So I did travel to the south of France finally, for this year's edition - the first international tournament of my life!! So exciting!
I've been living in this area of the world for three years, and even hosted in my home in Nice an Israeli FM who came to particiate in the 2008 edition.
Ever since I've been dreaming of actually playing in this event - but for different reasons it never happened - that is, until today, when I played the first round, which I'm going to show you here.
Although I could qualify for the A tournament, where four of the players are rated lower than me, I decided, as this is really my first time in such an event, to go a bit easy on myself, and play in the B tournament, which is still quite challenging, as it's for players rated from 1600 to 2200 - which is still a bit over my rating. I'm rated here 29th out of 162 participants.
For my first round game I was paired with the very talented and ambitious 10-year-old son of a German IM by the name of Michael Kopylov (who still plays for the Ukrainian federation, and is rated 19th out of 80+ players in the A tournament!) - himself rated 1768 already, and I suspect that he's 'worth' at least 100 points more already. We'll see what his performance rating will be at the conclusion of this 9-round tournament (which ends on 2/3/2014).
Little Daniel (who is already almost as tall as me) wasn't familiar with my opening, evidently, and took a couple of dubious choices early on. In addition, he missed a rather simple tactic - but apart from that, as you will see, he fought like a lion and didn't give me for one minute the feeling that he feels inferior in any way! He was even reluctant to resign at the end, when he was down a whole queen for nothing. This attitude will get him very far, if he chooses to pursue chess further. Give him two or three more years to develop, and he'll be a walking horror!
Very surprisingly, on the 28 boards above me, and despite rating differences of 250-350 points as behooves the first round of a Swiss, there have been no less than 11 (eleven!!) upsets - seven wins for the lower-rated guys, and four draws. So I'm surprised to find myself playing suddenly at board 18 tomorrow, against a winner from the lower half of the table, another under-1800 player. I expect nothing but another tough fight tomorrow morning!! Hang on for more updates.
And here's round 2 - in which I prettily sacrificed my queen for crushing positional compensation (read: checkmate in few more moves)
Hi, Pls give me url where I can follow this tournament
Here's the blog: canneschesstournament.wordpress.com
On the last blog entry, from 23/2/2014, there are links showing everything you need to know about the progress of the A, B and C tournaments. I'm playing in the B - tomorrow black on table 12, after drawing the 4th seed (rated 2141) in a difficult French, in which I had to be very original just to survive, throughout the game (even the final position is advantageous to black - he simply got tired).
I'll post the game, and maybe some annotations, after a good rest...
In the A tournament, nobody has the full 3 points! Whereas in tournament B, eight people have perfect scores and GM performance ratings... for now (I'm with 2.5 at 11th place out of 163).
Nice games. Your annotations always tell a story -- I like that.
Thanks for the reply, good luck for the tournament
Love the Round 2 game and the striking Queen sac! The decision on move 20 to correctly strip white of the dark squared Bishop, with tempo in hand was disciplined and farsighted. You effectively declawed the cat, while leaving yourself overwhelming piece play & coordination for the coming tactical swarm & attack. Auque could have resigned after finding his King stranded in the center, at the wrong end of a firing range. Nicely played. Bold use of your tactical confidence and a guaranteed shocker to your opponent, when you trusted in your abilities and the resulting position derived from the a Queen sac bro. Nice job solskytz. Enjoyable games & commentary! Finish strong! Looking forward to follow-up.
Thanks everybody for your commentary!
To Elubas, a great story teller himself!
To ChezzAnna, whom I hope to yet meet in a tournament - either in India or in Europe...
To Richb8888, a new face in my threads - nice to meet you!
And to ZenoMorphy - I really liked your comment :-) I see that you totally got the spirit of my play here :-) The allegory to a firing squad at the end was pleasing :-)
You bet your life the guy was shocked! You should have seen his face when I chopped on b4! That rook had it coming. So much for harassing my Q over and over. How long can I let this guy push me around?
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Two things I omitted to mention so far in this thread:
1) I owe my first round opening plan and win to an excellent article on "the Sicilian Endgame" by another amazing storyteller, the newly-appointed GM Brian Smith, whose articles I religiously follow; and -
2) that in the round 2 game, I gave exclamation marks to my moves 16 and 17 - and I forgetfully omitted to give a DOUBLE exclamation mark to my 18th move - without which, I most probably wouldn't have played my combination. THIS is the move which makes his whole position collapse.
It is aesthetic also in a sense, that just before he threatens my queen and I capture a rook, and here I can capture a bishop, but instead I capture a pawn - but what a pawn!
The first game was brave in itself, accepting a gambit pawn and surviving black's short-lived onslaught. I'm not sure 7...0-0-0+ is right, as probably ...a5 should be reserved to challenge your pawns and immediate development with 7...e5 is probably better, aiming to retake the pawn or develop everything quickly and get active.
The second game is a stunner. 17...axb4!! is really killer. It's funny how trying for ...e5 to win the pinned bishop fails at every turn and only the queen sac seems to win. 16...e5 17. Bd5!; 17...Qc7 18. Rc4!.
Really beautiful games with great annotations.
Great games so far and good luck in the Tournament! Love to see the next games soon
Thanks for your commentary!
Please note, that 7...a5 wouldn't do much to disrupt my pawns, as the knight would be pinned after 8. Bb5.
I would then plan 9. b4. If he goes 8...a4 to interfere with this idea, 9. Na3!? is interesting, as I want to get b4 in anyway... then for example, the game could continue 9...e5!? 10. Nc4!?, with interesting ramifications that (I confess) I didn't have time to really look into...)
An interesting continuation could be, at this point, 10...Bxc5 11. Be3, with many possible developments...
On 7...e5, of course I wouldn't let him have my pawn, and go 8. b4! Then 8...e4 would continue along lines similar to the game...
About the second game, you are absolutely right! of course ...e5 wouldn't work at the point you mention - and I omitted to include the explanation in my annotations, so thanks for providing it! Of course I looked into that before settling on my Q-sac idea. Winning a piece would have been simple - and if the possibility existed, I would have to think long and hard, to decide which was the more promising way to go.
Apart from this, it's really a question of taste, to which move to give the double exclam (giving it to more than one move is bad taste, of course). Maybe 16...a5!! deserves it? But I felt that the heart of the idea was my 18th, picking up the pawn which holds it all together.
The 17th has a claim for the double exclam, for courage and sheer shock value :-) that much is admitted. Until that point I was good and obedient, and moved my Q every time it was threatened - but not anymore! :-)
Thanks for your appreciation :-) the third game is coming!!!
Thanks also to VivaChe. I won't keep you waiting for very long - the 3rd game is almost upon us!
Ah, for the first game 7...e5 8. b4? e4 and you may be in a bit of trouble? (Your knight is pinned!) :-) Anyway the point is simply black could've chosen a different route; I feel that immediate kingside development and challenging the queenside later (...a5 with the rook on a8 later is just an idea) is the better plan when playing down a pawn, like white does in the QGA.
Good luck for your remaining games!
Game number three. I'm now placed 11th with 2.5 points out of 3 (163 participants in this 1600-2200 tournament, in which I'm the 29th seed).
My performance rating is 2177! Almost CM.
And now there's something I wanted to tell you: I have won a 2-year diamond membership in merit of my effort in translating the chess.com Android website into Hebrew. Do you think that I'll manage to make it to CM in these two years, so that my membership extends to a whole lifetime, free of charge?
Be it as it may, with the first three games I'm already up 17 points from my current 2015 rating - so it's definitely a step in the right direction.
And here it is. Enjoy!
<Remellion> actually 7...e5 8. b4! is the point of the whole variation. 8...e4 is ok, and transposes to the game, more or less. I play 9. h3.
Mmmm... whoops. What was I seeing there? Especially when it's the same continuation as the game. >.<
A violent third game. But that's why I don't play the Winawer. Tactical chaos with a good chance of slipping up on both sides.
27. Qxh6 seems risky. Perhaps the insane 27. Be1?! instead?
But in all seriousness, move 28 deserves plenty more attention. 28...Qxf1+!? 29. Rxf1 Rxf1+ 30. Be2 Rxg2 and black threatens lots of nasty stuff, like ...Bg4+ or ...Re2, material is vaguely even, and Be1/Nh3/Ra2 are very loose. It may not be immediate (or even delayed) mate, but it's very very scary to face on the board. I think black may be better here.
<Remellion> 27. Be1? Adding to my first rank gallery? And this is supposed to be free of risk?
Well maybe, if my name was Wilhelm Steinitz... :-)
And you are right - Qxh6 is risky and provocative - but I survived.
About your second suggestion - Bravo! You are right. This looked hopeless to me as I read your comment, and when I fired Houdini, he said -10.57 (!!!) at 14 plies. Totally hopeless. Both players during the game missed black's 30th entirely in this variation. Good catch!
And here's game number 4 - a draw against a slightly lower-rated opponent.
I'm now placed 16th with 3 out of 4. My performance rating is down to 2104, and tomorrow I'll have the white pieces against a tough opponent: Vasile Mohorea, who is known to me since I lived in Nice in the past...
He is rated 2094 and is clever and resourceful. Going to be hot!
Edit: while reading this game, please ignore everything I'm writing about "a drawing resource" after I played ...Rb5! in the beginning of the rook ending.
Of course this 'drawing resource' doesn't exist exactly because my rook is already on b5 and I can go ...e5 whenever he threatens my e-pawn.
With this in view, his king manoeuvre to the Q-side is as good as any other plan - in any case he couldn't prevent my central setup.