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Malmo Open

Malmo Open

HustleTime
Dec 27, 2016, 2:48 AM 4

Dear Reader,

In the last minute the opportunity rose to play the Malmo Open in Sweden and I surely jumped straight at it!  So in the weekend between 16-18 December I played a 7-round tournament in Malmo with over 300 participants and the time control for the first 4 games was 55 minutes with a 5 second increment per move and in the last 3 games it was 110 minutes + 10 second increment per move.

Round 1

Round 2
While round 2 was not nearly as easy as round 1, in general, I think I played a good game. My time management wasn't good enough and in the middle game, I should have tried to simplify the position somehow instead of putting my King in danger.
Round 3
In this round I was paired against my club-mate with Black pieces. I had never played him before and there was no time for preparation, but luckily we played a variation I've had a lot of games before.
Round 4
The last round of the games with 55 minutes + 5 seconds per move time control. So far I had scored 3 out of 3 and it was time to face the music in shape of the highest rated player in the tournament. If before the round 3 I was slightly annoyed to play second game in a row with Black pieces, than now I was thankful for that as I was playing GM Solodovnichenko Yuri (FIDE: 2573) with White. There was really no time to prepare, which obviously is annoying when playing such a strong guy.
Obviously I was disappointed to lose the game, but still happy to have played a balanced game for the most part of it even though I wasn't familiar with the position, which rose after the opening.
Round 5
The first round with more serious time control, so it was time to forget the loss in round 4 and adjust the playing speed to the new control in order to get the best out of this last game on the day.  
Round 6
In this round I was paired with Black against Swedish GM Hans Tikkanen. In the database i saw that Hans plays many different openings as White. So as for my preparation I just repeated a couple of possible lines, but nothing too specific. 
Even though I didn't manage to win the game, I did put a lot of pressure on my opponent and in the end shouldn't have been afraid of complications. I guess this is a psychological issue, as I have had games before, where playing against higher rated players at some during the games I go for simplifications instead of the decisive punch - something to work on.
Round 7
In the last round I was playing with White pieces against a lower rated opponent. Not sure whether because of the missed chances in round 4 and 6 or because I was playing a lower rated player, psychologically I wasn't at my best during the game, hence also the result - even though I didn't lose the game, I think this was the worst game of the tournament in terms of game quality.
Somehow, I didn't take the game seriously, and I almost managed to lose. This is completely unacceptable as any stronger player would have punished me for this careless play. Through the whole game I played really quickly, also in situations, where I should have stopped and evaluated the different possible continuations. 
Final results:
In the end I finished on 17th place with 5 points out of 7 and gaining 10 rating points. While I did play some really good games, in some of the decisive moments, due to my psychology I made the wrong decisions. So all in all, it wasn't that I was playing bad chess, but it was more that my mindset was not always right, which is surely something I need to improve to reach my goal.
Thank you for taking your time to read my post!  Please let me know your thoughts about the games or anything else.
See you at the tables! 
Cheers,
Ritvars

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