Scottish Championship 2019 (Part 2)
Photo Credits: GM Nikita Meshkovs

Scottish Championship 2019 (Part 2)

FM HustleTime

Hi All, 

Hope you have had a fantastic weekend and so here comes the continuation of my blog series on Scottish Championships 2019. (You can find Part 1 here)

So after the first 3 rounds I was standing at 2.5 points out of 3, which is not bad, however, since I drew round 1, the mix of my opponents wasn't very strong, and I had already pretty much lost all my hopes and dreams to score my last IM norm, which was kind of the main goal of the tournament.

Nevertheless, in Round 4 I was paired against GM Gormally Daniel W from England, and so I was looking forward to a fun game (aka stressing out about not getting completely crushed ).

Round 4

All in all I think it was an interesting game. I really liked how I played the opening stage of the game, but unfortunately my time management wasn't good enough and I got lost somewhere in the middlegame. Either way it was a good feeling to fight with a GM on equal terms, so just need to keep improving and I will get there.  

Round 5

After the loss in Round 4 it was obviously important to bounce-back to keep in the competition for the top spots in the tournament. I was paired White against Shafi Declan from Scotland (2146) and I was ready to do my best to win the game.

Obviously my opening choice was not very ambitious, but I really liked how I played the rest of the game. Everything went really smooth and I was never really in trouble. 3.5 out of 5 - still a long way to go to be able to fight for the top spots in the tournament.

Round 6

When I saw pairings, I thought this is great - I have White pieces again, and my opponent is an older IM from Ireland rated 2075. Everything was back in my hands and so I prepared for the game very seriously.

This game clearly pointed out one of the holes in my opening repertoire. I will need to work out an alternative solution as soon as possible. Otherwise people preparing for games against me will always find this easy way of equalizing the game, and this is not something I want when I am playing with the White pieces. 

At this point to call this a successful tournament I needed to score 3 wins in the last 3 games. Do you think I succeeded? 

Part 3 of the tournament review coming very soon - stay tuned!