OTB Bliss

Jan 3, 2016, 6:48 AM |

During the last years, a busy life has largely kept me out of otb events, tournaments and team competitions alike. Actually my last tournament has taken place in 2010. Playing turn based games and votechess on this site has been the only opportunity to play some chess at all.

At the end of 2015 a trip to Berlin has opened the possibility to take part in a tourney again, and I was eager to play there for several reasons: Nothing equals the thrill of actually sitting opposite to your opponent and moving real pieces from wood, and usually you have reasons to assume you are playing him and not his engine.

Moreover I had spent considerable time reforming my opening repertoire, trying the new openings in turn based chess for more than a year. It was not until recently that I got the feeling my long search had at last been fruitful: My way back to more classical-minded chess had begun five years ago with taking up 1...e5 in response to 1.e4, and during the last year I had taken leave from my old love the Modern Benoni in favour of 1.d4 d5 as Black, and I had made a renewed attempt of understanding 1.d4 openings a White. In turn-based this had gone really well, and I was thrilled to see if I was able to pose problems to my opponents in otb too, and of course if I remembered the relevant lines without books to consult during the game.

So all in all, I was playing for the fun of it and for learning purposes rather than to gather points or rating, traditionally these are the conditions where I can play best. The positive impression was rounded by a very nice café where I would spend the noon break with delicious pasta and good coffee in a comfy sitting room atmosphere with swing and jazz music.

In view of my lack of otb games I new I couldn't expect an outstanding result, but I hoped to finish at more than 50%, or more than 3,5 points out of 7. Time controls where at 90 minutes for 40 moves and an additional 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with an iincrement of 30 seconds per move.

In the end of the day I ended up with 5/7, losing only one game against an FM who shared 2nd - 4th place, drawing with another FM and emerging victorious against two players rated around 2200, among others.

Here's my game of the final round, possibly the best of them all: