4NCL 2015 – Rounds 5&6

It is strange to play after a long break. My last game was on the 2nd of September last year, which makes it five and a half months since then, probably my longest ever break from competitive play!

When I sat at the board three days ago, I felt as if the connection between the brain, the hand and the pieces needed to be re-established again. When I play often that connection feels natural and firm, but now I wasn’t sure how it would be. I was wary because of that, but, surprisingly, it went pretty well.

My first game was against FM Berry in the match where my team Cheddleton faced Barbican 2. We won all our games with white while we drew everthing with black, so we won 6-2.

The big match was on the Sunday morning at 11am. We played the champions, Guildford, England’s only remaining super-team (after the demise of Wood Green). We were outrated on every board, but as the match went it was clear that we had all the chances to win it – in one moment we were winning on the last 3 boards while on the others we weren’t worse. But that moment passed and we lost on board 8 while we failed to convert the advantages on boards 7 and 6. So eventually we lost 1-0 with 7 draws. Too bad, as a victory in this match could have won us the title!

I played black against GM Jones, rated 2670 and England’s number 3. I expected him to play 1 e4, but with little time to prepare (the pairings are announced only 90 minutes before the start of the round, plus you need to check out of the hotel) he went for 1 c4 instead.

I think I played two good games especially taking into account my period of inactivity. My next tournament isn’t too far away – Reykjavik Open starts on the 10th of March!

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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  • Feb 19,2015 at 12:22 am

    Thank you! It wasn't really a holiday, but the long period did introduce some changes in my thought processes. Which I think is inevitable after periods of self-inspection and reflection.

  • Anonymous
    Feb 18,2015 at 9:40 am

    It is obvious that your holiday was welcome. Really good games full of self-confidence and clear thinking.

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