I present two of my games from the Llucmajor open. In the first I played the eventual winner Fedorchuk. It was a very complex game, even while analysing it I noticed the engine changing evaluations quite often. The game was balanced for most of the time and I think I lost because he was more practical. For example, he missed my 27th move, which I played, but it was a bad move, just losing a pawn! Yet he didn’t spend much time trying to refute it, he quickly moved the bishop to e2. Starting from move 18 he started to play really fast, often at the expense of the quality of his moves. But he always made solid moves, even if they were not always the best they were never bad ones. This was the only game from the tournament where I was in time-trouble and the only one where I couldn’t implement my pre-tournament strategy of playing fast and solid – in fact that is what he did! Still, it was a good fight and another proof that the idea to play quickly and soundly is a very good one!
The second game was my best effort in Llucmajor. I think my opponent improvised with the (probably) refuted Schara-Hennig Gambit and I quickly got a winning position. Then I wasn’t very precise in my calculations and instead of winning quickly I entered a technical endgame where I had the advantage of the pair of bishops in an open position. What makes this game good for me is the fact that the realisation process was very smooth. It doesn’t happen too often to me, but this time I played my moves without much thinking and everything seemed to fall into place. After the game I remembered what Botvinnik wrote about a game of his, something along the lines of “my tactical vision failed me again, but I could always rely on my technique.” Not bad at all feeling like The Patriarch!