In this Blog post, I thought that I would would give you a personal run down of the highs and lows that I encountered in my last chess tournament, The London Chess Classic.
The London Chess Classic takes place every December and is a explosion of all types of chess. There is the top invitational section, featuring some of the worlds best players, but I am ignoring that here; deciding to only concentrate on the events that I played in.
Those events were the FIDE open event and rapid play event. My first lose in the FIDE section came against the talented Alexsandr Lenderman who came up with an amazing concept in the Endgame.
Such a piece sacrifice required a great level of understanding combined with a certain level of braveness. It struck a note in me as I couldn't recall seeing a similar idea in my adventures as a chess player, even though I am sure that there are many examples out there. (if you can recall any, please do add them in the comments section) Here is a video of that encounter, if that is your preferred media form.
The FIDE section was a bit of a disappointing to me after a rather pathetic loss from me in the last round.
If you are interested in learning the London System, then I am shortly doing a full series for Chess.com, but the following video may also be of use to you.
A rubbish way to end the tournament. It so often happens that the last round of a competition is so important and in this case I simply played like a fool.
On to the rapid event which started the next day. I was pretty determined to play well here, and to at least prove to myself that I still had some bite. The day started well, I could feel myself in the zone during the next pretty game.
This game was also a first for me as I have never had the chance to meet a check with a checkmate! This put me on 4/4 with one game on day one to go. I was facing ex British Champion, Jonathan Hawkins. All results were possible but the game ended in a draw.
4.5/5 not a bad start. A couple of beers and some sleep then ensured I was feeling to be in a good frame of mood for the morning game the next day. The pairings went up 5 minutes before the game was due to start and I was facing the top seed, Hrant Melkumyan, who has a rapid grade of 2740. This game was a real heart breaker, short of time around move 45 I managed to miss a number of easy wins. My advantage of +5 gradually plummeted until I eventually lost the game.
Throwing a away a great chance to have a great tournament. I have always thought that 30min/rapid chess is my strongest event. Enough time to think, yet also quick enough to play on feel. After this poor game, I stumbled some what with the remaining games. Anyway, lots of food for thought for me. Hopefully 2017 will bring some great victories!