Back At The Board

It was a busy summer that eventually saw me travel again and sit at the board in an OTB tournament.

I write this just as the Second Spanish Division ended in Linares. I always love coming to Linares. The first time I came to play here was in 2002. I distinctly remember that tournament because the open where I played was held alongside the main event. The organisers even had the good sense to start the games of the open half an hour later than the ones from the supertournament, so that players from the open could come and watch Kasparov and co. first and then go and play their games.

I did that every single day. My tournament didn’t go so well, but I loved being in the main hall watching the great players. I remember how Kasparov won the decisive game for tournament victory against Ponomariov and being shocked at the what seemed over-the-top exuberant joy of his mother. His second Dokhoian didn’t show any emotion, as usual.

The Spanish Federation was and is one of the most active ones in these pandemic times. This year they continued with organisation of youth championships en masse and the Segunda Division was no exception, with 48 teams participating. They have their health rules and they follow them, which seems to work as, knock on wood, no cases have emerged.

The only thing I disliked was playing with a mask on, I would have preferred a plexiglass divider, like in Germany last year, but I didn’t have a say in the matter.

These events are always great fun. My team wasn’t a strong one, so we had no ambition except to enjoy the games and the time spent together. We managed to do that, though the result at the end was disappointing.

My own play was OK-ish. After the hybrid event in May, which wasn’t exactly OTB, this was my first event since last year’s Bundesliga in March. It didn’t feel strange to play after such a long break, but I could feel that things were not going smoothly. I will write more about this feeling in one of my next newsletters (to which you can subscribe using the yellow box on the right).

Generally speaking I played normally, but I missed a few wins and I also dodged one loss. I didn’t lose any games, drawing 3 and winning 2.

Here is a nice technical effort against a FM.

Who knows when my next OTB event will be, but at least I got to play chess again.

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