Friday 9 October 2015

My first tournament and more!

In my last post I talked about moving to Europe, having less chess study time and my goal of getting above 1850 FIDE in my first chess tournament. Well time has passed, I am in Europe, I have played my first tournament and was slightly disappointed with my result, although, I am probably being harsh on myself as my current FIDE rating is 1873!!!

I played in the
Hampstead Chess Congress on the 26-27 September 2015, and for my first game I got white vs. Jake Hung (1708). I made a point of not looking at my opponent's ratings, so when I played Jake I did not know what his rating was. I knew the player pool was mostly above 1900 and 2000 so I assumed Jake to be the same. I was pleasantly surprised after the first few opening moves when my opponent played 8..e4, which seemed overly aggressive to me and dangerous for him considering his king side was so underdeveloped.

You can see from the analysis that after this move my advantage in the game rose steadily without much difficulty and the game was finished pretty soon. I doubt I played a splendid game and some inaccuracies got me in slight trouble later on giving my opponent counter-chances, but I managed to finish with a nice mating pattern. Here is the full game.

Having started on the right foot, I knew my opponent would be better in the second game as he also, had won his first game. I played Zoltan Kovacs (2009) as white and neither one of us managed to get a large advantage as we both missed good chances. In the end, we agreed a draw as the position was overly complicated and neither one of us wanted to take many more risks than necessary. I had a good time advantage takes to my opening preparation as I caught my opponent in lines he was unfamiliar with while I executed the first 12 moves very quickly, I should have slowed down for the 14th move though...!

In this position after 13..gxf6 white has a considerable advantage, but I go on to mess it up and give black a decent yet complicated game. You can find the full game here. 

I will be brief about the last three games, which you can find on the same lichess page, but I went on to win the third game in spectacular fashion after over 60 moves, I clinged to a draw for a while as black and eventually got my chance to go for the kill. This allowed me to go into the second day as one of the tourney leaders with 2.5/3 points. I was in dreamland!

On the final two games of the tournament, first I played Koby Kalavannan (1989). In this game I had the pressure of being one of the tourney leaders, I was in contention of the prize money and moreover, Koby decided to reveal to me that he was rated 2170 just a month ago. This probably influenced my game at some points. I did compose myself and gave Koby an extremely good game, he ended up in time trouble first but I quickly joined him as we both lived off 30 second increments. I managed to get a good advantage with a winning position just to eventually leave my knight hanging in the most obvious of fashions! This brain dysfunction (let's call it that) destroyed me emotionally and I never recovered for the next game where I just wasn't myself. Of course, the game against Koby also lasted a full 3 hours so I did not have more than half an hour to recover for my game with James Golding. I probably need a full night's sleep!!

The picture above shows the position after move 38 against Koby, black has enough of an advantage to play for a win but I completely forget my knight is hanging (although I was aware of it) and give Koby the game.

So that was my first tourney, a great first day and a terrible second day for a total score of 2.5/5 and a performance good enough for a FIDE rating of 1873! Above the target I set myself nonetheless. However, after this tournament I left with the strong feeling I can definitely play at a 2000 FIDE level and hence my disappointment to not have scored at least one more point.

I took this confidence into my on-line correspondence games and managed to climb to 1906 rating on chess [dot] com, still not good enough for the 99th percentile, leaving me at 98.2%! I also played confidently an English Chess Federation league game representing the University of Bristol, taking down an opponent rated approximately 2100 FIDE with the black pieces!!! I imagine my ECF (BCF) rating is going up!!! For more details on that victory check out my opponent's match report here 'The luck of the draw'.

Oh, to conclude, if you noticed the University of Bristol mentioned, it's because I am now studying a taught Msc there, it's really time consuming!!! Hence, the lack of blog posts, the lack of chess study and youtube chess videos. Nonetheless, my game is improving with the limited study I do and especially so thanks to my opening preparation, which is done via a web site I will soon release to the world!

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