A win against an International Master
Ok, finally time and mood to write some things!
So we are nearing the home stretch here at the Najdorf Memorial in Poland. So far Lady Luck hasn’t exactly been on the side of us Icelandic FM’s! My friend Sigurbjorn is probably playing one of the worst tournaments of his life and he gets a bye in the 7th round which is something we both would have thought was virtually impossible before the tournament. Literally nothing is going right for Sigurbjorn and lady luck doesn’t so much as hint at a smile. We both know how hard it is when things are going like this and the confidence can be quite quick to disappear. This can have an annoying chain reaction as with dwindling confidence one starts to spend time double checking things that previously were done with confidence. This can result in unnecessary timetrouble and errors arising from that. Despite playing two good games in the early rounds, not getting the first win can be difficult thing. Although I am not having a great tournament, winning in the first round was very good for the confidence.
4th round opponent : Piotr Nguyen
I was not very happy with my 4th round pairing as I very quickly realized that my opponent was very underrated at 2273. I knew he had drawn against a strong IM Kasper Drozdowsky (I think he is Kacparov on Chess.com). He was also 2393 very recently and he won against Rozentalis in the 1st round with 1.f4!
Sometimes not knowing is better! Anyway my thoughts on that game you can read in the 4th round blog. We had a post-mortem after the game and my opponent was very nice. I talked about having played the Leningrad also in the past and that I was intending to “rekindle” that lost love 🙂
He told me that he indeed did also play 1.f4 plenty of times and had a good score in it. I immediately smiled and said that I had played plenty of 1.f4 in the past also and that my friend GM Henrik Danielsen had shown me some cool lines in it and showed him one game that I almost won completely from analysis shown by Henrik. He indeed knew who Henrik was and had looked at a lot of his game and was very excited to play him a year or two ago and of course he had to play 1.f4 against Henrik!! Funny how small the world can be! I saw Nguyen continued his good tournament today and drew against GM Romanishin. Nguyen has two norms like me but might be on course for his third!
Good luck Piotr!
The disappointing 5th round
Having already spoilt chances to win against two Grandmaster I looked all set for another matchup in the 6th round when I had a completely winning position against a young talented Polish guy, Igor Kowalski. Incidentally the name Igor is derived from my name, Ingvar.
I even allow my British friend John Naylor to call me Igor as he has a hard time pronouncing Ingvar (as most foreign people do). Anyway, the name turned out to not be the only thing he stole from me as he managed to snatch a win from the jaws of defeat 😉
I made a very serious mental error in this game. (again check 5th round blog for game). After having played …Qd4+ and …Kf7 my opponent went for a long thing (finally as he had in my opinion played much too fast most of the game). I hadn’t seen Re4 and very carelessly thought my opponent might even resign and I almost literally shut down the engine and lost my focus. Had I been more professional I would have used his time and literally emptied the position. It’s true that I had calculated almost everything else and found a way to refute his attack even if my king was on g8 vs his Qh5/Re7. I still should have kept thinking, had I done that I would have seen Re4 and been ready with …Qxd3 instead of panicking somewhat.Lesson: The game isn’t over till it’s over!
6th round win
At first it wasn’t a very pleasnt thing to hear the pairing. I just lost against a 2145 rated player and got paired against an even higher rated player and an IM!
Incidentally I checked my database and I haven’t lost to a sub-2200 rated player since 2009! That guy is now a GM or close to it (Mads Andersen). The other U-2200 loss was that same year in january against Icelandic Stefan Bergsson but that was a very carless loss and I’d prefer to forget about that one 😉
Anyway, IM Vladimir Grabinsky has been the trainer of many pupils who are now very strong Grandmasters. He wrote a great book with one of those pupils, GM Andrei Volokitin.
I thought I had played him bunch of times on Chess.com and tried to find his profile but failed to do so. I now think I might have confused him with Aaron Grabinsky who is a NM or FM on Chess.com also and I have probably played before.
I then found his ICC profile and looked at some games there as he didn’t have a ton of games in the database. I found his blitz rating to be surprisingly low and that gave me some confidence. He does play a lot with low rated students though so hard to keep up a high rating while playing only such games.
Anyway the game turned out great and I felt like I really played a nice solid game from start to finish and hopefully this will give me some confidence for the home stretch!
In the 7th round I find another young opponent, 17 year old Piotr Snihur. He was 2269 in January but with the K-factor of 40 he is down to about 2140 now. So looks like yet another underrated opponent. This is NOT an easy tournament my friends!
If you want to have a calculation exercise before looking at the game. Set up a board and calculate the consequences of taking on b7. Especially 1.Nxb7 Bb6 and try to go as deep as you can in critical forcing lines!