A surprising thing happened 1.5 days ago, after the second round here in Biel: I was completely exhausted. Having just spent all that time hiking, I thought I'd be in good enough physical shape not to tire too quickly in a one-game-per-day event. Not so! The pure intensity of this single game pushed me into a complete mental stupor:
It's actually a very instructive game, so I'll explain it in a video, article, or blog at a future date when I have more time and energy.
Ever since this game, I've been tired. I did not have the energy to enter my games in my blog. I had low energy, and needed to take some spacing out breaks from my work, and could not prepare for my third round game. Nevertheless, that game went ok.
First, two puzzles for you!!
Ok, now the game:
Although I missed those two crazy tactics, both were in positions where I was following a road I had already foreseen towards victory, so it's not a sign that I'm playing badly, just a missed chance to be delighted. Overall, almost this entire game both my opponent and I played the top choices of Shanky's computer engine, so although it felt like a really tough struggle-- that's because it was, and because both of us were playing pretty well, not because I wasn't sharp enough at the board. So overall, I'm feeling in pretty decent shape as the tournament gets started.
Meanwhile, Shanky drew in round 2 against a player around 2375 fide, and then won in round 3 against a 2200s player. Today in round 4 he will face his first GM, Kurnosov. Hopefully he'll get his mojo in gear with a big win.
And the elite section provided incredible drama. Morozevich was hospitalized and withdrew, to be replaced by Bologan (another fabulous player!). Bologan was given a day to get acclimated and prepare for the event, instead of being thrown to Carlsen right off the plane. Their postponed match will be played on the rest day. The two games that were played yesterday were incredible and entertaining. You can check them out here.
It was really dramatic watching the end of the Wang Hao-Nakamura game with Shanky and Sunil (Hikaru's step-father and first coach, for those not aware). We were trying like mad to calculate what was going on as the two players got into time trouble, and Rxd5 and other sacrificial breakthroughs began to rear their heads. It was so intense!! Which also makes me think that adding video cam of the players while they are playing would add a lot to the drama of chess TV broadcasts.
Alright, I managed to catch you all up! Round 4 I have black against Ildar Khairullin, who seems like a really dangerous player! But first, I've got some work to do...