My first FIDE rated tournament

So finally I found a tournament here in Belgium - or actually, the tournament found me. 


For an unrated player (no, they still don't respect ratings), it isn't easy to get into a strong tournament, especially as there aren't too many of these (to the best of my knowledge) here in Belgium. 


So I had to enter a tournament where there are nine players in all, seven of whom have FIDE ratings, and they average 1924.

This could have been a lot worse - but I would prefer the average to be a hundred points higher, as if I finish with 4.5 out of 7 against these players (a likely result, based on what I consider to be my actual strength), it will give me an initial rating of 1954 according to the rating formula for new players, rather then 2026 which would be my actual performance. 

I had three rated games, with a 2119 performance but which would only count as 2009 - but curiously enough, they were played in the year 2009, and won't be counted - which means that I will need to play 2 more rated games by June 2015, to get that initial rating at all... it's about time, at my advanced age. 

So I will be posting the games here, once every week (except next week, which is a bye). Comments and contributions are, as always, intensely welcome. 

Game 1 is coming. 


  • 3 years ago


    Thank you, <simplydt>, for your positive feedback :-)

    Please see my more detailed answer to your other post on the other thread. 

    Another request - please refrain from posting here (the blog), and post everything on the Forum, where you posted your other comment. 

    I want this blog to stay without further posts.

    Thanks  :-)

  • 3 years ago


    Thanks for sharing this, its encouraging to me since I am trying to do the same thing, by frist improving on and then entering a FIDE rated tournament. Well done!

  • 3 years ago


  • 3 years ago


    I will no longer post here. The essence of this blog was moved to a forum entry bearing the same title. 

  • 4 years ago


    I forgot to mention, that if he played 32. Nxe6, then ...Qxf3+ 33. Kg1 Nh3+ would be rather unpleasant. 

  • 4 years ago


    So - after the fifth round I'm with 3 out of 5, against opposition averaging in the 1930s. A solid 2000 performance - not quite what I was hoping for, but not a disaster either. 


    I didn't post games 3 and 4, which were rather disappointing. 


    In game 3, my opponent made a bad piece sacrifice, which I took - only to be blasted off the board in 19 moves!


    Houdini later showed that the piece sacrifice wasn't so easy to exploit... and I have my doubts about it still. Maybe I will still share that game at some point, if there is enough demand for it...


    In game four, I won, pure and simple, due to a one-move blunder of my opponent at move 16. I got his Q for a R, and the rest was plain sailing, as I just ate pawn after pawn, creating mate threats and dominating the whole board until he resigned on move 31. 

    If he didn't blunder, the position would be very comfortable for me, and exactly the kind of game I like to play, but nothing more than that. 

    Game five, played this evening, was a gem. 

    My patience wore out at the end and I blundered - but my opponent didn't see it, which is lucky. It's amazing how you can spoil a whole game's work just by one move, where you didn't see a certain move of your opponent three moves into the variation - but you'll see for yourself...


    Note: this game appears as 'game six' in the tourney - due to an odd number of participants each player gets a bye at some points - and mine was on round 2, so round 6 is my 5th game. 

  • 4 years ago



    I find your input very insightful, even instructive. 


    I'm familiar with Karpov's 12. Bxf7+ games in the Gruenfeld. I have analysed and looked at many continuations from this move, and got the impression that black gets plenty of play here, and the pawn advantage is by no means significant, the pawn being a doubled-g, and black still keeping his 2:1 edge on the Q-side, which becomes significant in many cases.

    Your analysis of my French is very interesting. I liked your suggestion of 10. Be2 right away, even though, if you check out the variations I gave, where black plays ...b5 later to chase my bishop from c4, my lead in development (due to the slowness of ...c5, ...cxd4 and ...a6) was such, that I would still come out of them on top.

    I also didn't analyze with Houdini yet... but I don't always agree with his evals - sometimes I feel really great about a 0.00 position, and sometimes a +0.80 position (in my favor) leaves me embarrassed, not knowing what to do. 

    Don't forget, that these computer evals are as good as you can benefit from them, more than your opponent can, in a specific position. In many cases, one inaccurate move just drops 0.40 or 0.60 in the evaluation, just like that, and you often don't even understand why WITH the computer, let alone when actually playing the game... so it's about being comfortable - and I really felt like I was binding him up somewhat...

    That said, I do like 10. Be2 slightly more now that I look at it. The reason I didn't go to e2 right away, is that I wanted to keep the Re1 move to pin, in case he ever moved ...e5 to chase my knight - but I now see, that on 10. Be2 e5 11. Nf3, white would have an edge which would become clear if black answers here 11...Qxd1. I sometimes tend to dread a Q exchange in positions where I have an advantage in development. An example to the contrary would be my second game round from my Rapid tournament in Israel earlier this year (see a separate thread I created on this). 

    If you're into it, I'd be happy to play several games with you in these variations (French with 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. Bd3 with White, Grunfeld exchange with Black), and then look at them together... what do you say?

  • 4 years ago


    Oh my God!! This just sucks so much!!


    I know exactly how you feel... I was now writing a long long long comment on a political blog somewhere, putting in an hour of good work, only to have it viciously deleted by random electronic bits and bytes...


    Happily I later found that it wasn't deleted at all - thank goodness!


    But I should have at least saved it on WordPad or something, every 10-15 minutes or something...


    But my heart's with you - and thanks for being the first friend to relate (or at least, to try to relate...) to my story. 

  • 4 years ago


    The second one, from yesterday, is a loss. Here it is:

    (This is the third round game, as I had a bye on the second, there being an odd number of participants).

  • 4 years ago


    Game one, played against a nice gentleman, aged 62, energetic and pleasant, with a lot of chess understanding - but whose FIDE rating dropped 274 points (!) over the last 25 years as his all-important tactical vision is no longer up to par (as became clear in the post-mortem). 

    I'm posting this game here BEFORE checking anything with either databases or Houdinis. 

    Rest assured, I will make these checks later... but for now you will only have my own impressions of how things went. 

    A word of warning to lower rated players: I can be quite convincing sometimes when I speak and present things... please take care to check and verify anything I say here which looks suspect to you

    - I'm just stating my own opinion, and I'm not yet strong enough to be considered as any kind of authority. Entertainment value only!

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