XI Obert Vila de Gracia: Final Reflections
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|
|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!