At the beginning of this year I have announced (see here: https://piongu.wordpress.com/2015/02/01/i-play-better-chess-when-i-write-about-it/) I’m going to play more chess and you can expect big comeback 😀 And here it is. In July I’ve played two tournaments, one just a day after another and in the second (Najdorf Memorial in Warsaw) I managed to get my 3rd International Master norm quite easily with confidence. I secured it after 8 rounds so I could even loose the last game 😀

performance

 

Indeed the performance 2531 is quite stunning, I recovered nearly 60 ELO points and what’s the most important – I played against really strong field (5 GMs, 3 IMs, 1 FM – average rating 2488) – detailed info under this link: http://www.chessarbiter.com/turnieje/2015/ti_1274/results.html?l=pl&pr=59_. But… about my previous tournament there’s not much to say, I played couple interesting games but the overall score was much below expectations. My performance there was 2230, so how on earth it is possible to perform 300 ELO points better just within couple days?

In last years when I was playing only occasionally I always had a feeling at the end of the tournament that now I can play on a good level. In other words, if I had played the next tournament right away I would have performed much better. See what I wrote one year ago – “As usual now I feel like I would play much better chess if I play next tournament but next month I’m doing some other stuff so I can forget everything again just to recall it during the next tournament”  (https://piongu.wordpress.com/2014/08/03/289/). It’s obvious after the tournament one can remind himself quite many things, some opening lines, the way to calculate during the game etc. so one should perform better in the next tournament. But can it really make such a huge difference? And on the other hand one could say that it’s more likely to become tired playing one tournament after another without any break… It all sounds like some kind of storytelling which happens very often to chess players (The subject was very well covered by psychologist and GrandMaster Jonathan Rowson in his great book “Chess for Zebras” Gambit 2005) and maybe in some way it is but that were at least my thoughts and the reason why I necessarily chose to play two tournaments instead of one. That was my theory and it worked perfectly. Of course I don’t rule out any other influences on my score like the fact it was less hot during the second event or simply I was playing much stronger opponents against whom I usually play more responsibly and just better. One thing for me is clear anyway  – The best way to prepare for the tournament is to play the tournament! That can’t be a rule of thumb for all players, especially for some old guys with poor physical condition but for the players like me that looks like the way to go 🙂

Romanishin_vs_Nguyen

…and here is me playing against the legendary GrandMaster Oleg Romanishin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleg_Romanishin) – probably the toughest opponent I have ever met. Playing against him was really inspiring. He crashed me terribly 3 years ago but this time I managed to make a draw.