As promised here comes the post about the recent tournament, where I managed to score my first IM norm. Between 18-23 October I was participating in one of the Copenhagen's best clubs anniversary tournament (ØBRO jubilæumsturnering). It was an invitational tournament with 44 participants. With my modest 2199 rating I was 29th seed on the starting rank and quite a few strong GMs and IMs had signed up for the event, so I was super-excited!
I was paired with Black against Swedish GM Daniel Semcesen (ELO: 2457). Being the first round there was no real possibility to prepare before the round, so I was psychologically prepared for a tough first round.
The game lasted more than 4,5 hours, but in the end I was super-excited to start the tournament with a draw with Black pieces against a GM.
An hour after making a draw against Semcesen I found out that the next day in round 2 I will be facing with White pieces GM Jacob Vang Glud (ELO: 2517) from Denmark. While trying to prepare for the game I discovered that my opponent against 1.d4 usually played some Queens Gambit Orthodox lines, so I checked some of the variations just to make sure to not fall in some theoretical trap there.
In short - my opponent wanted to win too badly, so I took advantage of that and managed to win. This game took around 4,5 hours, and I had around 1,5 hour to relax & prepare for round 3. At this point I realized that this tournament might turn into something really good as I had scored 1,5 points in two games against GMs.
I was paired against a young FM Thybo S. Jesper (ELO: 2358). I always find it difficult to play against younger players as they are most often really good prepared for the games. Luckily, I don't have many games in the database, so it was difficult for Jesper to prepare a concrete line.
Even though I lost 3rd round, I was still feeling pretty good about the tournament. However, I was getting a bit tired as all first 3 games lasted 4,5 hours and both day 2 and day 3 in the tournament had 2 games each of the days.
White pieces against Peter Larsen (ELO: 2251) - I was feeling pretty confident before this game. I checked my opponent in the database, where I could see he has played several different lines against 1.d4 including Grundfield and Volga Gambit.
Even though it wasn't a perfect game as my opponent had some chances to make a draw in the end, it was a good game as at no point was I risking to lose. And of course it was nice to win the game as I was aiming to score an IM norm!
After round 4 I was physically exhausted as before round 4 I woke up early and I had to use some hours for my work. So before round 5 I decided to take a nap on the couch in the chess club (no it is not common to do so in Denmark
). I got some really good sleep there, but unfortunately I woke up just 3 minutes before the next game was supposed to start, so I didn't have any time to prepare for the game + I was REALLY sleepy. And once I checked the pairings I knew that this game is going to be no walk in the park as I was facing IM Mikkel Antonsen with Black pieces.
As you can see Round 5 was a one-sided battle. This was the first game in tournament where I didn't put on a real fight, but just lost without even getting out of the opening. I wasn't feeling good about the game, but still felt strong about the tournament otherwise. Lesson here: don't play openings you don't know and it's not the best idea to be sleepy during the game.
With 4 rounds left, I knew I had win some more games in order to get the IM norm, so I was trying to get into fighting spirit..
Part 2 of my reflections of this tournament will follow shortly..