Reykjavik Open 2014 – Deja Vu (Round 6)

Iceland is pretty far from France (and from pretty much everything else for that matter) but words and ideas know no boundaries. So you’ll excuse my French, but deja vu sums up very nicely my Round 6 game.

It was another Norwegian, another 5-hour game, this time the longest of the 5-hour games with 78 moves. And you can say another win, since now my score against Norwegians in this tournament is 3.5/4.
My opponent surprised me in the opening, playing the Rubinstein Variation in the Nimzo-Indian, something he had never played before. So I had to think of something to surprise him and I came up with the old Smyslov idea of 8…Qe7 in the Main Line, which is hardly played nowadays. I had analysed it a long time ago and couldn’t remember anything of the analysis, but at least this set him thinking. I got a comfortable position, but I wasn’t very precise in the early middlegame and a curious situation arose when I had all my pieces in ideal positions, but that was exactly the problem – I couldn’t improve my position any more while he could, so every move I made only made my position worse! On top of that I was spending masses of time (couldn’t find moves!) and by move 22 I was in severe time trouble, with a very unpleasant position. He was playing very well and was winning, but he also got into time trouble and then it became very messy. When the air cleared I somehow emerged a pawn up and managed to convert it.
Tomorrow’s game is again at 1pm, so time is short once more. The pairings are out, I’m playing white against Cawdery from South Africa. The pairing system likes extremes it seems, from Norway to South Africa! Time to rest and prepare now.
Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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