

Round 4, final round

A five hour battle, finishing some time near midnight.  At one point, after the other games had finished, I mentioned to Paul whether we would win anything if we drew.  It was clear from his body language that he didn’t want a draw, and what an exciting game that it turned out to be!

Going into this game, I had 7 wins out of 43 games against Paul, and no draws!  By comparison, Dean B. has 6 wins and 2 draws against Paul in 45 games.  For a long time, I was Paul’s whipping-boy.  I still feel as though Paul is the Expert, and I am the one trying to make 1900+ – he gave me a good thrashing in the post-mortem.  🙂

38.Rc6?  Around here I was playing too impulsively, on this and my next move.  Should have probably played 38.Kc3 with 39.b4 to follow.

50.b4?  Here, I am trying as hard as I can to lose by going for a win.  I was down on time compared to Paul, but it ought to have been obvious to prepare this move with 50.Nc1, first.  I just didn’t bother to calculate here, and played on hope instead.  The calculation is rather simple, and can be done quickly, no reason to have failed to bother with it.

54.Kd2  I thought that I was possibly lost here, as I have no fortress to stop his king from coming in, and my king can do nothing on the queenside unless he wins my pawn, so I was glad to see that he played to win my pawn rather than sit tight and invade my king-side with his king.

58….Kd7  Paul still had plenty of time, but we were both blitzing here, and I was glad to not see 58…Nc5, shutting down the show when the position is just a draw.  My king can’t invade without letting his a-pawn go; I saw than in time, but apparently he did not, or perhaps it was his turn to wrongly push for a win.

61…Nd6?  After a long think, I was stunned to see this move.  I thought we were going to trade knights for a draw, but he pointed out a win for White, in that case.  We suddenly blitzed moves here, and he quickly went down two pawns.  After that, I was trying to figure out how to win, as he kept up the quick moves.

84…Ng4?  Expecting only 84…Nf7, this was the break that I was looking for.  His move struck me as reckless, but even so it was only as I started to reach for my knight that I realized that my pawn was attacked.

85.f7  I realized that I was winning here, but there were still quite a few moves to be played.

89…Kd8  He spent quite a while on this move, so I noticed a trick he had.  If 89…Kf6, 90.e7?? Ke7! winning that pawn, so I’d need to play 90.Kc7 first.  If he takes my Ng5, then I can sac the d-pawn for his knight, and then promote the f-pawn.

This tournament started with a couple miniatures, and a bye, and finished with a hundred-mover.  Quite an uneven tournament in a way, but I’ll take it.  I used the prize-money to renew my club membership.

[Event “February Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2019.02.26”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Paul Anderson”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1952”]
[ECO “A42”]
[EventDate “2019.02.26”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1869”]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 g6 3. c4 d6 4. Nc3 Bg7 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Be3 Qc7 7. Be2 Nd7 8. h3
Bxf3 9. Bxf3 Ngf6 10. Qd2 e5 11. d5 c5 12. Nb5 Qb8 13. a4 O-O 14. Bh6 a6 15.
Nc3 Ne8 16. g4 Qd8 17. h4 Bxh6 18. Qxh6 Qf6 19. Be2 Qf4 20. g5 f6 21. h5 Qxg5
22. hxg6 Qxh6 23. Rxh6 hxg6 24. Rxg6+ Kf7 25. Rg2 Rh8 26. Kd2 Nc7 27. Rag1 Rag8
28. Bg4 Ke7 29. a5 Nf8 30. Bc8 Rxg2 31. Rxg2 Ng6 32. Rxg6 Rxc8 33. Rg7+ Kd8 34.
Na4 Ne8 35. Rxb7 Rc7 36. Rb8+ Rc8 37. Rb6 Ra8 38. Rc6 Ra7 39. Nb6 Rc7 40. Rxc7
Kxc7 41. Ke3 Ng7 42. f4 Nh5 43. f5 Nf4 44. Na4 Kd7 45. Nc3 Ng2+ 46. Kd3 Nf4+
47. Kd2 Ng2 48. Ne2 Ke7 49. Kc3 Ne1 50. b4 cxb4+ 51. Kxb4 Nd3+ 52. Kc3 Nc5 53.
Ng3 Kf7 54. Kd2 Nb3+ 55. Kc3 Nxa5 56. Kb4 Nb7 57. Ne2 Ke7 58. Nc3 Kd7 59. Na4
Kc7 60. c5 dxc5+ 61. Nxc5 Nd6 62. Nxa6+ Kb7 63. Nc5+ Kb6 64. Nd7+ Kc7 65. Nxf6
Kb6 66. Kc3 Kc7 67. Kd3 Kd8 68. Ng4 Nf7 69. Ke3 Ke7 70. Kf3 Ng5+ 71. Ke3 Nf7
72. Kd3 Kd6 73. Kc4 Ng5 74. Nf2 Nh7 75. Kb5 Nf6 76. Kb6 Ne8 77. Kb7 Kd7 78. Kb8
Nd6 79. f6 Nf7 80. Kb7 Nd8+ 81. Kb6 Kd6 82. Kb5 Nf7 83. Kc4 Nh6 84. Nh3 Ng4 85.
f7 Ke7 86. Ng5 Nf6 87. Kc5 Nd7+ 88. Kc6 Nf8 89. d6+ Kd8 90. Kd5 Ng6 91. Ne6+
Kd7 92. f8=N+ Nxf8 93. Nxf8+ Kd8 94. Kxe5 Ke8 95. Ng6 Kd7 96. Kd5 Ke8 97. e5
Kf7 98. d7 Kxg6 99. d8=Q Kf7 100. e6+ Kg6 101. e7 Kh7 102. e8=Q Kg7 103. Qg5+
Kh7 104. Qeg8# 1-0

Sweet song about having her first child

Defense

So, I had the pleasant fortune of facing the Semi-Slav two nights in a row – nothing too aggresive was thrown at me in the opening.

Round 3

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2019.02.20”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Bill Weihmiller”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1847”]
[ECO “D52”]
[EventDate “2019.02.20”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1869”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bg5 Nbd7 6. e3 a6 7. c5 h6 8. Bh4 Be7
9. Qc2 Nh5 10. Bxe7 Qxe7 11. Be2 Nhf6 12. O-O O-O 13. b4 e5 14. Rfe1 e4 15. Nd2
Re8 16. a4 Nf8 17. b5 axb5 18. axb5 Bg4 19. Bf1 Ng6 20. Na4 Nh4 21. Nb6 Rxa1
22. Rxa1 Nf3+ 23. gxf3 exf3 24. bxc6 bxc6 25. Ra8 Rxa8 26. Nxa8 Nh7 27. Qb1 Qa7
28. Nb6 Qe7 29. Na4 Qc7 30. Qb6 Qc8 31. Qa7 Ng5 32. Nb6 Qf5 33. Qb8+ Kh7 34.
Qf4 Qe6 35. Qg3 f5 36. h3 Bxh3 37. Bxh3 Qg6 38. Kh2 Qh5 39. Nd7 1-0

Tension

Whether it’s positional tension, or competitive tension, the Slav and in this case the Semi-Slav, is really a test for Black in how well they stand the tension on the board.

After the game, I suggested that Jesse could have played 12…Bb7, instead of taking on b5, when I was looking at following that up with 13.Na4, and the position is close to being equal.  It took me about half an hour to figure out the winning line at the board, but I certainly felt that my position was superior after 12…cxb??, and I just wanted to find that best line.

Round 3, Tuesdays

[Event “February Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2019.02.19”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Jesse Williams”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1731”]
[ECO “D43”]
[EventDate “2019.02.19”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1869”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 e6 5. Bg5 Be7 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Qc2 h6 8. Bh4
Nb6 9. c5 Nbd7 10. Bd3 b6 11. b4 a5 12. b5 cxb5 ( 12… Bb7 13. Na4 )13. c6 Nb8
( 13… Nf8)14. Nxb5 Bb4+ 15. Ke2 Qe7 16. a3 Bd6 17. c7 Na6 18. Qc6+ Qd7 19.
Nxd6+ Ke7 20. Qxa8 Nxc7 21. Nxc8+ Rxc8 22. Qb7 1-0

2nd Annual Valentines Open

Round 1

Selah aint no weakie anymore.  When she played …Rac8, she was eyeing …Nxf2, which looked like a winning advantage in the post-mortem.

[Event “2nd Annual Valentines Open”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2019.02.16”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Selah Williams”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1323”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1845”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. e3 O-O 6. Nf3 c5 7. dxc5 Bxc5 8.
cxd5 exd5 9. Be2 Bb4 10. O-O Bxc3 11. bxc3 Be6 12. Qb3 b6 13. Nd4 Qe7 14. Rfc1
Nbd7 15. h3 Nc5 16. Qa3 Bd7 17. c4 dxc4 18. Bxc4 Qe5 19. Bf4 Qe7 20. Rd1 Rac8
21. Qxa7 Nce4 22. Rac1 Qb4 23. a3 Qb2 24. Rc2 Ra8 25. Qxa8 1-0

Round 2

I definitely got lucky in this game, as Vibi stumbled into my trap.

[Event “2nd Annual Valentines Open”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2019.02.16”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Vibi Varghese”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1845”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1644”]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 c5 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 d6 5. Bg2 g6 6. O-O Bg7 7. Rb1 O-O 8. a3
a5 9. Re1 Be6 10. b3 h6 11. d4 cxd4 12. Nxd4 Nxd4 13. Qxd4 Nd5 14. Qd3 Nxc3
15. Rb2 d5 16. Rc2 Bf5 17. e4 Nxe4 18. Qe3 d4 19. Qf4 e5 0-1

Round 3

Rhett said that he doesn’t let himself accept draws, even though I offered him a couple draws, and he was under a minute for a few moves.

[Event “2nd Annual Valentines Open”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2019.02.16”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Rhett Langseth”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1845”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “2107”]

1. Nf3 d5 2. c3 Nf6 3. d4 Bf5 4. Qb3 Qc8 5. Bf4 e6 6. a4 Be7 7. a5 O-O 8. Nh4
Bxb1 9. Rxb1 c5 10. dxc5 Ne4 11. Nf3 Nc6 12. e3 Bxc5 13. Qa4 e5 14. Bg3 Nxg3
15. hxg3 Qf5 16. Rd1 e4 17. Nh4 Qg5 18. Qb5 d4 19. exd4 Be7 20. Qxg5 Bxg5 21.
Ra1 a6 22. Nf5 Rad8 23. g4 g6 24. Ng3 Rfe8 25. Bc4 Kg7 26. O-O Bf4 27. Ne2 Bc7
28. b4 Ne7 29. Rfd1 Nd5 30. Bxd5 Rxd5 31. c4 Rg5 32. d5 Be5 33. Ra2 Rxg4 34.
Rc2 f5 35. Nc1 f4 36. Kf1 f3 37. gxf3 exf3 38. Rd3 Bh2 39. Ne2 fxe2+ 40. Ke1
Rg1+ 41. Kd2 e1=Q# 0-1

Round 4

After the last round, Rhett clobbered me in three 3 minute blitz game, saying “one more”, but it was only eight minutes before the start of the next round, so I had to decline.  My mind was a little bit mushy to start this game.  I’ve never played the Italian OTB, and not even online as far I can recall.  I wanted to play the “pianissimo” or quiet piano, for the draw.  Yeah, right, it only saw me playing quite cluelessly.  I guess we were technically in a sort of Four Knights, but I didn’t even get that right.

In the end, I got what I wished for, 3.5/4, taking sole first place!  🙂

[Event “2nd Annual Valentines Open”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2019.02.16”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Robert Koehler”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1559”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1845”]

1. e4 Nf6 2. Nc3 e5 3. Bc4 Nc6 4. d3 Bb4 5. Nf3 d6 6. O-O Na5 7. Qe2 Nxc4 8.
dxc4 Bxc3 9. bxc3 h6 10. c5 b6 11. cxd6 Qxd6 12. Qb5+ Nd7 13. Be3 O-O 14. Rfd1
Qe6 15. Qd5 Qxd5 16. Rxd5 f6 17. Rad1 Nb8 18. Rd8 Nc6 19. Rxf8+ Kxf8 20. c4
Be6 21. c5 Nb4 22. Ne1 Nxa2 23. Ra1 Ke7 24. cxb6 axb6 25. Nd3 Rd8 26. f3 Kd6
27. Kf2 c5 28. Ke1 Kc6 29. Bd2 b5 30. Nc1 Nxc1 1/2-1/2

 

Calculations

Round 2

I took a bye on Tuesday, as I was still in the process of changing over my sleep schedule to days for this weekend’s tournament.

In this game, I messed up from a technical play perspective on move seven.  Even on move six, I did not quite calculate far enough, for example 6…f6 is possible due to 6…f6, 7.fxe fxe, 8.Nxe5?? BxNe5, 9.Qh5+ Ke8, 10.BxNc6.  Here is where I cut off the calculation, but instead of recapturing on c6, Black has the obvious 10….Bxb2, winning the Ra1.  Not a difficult line to understand, one simply has to calculate it deeply enough.

7…BxNf3  Certainly, this didn’t feel right but it fit in with my calculations.  After the game, Sam pointed out that move-order matters here, so 7…BxNe5!, 8.BxB BxN, 9.QxB QxB now gets me the position that I was aiming for.

10.Be2!  The move that I failed to consider when playing both 6…Bg4, and 7…BxNf3.  I had seen this resource by move 8, but needed to include it on calculations at moves 6 and 7, to save the pawn.

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2019.02.13”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Sam Bridle”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1845”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1800”]

1. b3 e5 2. Bb2 Nc6 3. e3 d5 4. Bb5 Bd6 5. f4 Qe7 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. fxe5 Bxf3 8.
exd6 Qh4+ 9. g3 Qg4 10. Be2 Bxe2 11. Qxe2 Qxe2+ 12. Kxe2 f6 13. dxc7 Kd7 14.
Na3 a6 15. c4 Nge7 16. cxd5 Nxd5 17. Nc2 Rac8 18. Rac1 Rxc7 19. e4 Re8 20. Kf3
Ndb4 21. Nxb4 Nxb4 22. Rxc7+ Kxc7 23. d4 Nxa2 24. Ba3 Kd7 25. Re1 Nc3 26. Re3
Nb5 27. Bb2 Rc8 28. h3 Rc2 29. Re2 Rc8 1/2-1/2

Round 1 – Strong Swiss

Round 1

Mark was held up by a meeting at work, and only had 40 minutes on his clock for the start of the game.  As per usual, Mark acted like the clock didn’t exist until he got somewhere under ten minutes.  The “extra” time benefited me greatly, but I still got down on the clock from having an hour advantage at one point, to having two minutes left to his four.

IMO, this game was really decided in time-trouble, although it may not look like it at first.  I felt that Mark’s 34…Bd4+? was a critical mistake, and it was.  34…d4 was the natural move that I felt would make any win by White quite problematic.

I also pointed out that I spent a long time on the only move 16.g3, because I realized that he could probably sac the knight for three pawns with 16….Nxf4, and it is the number one move.  This is also why I decided on 17.Nh4, to cut that sac out.  For all the very long while that I spent staring at the …Nxf4 sac, as if hoping it would somehow go away, Mark, to my relief, didn’t take the idea seriously.

[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2019.02.07”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Mark McGough”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1863”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1845”]

1. e4 d6 2. d4 g6 3. f4 Bg7 4. Nf3 Bg4 5. Be2 c5 6. c3 Qb6 7. d5 Nf6 8. Nbd2
O-O 9. c4 e6 10. dxe6 fxe6 11. Ng5 Bxe2 12. Qxe2 d5 13. O-O h6 14. Ngf3 Nbd7
15. e5 Nh5 16. g3 Kh7 17. Nh4 Rfd8 18. Nxg6 Kxg6 19. Qg4+ Kh7 20. Qxh5 Rf8 21.
b3 Qb4 22. Qe2 Qc3 23. Rb1 Rf5 24. Nf3 Raf8 25. Bb2 Qa5 26. Qd3 Kg8 27. Nh4
R5f7 28. a3 Qb6 29. Bc3 Qc6 30. cxd5 Qxd5 31. Qxd5 exd5 32. e6 Bxc3 33. exf7+
Rxf7 34. Rf3 Bd4+ 35. Kf1 Nf6 36. Nf5 Ne4 37. Nxh6+ Kg7 38. Nxf7 Nd2+ 39. Kg2
Nxb1 40. Nd6 b6 41. Nf5+ Kf6 42. Nxd4 cxd4 43. Rd3 Nxa3 44. Rxd4 Ke6 45. Ra4
Nb5 46. Kf3 a5 47. h4 d4 48. h5 d3 49. Ke3 Nc3 50. Kxd3 1-0