Gibraltar Masters 2020, or how I became an IM! (Part 2)
© Gibraltar International Chess Festival 2020

Gibraltar Masters 2020, or how I became an IM! (Part 2)

FM RitvarsReimanis

Hi All,

Thanks for tuning in for Part 2 of the review of my games at Gibraltar Master 2020 (you can read part 1 here if you haven't done so already).  
So just to quickly recap, after first 3 rounds of the tournament my result was not great, but wasn't terrible neither - 2 draws and a loss, which could mean only one thing - time to start winning some games! 

Round 4

In the 4th round I was paired with black against young and talented player from India (I was actually surprised how many good players from India were participating at the tournament - I think their delegation was definitely 25+ people in the Masters section!).  

Another hard fought draw, which could have ended into another loss instead. During the tournament I realized I need to seriously work on my openings against e4, as in all games against e4 I got in opening-trouble.

Round 5

Believe it or not - in the fifth round I was facing another player from India, but this time with White pieces - the only option was to win the game and so I went full out on it.

I so finally scored my first win in the tournament! With half of the tournament behind I was at 2,5 points out of 5 and my chances were very much alive for the IM norm.

Round 6

In the sixth round I was up against a very known French GM Fabien Libiszewski (FIDE 2522), and when fighting for norms, it's important to take some points from these level players, because otherwise getting a 2450+ performance is very difficult. Unfortunately for me, my opponent was playing e4, and my track record against e4 wasn't great and he had the chance to see the games as well, so the odds were not exactly with me. 

Again - I got in trouble in trouble after the opening, when choosing the wrong plan. Somehow I just don't seem to pick up the right dynamics of the positions when playing against e4. Luckily I managed to organize an interesting pawn break and after losing a pawn, got enough compensation to equalize the game. And then eventually, my opponent over-pressed the position and I used my chance to win.

So far I wasn't showing great play especially in the opening stage, but luckily my fighting spirit and creativity of finding ways to get out of travels was saving me. With 3,5 points out of 6, things look nicely on track.

The famous Gibraltar Rock with a cloud hat on

Stay tuned to read part 3 of the series were I will go through the last 4 games of the tournament or critical turn of events for me to score my final IM norm.