Grenke Open 2017, game analysis, part 2
It's been a while since Part 1 of my game analysis at Grenke Open, but finally here it comes!
After first 3 rounds I had 2 points out of 3 (see more about how it happened here), with no surprises so far.
I was paired with Black pieces against Hund Sarah (rated 1947) from Switzerland. I couldn't find many relevant games in the database in order to prepare, however, I could see that she was having a pretty good tournament thus far as she had beaten some 2100-2200+ players, so I certainly shouldn't underestimate her.
While not a perfect game, it had a pretty nice finish to it and I had 3 points out of 4, and White pieces in the next game against probably a stronger opponent, so all was good.
I was paired as expected against a stronger opponent - IM Yankelevich Lev (rated 2421). I briefly checked his games in the database and saw he was playing both Grunfield and KID against d4. There was not much time to prepare for the game as pairings appeared just 10 minutes before the round start, but at least I knew what to expect.
A really quick and uneventful game in round 5, however, it made me realize that when playing higher rated opponents I tend to not play for a win, but have more of a draw-oriented mindset and I mostly try to win in case my opponent pushes too much and misses something. Obviously this isn't really a good way of thinking, but in the same time, it is not so easy to change this mindset. Let me know if you have any suggestions how to deal with this!
Going into the round 6 the tournament situation seemed to be fine 3,5 points out of 5 while having played 2 stronger players and 3 lower rated players. Thanks to the short game in round 5, I also had enough time to rest, which is very important in a tournament with double rounds 4 days in a row!
In round 6 I was paired with Black pieces against young IM Kevlishvili Robby (rated 2417) from the Netherlands. I checked his games in the database, but didn't manage to prepare a specific variation as he had been playing several options against the Sicilian.
In the opening I got an unpleasant position, but then I managed to use my opponent's lack of precision and won a nice game!
It was nice to finish quickly round 6, get decent rest and White pieces in round 7. I was paired against IM Noel Studer (rated 2486 and, who scored his last GM norm at this very tournament - congrats to him!).
Officially the worst game of the tournament (ok, round 3 was bad as well, just my opponent didn't use her chances). I checked the variation after the tournament and realized I have to find a new way of dealing with the Nimzowitsch.
I was quite upset with my play in round 7, but on the bright side, the game didn't last long, so I didn't spend too much energy on it and was fresh again for the last day of the tournament and round 8 and 9.
Round 8 I was paired with Black pieces against GM Andreev Eduard (rated 2438) from Ukraine.
What a 5-hour long roller-coaster in this round. I was glad to survive the game in the end, and a bit disappointed I didn't try to win in the end.
In the final round of the tournament I was paired with Black pieces against FM Bruedigam Martin (rated 2403). I was a bit disappointed to have Black second time in a row and still psychologically in the round 8 game, which is not the perfect condition before the game. In addition to that, I needed to win the game to score my 2nd IM norm. At least a relief was that no matter how I finish this game, my rating will be above 2300, which has been my goal for a while.
Another roller-coaster game in the final round of Grenke Open 2017. I think in the end I could have saved the game into a draw, but just didn't realize it.
To conclude, I played some good games and some not as good (round 3, 7 and parts of the games in round 8 and 9). However, all in all I'm satisfied with the result, and thanks to my performance now I can call myself a Fide Master! This also means that within the last 6 months I have gained a little over 100 rating points, which is pretty good!
On a more serious note, I see there are many flaws in my play, which I will try to fix in the coming months. Nevertheless, I hope you found my games interesting and please let me know if you have any suggestions and/or feedback as to what I could do better in future!
Next week I'm playing another tournament - Copenhagen Chess Challenge 2017 with a strong lineup, so hopefully I can play some interesting and good games there.
See you at the tables!!