Category : My Tournaments

Coming Up Next: My Schedule

After the long winter break I’m hitting the road again, just like Jack. But before that I’ll warm up at the traditional blitz tournament organised by my club Alkaloid this Saturday at Hotel Continental. Blitz is always fun so it should be a time nicely spent in a friendly atmosphere.

After the blitz it’s show time in Reykjavik. It will be my first visit to this Nordic country and the first time I play in one of the world’s most famous open tournaments. Apart from being famous, it is also one of the strongest open tournaments in the world, so far there are 263 registered participants with 27 GMs. You can see the complete list here http://www.reykjavikopen.com/info/participants/

After the apalling showing at the 4NCL I hope to do better, but I do not have any high hopes, my aim will be to show better play. It will be good to see that all the work I put in during the winter hasn’t gone in vain.

I will try to post from Reykjavik, but this will obviously depend on the internet access. The organisers say that Garry Kasparov will visit the tournament for 2 days, so that should be interesting, too. There are many side events during the tournament, one being the famous Golden Circle tour, but this time specially tailored for chess players, as it includes visit to the resting place of Bobby Fischer.

Looks like exciting times are ahead! Forward and upwards!

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4NCL Rounds 5 and 6

It’s pretty late (2.15am) in London and my bus to Victoria is at 4am, followed by an hour-trip to the airport and a flight at 8.45am. I didn’t sleep much today as I had to play at 11am, so it was a long day. But let’s start from the beginning.

They say there’s always a first time for everything and this weekend was a first timer for me as well. Alas, it was not a pleasant first-time experience. I have played in many leagues and I had never lost two games over a weekend. This time it happened.

In round 5 my team Cheddleton played against Blackthorne Russia and we were the favourites to win. Win we did, but only yours truly spoiled it a bit as the only one to lose a game. I played black against the solid IM Richard Bates, who always plays the Catalan. I chose a modern and risky gambit line and obtained a good and complex position, only to start spoiling it with every subsequent move. My thoughts lacked clarity and I was feeling as if my head was full of fog. Possibly all because of the longer lay off from practical play?! My opponent played well and even though I resisted until move 55, I never had a chance.

The round 6 was the big derby against Guildford. We were equal on match points so the winner of the match would win the Pool A with a round to go. It’s worth mentioning here that last year we were trashed 8-0 against them so this year I even dared to publicly announce on Twitter that this time it won’t be the same! I was right, but that was a small consolation. We lost 6.5-1.5, the GingerGM (Simon Williams) scoring our only victory (over GM Marc Hebden) and IM Jonathan Hawkins drawing on board 1 against GM Matthew Sadler. Everybody else lost. I ran into some good preparation in an obscure line against GM Romain Edouard, but I thought I was reacting well for the time being. But then something strange happened, as white’s position very rapidly started to deteriorate at move 15 and by move 20 I was practically lost! This is a rare occurence in chess, but it can happen in these hypermodern openings – W seemingly plays sensibly and puts his pieces in the centre when all of a sudden the trend turns against him and he’s run over. I will analyse this game more deeply and will undoubtedly learn much from it!

Everybody reacts differently to set-backs. I have always tried to bounce right back, stronger and more motivated. Now is a time to analyse the mistakes, learn from them, forget them and come back winning. And that’s what I intend to do again.

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