Scottish Championship 2019 (Part 3)
Photo credit: GM Nikita Meshkovs

Scottish Championship 2019 (Part 3)

FM HustleTime

Hi All,

After a wee bit of a delay here comes the Part 3 (out of 3) of my blog series covering my experiences at this year's Scottish Championship held in Edinburgh, Scotland (If you missed the previous posts you can find them here - Part 1 and Part 2).

Just to remind you where I am at after first 6 rounds of the tournament - 4 points out of 6, 1 loss against GM Gormally Daniel and two draws against lower rating players - so nothing special now, and the question remains - will I be able to pull together a good finish of the tournament?

Round 7

In round 7 I was paired to play Macqueen Calum 2217 from Scotland with Black pieces. A must win game for me pretty much, and so I was ready to fight!

So round 7 had it's ups and downs, but luckily I managed to end on top! I was happy with my opening play, however, middle game was a nightmare. Anyway - you live and learn!

Round 8

Finally I was getting White pieces, but against a player who has been on fire in the tournament until now - clearly going for an IM norm - all he needed is to make a draw and he scores the norm. So in my preparations for the round the key objective was to get him out of his comfort zone and surprise him with the opening.

Certainly an interesting game, and while I didn't get much out of the opening, the preparation was definitely a psychological win, which fortunately converted into a full point!

Round 9

I was hoping somehow I would get White pieces in the last round, which would make it much easier to fight for a win, but unfortunately no luck there. I was paired to play IM Eggleston David from England with Black. The objective of the game was to play for a draw and hopefully my opponent would overpush giving me chances to play for a win.

This was a very fortunate game as I managed to survive the problems which arose in the opening stage. Afterwards precise calculation and keeping my cool brought me the point. 

To conclude, in last 3 games I managed to score 3 wins and in the final tournament standings this allowed my to climb all the way up to sharing 1st-2nd place with GM Turner Matthew from Scotland! While my tournament performance wasn't even close to IM norm, I was still very happy with scoring 7 point in 9 games. 

This brings me closer to my first goal - achieving IM title, as after the tournament my FIDE rating climbed up to 2364.

Hope you enjoyed the blog series and do let me know if you have any questions!

GM Turner Matthew and myself holding the trophy of the championship!
Credits: Chess Scotland

Final standings:

Many thanks,

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