Staying sharp

Staying sharp

GM gmjlh
Aug 17, 2012, 12:34 PM |

My life changed drastically the fall of last year. I got accepted to Oslo City College - their bachelor's degree in journalism. All of a sudden, going to tournaments had to become rare - so I got a problem: How would I get to play as much chess as I'd like, without it interfering with my school work?

I found an excellent solution: Rapid tournaments. They ususally only last a day, and most of them are held in Oslo, so I can easily spare a Saturday once in a while.

Norway, like many other countries, has a Grand Prix system - Summing up scores from all the tournaments throughout the year, and giving overall prizes. This year I emerged as the winner, by winning all 10 tournaments I participated in!

The prizegiving of the Grand Prix. Aryan Tari (13) was my toughest competitor, but he had to settle for second place. On the right, the Norwegian Federation president, Jøran Jansson. Photo: Bjørn Berg Johansen

My favorite part is showing the youngsters who's the boss. I rarely get any GM (or even IM) opposition, so my main rivals are usually 12-14 years old. But they are not to be underestimated! These guys are the future of Norwegian chess, and my beating them is part of a devious plan, which will pay off in 10-15 years when we play the Norwegian Championship proper. Having been defeated by me a countless amount of times previously, they'll be resigned from the moment we shake hands - or at least that's the idea.

In this game, I managed to get a good, clean win with the black pieces, against Lars Oskar Hauge (born 98).

 The tournaments lets me see some action in-between serious gigs, and it's also a good memory exercise, as I try to write down the moves when I get back home in the evening. That is the reason why I can offer you a variety of tactical problems from this year's Grand Prix season!

I didn't find the right move in this next one, can you? Luckily the move I played was sufficient to win the game anyway!

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