Reykjavik Open 2014 – The First Timers (Round 8)

Today it was rainy and windy and that was in no way an improvement over the heavy snowfall over the last few days. I have been to the windy city of Chicago, but the wind I encountered today on my way to the playing hall was definitely the strongest one ever – not only I couldn’t walk in a straight line, swaying left and right all the time, but very often I would walk in place, not being able to move forward at all! The whole situation wasn’t helped by the rain, which was falling (if you can say that) horizontally! No defence against that, I assure you.

By the time I made it to the Harpa, my jeans were soaking wet, from the horizontal rain. Not the most pleasant thing, to play chess in wet clothes. Before the round the organisers announced they would be giving prizes for the best games of each round and I was very surprised when they announced my name as a winner for the best game in the second round! While it is true that the final combination in that game on the themes of domination and zugzwang was pretty, I never expected a prize for it! It is the first time that I win a prize for a best game:

(By the way, I didn’t notice the guy on the side, I just smiled for the cameras. Had I noticed him I probably would have shaken his hand).

I received a certificate and a CD of good old traditional Icelandic music:

After the prize-giving it was that guy on the side in the above photo that gave a short speech before the start of the round. Another first timer for me, listening to Garry how he hated the guys who gave speeches before rounds because they were wasting his time.

But that was it with the first-time experiences, as the game was pretty much a deja vu. Another 5 hour game, another missed chance and another save. In an unorthodox opening a complicated struggle ensued, full of mutual inaccuracies and mistakes. I only had one clear winning chance, on move 25, when I should have played 25…Qc7. Instead I thought I was winning with 25…e4, but I miscalculated and even though I kept the advantage, it was not winning anymore. Then I took another risk in mutual time-trouble when I went for the exchange and allowed him two connected passed pawns on the queenside, refusing his draw offer in the process. But I didn’t manage to create enough counterplay and after the time control, on move 41 I made a mistake after which I was lost, but luckily he accepted my draw offer.

Two more rounds to go. Let’s hope for the best.

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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  • Mar 11,2014 at 11:46 am

    Yeah, I will do that. But first I need to learn how to publish games on the blog! 🙂

  • Anonymous
    Mar 11,2014 at 12:31 am

    Congratulations. Will you comment on the 2 round game in more detail after the tournament?

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