XI Obert Vila de Gracia: Final Reflections

XI Obert Vila de Gracia: Final Reflections

Dec 8, 2017, 5:20 AM |

My first long time control OTB tournament, XI Obert Vila de Gracia finished last Friday. I've been blogging about all the games individually, but now it's time for some final reflections...


I scored 3,5/9 and placed 39th out of 63. Not too good, but I did win the under 1855 Catalan ELO bracket.


Almost all of my games were super interesting. As you can see from the overview below, I mostly played much stronger players with a lifetime of experience. 

Round Oppponent Catalan Fide W/B and Result
1 Bye      
2 Jose Luis Puertas Manzana 2212 2023 B, 0-1
3 Juan Manuel Baratech Galup 2009 1833 W, 1-0
4 Onno van Keulen 2111 1934 W, 0-1
5 Antonio Fontanet Fabregas 2019 1834 B, 0-1
6 Jordi Buil Volart 1939 1738 W, 1/2-1/2
7 Andres Ribalta Costa 1970 1729 B, 1-0
8 Armando Daguro Dasalla 2093 1911 B, 0-1
9 Clemens Pagel Bieg 1921 1773 B, 0-1


In Game 1 I did good out of the opening, had a winning shot, but missed it and then made a mistake and lost. The 2nd game was a nice win. Game 3 was perhaps the only one where I misplayed the opening, leading to a tough battle where I missed some things, got into time trouble and lost. The 4th game I did fine out of the opening again, played pretty good, but then missed danger on a diagonal. In Game 5 I was surprised in the opening, but played well until I got carried away and blundered by hanging a piece. Miraculously, I was able to draw in the end though. In Game 6 I was better out of the opening and was doing pretty good, but then blundered by missing a fork. The final game was perhaps the worst, even though I should've been able to draw.


- My opponent-specific opening preparation paid off pretty well. In most of the games I was better or at least equal out of the opening, even with Black.

- I got to play London with White 3 times: in G2 I got the position I wanted, but in G3 & G5 my opponent's surprised me with a line I didn't know as well and I wasn't too happy with my position.

- I played Black against e4 3 times: Caro-Kann, Fantasy/Advance once and Caro-Kann Classical twice. I was ok in the latter two games, but my opponent definitely had the initiative and I didn't particularly enjoy playing them.

- I played Black against d4 once: QGD. I was aiming for a Tarrasch, but ended up in a position which I didn't know how to play very well.

Conclusion: I need to work more on the harder lines of the London (if I want to keep playing it...) and perhaps consider adopting a more active response to e4.



- All the games were decided in the middlegame...

 - In most of the cases I had less time on the clock than my opponent and had some trouble with time management. Most of the times this was because I tried to come up with a good plan. However, at least sometimes this could've been avoided by not trying to calculate something forcing when it should've been clearer that it's not going to happen.

- In several games I missed some "intermediate"-level tactics which would've led to a win, a big advantage, or equalized the game.

- Most of my losses came due to missing my opponent's threats. 

Conclusion: I need to focus on tactics and getting better at prioritizing prophylactic thinking and blunderchecking my moves.


- Long games are mentally hard.

- I made most of my mistakes in situations where I had spent a lot of energy and time calculating something or trying to come up with a plan on the previous move. 

- I didn't resign prematurely and in G5 I was able to draw from an initially hopeless position. However, a slight mental attitude of defeat in G3 and G7 were perhaps why I didn't see the equalizing opportunities. 

Conclusion: I need to make an extra effort to maintain vigilance after long periods of thinking and make sure I blundercheck everything thoroughly.

Hopefully I'm able to learn from all of this and improve my chess for the next tournament!