The price of a single move

Round 3

I spent 40 minutes on 13…Be7, and after 14.Qxd4?, the position was winning for Black.  It took me a while to figure out that Black wants White to take the d-pawn.  Although Mike took the d4 pawn so that he could play his goal of Nc3 (engine likes Nd2), and it certainly opened another half-file against the Black king as well, it still turned out to be more in favor of the Black pieces to have it off the board.

I haven’t heard this song in a long time, but it seems to me reminiscent of the life of a chess player.

[Event “August Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.08.21”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Michael Evers Smith II”]
[Black “Brian John Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1869”]
[GameNo “-1”]
[WhiteElo “1610”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. Ng5 Ne5 6. Bb3 h6 7. f4 hxg5 8.
fxe5 Nxe4 9. Qf3 d5 10. exd6 Nxd6 11. O-O Be6 12. Bxe6 fxe6 13. Qd3 Be7 14.
Qxd4 Nf5 15. Qa4+ c6 16. Qb3 Bc5+ 17. Kh1 Qd6 0-1

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88+1 Birthday Barlay tournament

Round 1

Round 2

Round 3

Round 4

[Event “Birthday Barlay 88+1”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.08.18”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Dean Brown”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1400”]
[ECO “B22”]
[EventDate “2018.08.18”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1885”]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 g6 3. d4 cxd4 4. cxd4 d5 5. exd5 Qxd5 6. Nc3 Qd8 7. Bc4 e6 8. Nf3
Bh6 9. O-O Nc6 10. d5 exd5 11. Re1+ Be6 12. Nxd5 Bxc1 13. Rxc1 Nh6 14. Qd2 Nf5
15. Qc3 O-O 16. Nf6+ Kg7 17. Nd7+ Kg8 18. Nxf8 Qxf8 19. Rxe6 1-0

[Event “Birthday Barlay 88+1”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.08.18”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Teah Williams”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1885”]
[ECO “C48”]
[EventDate “2018.08.18”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1700”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. Bb5 d6 5. d3 Be7 6. Ne2 a6 7. Ba4 b5 8. Bb3
Na5 9. Ng3 h6 10. O-O O-O 11. Qe2 Re8 12. Nf5 Bxf5 13. exf5 Qd7 14. Nh4 Nxb3
15. axb3 Nh7 16. Qg4 Bxh4 17. Qxh4 Qxf5 18. Re1 Nf6 19. h3 c5 20. Re3 Qh5 21.
Qg3 Nd5 22. Re4 Re6 23. Rg4 Rg6 24. Qf3 e4 25. Qxe4 Rxg4 26. hxg4 Qe5 27. Qxe5
dxe5 28. c3 Nf4 29. Bxf4 exf4 30. Kf1 Kf8 31. Ke2 Ke7 32. Kf3 g5 33. Ke4 Ke6
1/2-1/2

[Event “Birthday Barlay 88+1”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.08.19”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Larry Wutt”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1948”]
[ECO “B22”]
[EventDate “2018.08.19”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1885”]

1. e4 c5 2. c3 d5 3. exd5 Qxd5 4. d4 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bg4 6. Be2 cxd4 7. cxd4 e6 8.
O-O Nf6 9. Nc3 Qa5 10. Qb3 Qb4 11. Qxb4 Bxb4 12. Be3 O-O 13. h3 Bh5 14. Rfd1
Rfd8 15. Rac1 a6 16. Nb1 Nd5 17. a3 Bd6 18. Nc3 Nce7 19. g4 Bg6 20. Ne5 Nxe3
21. fxe3 b5 22. Nxg6 hxg6 23. Ne4 Bb8 24. Nc5 Nd5 25. Bf3 Bg3 26. Kg2 Bh4 27.
Rd3 Rd6 28. Ne4 Rdd8 29. b4 a5 30. bxa5 Rxa5 31. Rb1 Be7 32. Nc5 Bxc5 33. dxc5
Nf4+ 34. exf4 Rxd3 35. c6 Rc3 36. Rd1 Raxa3 37. Rd7 Kh7 38. c7 Ra2+ 39. Kg3
Rac2 40. Rxf7 Rxc7 41. Rf8 Rc8 42. Rf7 Rb8 43. Re7 Rb6 44. g5 b4 45. h4 Rc3 46.
Kg4 Rxf3 47. Kxf3 b3 48. f5 gxf5 49. h5 Kg8 50. g6 Kf8 51. Rf7+ Ke8 52. Rxg7 b2
53. Rg8+ Ke7 54. h6 b1=Q 55. h7 Qe4+ 56. Kf2 Rb2+ 57. Kg1 Qe1# 0-1

[Event “Birthday Barlay 88+1”]
[Site “Club Chess!!”]
[Date “2018.08.18”]
[Round “4”]
[White “Andrew Eskenazi”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1885”]
[ECO “D35”]
[EventDate “2018.08.18”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1260”]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 Be7 6. Nc3 c6 7. h3 Bf5 8. e3
Nbd7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 O-O 11. O-O h6 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. Ne2 Re8 14. Rac1 Qe7
15. Nf4 g6 16. Rfe1 Nb6 17. Nd2 Bg7 18. Qc2 Rad8 19. a4 Nc8 20. Nf3 Nd6 21. b3
Ne4 22. Nh2 Qd6 23. Kh1 Re7 24. Re2 Rde8 25. Rg1 Bxd4 26. g4 Be5 27. f3 Bxf4
28. fxe4 Bxh2 29. Rxh2 Rxe4 30. Rf1 Rxe3 0-1

Time-Pressure

Tuesdays Round 2

I played …e5 with …Bb4 for only the second time.

This game was sort of typical between us in that Paul had managed to avoid a pawn-trade for 21 moves, which always gets me into time-pressure (only one piece trade to this point), so it was all the more surprising that this was an obviously poor move.

Paul missed multiple wins in this game, particularly the astonishing non-capture 24.BxN? (soon equalizing)  24.Bxe5!! +2.

At the end of the game, I saw 38.Rg6+, but spent most of my time determining whether the sac 38…Nf4 (which stops Rg6+) would lead to a draw or not.  Finally, I figured that 37…e3 leads to a draw if 38.Rg6+ doesn’t lead to mate, which I guessed at, and also made the visual error of not seeing that 38…Kf8 is not playable because his bishop covers it.  Anyway, I played this losing blunder with 12 seconds on my clock.  Paul spent about five seconds on 38.Rg6+ and walked away from the board, so I allowed myself to flag instead of resigning.

Paul finished the game with 6 minutes and 10 seconds remaining.  I also saw Mark and Peters dramatic drawing finish – where both sides had a win at some point or another.  What this proved to me is that none of us regulars are playing truly competently at this time-control, but some like Paul can manage their clock better than others.  I feel that if I just became a more systematic player, in terms of how I choose moves, that I would be a much tougher player to beat than I currently am.

After the game, we had a quick post-mortem, where after the sensible 37…RxR, 38.QxR, Qe6, we played to a sterile, symmetrical, f,g,h pawns with rook and bishop versus rook and knight where all the pieces, pawns, and kings were safe.  In fact, Black is more than +1 in this line according to Stockfish.

Actually, if 38.Rxa2, for example, I was going to play 38…exf2+, and surprisingly this leads to not only a draw but a mate for Black.  Of course, I saw that trading rooks on c6 would deflect his queen from the defense of e2.

If this were 40 moves/ 2 hrs, I would have had about 12 minutes to make the last three moves before time-control.  This is why I need to think more systematically at this time-control.

[Event “August Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.08.14”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Paul Anderson”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1885”]
[ECO “A23”]
[EventDate “2018.08.14”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1989”]

1. c4 e5 2. Nc3 Nf6 3. g3 c6 4. Bg2 Bb4 5. a3 Bxc3 6. dxc3 d6 7. Nf3 O-O 8. O-O
Qe7 9. Qc2 Be6 10. b3 h6 11. Bb2 Nbd7 12. Rfd1 Ne8 13. Nh4 Qf6 14. a4 g5 15.
Nf3 Bf5 16. Qd2 Nc5 17. Ra3 Rd8 18. b4 Ne6 19. Qe3 b6 20. Nd2 d5 21. cxd5 cxd5
22. Nf3 Be4 23. c4 Bxf3 24. Bxf3 d4 25. Qc1 Nd6 26. c5 bxc5 27. bxc5 Rc8 28. c6
Nf5 29. Qc4 Nd8 30. Rc1 Ne7 31. Qa6 Ndxc6 32. Rb3 Qe6 33. Rb7 e4 34. Bg2 Nd5
35. Ba3 Rfe8 36. Bh3 Qxh3 37. Rxc6 e3 38. Rg6+ 1-0

Pikes Peak Open

Round 1

My first round opponent was a no-show for the tournament, so that I got a one point bye.  I was supposed to play someone named Rahul Sampanarimiah.  So, Rahul, if you’re listening out there, you would have played me had you had attended!  hehe.

Round 2

The first two rounds were played at G/90, d/5.  On the five-second delay, in the USA, one does not have to keep score if either player is under 5 minutes left.  This game went on for more moves.  He dropped the exchange, and I gave up Black’s c-pawns for White’s d-pawn.  He got a rook on the 7th rank, threatening to checkmate me.  My king was wide-open, I had to defend with my queen on f6.  He felt that we were repeating the position, which we were, and offered a draw, and with 7 seconds remaining on my clock did not hesitate to accept it.

My friend Alexander also lost to this player, and we found out from another person that Stephen has been studying chess three hours a night for the past two years.  He gained a hundred points from this tournament.

We had played once before, but I hadn’t remembered him somehow, maybe because he looks exactly like someone I knew in US Army bootcamp back in 1987, Brian Bishop.  Brian and I once ran around the track together during a physical training, seeing how long we could both play blindfold a King’s Gambit game.

Round 3

21…NxRf8  My intuition told me right away that 21…NxBc5 was strongest and winning, up two pawns, almost played it, but at the last moment thought it would look silly not to take the rook.  Taking the rook was winning too, but quite complicated, as I had suspected.

Round 4

This round was played at 9AM, and I simply wasn’t in my best physical shape.  Before the tournament, I said that playing Sunday at 9AM would be more of a struggle than playing the first two rounds on the five-second delay.  Actually, the delay was more of a struggle, but I couldn’t put a normal amount of effort into this game.  With 11 minutes remaning on my clock, I did not know my opponent’s rating, and did not think he would repeat the position three times.

I saw that White could play, after 23…h5 – which is what I was going to play, had I continued – 24.Rb1 or 24.Re1 or 24.Nf3 or 24.g4.  24.g4 was the move that worried me most.  I felt this move shouldn’t work, but it took me half an hour after the game to find both it’s refutation, and a solid continuation for Black.  My head was swimming too much by the game’s end.

So, if White does play 24.g4 after 23…h5, then, computer eval aside, a human can get into big trouble as Black if White is permitted to play gxh…gxh, with Nh2-f3-g5 to follow.

However, I did find that 24…hxg, 25.Nxg Rah8! (too tired to see the long-move, I guess) was the refutation of the g4 idea.  I also found the idea of …Ra8-d8-d7-e7, after first wondering what, when, and where I should put the knight.  As the game ended, I thought I should have tried to get my …Ne7, but g4 limits it I figured.  Then I thought about …Na5, which is great if White plays Rb1, and then thought of maneuvering to Ne6.  I guess I woke up to the power of my rook too late, I was simply worried that he would grab the e-file with Re1, whereupon my rook would be some kind of shut-in.

I should have gotten to the site before 9am, and tried to find out my opponent’s rating.  On Saturday, Buck didn’t have player ratings posted, but on Sunday morning after the game I saw he had now posted them on the wall.  Either way, some of these lower-players were wicked under-rated.  I found out that the opponent in this game was FIDE rated 1600, a friend said, and he gained 200 points USCF during this tournament.

Round 5

Another player I had never seen before.  Coleman could win two different “Under” prizes if he had won this game.  I completely missed his …Qb4 move.  Luckily, he got his queen trapped.  I had seen that he could not take the c2 pawn, (on Qa3, I was going to capture on b7) but it was a good blindfold exercise because at first I thought that 15.Bd3 would undefend the Nc3 from my queen, which it does, but that only means he wins a piece on c3 at the cost of his queen!  Btw, blindfolding is part visual, part logic, it makes a person use both when done right.

I was tempted to play the easier 16.BxQ or 16.Qe3 Bh6, 17.BxQ BxQ, but I didn’t want to let myself off the hook after having glibly drawn my round 4 game, and most likely killing any chances of winning a prize (which turned out to be the case).

No Counterplay

Round 1

[Event “August Swiss”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.08.07”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Joey Arispe”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1231”]
[ECO “B12”]
[EventDate “2018.08.07”]
[TimeControl “G/90, Inc 30”]
[WhiteElo “1908”]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 g6 4. c3 Bg7 5. Be3 Nd7 6. e5 e6 7. Bd3 Ne7 8. Qd2 b6 9.
Na3 a6 10. Ne2 c5 11. Bh6 O-O 12. h4 c4 13. Bc2 Rb8 14. h5 Nf5 15. Bxg7 Kxg7
16. hxg6 fxg6 17. Bxf5 Rxf5 18. Qh6+ 1-0

One Night Quick

Round 1

This game ended in a stalemate.  I had 2 minutes, but with 2 connected pawns, a knight, and rook vs. a bare king, that only made the stalemate easy.  I saw my blunders in this game as soon as I had played them.  The last two moves are not right, he played his rook, then I played …e5, and he hung his Nc4 like I showed.  Well, this is quick-chess, so just recording the game is part of the achievement.

This was Zach’s first rated tournament game ever, I was the only one keeping score of my games.  When I play new players like this in quick-chess, well for me it is like research, I wanted to know what my opponent’s strength’s and weaknesses were – dropping a piece early only assisted me in this endeavor.

[Event “One Night Quick”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.07.31”]
[Round “1”]
[White “Zachory Anguiano”]
[Black “Brian Rountree”]
[Result “1/2-1/2”]
[BlackElo “1908”]
[ECO “C20”]
[EventDate “2018.07.31”]
[TimeControl “G/20, d/5”]

1. e4 e5 2. h3 d5 3. d3 Nf6 4. Bg5 c6 5. g4 Bc5 6. a3 Be6 7. b4 Bxf2+ 8. Kxf2
Nxg4+ 9. hxg4 Qxg5 10. Rh5 Qxg4 11. Qxg4 Bxg4 12. Rg5 Be6 13. Rxg7 Na6 14. Bh3
Ke7 15. Bf5 Kf6 16. Rxh7 Rxh7 17. Bxh7 Rh8 18. Bf5 Bxf5 19. exf5 Rh2+ 20. Ke3
Rxc2 21. Ne2 c5 22. b5 d4+ 23. Kf2 Nc7 24. a4 Nd5 25. Na3 Rd2 26. Nc4 Rxd3 27.
a5 Rb3 28. a6 b6 29. Rh1 Rxb5 30. Rh8 Nc7 31. Rc8 Nxa6 32. Ra8 Rb4 33. Nd2 Rb2
34. Ke1 Nb4 35. Rxa7 Nd3+ 36. Kd1 e4 37. Ng3 Ne5 38. Nc4 Nxc4 0-1

Round 2

[Event “One Night Quick”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.07.31”]
[Round “2”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Joey Arispe”]
[Result “1-0”]
[BlackElo “1231”]
[ECO “D85”]
[EventDate “2018.07.31”]
[TimeControl “G/20, d/5”]
[WhiteElo “1908”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. e4 Nb6 6. Be2 Bg7 7. Be3 e6 8. f4
O-O 9. Nf3 Nc6 10. O-O Re8 11. Rc1 a6 12. Qd2 Nd7 13. d5 Ne7 14. dxe6 fxe6 15.
Rfd1 Kh8 16. Ng5 Rf8 17. Nxe6 Qe8 18. Nxc7 Qd8 19. Ne6 Qe8 20. Nxg7 Kxg7 21.
Bd4+ Nf6 22. e5 Nfg8 23. Ne4 Be6 24. Ng5 Nd5 25. Nxe6+ Qxe6 26. Bc4 Nge7 27. g3
Rad8 28. Qg2 b5 29. Bb3 a5 30. a3 Rd7 31. Kh1 Rfd8 32. Bc5 Nf5 33. h3 h5 34.
Kh2 Kh6 35. Qf3 Kh7 36. Bd6 Nxd6 37. Bxd5 1-0

Round 3

I played 1.d4 mainly to see how Mark would react to my playing 1.d4, chess-wise, and to find out his level of prep, etc, get the game away from any beaten path.

[Event “One Day Quick”]
[Site “CSCC”]
[Date “2018.07.31”]
[Round “3”]
[White “Brian Rountree”]
[Black “Mark McGough”]
[Result “0-1”]
[BlackElo “1850”]
[ECO “E21”]
[EventDate “2018.07.31”]
[TimeControl “G/20, d/5”]
[WhiteElo “1908”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 c5 5. a3 cxd4 6. axb4 dxc3 7. bxc3 Qc7 8.
Qd3 d5 9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. Bb2 Nd7 11. e4 Nf4 12. Qe3 e5 13. g3 Ne6 14. Rxa7 Rxa7
15. Qxa7 O-O 16. Bd3 Nb6 17. Nxe5 Rd8 18. Ke2 Qxe5 19. Qxb6 Qh5+ 20. f3 Bd7 21.
h4 Bc6 22. g4 Qh6 23. Qe3 Nf4+ 24. Kf1 Rxd3 25. Qa7 Ne6 0-1

 

Final Round, Classical Wednesdays

Round 4

I was supposed to play Ken, but he was a no-call, no-returned call, no-show and thus that was it, my tournament was over and I finished this tournament thusly with a 1908 rating, two points away from my highest rating of 1910 five years ago.

Blaine was showing Jesse some of his Cad-Cam work, and since I hadn’t been introduced I didn’t know that he was a fellow chess-player.  He told me before our quick-chess game G/24, d/5 (it’s not dual-rated) that he was once Expert, and in fact was 2048 rated a year and a half ago.

It’s simple what happened, I got into time-pressure with under a minute and a half to his 37 seconds, but I lost my nerve first with a lightening quick capture of the pawn.  I could see I was losing my queen before I took his pawn, that’s how fast of a motion that I made this move, like a one second move.

He had noticed earlier that he could have won my Bc5 when I castled …0-0??, but that’s the difference between quick-chess and classical, all of one’s flaws come out.

Later, Blaine showed me this line in more detail, and even explained it conceptually, when we played practice games with it, so it was good experience for me with the Black pieces.  We thoroughly analyzed our quick-game first, though.  He said that he learned this system as White from an Expert or Master who played for the Army.  Naturally, I’d have to write a lot more to explain it all here.  That’s why I chose Black, because I wanted to see if he had some kind of system as White.  hehe.

Still, it’s always a bit demoralizing to get smacked around by someone’s White system when they can play at Expert strength for most of the time.  This was the best outcome of going to the club, learning something new from a player I’d never faced before.  Eventually, I caught on to how to play against his system, and was doing alright when we abandoned our last blitz game (we didn’t use a clock for this part, though).