Oh Hello Dear Reader!
It has been 2 weeks now since I posted the first part of the review of my most recent tournament. I have been rather busy with some non-chess related stuff like upcoming exams, running projects at uni and occasionally also attending to some of my work duties.. Nevertheless, I got some really good feedback/advice after my first two posts, which I am truly thankful for and I can already see myself moving closer to the goal! Enough blabbering and let's get back to the topic.
Short recap - after the first 5 rounds I had earned 2,5 points out of 5, which doesn't seem to be much at the first glance, nevertheless, I was mostly happy with both my game and the result. Funnily enough in round 6 I was paired against the number 2 rated player in the tournament - Hungarian GM, Medvegy Zoltan (ELO: 2557). As I played round 5 with black pieces, I thought that I am playing with White against Zoltan, so I prepared a couple of lines against his main weapon with Black - the Nimtzovitz defence.
When I came to the game, I realized I had made a mistake when checking the pairings..., I WAS SUPPOSED TO PLAY BLACK!!! All preparation for nothing! But my biggest worry was, how to get a half-decent position after opening against such a strong player.
This probably was the most uplifting game in tournament, as I had never beaten a GM in a classical game with Black pieces.
In round 7 I was paired with White pieces against Rostgaard Tobias (ELO: 2283). In database I could see that Tobias plays the main line of Tarasch against d4. I saw that he has been getting pretty good positions in this line, so I decided to play a side line instead.
What a game! I had a slightly more pleasant position after the opening, but then out of nowhere I decided to give up exchange and luckily managed to hold a draw. Not the best game, but in the end I was happy with the result.
In the round 8 I was paired with White pieces against another young Danish talent Boe Olsen Philip (ELO: 2241). Even though he had been playing a lot, I couldn't find a good game in the database to prepare against him. Nevertheless, as the tournament was going so good for me, I was feeling confident.
After this game with 'the right' pairings in the last round I might have already secured the IM norm even if I lost the last game. Nevertheless, I realized that I had played with too many Danish players, so if in the last round I am paired against a Dane, there is no chance for me to score the desired norm.
Late on Saturday evening I found out that all the stars are aligned in my favor in this tournament - I got paired against the number 1 rated player in the tournament - GM Sabino Brunelli (ELO: 2566) from Italy with Black pieces... AND SECURED MY IM NORM regardless of what's the result in the last game. I briefly looked at Sabino's games in the database and saw he played everything.., so I didn't prepare much in the end.
So in the end I managed to make a draw against a strong GM and finish the tournament on a really good note - earning my first IM norm and gaining 65 rating points! In total I scored 5,5 points while it was enough for the norm with just 5!
This is my best tournament I have played so far in my chess career, which I see as a new chapter in chess for me.
Main takeaways from the tournament:
-I can successfully play against higher rated players and GMs
-Even GMs sometimes have bad tournaments and then it is up to the rest of the players to take advantage of this
-Øbro is a fantastic club, and I hope to play a tournament there soon!
-Mental preparation means a lot - I was both preparing for the games by checking the games in dartabases, but in addition to that, I also did quite some mental preparation (more about this in my future posts!)
Thank you for stopping by and reading my post & I hope you had as much fun reading it as I did while writing it. Please leave your advice/feedback or any other comments here as I highly appreciate your feedback!
See you at the tables!