2014 Sudbury Championship - Part 1 - Preparation
Well, it's here. The local championship, probably my favourite tournament, has arrived and is set to be the strongest event my northern city has ever seen. The top four seeds have a fairly clear lead over the rest of the pack...
1. NM Nicholson, Matthew - 2300
2. NM Kiviaho, Robert - 2190
3. NM Demmery, Steve - 2183
4. Guignard, Michael - 2113
It should be pretty neat, as my three biggest threats all have extremely distinct playing styles.
NM Kiviaho is a correspondence Grandmaster of the pre-computer era. He's got a sharp attacking style, seldom bailing out into drawn positions. I see him as a tenacious fighter, a 17 time Sudbury Champion, and a bit of a mentor. I'll be trying to exploit his somewhat outdated repertoire and over ambitious attacking style.
NM Demmery is my least familiar rival. We played once in the Ontario open at least 4 years ago, back when I was around 1800. I can't find or remember the game, but I remember Steve played a London System where I went a little crazy, sacrificed a few pawns, and somehow stole a draw. Obviously I'll be more than ready for a London system this weekend, but I doubt that will deter him from using it anyway. My analysis of his games leads me to believe he prefers clarity. I plan on using this to my advantage.
Michael Guignard is an especially interesting player. He aims for Philidor structures in every single game he plays, and basically always manages to get what he wants. Against strong opponents he seems to end up in positions where he's worse out of the opening, but comfortable and virtually impossible to beat. Michael and I haven't played for quite some time, but if memory serves he is the only player in the tournament who has beat me in rated play at standard time controls. I hope to demonstrate that I am strong enough to win using the 'slight opening advantage' he likes to donate with either colour.