Keep adding pressure!

Jul 27, 2013, 6:59 AM |

I want to show you a game that I played during the Stavanger Open tournament in Norway. In the first round, I won my game fairly easily, when my opponent played much to passively from the white side of a Semi-Slav Anti-Moscow Gambit. In the second round, I knew I would meet more resistance, because my opponent was much higher rated than me: His Norwegian national rating was 1530, and his FIDE rating 1944. My own national rating was only 1260, and I hadn't yet played enough FIDE rated games to recieve a FIDE rating.

I started playing chess in May 2012, and obviously, I hadn't yet become a "perfect" chess player. I knew my endgame skills was still quite undeveloped, and my goal in the tournament was just to come at least equal out of every opening. I had worked quite a lot on 1.d4 as White, and on the Semi-Slav and the Sicilian Scheveningen as Black, and I hoped to do well at least in the first half of my games.

This game started with the Reshevsky variation of the Nimzo-Indian, (I play White), and I had just briefly been looking on this opening some weeks earlier.

My opponent didn't seem to know his opening theory very well, he did some strange things in the opening, and he also played some ugly moves in the middlegame. I myself didn't do any losing moves, but I had a lot of nice opportunities - some of which I saw, and some of which I didn't see nor play. Here you can see how the game went, with some annotations made with a little help from Rybka 4.0!

Needless to say, I was deeply disappointed, and extremely frustrated after the game. Actually, I had to make use of the hotel's gym room to be able to run the pain out of my head and body. But nonetheless, this turned out to be one of the games that I have played, which I have learned the most from. From now on, I will always be even more eager to look for ways to increase the pressure when having big dynamic advantages, and my future opponents will not slip away as easily as what Sigvat did.

In the end, my draw against him wasn't that bad as a result. He finished third in the B group, and after some time, I am finally capable of feeling proud about making such an overwhelming position, against such an opponent, although I didn't manage to find the right moves in the most critical moments.

To quote the great video author GM Roman Dzindzichashvili: "Smart people learn from their mistakes, smarter people learn from other people's mistakes."
I hope you all will learn something from this!