Smyslov's Slav vs Hammertime
Grandmaster Jon Ludvig Hammer and his famous Hammertime

Smyslov's Slav vs Hammertime

FM ddtru
Nov 7, 2018, 5:48 AM |

An amateur chess player like me does not get to play against Grandmasters very often, and so I was extremely happy when I was paired with Jon Ludvig Hammer in the 1st round of today's Titled Tuesday.

This tournament starts terribly early, at 5am Singapore time, and actually that's an improvement - in the previous months it was 4am for me (I guess the difference is Daylight Savings Time that went into effect in the US). Nevertheless, a chance to cross swords with a Top 100 player is definitely worth an early wake-up call. Surprisingly, it also happened to be my best game of the tournament. Although I did not win, I was proud of my play, at least up to a certain point.

It did not occur to me at the time, but GM Hammer is a Twitch star and he was live streaming during the Titled Tuesday. Of course, I could not resist an opportunity to peek into my opponent's thought process, and so in the annotations below you will get a rare chance to compare both White's and Black's points of view on this game! 

This was my first-ever draw against a Top 100 chess player and it certainly boosted my morale for the rest of the tournament. I can't say that I played particularly well in the remaining 9 rounds, but despite all the blunders and three losses with White I still managed to score 6/10, good for 48th place on the final list. Not bad, given my starting rank in the third hundred!