Road to the first IM norm: Part 1

The 2013 European Team Chess Championship was held in Novotel Centrum hotel in Warsaw, Poland, in November 7th-18th. I was blessed with an opportunity to represent the Lithuanian national team in this competition and everything turned out much better than expected :) But we will get to that in due time! 


A couple days before the tournament I've decided to check the list of participants ( I knew it is going to be a tough tournament, but I didn't realize it will be THAT tough. My team was rated 34th out of 38th participating teams on the starting list and that was with our captain, a 2520 GM, who we knew is not going to play any games, so in reality our rating average was even smaller. I was scared. Who the hell am I going to score points against?! Even though I was playing board 4, the vast majority of my future opponents were going to be GMs. Crap, I thought. Here we go.. 


We had an 8 hour bus drive from Vilnius to Warsaw and got there in the evening, with the 1st round on the next day. Right before going to bed the pairings were up and we saw that we are playing Greece. Yaaaay! 2564 ELO GM opponent for the first round - what a treat! 


Since the rounds started at 3pm local time each day, we had a plenty of time to prepare. I remember being super nervous. Somehow all of my opening knowledge and my general level of play seemed so small compared to that of my opponents.. We went downstairs at around 2.40 pm (zero tolerance rule and all that), passed some metal detectors on our way and finally entered the playing hall. I have to say, the playing conditions were amazing. A lot of space for every player, about 1.5 meters in between the boards, a lot of space to put your stuff on the tables and stuff like that. Very "luxurious" feel to the whole place. That immediately lifted my mood a little bit. I thought, "well, even if I do get slaughtered, at least I will have experienced something that I've never experienced before".. Somehow that calmed me down, and instead of being scared I was now looking forward to the start of the game. 



Needless to say, I was crushed after this game. I knew that I was easily winning and let it slip. On top of that, my win would have saved the match, and now we lost 1.5-2.5.. It was a looooooong night that night. I don't remember exactly, but I finally fell asleep somewhere around 4am... But they say that morning is smarter than the evening for a reason. After I woke up I realized that things aren't so bad. We took a really strong team to a test, I had a strong GM outplayed and beaten, so there were a lot of positives. Pairing for Round 2: a Polish team and a 2515 GM on board 4. The things just won't get easier in this tournament, will they.. But that is for the next time! 


Thanks for reading, and as usual, comments and suggestions are very welcome. 


  • 3 years ago


    Beprotnamis, o jei rimtai -didmeistrio lygio partija.Aišku- juodiesiems tokiose struktūrose žaisti SMAGIAUEmbarassed- jų planai labai jau fatališki, baltiesiems tenka įjungti platesnį diapazoną ir žaisti praktiniu požiūriu sunkiau, tenka nuolat atmušinėti.Kažkada buvau priėjęs išvados ,kad efektyviausias prieš benoni Simagino planas, neblogai traktavo ir Michailas Moisejevičius prieš Talį ( bent jau man ,kaip užkietėjusiam benonininkui ,šios schemos nemaloniausios).Na ,o tai ,ką gavo juodieji partijoje -"pyragas", kaip kadais sakė tas pats Botvinikas apie tą patį Talį" net jei toks žaidimas objektyviai ir ne jo naudai ,tačiau subjektyviai tt"- čia tas pats atvejis- su benoninkais reikia kovoti kitaip ( dar "simptomatinis "pvz kaip teisingas žaidimas priveda prie netikėtų rezultatų- Gligoričius- Taimanovas ).

  • 3 years ago


    Great game and an even better write up.  Looking very forward to the next one :)

  • 3 years ago


    So where's part two? :)

  • 3 years ago

    IM pfren

    Very nice game against a very strong opponent who had a 2700+ performance in that tournament- not that your 2543 performance in the same event is less impressive, though! Congratulations.

  • 3 years ago


    Really cool game, fearless play!

  • 3 years ago


    First time coming across you on here. Great article!

  • 3 years ago

    NM Petrosianic

    incredible game!

  • 3 years ago


    These personal accounts of tournaments are great. Keep it coming :)

  • 3 years ago


    Great post.  Looking forward to the rest.  Congratulations on the well-deserved norm!

  • 3 years ago


    Fantastic trip report!  I didn't start watching you in this tournament in real time until the middle rounds, so it's nice to see how you started it out.  You'd better get part two posted soon ;)

Back to Top

Post your reply: