My Experience at the 2018 Chess.com Daily Chess Championship
This is only my 2nd blog post this year. Why? Largely because of the 2018 Chess.com Daily Chess Championship which has taken away a lot of my chesstime. When they announced it in December I immediately signed up. I knew it was going to be a very challenging schedule (and it has been), but I thought it'd be fun to try it nevertheless.
My opening strategy was to play what I normally play over the board with a few twists. I played the London/Jobava Attack as white, and Scandinavian against e4. However, against d4, I played the Albin against lower-rated players and QGD in my game against the strongest player jocmil (Daily: ~1950, but FIDE: 2256!!).
We had 12 people in the group, out of whom 5 timed out. Below, I'm going to show you most of my games against the rest, starting from the ones against the lowest-finishing player, and moving up.
1. vs. bretsch
Bretsch lost the first game with Black by hanging their Queen. However, our 2nd game was an Albin Countergambit and much more interesting:
2. vs mohamedhem
Mohamedhem played well and our first game got tweeted by Chess.com together with a link to my blog
Our 2nd game was again an Albin and followed the first game up until the 9th move. I was in trouble here and only managed to turn the tide because he missed his moment.
3. vs. VidessosAkritai
Against Videssos I managed to win the first game quite easily:
The 2nd game was an Icelandic Gambit. I was up, but blundered a piece to a not-so-obvious fork and had to work hard to score the full point.
4. vs. troyka
In our first game troyka played the Dutch and I countered with the Raphael variation (see here) and won a nice game:
In our 2nd game he chose the Nimzo-Larsen attack, blundered a rook, and I eventually came up with a plan to convert:
5. vs DiegoFP
Against DiegoFP I scored two relatively nice and quick victories. Here's the first one:
and here's the second one:
6. vs jocmil
This brings us to the two critical games against the group favorite, jocmil. Let's take the one with Black first. I played well and after one of his mistakes I had a huge -4 advantage, but, somewhat inexplicably, failed to see the totally obvious move and blundered. However, I was still better after that. Of course, then we both made a series of (very instructive!) mistakes, I missed his best move and ended up in a terrible position where I eventually folded. Here it is:
So, so frustrating!
In the 2nd game with White I missed a threat and was worse, then played well and was better, until I misjudged the position, threw my advantage away and had to take a draw by repetition:
Again, quite frustrating.
The end result is that jocmil wins and advances and I place 2nd. Although the sportsman in me is somewhat sad, I'm actually also a bit relieved though because this means that I can now devote more of my chesstime to my other daily tournaments, studying, live games and...more BLOG POSTS !