As I promised I’m writing more about my last tournament…

I have already played in Ostrava in 2008 (my first tournament in Czech Republic) and scored very well, 8th place and performance close to 2400. In next years I wanted to play there again but somehow I was unable mainly due to school obligations. This year I have lots of things to do at my university but just few days before start of the tournament I decided I can get away with it.

I was 6th on the starting list and first and second round were quite easy for me, sometimes this is a key for me to score well in the tournament – just not to loose any points against weaker opponents. In 3rd and 4th round I didn’t play great but well enough to score 1,5/2 against players 2300+.

5th round was very important to me, I was playing Black versus IM Pavel Simacek who defeated me recently in Novy Bor. I had good score in the tournament (3,5/4) so I treated this encounter very seriously and was preparing whole day as I was doing some years ago. Both players were playing the opening very quickly being confident own variations but it was me who got won opening battle. I got great position with Black:

diagram

P.Simacek (2447) – P.Nguyen (2374), Ostrava 2012 – position after 25 moves, White to move

Black is exchange down but bishop pair together with pawn on d3, total control over c-file and lack of coordination between White’s rooks gives Black practically winning position. White tried 26.Nc1 and I could choose between two winning ideas:

  • 26…Rc2 27.Nxd3 Bb5 28.Ke1 preparing Rd2 but there’s 28…Be3 and White is in kind of zugzwang!
  • 26…d2 27.Nd3 Be3 and White can’t give up exchange by means of 28.Ke2 because of …Re8 and if 29Rxd2 then …Bf4+ 30.Kd1 Ba4+ winning and in case of let’s say 28.b3 Black can play 28…d4 followed by …Rc3, …Bb5 etc. White is busted.

In the game however I went completely wrong, I played 26…Ba4? 27.b3 and I could still keep something with 27…Bb5 but I played 27…Rxc1?? and after 28.Rxc1 Bxb3 29.Rb1! White is winning… I totally missed move like Rb1… now after 29…Bxc4 came 30.Rxb6 axb6 31.Ke1 and Black couldn’t survive.

It’s really bad I didn’t win this position… I should win position like this even against Kasparov because if I don’t win having so big advantage how big should it be? One can say “it happens to everyone” and it’s true but I should find the reason of my bad decisions anyway.

Rounds 6th and 7th were quite strange for me. In 6th round there were many mistakes from both sides, game was very messy and eventually drawn and in 7th round I equalized with Black and just kept pressure for some time and my opponent blundered so I won easily.

On the other hand 8th round was very interesting, I recommend you to find this game in database (Pacher Milan – Nguyen Piotr, Ostrava 2012). I played Black against young IM 2400+ and it was extremely sharp and after difficult battle it was me who scored one point!

And to my surprise I had great result in the tournament and draw in last round was enough for me to get International Master norm. Those who are reading my blog regularly understand how much I tried to get this… So the last round was agreed for a draw without any hessitations from both sides. I was White and win would give me 1st place in the tournament so I could try but norm is a norm, I can play next tournament but now I achieved this what I was trying to achieve for almost 3 last years… (my first norm was during holidays 2009 in Olomouc).

To Summarize: I played just normal chess, nothing special and in the only game where I had really professional opening preparation I lost. What was the key I made this IM norm so easily? I don’t really know… 😛 Maybe all I needed was more experience and good tournament (average of my opponents was 2300+) so I could show sth instead of constantly fighting with much weaker opponents.

Tournament website: http://ostravskykonik.cz/ and final results http://www.chess-results.com/tnr71611.aspx?art=1&rd=9&lan=5&turdet=YES&flag=30