short story called Tournament
I have been doing some sports lately. For the last six months I've been in a tournament. It started in early February and now in late August there is the 3rd round going on. This is the last round before the finals.
In the beginning there were 65 of us in 17 sections. My first round was against Julieann, Ivica and Encho. Julieann did not make a move and was dropped immediately. Against Ivica from Belgrade I had an aggressive opening and won the first in 24 moves and the second in 31 moves. Ivica won Encho in both games. I lost my first game against Bulgarian Encho, but the second one was to be an easy win. After 41 moves I stopped playing and so all three of us got to the 2nd round.
My father, so called coach of mine, was a bit angry at me letting the others continue as well. I was very pleased and thought, that my first round could not have ended in a better way.
The 2nd round was in 5 sections with 21 players. In my section the others were: Ed from Singapore, Eric from Malaysia and Charly from Argentina. Ed came late complaining he had been overseas. Charly and I did not find the excuse good enough and so Ed lost 4 games ´cause he did not do his first moves in time. Malaysian Eric was to be an easy one for Charly and me. Instead between Argentina and Finland we were to have two tough games.
With my black pieces I missed Charly's mistake at the 9th move. I could have won a pawn. At the time I was spending my Summer holidays in eastern Finland. At the next move I tried to sacrifice my bishop but Charly did not take it. After eight moves I offered a knight to get an attack towards his king. He again did not take it instead he took a pawn allowing me not to attack that dangerously.
After fifteen moves more and several combinations I had to change my rock with his bishop. There was another surprise to come. I sacrificed the other rock to get a draw as an immediate result.
The other game with Charly was to be very interesting as well. After 44 moves I was desperate in a complex situation. There was only one winning move for Charly to do and after that I would have surrendered. The material was even and it was not easy to find the right move.
My brother was visiting me at the time and we talked about chess. He told me in a desperate situation there is one more thing to do. That is a draw offer. I thought the opponent might be offended by such an insult if he had already found the winning move. After one day of consideration Charly accepted my draw offer and both of us got to the next round.
What a tournament so far! I wonder, if letting others go through in the previous round had something to do with this?
After two first rounds there was to be a break of a month for Charly and me until others had their moves made. For quite a while I thought the next round was to be the last for all of us. Instead there was to be the 3rd round in 2 sections with 6 players. I did not find it out until I studied some results of past tournaments, nor did I know, who would my next opponents be. I imagined the toughest one would probably be Predrag, who had no losses, no draws, just wins.
Yesterday, the 20th of August it started. The worst scenario happened. Predrag was in my section. The other one is Paul from Ireland. I assume there is not much of a chance against Predrag, but games against Paul I really look forward to.
With my white pieces I started both games with d4. Against Paul it was to be the Queen’s gambit and with black center counter defense also known as Scandinavian opening. Against Predrag I do not even recognize the openings. They must be unorthodox.
With his white pieces Predrag seemed to have his knights and bishops in position in no time while I was almost in starting position. Mine was a bit like the King's Indian defense, but Predrag's was far more dangerous. We played several, five to six that is, moves online in couple of hours, although the need is one move in 48 hours. I guess, we both were trying to find each others' possible opening weaknesses in "fast" game.
I had lots of fun with a guitar man in Bulgaria last week. My third round in chess tournament got a little bit complicated. Serbian Predrag had beaten Irish Paul in one game. In my games against Paul I exceeded my time limit because my flight back was delayed 32,5 hours. We got onto local newspaper in Finland. Finally I got back to Helsinki yesterday midnight.
I sent a message to Paul asking him to restart one of my lost games. I felt it had been my mistake anyway and I would have been happy to continue just one of those. Irish are great, I tell you. Paul answered he knows how it is to have forfeited a game and told me I should have asked to continue both of the games. I was more than happy to get to continue one of those lost games. I told Paul I shall ask a million pound refund from airline for the other game. Service was not that good either.
So now Predrag is leading with one victory and has three more to go. Paul has got one loss and one win. I have one loss and three more to go. There is a lot to do in my recent games. Situations are even in every one of them. I do hope they will be interesting games in the future as well.
The best thing in it was that I had a nice chat with Paul about Irish pubs and Guinness. Some of the best things in the world, although I prefer Bulgarian women. I'll be getting back to you.
I've got some news. Did not make it to finals. Predrag and I have beaten Paul in our last games against him. So now Predrag is leading with two wins, I am second with one win and one loss and Paul is the last with one win and three losses.
I got still two games more to go against Predrag. Predrag just made a brilliant move with his black queen and I shall lose quality. So practically that is over for me now. He wins the section and gets through the finals.
I got one more surprise to show with my black ones. I sacrifised a pawn in a complex situation to get advantage. Meanwhile I’ve blocked all his officers. As far as I know I shall get an easy win from it.
All in all I am very happy with the result of the tournament. I am the fourth from 65 players and I made it to the third level, which is the highest. A tough job well done. Had lots of fun too.