From 17th untill the 19th of June, the IJmond Vierkampen 2011"-tournament took place. It means that one plays in a group of four against every other competitor. My three rounds, and my rating is 1378, were against a kid of my age of +/- 1450, and two older men of 1360 and 1464. You should see this tournament as one with a nice and friendly atmosphere, but quite quiet when playing. Note that us four weren't the only one, it was a total of 60 players in the back room of a pub, with the top players being rated 2125-2373! (That groups winner would get the chance to play in the "Cultural Village Tournament", and that winner goes straight through to group C of the "TataSteel/Corus chess tournament" in Wijk aan Zee!)
I came with another member in my club, rated 1540, who did wonderful well with 2 out of 3, being shared first. Before the tournament started, at 6 pm, we did a few games, and then listened to the speech. Then round 1 started, and I played against the 17-yo boy. I knew he plays the Petroff-defense (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6) and I don't like that ;), so I decided to try an opening which I never use in OTB-games: the Kings gambit. That seems to be quite a risk, but luckily he doesn't know the opening very well. I got quite an edge, but after exchanging, I took too many risk and ended up in a draw.
And I started with 0,5 out of 1, with quite an interesting game. (Should study the Kings gambit a bit more perhaps before incidentally play it in a tourney ;P ) After a good night asleep - very important in chess! - Saturday at 1pm the journey continued. My opponent blundered yesterday, by trying to castle kingside with white, while there was a a6-bishop keeping an eye at f1. After 6.Kd2, the game was soon lost. He played much better against me, in a Scottish game. Luckily, from a database I know the theory, because no-one at my club plays it! He unfortunately gives up a pawn, and giving me the opportunity to take over the lead and winning the game.
And there I was, with 1,5 out of 2. Unfortunately, the fourth player (my Sunday-opponent) won both his games, standing at 100%.
We fast forward to Sunday, where I went back to Wijk aan Zee with a great feeling. I would be (shared) 2nd anyway, and with a win even first. My opponent lost from my friend who went with me (see above), so it shouldn't be impossible for me either. The game started at 12pm (very difficult, when should I eat?!) and I got a Sicilian defense in front of me, which I hate! I came up with the Grand Prix Attack - but then the Bert-variant, self-developed ;) - to get a quick kingside attack. Here's how the game went:
Of course the game wasn't finished here, but from here, a tactical blow starts. How did I do that? Try it yourself! (If you find better lines, please let me know.) Note you can always replay the whole game, by clicking "Solution" and "Move list", so you can relax and hopefully enjoyed the way I did!
So, there I was! With 2,5 out of 3 and an astonishing great last game (at least, I felt it that way), I was for the first time in my life winning a chess tournament! (And getting a little cheque of €25!)
Thanks for reading and hopefully enjoying just as I did,