57.Rg5?? (57.Rg8)

59…h4?? (59…c2)

22…Nf5?? I realized that I had turned off my brain here, and was no longer calculating anything so that I could make a move and offer a draw. I played this move quickly, seeing that 23.Nxg7 sac wouldn’t work, and realizing all the while that 22…g6 was a perfectly good move. Actually, …Nf5 is sort of bad as well because I want to play …Qf5 in some of those variations, which I had seen.

After the game she said she was expecting 22…g6 (which I had no qualms about playing), then said she was going to play 23.Qd2??, and I told her (blindfold-like) that I could keep her queen out of h6 with …Nf5. But even during the game I had seen this ….Qf5 move, which attacks f3 and Nh5. So, I had apparently lost my will to concentrate at this point, and perhaps she was close to that point as well. White was alternatives to the 23.Qd2?? move, such as 23.Nc3, attacking the d5 knight, 23.Rc2, and 23.Qd3, and it’s just an equal position.

25…RxRe7?? I was going to play the correct 25…NfxRe7, but then I began to count material, noticing I was down three pawns for the exchange, and doubted my ability to hold this position passively, even though my intuition at first told me that I could. I used that flimsy “ghost” excuse that after 25…Nfxe7, she could play 26.Rc7, and my knight can’t take it, but this belies that I am the one with the two rooks, and her posting a rook on the 7th rank isn’t going to amount to anything with the solid blockade of her d-pawn. My next move there would be 26…Rac8, which is equal, according to Houdini.

26.Nf4! As soon as I had made my last move, I was worried about 26.Nhf6, but I think we both figured out it was nothing. For some reason, I never considered or saw this move, even though I suspected she must have something there because I felt that I had blundered on my last move.

26…Qd7 I considered 26…Nfe3 here, but saw that she can just take the knight with 27.fxNe3. At this point, I realized the game was over but played on for a few more moves.

I still need to learn to continue to calculate in equal positions, since I lose from more equal positions than from attacks, I simply lose focus and sense of danger in equal positions. I didn’t drink any coffee before this game, which is unusual for me, but much worse is that I only had a small lunch (should have gone to Subway and filled up), and I think that lack of enough food may have been affecting my ability to concentrate late in that last round of the day. I felt less energetic, before the game, than she seemed – she seemed to have plenty of energy and managed hers well.

Where my attitude began to go south was no move 18…Nb7?! I wanted to play 18…Ne6!, but doubted I could hold the ..Nf4 for some reason. I saw this continuation 18…Ne6, 18.d5 Nf4, 19.Nf5 and thought that here her knight is threatening to remove my bishop’s support of my knight on f4. I did spend a sizeable amount of time looking at 19…Qd7, 20.NxB+ RxN. 21.Kh1 Qh3, 22.Rg1 but stopped my analysis here. As soon as Houdini said that Black is winning here, I knew the shot must be 22…Re1! (deflection).

So, that is how close I came to calculating a winning line for myself during the game. I wasn’t so sure which move to make, but I think once I consciously started to play for a draw, my mind somewhere had lost interest in the game. What I have to realize is that even equal positions can still contain all three results.

Another thing I have to realize is that good tacticians often don’t get advantages from openings. Opening theoreticians are not necessarily tactics experts nor endgame experts, nor good attacking players, and vice-versa for all four of these categories above. Most tacticians are probably going to be decent at the endgame because you have to calculate so well there, and most tacticians like to calculate. My point though is that tacticians are often even more opportunistic than they are attacking-style players.

Quite a doozy. Plenty of errors on both sides, and didn’t have enough time to figure out the ending, as Earl was able to instantly blitz at the end, building up time, while I played on the increment. Since I couldn’t calculate how to win it with 30 seconds per move, drew it instead, pretty much intentionally.

This game had me super pissed off at myself after the game, drove past my house to the liquor store and bought a beer. For some reason, I decided to pass up a position I could draw after 33…NxB, and I decided to play for more, instead. Even here, I only decided to play 35…NxB?? because I had three minutes left on my clock. 35….Kg2 first, once again leads to a drawable position, since Black can’t get out of the pin without making a concession.

[Event “Winter Springs Open”]

[Site “Manitou Springs City Hall”]

[Date “2017.12.02”]

[Round “1”]

[White “Brian Rountree”]

[Black “Dean Clow”]

[Result “1-0”]

[BlackElo “2107”]

[GameNo “-1”]

[WhiteElo “1866”]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 dxe4 4. fxe4 Nf6 5. e5 Bg4 6. Nf3 Nd5 7. c4 Nb6 8. Be3

e6 9. Be2 Bb4+ 10. Nc3 Bxf3 11. gxf3 N8d7 12. a3 Bxc3+ 13. bxc3 c5 14. O-O Qc7

15. Rc1 O-O-O 16. f4 f6 17. a4 Nb8 18. a5 N6d7 19. Qa4 Rdf8 20. d5 fxe5 21.

dxe6 Nf6 22. Qb5 exf4 23. Bxf4 Qc6 24. Bf3 Qxb5 25. cxb5 Re8 26. Rfe1 g5 27.

Be5 Rxe6 28. Bg4 Nxg4 29. Bxh8 Rh6 30. Re8+ Kc7 31. h3 Rxh3 32. b6+ axb6 33.

axb6+ Kxb6 34. Rxb8 Rg3+ 35. Kh1 Kc7 36. Rf8 h5 37. Re1 Rh3+ 38. Kg2 Rh2+ 39.

Kg1 Rc2 40. Rf5 Kc6 41. Rxg5 Nh2 42. Rg6+ Kb5 43. Rb1+ Kc4 44. Rg2 Nf3+ 45.

Kh1 Nd2 46. Rxb7 Rc1+ 47. Rg1 Rc2 48. Rf7 Ne4 49. Rf4 Kd3 50. Rf3+ Kc4 51. Rg2

Rc1+ 52. Kh2 Nxc3 53. Bxc3 Rxc3 54. Rxc3+ Kxc3 55. Kg3 Kd3 56. Kf3 c4 57. Rg5

c3 58. Rd5+ Kc4 59. Rd8 h4 60. Ke2 Kb3 61. Kd1 1-0

[Event “Winter Springs Open”]

[Site “Manitou Springs City Hall”]

[Date “2017.12.02”]

[Round “2”]

[White “Sara Herman”]

[Black “Brian Rountree”]

[Result “1-0”]

[BlackElo “1866”]

[GameNo “-1”]

[WhiteElo “1954”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Nge2 d5 6. a3 Be7 7. Ng3 Nbd7 8. b3

Re8 9. Bb2 b6 10. cxd5 exd5 11. Be2 Bb7 12. Rc1 a6 13. O-O c5 14. Bf3 cxd4 15.

Qxd4 Nc5 16. Qd1 d4 17. exd4 Bxf3 18. gxf3 Nb7 19. Nce4 Nd6 20. Kh1 Nd5 21.

Rg1 Qd7 22. Nh5 Nf5 23. Rxg7+ Kh8 24. Rxf7 Qe6 25. Rxe7 Rxe7 26. Nf4 Qd7 27.

Nxd5 Qxd5 28. Nf6 Qf7 29. d5 Ng7 30. d6 Re6 31. d7 Rd8 32. Rc8 Qe7 33. Rxd8+

Qxd8 34. Nh5 Re7 35. Nxg7 Rxg7 36. Qd4 1-0

Round 3

[Event “Winter Springs Open”]

[Site “Manitou Springs City Hall”]

[Date “2017.12.03”]

[Round “3”]

[White “Earl Wikle”]

[Black “Brian Rountree”]

[Result “1/2-1/2”]

[BlackElo “1866”]

[GameNo “-1”]

[WhiteElo “1993”]

1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nc6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg2 Bb4 5. Nd5 Bc5 6. e3 O-O 7. Ne2 a6 8. O-O

Re8 9. f4 exf4 10. Nexf4 Be7 11. b3 d6 12. Bb2 Rb8 13. Nh5 Ne5 14. Nhxf6+ Bxf6

15. Nxf6+ gxf6 16. Be4 Bg4 17. Qc2 f5 18. Bxf5 Qg5 19. Bxh7+ Kf8 20. Be4 Ke7

21. c5 Rh8 22. Bxe5 dxe5 23. c6 b6 24. Bd5 f6 25. Qe4 a5 26. Rxf6 Qxf6 27.

Qxg4 Rbd8 28. Rf1 Qh6 29. Rf7+ Ke8 30. Rd7 Qxh2+ 31. Kf1 Qh3+ 32. Qxh3 Rxh3

33. Kg2 Rh6 34. Bf7+ Kf8 35. Rxd8+ Kxf7 36. Rd7+ Ke6 37. g4 Rh4 38. Kg3 Rh1

39. Kf3 Ra1 40. a4 Rb1 41. Rd3 Rc1 42. Rc3 Rd1 43. d3 Kf6 44. Ke2 Rg1 45. Rc4

Rb1 46. Kd2 Rxb3 47. Kc2 Ra3 48. Re4 Ra2+ 49. Kb3 Ra1 50. g5+ Kf5 51. g6 Rg1

52. Kc4 Rxg6 53. Rh4 Rxc6+ 54. Kb3 Rc1 55. Rh5+ Ke6 56. e4 Kd6 57. Rg5 Rb1+

58. Kc4 Rb4+ 59. Kc3 Rxa4 60. Rg6+ Kc5 61. Rg7 c6 62. Rd7 b5 63. Re7 Kd6 64.

Re8 Ra3+ 65. Kc2 a4 66. Rd8+ Kc5 67. Re8 Kd6 68. Rd8+ Ke7 69. Rc8 Kd7 70. Rb8

Rb3 71. Rb7+ Kd6 72. Ra7 c5 73. Ra6+ Kd7 74. Ra7+ Kc6 75. Ra6+ Kb7 76. Re6 c4

77. dxc4 bxc4 78. Rxe5 Kb6 79. Re8 a3 80. Rb8+ Kc5 81. Rxb3 cxb3+ 82. Kxb3 Kd4 1/2-1/2

Round 4

[Event “Winter Springs Open”]

[Site “Manitou Springs City Hall”]

[Date “2017.12.03”]

[Round “4”]

[White “Michael Maloney”]

[Black “Brian Rountree”]

[Result “0-1”]

[BlackElo “1866”]

[GameNo “-1”]

[WhiteElo “1907”]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. d4 e6 5. Nf3 cxd4 6. cxd4 Nc6 7. Be2 Nf6 8.

O-O Be7 9. Nc3 Qd8 10. Bf4 O-O 11. Re1 Nb4 12. h3 b6 13. Rc1 Bb7 14. a3 Nbd5

15. Be5 Qd7 16. Bb5 Nxc3 17. Bxd7 Nxd1 18. Bxf6 Bxf6 19. Rexd1 Rfd8 20. Bc6

Bxc6 21. Rxc6 Rd7 22. Rdc1 Kf8 23. Rc8+ Rxc8 24. Rxc8+ Ke7 25. Ne5 Rxd4 26.

Nc6+ Kd7 27. Nxa7 Rd1+ 28. Kh2 Bxb2 29. Rf8 Ke7 30. Ra8 Be5+ 31. g3 Bd4 32.

Nc6+ Kf6 33. Rd8 e5 34. Rd6+ Kf5 35. Nxd4+ exd4 36. Kg2 Ke4 37. Rxb6 d3 38.

Rb7 Ra1 39. Re7+ Kd4 40. Kf3 d2 41. Rd7+ Kc3 42. Rc7+ Kb3 43. Rb7+ Ka2 0-1