When was the last time you felt like you had a winning position until you moved a slightly inaccurate move and suddenly the tides have turned and you started throwing everything just to secure a draw? How about blundering a piece right in the opening and felt like, "uhmm okay, at least I have a pawn or a solid position as compensation, perhaps I'll sit tight and see what happens"?
The author takes us back to the recently held World Amateur Chess Championship (WACC 2017) in Spoleto, Italy. He pens down his thoughts, feelings, emotions on his hilarious, fun-filled games (not mentioning full of mistakes & inaccuracies, well what would one expect to amateur-ish games).
Round 1 "One may fake his personality, but not his character." I'm a pawngrabber and paid a hefty price for being one towards the endgame.
Round 2 "Bishops dominating Knights in a Closed game"
Round 3 "A win is not a win until it's checkmate"
Round 4 "Petrosian Gruenfeld gone wrong for White"
I was extremely devastated, anxious, frustrated (even thinking of withdrawing from the tournament, but then again I thought I flew for 18 hours for this -- might as well continue to play and enjoy the show..) since I haven't even scored for the first four rounds (0.5 out 4)!! *Thanks Leo Buenaobra, Frank Kebbedies & CM Lee Jun Wei!
This was the point in time when I recalled the sage advice of my former IM coach Enrique Pacencia "If you are having a bad tournament with a series of consecutive losses, think anew and take the succeeding games one at a time, don't think of the result.. just play the best you could.." Probably the selected messages from chess buds back in Singapore did boost me up as well (as they were checking on the results of my games online)
Round 5 "Bad bishop - Good knight Paradigm"
Round 6 "Stonewall. Regression."
Round 7 "When You Have to Win!"
Imitation Fail of Timur's setup against the London system. After his game in Round 6, my friend Timur Tolibayev
who is playing in the U2300 category showed me his brilliant game against the London system and I found the inspiration to play a similar setup against my opponent's Stonewall (I was too confident that I could easily parry off the opening simply since I played it quite extensively in the past... I was dead wrong though)....**special thanks to WIM Tsai Yi Shan (Alexis)
for always saying "you'll win your remaining rounds) hehe
Round 8 "Chess Bridges Communication Barriers"
After the game, my Italian opponent stated: "I just couldn't keep up!". I was fortunate to have won this 'lost' game; otherwise, I would have lost my 4th game against another 'Fabiano' (Italian). *Thanks to Naomi (Nomin)
for congratulating me (she whispered "good job!") when I handed her the signed score sheets* I don't think she'd recall this one
During the post-mortem analysis, my russian opponent and I were communicating via gestures, facial expressions when moving the pieces on the board -- solely because he only speaks russian and I could only talk back in english (where's Farid
& Paulo Fanha
when we needed an interpreter,
); he was such a gentleman over-the-board and for giving the win (instead of a draw which he did find during the post-mortem analysis)
Round 9 "Stay Awhile and Listen."
Well that's that - finished with 5 points out of 9, 40th of 93 participants! At the very least, I had managed to make a sorta come-back. We'll be back next year, right Mr. Alex Kairavanov?