The defender is always “on the hook”

Round 3

This is Teah’s first classical tournament since the Denver Open.  Unfortunately, chess is often not kind to a person who doesn’t play at a specific time-control regularly, although we were both tied for first this month with 2/2.

I had looked at our last games as Black and White before driving to the club, even though Teah was widely thought to have left for St. Louis on Sunday, to be with her teacher there, WGM Katerina Nemcova.  It wasn’t long before she deviated and played longer into a standard main-line, which “un-prepared me”.  hehe.  Okay, it really was ridiculous because she was at 1:32 (hrs/min), when I had just played 12…Na5, and was down to only 38 minutes remaining!  After move 18, I was down to 20 minutes.  So, just because of the clock, it was anyone’s game, and I thought we might even draw.

My …Bg4 and …Ng4 moves were largely an attempt to trade down pieces in time-pressure, but her play wasn’t best, and that got me somewhere.

After the game, I told her that when she played 27…Qxb5 (“He who takes the b-pawn sleeps in the streets!” is an old chess adage), that the game had just entered the “weird zone” and was not going to end in a draw after that, someone would win it.

30.Rxd6  I was expecting her to instantly reply 30.Nf1, but she was taking a while, so I finally decided to use the restroom for the first and only time.  When I got back, she was still thinking, hadn’t moved, at first I figured she was just being chivalrous, but after another five, maybe seven minutes I thought that she might be looking at something else, and immediately noticed 30.Nf1 Qe2 with a windmill attack on g2.

31…Ra3??  When I played 31…Qe1+ she turned beet-red, and I really felt sorry for her, since she otherwise can play so well outside of the occasional blunder.  Final clock-times, I had 10 minutes, and she had 56 minutes remaining.

 

 

[Event “Classical Wednesdays”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.05.16”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Teah Williams”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1820”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1712”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. d3 b5 6. Bb3 Bc5 7. c3 d6 8. Nbd2
O-O 9. Nf1 d5 10. Qe2 dxe4 11. dxe4 Qe7 12. Ng3 Na5 13. Bc2 Nc4 14. O-O h6 15.
a4 Rb8 16. Nh4 Bg4 17. Nf3 Rfe8 18. h3 Bc8 19. Nh4 Nd6 20. Kh1 Ng4 21. Nhf5
Nxf5 22. exf5 Nf6 23. axb5 axb5 24. b3 Bb7 25. Rd1 e4 26. b4 Bd6 27. Qxb5 e3
28. Qe2 exf2 29. Qxf2 Qe5 30. Rxd6 cxd6 31. Ra3 Qe1+ 32. Qg1 Qxg3 33. Bd2 Re2 0-1

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The Ragozin Defense – part two

Round 3

I had only prepared for White against Sara, as you may remember I won last week against Paul A. with this same defense.  Sara is difficult enough to handle with the White pieces, so that I didn’t mind having Black against her.

Sara’s trademark with the White pieces is that at some point she likes to go on a mating attack against me.

10…Nd5  Okay, so I figured this move might be bad, moving the same piece twice, yada yada, but I hadn’t seen a refutation yet.  …Bb7 or …Nbd7 are more principled moves.  Black has a serious development lag here, but I was playing ignorant at this point.

11…Qa5?  I had always wanted to play this move, but I could see that it was just bad after 12.Rc1, what was I thinking?

12.0-0!  The super-refutation.  After this, I spend over half an hour and most of that time wasn’t even analyzing so much as I felt I wanted to resign in frustration that none of my plans worked out – I think I spent 20 minutes just getting over the utter disbelief.  After the game, Sara confirmed/said my …Qa5 move was just bad, which I already knew.

12…BxN, 13.axb Qb4, 14.bxBc3 Qxc3, 15.QxQ NxQ, 16.Bxc4, for example.  Black is simply undeveloped, and White has a big attack.

12…NxNc3, 13.bxN Bxc3, 14.Ra2! this is what I had missed, not too deep is it?  More like a visual neglect from optimism and not calculating deep enough before playing …Qa5 (or wide enough).  Anyway, after 14.Ra2 Bb4, 15.Rfb1, and if 14…b4, 15.Bxc4, so it’s all kind of bad news as you can see.

13…Qb6.  Played with 33 minutes left on my clock, after the headshaking was over, I felt resigned to see how I could resist, or roll with the punches.

15.Nd6  Sara spent a long time on this move, which I was happy to see.  What I didn’t want to see  her do was to blitz out 15.Bg3.  Though I was a bit puzzled, I did see her elaborate point to connect the advanced pawns, and wasn’t too bothered by it, particularly since she was still burning up time, and we eventually caught up on time around the 17 minute point.

17…Qc5  Blacks normal developing moves, ….a6 or …Bb7 or …c5, for example, are fraught with danger, and so I had to force things in a concrete manner.

18.Rad1  During the game, I was looking at 18.b3 Qxd6, 19.Rfd1 Nb4, 20.RxQ NxQ, 21.Rxc6, which looks like a crazy continuation to be concerned about.  Certainly, I noticed that 18.Rad1 only strengthened this somewhat bizarre idea.  18…Ba6 is what I had planned on playing by the time she moved (if she had played 18.b3).  In any case, it was as if I had to snap out of this daydream variation and get back to 18….Rfd8, which is what I had planned all along.  This variation explains why I didn’t want to play 18….Qxd6 here, but it also colored my reasoning for not playing 19….Nb4, after 19.e4.

I saw 19…Nb4, 20.Qd2 Nd3, 21.BxN Rxd, but White can sidestep this line, in any case, with 20.Qc3!, when …Nd3 would drop the piece.  I did see 20…Rxd6, and was planning on playing this for while, but it’s enough to see 21.RxR, QxR, 22.Qf6 Qf8, 23.Rd1 Bb7, 24.d7 Rad8, 25.Ne5 with Black’s huge initiative.

21…a5?  An auto-pilot move.  In time-pressure, not forseeing White’s last move, I balked at playing 21….Rxd6, 22. RxR QxR, 23.Rd1 Qe7 (only move I looked at) 24.Ne5 Bb7, 25. Rd7 wins a piece, for example, but why not simply 23….Qc7(?), a scary line from White could then be 24.h4 g4, 25.Nd4 h5, 25.Qe3 f6, 26.Qh6  The best reply there, though, may simply be 24….gxh4!?, 25.Nxh4 e5!  So this was probably Black’s best try, this line.  I just couldn’t calm my nerves enough to find a line like this, and play calmly.

24.Qe3.   White’s attack came as a complete surprise to me.  I only expected 24.Rfd1 here.

25.Nxg5  This is what I wanted her to do, thinking that I could perhaps get a draw if she didn’t mate my king.  I was more worried about 25.Rfc1, the positional approach.  I saw 25.Nxg5, followed by 26.Nxe6, and thought there might be a good chance for a draw there for Black, if not more.

25…BxR  Here, I saw that 25…hxN, 26.Qxg+ Kf8, 27.Qe7+ Kg8, 28.Rg4+ leads to mate, so the choice was obvious enough.

26…QxRd4  I used 6 of my last 7 minutes on this move, sensing that my position might be resignable, and still no reason to not use up the remaining time.  I quickly saw the tactic, 26…fxNe6, 27.Rg4+ Kh7, 28.QxQ and now …Be2 hitting the rook, or ….Bd3 helping to promote, while also allowing a …Bg6 defense was probably the best line, decision.  This should have been much better for Black than the game continuation.

36…b3  Uggh, during the game, I saw 36…Rc8, but was too nervous to play it.  I had two minutes or less, and she had less time, under a minute.  36…Rc8 looks straight-up winning.  36…Rc8, 37.Qc1 (White can’t allow the check to promote, doesn’t work.  Like Josh B. said after the game, she should have played Kg2 (instead of one those wasteful queen moves) somewhere).  Nerves, and clock management lead to this draw as much as anything, IMHO.  37…Bf5! stopping d7.  During the game, I saw this idea, but thought I had to forgo it back when I played …Bg6, but the king is on an uncheckable square now.  How sad.  Well, let’s see what the engine says now.  Yup, 36…Rc8 was winning, uggh, and I saw the correct winning line before flipping on the engine.  I considered playing 36…Rc8, but wanted to play safe on the clock and board at this point, as she was the one going wrong with little prompting.  Even though I had maybe 2 min 14 seconds at most, at one point in all this, probably here I was more like 1 min 27 seconds or so when I made my move.  I did want to give myself the best chance possible of securing the draw, I was already thinking about that.

What’s worse is I saw 36…Rc8, 37.Qc1 d7, 38.b2 thinking that that should somehow be a draw, but it’s totally winning for Black, as promotion comes with check in any line.  For example, 38.d7xR(Q) bxQ(Q)+, and Black will have two queens and a bishop for queen.  Just not looking deep enough nor wide enough there.  I could have spent another minute, was simply nervous and tight, and thinking glad to have survived with a draw.  I was also still hoping to see 37.QxR??, a hope-chess move, or non-analysis, better put.  I also missed a simple geometrical pattern OTB.  36…Rc7, 37.d7 c1(Q)+!  I missed here that both the Kg1, and the Qg5 are being attacked.  Even if the queen were on f6 instead of g5, though, White’s pawn would exchange for the rook, and Black would still be up a bishop for two pawns, and winning.  Yeah, I was really just trying to secure the draw here, thought there might be something to that line, but wasn’t willing to look deep at anything, afraid I might miss something simple around my king in time-pressure.  If I had been more experienced, I would have realized that his d7 pawn was worth a rook, and my c2 pawn worth a queen.  Checks are like a free-move, so they have to be calculated, and not merely noticed/appreciated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[Event “May Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.05.15”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Sarah Herman”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1820”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1971”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 Bb4 5. Bg5 h6 6. Bh4 dxc4 7. e3 b5 8. a4
c6 9. Be2 g5 10. Bg3 Nd5 11. Qc2 Qa5 12. O-O Qb6 13. Be5 O-O 14. Ne4 Nd7 15.
Nd6 Nxe5 16. dxe5 Bxd6 17. exd6 Qc5 18. Rad1 Rd8 19. e4 Nf4 20. g3 Nxe2+ 21.
Qxe2 a5 22. e5 b4 23. Rd4 Ba6 24. Qe3 c3 25. Nxg5 Bxf1 26. Nxe6 Qxd4 27. Nxd4
cxb2 28. Qb3 c5 29. Nc6 c4 30. Qxb2 Bd3 31. Nxd8 Rxd8 32. Qc1 c3 33. Qxh6 c2
34. Qg5+ Kh7 35. Qd2 Bg6 36. Qg5 b3 37. Qh4+ Kg7 38. Qf6+ Kh7 39. Qh4+ Kg7 40.
Qf6+ Kh7 41. Qh4+ 1/2-1/2

 

 

Ultimate Endgame

Round 2

 

Another Battle-Royale with Jesse; I think that this matchup has helped both of our chess game.

Okay, so I’ll do my stream-of-conscious commenting, alongside the computer(Stockfish).

6.e6? I also thought that 6…Qd6 was his only way out here, but I had no sense of the true eval of the position.

7…Qd6?! I’m not surprised that …Qc8 is listed as the best moved, I suspected it might be a move like this.

8.Bf4 8.g4! is listed as best. I did see this move here, and wanted to work it in, but it seemed way over-optimistic to me that this should work. Besides, I really hadn’t seen 8…Nge7! until he played it, and it took me aback.

9.g4 Struck me as best, but I did not see the best move, 9.Qf3. 9.Qf3 is best as I can see that it puts three strikers on c6, as well as defends Bf4, preparing 10.Ne5xc6, discovering an attack on the queen and hence winning a piece. 10.NxNc6 was a move I desperately wanted to make happen. In fact, if Jesse had played 8…Rd8, or 8…0-0-0, I was going to take on c6, ….QxBf4, NxRd3, winning an exchange.

OTB, I saw that 9.a3 a6. Also, 9.Bg3 Qb4, 10.Nc4 (say) Ng6, 11.a3 Qe7, 12.Be3 h5. A lot of the lines looked fine for White, but I was trying to determine the best move. White could, for example, play 9.Nxf7 QxBf4, 10.NxR, and that might be fine for White, probably is, but is also not entirely clear after …Rd8 or …0-0-0, maybe it is, dunno.

Right away, I saw that the obvious and planned 9.Ng6 is met by …e5, now 10.NxR QxB doesn’t even net the f-pawn, whereas 10.Ng6xe5 and it’s White’s turn with initiative, and the abscence of Black’s e6 pawn is helpful in some ways to him. Also, 9.NxN QxB, 10.NxN KxN looks fine for White, but it’s easy to feel something has slipped through White’s fingers.

Even 9.Qf3 has to be calculated. For example, I can quickly see that 9.Qf3 Qxd, 10.NxN bxN, 11.Bxc6+ NxB, 12.QxN+ Ke7, 13.QxR QxB, calculated that rapidly, and as soon as I had done that process-of-elimination immediately suggests 9.Qf3 Qxd, 10.Rd1 Qc5, 11.b4 Qxb, 12.NxN bxN, 13.Bxb+ NxB, 14.QxN+ Ke7, 15.Bxc7 Kf6, 16.Be5+ Kg6, 17.0-0 Be7 Actually, White had 15.QxRa8 QxB, or 15…QxN+, 16.Bd2, and in both cases up an exchange. So, there might be an easy answer to all this, but this is what it is for a human player to decide upon.

Okay, so I switched on Stockfish. It points out the win to 9.Qf3 Qxd4 is 10.NxN bxN, 11.Bxc6+ NxB, 12.Qc6+ Ke7, 13.Rd1! QxBf4, 14.Rd7+ Kf6, 15.Nd5+!! forking king and queen; that is what you had to see. It’s worth noting that if you saw all the way up to move fifteen, and then played 15.QxRa8, Black has both 15…Qc1+ (+1), and 15…Bc5 (0.0)

My second option was 9.Ng6 e5, 10.Nxe5, but it’s worth noting that I plugged in 10…a6 here (instead of …Qf6), and Stockfish says that 11.0-0 and if a6xBb5, 12.Nxb5 is +3. No easy line! If the human 11.BxNc6 is played, that is only +.8, so, White has to know what he/she’s doing.

If White his the EASY button, and plays 9.Nxf7 QxB, 10.NxR g6 (which I predicted), 11.0-0, that is less than .5 advantage for White.

 

[Event “Classical Wednesdays”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.05.09”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Jesse Williams”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1665”]
[ECO “B01”]
[EventDate “2018.05.09”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1820”]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nf3 Bf5 4. Nc3 Qd7 5. d4 Nc6 6. Bb5 e6 7. Ne5 Qd6 8.
Bf4 Ne7 9. g4 Bxg4 10. Qxg4 Qxd4 11. Rd1 Qb4 12. Bc1 Qxg4 13. Nxg4 a6 14. Be2
Nb4 15. Rd2 Rd8 16. Rxd8+ Kxd8 17. Ne3 c6 18. a3 Nbd5 19. Ncxd5 exd5 20. Bd2 g6
21. Bc3 Rg8 22. Ng4 Bg7 23. Nf6 Bxf6 24. Bxf6 Re8 25. Bg4 Kc7 26. Kd2 Ng8 27.
Bh4 f5 28. Be2 Nh6 29. f3 Nf7 30. Re1 Kd7 31. Bd3 Ne5 32. Be2 b5 33. f4 Nf7 34.
Bf3 Rxe1 35. Bxe1 Nd6 36. b3 Ne4+ 37. Bxe4 fxe4 38. Bf2 Ke6 39. Bc5 Kf5 40. Bd6
d4 41. Bc5 Kxf4 42. Bxd4 Kf3 43. Be3 Kg4 44. Ke2 g5 45. h3+ Kf5 46. Kf2 g4 47.
hxg4+ Kxg4 48. Bh6 Kf5 49. Ke3 Ke5 50. Bg7+ Kd5 51. Bh6 Ke5 52. Kd2 Kd4 53.
Be3+ Kd5 54. Kc3 c5 55. Bh6 a5 56. Kd2 b4 57. axb4 axb4 58. Ke3 Ke5 59. Bg7+
Kd5 60. Bh6 Ke5 61. Bf8 Kd5 62. Kf4 h5 63. Be7 Kd4 64. Bf6+ Kd5 65. Ke3 Ke6 66.
Bh4 Kd5 67. Bg3 c4 68. Be1 cxb3 69. cxb3 Ke5 70. Bh4 Kd5 71. Bg5 Ke5 72. Be7
Kd5 73. Bf6 Ke6 74. Bh4 Kd5 75. Be1 Ke5 76. Bxb4 h4 77. Be1 h3 78. Kf2 Kd4 79.
Kg3 1-0

Chasing the C-pawn

One of LM Brian Wall’s worst chess fears was realized in Expert Paul Anderson’s game against me tonight.

I donated my Ragozin book the CS Chess Club a while back, but not before extracting the main ideas from it.  After the game, I told Paul that a simple solution to the Ragozin for White is to play cxd, that’s how opening gurus like Kraminik, and local Class C player Matthew Hansen handle it; they would never let me take on c4.

 

Round 2

 

[Event “May Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.05.08”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Paul Anderson”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1820”]
[ECO “D38”]
[EventDate “2018.05.08”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “2032”]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 Bb4 5. Qc2 dxc4 6. Qa4+ Nc6 7. e3 Bd7 8. Qc2
b5 9. Be2 a6 10. O-O O-O 11. a3 Bxc3 12. bxc3 Re8 13. Ne5 Nxe5 14. dxe5 Nd5 15.
Rd1 Qc8 16. Rd4 f5 17. e4 c5 18. Rd1 fxe4 19. f4 Bc6 20. g3 Qc7 21. Bf1 g5 22.
Bg2 gxf4 23. gxf4 Kh8 24. Rxd5 exd5 25. Be3 Bd7 26. Qf2 Rac8 27. Rd1 Be6 28.
Qh4 Qe7 29. Qh5 Qf7 30. Qh4 Qe7 31. Qh5 Rf8 32. Kh1 a5 33. Qe2 b4 34. axb4 axb4
35. cxb4 cxb4 36. Ra1 Ra8 37. Qb2 c3 38. Qc1 Bg4 39. Qg1 Rg8 40. Rxa8 Rxa8 41.
Bxe4 Rg8 42. Bxd5 Bf3+ 43. Bxf3 Rxg1+ 44. Kxg1 b3 45. Be4 Qb4 46. Bd3 b2 47.
Bb1 c2 48. Bxc2 Qe1+ 49. Kg2 Qxe3 50. Bxh7 Kxh7 0-1

 

 

 

 

Doubled Pawns

Round 1

I’d never played Vedant before, so I thought about playing anything, like the Caro-Kahn, but then decided I’d play normal to see what his repertoire looks like, and to not underestimate him.  That was more or less the right call.  He played a variation of the Scotch that I don’t believe I’ve run into in tournament play other than as White once against Paul C.

43…Bc7.  I intially played 43…Bd8 bishop to d8 while holding my hand on it with 53 seconds remaining, then moved the bishop back, and played this move with 10 seconds on my clock.  Starting with White’s 45th move, it’s a recreation and not actually what occured, but in any case he hung his knight on e5 and I took it.  He played all the way to mate.

It’s ironic that people blitz me in my time-pressure, as if the excitement of seeing me not keep score accurately is worth throwing away the win.  I thought I was going to have to sac my bishop for his pawn, which seemed losing but you never know.  It would have been losing, but he made some crazy knight move and I knew right away I was back in it.

I could comment on a lot of the moves.

5…Bb6.  5…Bb4+ is another interesting line, although with perhaps more drawish tendencies.

10.Qd2?!  Interestingly, the best continuation according to Houdini would be 10…Nxe4, 11.Qf4 Nf6, 12.Bxf6 so that Black has an extra pawn, but it’s doubled.  The second best move it gives is 10…0-0, and yet out of 7 games in the DB, neither of those two moves have been played here, despite a couple Experts and a 2500 player playing it as Black.

For sake of time, and because even though I analyze quicker than I used to, it’s still not quick enough, so I made a lot of inaccuracies in this game that I would have played differently if I could have taken back my moves, but I did exercise clock discipline (and still almost flagged!).  10…g5 – here, I wished I had played 10…Qe7 after making the move, but I was worried about 11.f4, and couldn’t come up with a way of mentally dealing with this at the time.

Recently, I watched a Sam Shankland video, and his favorite saying that he wants you to consider during a game is “What if I do it anyway?” (i.e., playing into a seeming threat).  From now on, I will refer to this as the “Sam move” for short.

10…Qe7, 11.f4? ironically, Black here has …Nxe4 (-1), winning the pawn for free because Qf4 is no longer a reply for White.  11…g5 is the “Sam move”, playing …g5 anyway, 12.fxg5 Ng4 I saw this during the game, but didn’t know what I was doing here.  Now it’s obvious that I can maintain that pin for a while, and …Be3 threat prevents 0-0-0 – I believe that I did see this threat this early in the game, but probably missed …Ng4-e5 as a resource because I was so worried about how to hold this type of position, so early in the opening, but it’s better for Black, would definitely like to play this another time.  13.h3 0-0-0! another “Sam move”!  14.hxNg4 h6xg5 and now his bishop can’t retreat or Black will play …RxRh1; now for example, if 15.0-0-0 g5xB, it’s going to be very hard for White to survive this position with doubled g-pawns on an open file.  This is where blindfold analysis really helps, to dig this deep into a position, and I feel it’s a core part of how quickly and correctly that one can analyze lines, and hence the position.

Meanwhile, it’s just as likely my opponent would have never even considered 11.f4 there, as he was making these instant, and intuitive moves, as kids want to do; but as the higher rated player, playing Black especially, I am “on the hook” for finding and analyzing moves like this OTB which my opponent could be blissfully unaware of should he choose a different plan.  Still, one could say that Black “deserves” this time loss for not finding the …Nxe4 tactic, which is the “short answer” solution for this position.

It’s kind of funny because White should be thinking “I would never play 11.f4 unprepared like that.  Not only do you have 11…Nxe4, but I have to get castled, and maybe Kb1 after that to get out of the potential …Be3 pin, and then get my Rd1 into play first.”  hehe.  This is one of the reasons why top-caliber chess is boring and tedious as compared to club-player games.

 

 

 

 

[Event “Classical Wednesdays”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.05.02”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Vedant Margale”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1822”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1205”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Bc5 5. Nb3 Bb6 6. Nc3 d6 7. Bd3 Nf6 8.
Bg5 h6 9. Bh4 Be6 10. Qd2 g5 11. Bg3 Nh5 12. O-O-O Qf6 13. Rhf1 Nf4 14. Bxf4
gxf4 15. Nd5 Bxd5 16. exd5 Ne5 17. Bb5+ Kf8 18. Na5 a6 19. Be2 Rb8 20. Nb3 Rg8
21. g3 f3 22. Bd3 Re8 23. Rde1 Kg7 24. Be4 Qg5 25. Qxg5+ hxg5 26. h3 Rh8 27.
Bf5 Kf6 28. Bg4 Nxg4 29. Rxe8 Rxe8 30. hxg4 Re2 31. Nd2 Kg6 32. Nxf3 Rxf2 33.
Nd2 Rxf1+ 34. Nxf1 Kf6 35. Kd2 Ke5 36. c4 Ke4 37. Ke2 c6 38. dxc6 bxc6 39.
Nd2+ Kd4 40. Nf3+ Kxc4 41. Nxg5 f6 42. Ne4 d5 43. Nxf6 Bc7 44. g5 Be5 45. Nh7
Bxb2 46. Nf8 Kc5 47. Kf3 Kd6 48. Ng6 Ke6 49. g4 Kf7 50. Ne5+ Bxe5 0-1

Feels Like Old Times

Round 1

The Hermans are playing at the Colorado Springs Chess Club this month.  It was good to see them back.  Tonight I played Shirley, very interesting game for me.  Next week, my projected pairing is Master Josh Bloomer.

I was a bit lost on how to play this closed position.  At one point, Shirley had equalized.

19….Ne4 was a positional blunder, she should have traded her knight for my bishop.

I gambited a pawn with 22.f5, to open up the position and preventing her from play …f5.  If she takes the pawn, I was going to play 23.Rdf1, but Stockfish says that 23.Kb1 is better.  I figured White is getting the more fluid endgame, but also her king is stuck in the middle, and I think this is why Stockfish prefers Kb1, to avoid any …Bg5+ issues.

[Event “Tuesdays Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.05.01”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Shirley Herman”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1105”]
[ECO “B12”]
[EventDate “2018.05.01”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1840”]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nc3 e6 5. Nge2 Be7 6. Be3 Nd7 7. Ng3 Bg6 8. Be2
Bh4 9. Nh5 Bxh5 10. Bxh5 Nf8 11. g3 Be7 12. Qd2 h6 13. f4 g6 14. Be2 Nd7 15. a3
h5 16. h3 Nh6 17. O-O-O Nf5 18. g4 Ng3 19. Rhg1 Ne4 20. Nxe4 dxe4 21. gxh5 gxh5
22. f5 Nf8 23. f6 Bxa3 24. bxa3 Qd5 25. Qb4 Qd7 26. Bf1 Nh7 27. h4 O-O-O 28.
Bg2 Qd5 29. c4 a5 30. Qxb7+ Kxb7 31. cxd5 exd5 32. Bh3 Nf8 33. Bf5 a4 34. Rg7
Nd7 35. Bxd7 Rxd7 36. e6 Rd6 37. Rxf7+ Kc8 38. e7 Rd7 39. Rf8+ Rxf8 40. exf8=Q+
Rd8 41. Qxd8+ Kxd8 42. f7 Ke7 43. Rf1 Kf8 44. Bh6+ 1-0