Bill was about 45 minutes late, so it was probably inevitable that he would get into time-pressure.
Mark and Sam drew, so they are both standing at 1.5 points, going into the final round.
We got into a delayed exchange variation, which I am not up on how to play as Black. Instead of recapturing on e5 with the knight, he captured with the pawn, allowing a trade of queens.
The middle-game got more spicy than I was expecting; Bill played really well, striving for tactical complications. Once Bill was in time-pressure, I felt I caught a break, since he could have exchanged rooks, and instead kept them on, which is probably what gave Black a decisive advantage at the end.
6…Nxe4 The easiest move to try to deal with, at the board. 6…Bd6, 7.d4 Nxe4, 8.dxe5 Bc5, 9.QxQ KxQ is =+. 6…Qd6, 7.d4 Bg4, 8.c3 is += (8.dxe QxQ, 9.RxQ Ne4 is =+).
7.Nc5 7…Nd6 and 7…Nf6 are also solid here. 7…Nf6 would be my second choice, particularly if a draw is okay.
8…Ne6 Better calculation, OTB, would have revealed that 8…e4 is indeed possible, but it’s just another position after 9.Nc3 Be7, 10.Nxe4 NxN, 11.RxN =.
9.dxe5 I guess this move is personal preference. He said he wanted to overwhelm me positionally, when playing this move.
11…b6. Stockfish has the rather remarkable idea of playing 11…Nf8 here, with the formation of …Bf5, and then knight back to e6 in mind.
13…Bb7 Stockfish’s preference was to play 13…b5, 14.Bb2 b4, 15.Nd2 Bb7, not so much better, as it is obviously shutting down White’s play more.
I figured the game would continue 28.RxR fxR, but this position is a lot more complex than probably both of us realized – not sure what he was thinking here, either, since we didn’t look at the final position during the post-mortem.
15…Nd4 Super-tempting for a human to play this way, but 15…Bg5, 16.Nd5 0-0-0! (+1, for Black, or -1) is much more of a positional grip.
16…Bd8. I noticed in time that 16…Rc8?? fails to 17.RxN exR, 18.NxBe7.
20…0-0? My intuition told me that this was likely a mistake, but I couldn’t see why after a reasonable amount of time spent thinking. 20…c6 is more accurate here because the Nf6+ move is not available, as it will be after castling. with …c6, Black will have ideas of …h5, …Rh6, ….a5.
25…Rad8? The last few moves have only helped Black, and here it is a mistake to allow this trade of rooks, as I pointed out to him after the game. Instead, …h6 is a good move to cut out back-rank threats (even though it appears positionally risky as a target), and then get the rook on the e-file active, attack with it, since the Rf4 is basically out of play, if not sacking on f5.
26…Nd4. 26…h5 makes that Rf4 into more or less an observer. I considered …h5 on many moves, particularly on this move, but wasn’t sure. The game ended with my 27 minutes left to his 3 minutes, but still I knew that he would be picking up the pace here, and I was trying not to allow myself to follow him into time-pressure.
28. Resigns (?) White’s best move here may have been 28.b4! Rxf6, 29.bxc bxc offers practical chances.
If 28.RxR NxR!, 29.RxR is rather forced here NxR, 30.Be5 Nb7!! is the only move that wins, as otherwise White could equalize with Bd6 caging in the Black king, and freezing the queenside.
If 28…fxR, 29.b4! Kf7, 30.bxc bxc, 31.Ba3 e5, 32.Bxc5 Ne6, 33.RxR (forced) NxR, should be a win for Black, up a pawn once …Kxf6 is played, but the win is a long way off, and all three results are still possible from a practical point of view.
[Event “Strong Swiss”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[White “Bill Weihmiller”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. Bxc6 dxc6 6. O-O Nxe4 7. Re1 Nc5 8.
d4 Ne6 9. dxe5 Qxd1 10. Rxd1 Be7 11. b3 b6 12. Ba3 c5 13. c4 Bb7 14. Nc3 Bxf3
15. gxf3 Nd4 16. Nd5 Bd8 17. Bb2 Nxf3+ 18. Kg2 Nh4+ 19. Kh3 Nf5 20. Rd3 O-O 21.
Rg1 g6 22. Rg4 Re8 23. Rf4 c6 24. Nf6+ Bxf6 25. exf6 Rad8 26. Rff3 Nd4 27. Rfe3