Reykjavik Open 2015 – Rounds 4&5

Yesterday was one of those days, when I feel uneasy for no particular reason, uncomfortable with myself physically and anxious psychologically. Usually I lose my games when I feel like that, no matter what I do. It’s funny how I still haven’t discovered a way to changed this trend (because these days happen and you cannot do much about it) and perhaps suffer less damage. And I have tried so many things, believe me!

When I arrived at the board the appearance of my opponent (IM Poley, rated 2269) only increased my uneasiness. Negative energy emanating (although he turned out to be quite OK in the post-mortem) and sheer determination not to lose. I don’t like it when I play aggressive and determined guys, they seem to attack my inner peace, which I need to play well (something similar Smyslov said of Geller, he felt the same of Geller’s negativity (“attacking his search for harmony”) and often would accept draws just to finish the game. Take a look at Smyslov’s later results against Geller for proof that this sort of aggression works – starting from their Candidates match in 1965 until their last game in 1995 (30 years!) Geller beat Smyslov 6 times with 0 losses, with many draws. Before 1965 Smyslov dominated Geller with 8-3). In the game I played badly, making many miscalculations and bad judgements and after many adventures the game finally reached a drawn position:

White just checks the king and there’s no place to hide. But quite confidently he played 65…Kg3??? and after my 66 Rh3 the game ended quickly. What can I say? He blamed it on the length of the game and his fatigue, perhaps he’s right.

In Round 5 I decided to take a half-a-point bye, so I’ll be having some rest by visiting the hotel sauna and jacuzzi. World Champion Magnus Carlsen is supposed to come today and visit the tournament, so hopefully I’ll be able to get some shots of him (mobile phones are not allowed in the playing hall for players and that’s the only camera I have. Luckily I don’t play today).

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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