Tata Steel 2017
GM Eric Hansen
I've just arrived back in Canada from my participation at the Tata Steel Challengers tournament. The tournament was thirteen rounds spread out over sixteen days. When you add the three days I arrived early(to combat jetlag) plus the travel time between North America and Europe you end up with a grueling 3 week long trip! Fourteen players all-play all.
The tournament was an overall success as I finished six spots above my initial rank and gained a sizable chunk of rating to put me at a career best 2616. Inside the numbers I scored 4.5/6 as White against heavy opposition but lagged behind with 3.5/7 as black including three draws to three lower rated players. Failure to beat the players lagging behind was one key difference between me and the podium. The well-known grandmaster strategy of drawing with Black and winning with White is sufficient for a good result in an invitational event but normally not enough to win the event which was the main prize in our event(cash prizes were modest but first place wins a spot in the famous A group). My only concern heading into the event was my openings and unfortunately for me that relative weakness was finally exposed badly in round eleven in the most critical game of my event. That loss to Jones will sting a while but provide ample motivation for me to work on that area.
Here I am showing my win against reigning Dutch champion Van Foreest to the Tata commentator and good friend GM Yasser Seirawan
Not used to having people watch in person
All smiles at the closing ceremony with the underdog and third place finisher of the A-group Adhiban Baskaran!
I've attached a few photos to give you a glimpse of the atmosphere and also have attached a few critical positions from my games. Many chessbrah viewers actually came in person to cheer me on which I can't thank enough for. As for my upcoming plans- I'll be streaming often in February back home with the exception of Valentines day weekend (Feb 18-20) when I will be playing in the US Amateur Team East in New Jersey on team CHESSBRAH. And of course now that I'm back in town I'll be captaining the Montreal Chessbrahs as we go for that league title
PS If you've read this far you're in for a bit of a treat. February 11 Montreal Chessbrahs vs Norway Gnomes is gonna be the PRO match of the year. You're going to like the lineups *cough cough*