Chigorin Memorial 2016

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Few days I ago I came back home from very nice trip to Russia a country with the largest amount of chess Grandmasters in the world. I was dreaming about playing strong tournament there for many years and finally this dream came true and I participated in the Chigorin Memorial (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chigorin_Memorial) in beautiful city of Saint Petersburg.

I started very well, in the 3rd round I faced the former FIDE World Champion Alexander Khalifman聽and chose my secret weapon 1.f4 and managed to even put some pressure. The game finally ended in a draw.

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photo by Sergey Sorokhtin

I played few more famous Grandmasters in this tournament but somehow I couldn’t break through but I beat all weaker players so with the score 5.5/9 I gained some rating points which is always a positive thing 馃檪

Before each round I was walking a lot around the city, there were many nice things to see and I would certainly recommend everyone to visit this place and I hope I’ll be there again in the future.

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…and here’s even a little video I recorded there. Maybe at some point I will start making vlogs 馃槢

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My new chess club and first success

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as usual news are coming so late on my blog… better check out my fanpage聽https://www.facebook.com/chesscoaching聽where everything is more up to date!

At the beginning of September I took part聽in 2nd Seniors League (in Jastrz臋bia G贸ra) with the team ‘Wie偶a P臋g贸w’. This is the first time I represented this club and I’m very happy we finished on a second place which is good enough to be promoted into the 1st聽league next year!

My personal result was unfortunately far from satisfactory. I started very well (4,5/6 and I nicely beat one GM with Black) 聽but somehow I lost three last rounds which was a disaster for me but hopefully our team having won 6 first matches didn’t need too much to secure our main goal 馃檪

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from the left: Jakub Szotkowski, Piotr Jagodzi艅ski, WGM Joanna Majdan-Gajewska, IM Piotr Nguyen, Filip Dowgird, Pawe艂 Kowalczyk

I would like to thank my all teammates and our boss from ‘Wie偶a P臋g贸w’, next year we are going to do our best in the 1st league!

 

My chess holidays 2016

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I haven’t written anything about my last three tournaments on this blog so I’m putting it altogether in one post 馃檪

I have been quite active on my fanpage but I know some of you don’t use facebook so I’m writing here though you can see the content there even without an account and I posted some nice puzzles there!

My first holiday tournament was in Budejovice (that was my 11th time in Czech Republic playing chess!) and it was a GM round-robin tournament with average around 2430 so it was a good聽training tournament. I started poorly with 1/4 but later I won some games and finished on 50% at the end which was a decent result and all my games were very instructive.

Budejovice

Samson fountain at Ottokar II Square in Budejovice

The second tournament was in Warsaw, the city where I live in so I didn’t have to travel anywhere and it turned out to be the strongest tournament I have ever participated in! I had to face five GrandMasters聽rated above 2600 and that was a great experience for me. This time I started very well and I had good chances for GM norm but later I lost three games in a row and again finished with 4.5/9 but with average around 2480 the result is certainly positive.

during tough game where my problems started in this tournament

during tough game where my problems started in this tournament

The last聽tournament I played in Fano (Italy); the city is located at the Adriatic Sea so I had a very good rest there. I traveled there with three International Masters from Poland and we were enjoying this nice event together. We didn’t prepare a lot before the games and we all scored 6/9 and we all gained few rating points!

Arch of Augustus just nearby our playing hall

Arch of Augustus just nearby our playing hall

…now I’m back to my usual work and my next tournament will be next month, the Polish Team Championship, 2nd division which will be held in Jastrzebia G贸ra by the Polish Sea so I’m looking forward to yet another good rest 馃槢

Bad result in Zalakaros 2016

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At the end of May I travelled to Zalakaros in Hungary to compete in a very strong international tournament. There were many GMs and I had 37th number on the starting list so I was full of hope to play with the best players but sometimes life is not easy and we need to accept a bad result… (Detailed results:聽http://www.chess-results.com/tnr207899.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=9&turdet=YES&flag=30&wi=984)聽From the very beginning I had a tough pairings, most of my opponents performed clearly above their rating but of course that’s not the only problem I had and a player who wants to improve needs to find other sources of bad result.

After extensive analysis of my own games I have drawn some conclusion (I’m not going to share it fully here but I can tell one of the biggest problems was related to proper and patient calculation probably caused by too many blitz games played over the Internet) and now I’m preparing a training plan which will improve my play.

Zalakaros

There were many players from Poland there!

The tournaments are not only about playing rated games, it’s also about analysing games with friends, meeting new people and spending free time well and in my view Zalakaros is a good place for it 馃檪 The conditions at the playing hall were clearly above average level of European Events, all games in the main tournament were transmitted live, the players could analyse games afterwards in analysis room, enough space at the chessboard and there were free refreshments for the players each round.聽Zalakaros isn’t a big city but it’s a typical holiday city especially for older people so it was a nice place to have a good rest 馃檪

 

My impressions after 4th Polish-Hungarian Friendship Chess Tournament

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A week ago聽(7-8th of May) I had a chance to participate in a very well organized event held in Katowice,聽4th Polish-Hungarian Friendship Chess Tournament. I have played in Katowice previously only once and it was more than 4 years ago in Polish Academic Chess Championship聽and I wrote about it on my blog. As far as I remember that was the first time the organizer from Katowice tried to push chess tournaments in Poland to the next level that time and he did manage doing so. After 4 years I can only confirm the direction was very good and we have real chess festival in Poland now 馃檪

There were around 600 participants(!) in one huge playing hall the International Conference Centre. There were many kids, I think more than 50% of the players were kids and organizers provided lots of activities for them. Top games were transmitted online and there was even live commentary which is still the domain of only high level tournaments around the world. On the first day I was even invited to the studio and聽聽I was talking with IM Daniel Sadzikowski聽about my game and my future project which is coming very soon.

 

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You can watch it here, it’s 10 minutes long (starts at 6h26m24s): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wWoYkIpSmk&feature=youtu.be&t=6h26m24s

After the first day I scored 3,5/5 unfortunately loosing 5th game to strong GM. I didn’t recover on the next day and finished with 6/9 which wasn’t that bad but certainly I tried for more. The tournament was won by my old good friend GM Kacper Piorun who made huge progress recently and is currently in top 100 players in the world.

Detailed results:聽http://chessarbiter.com/turnieje/2016/ti_1947/results.html?l=en&tb=10_

 

My impressions after Graz 2016

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This should have been posted almost a month ago 馃榾 as usual I was busy with some other stuff but finally here it is.

Graz 2016 was very strong tournament, I had 24th number on the starting list and there were 15 Grandmasters (3 of them are in top 100 in the world)! The winner with 8/9 was GM Li Chao from China whose rating exceeds 2750.聽I scored 6/9 (4 wins, 4 draws and 1 loss with average of my opponents above 2350) which is very decent and I gained 6 ELO points 馃檪 I played very interesting chess, sometimes I was choosing聽extremely risky options but it paid off at the end.

Detailed results:聽http://chess-results.com/tnr181947.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=9&flag=30&wi=821

The atmosphere was great, there were many chess sets to analyse the game afterwards which is very important for chess culture in my view. Around the playing hall one could also find very nice chess related painting worth 28000 Euros. This is the position from the game played by Frank Marshall in 1912 and the solution is considered to be one of the most brilliant combination聽ever played!

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Black to move. What did F.Marshall play?

I also found some time for sightseeing as the City of Graz is quite nice.

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With quite big group of players from Poland.

…At the moment I have some rest and I also enjoy watching FIDE Candidates Tournament but I think I should play some tournaments soon.聽I don’t have any clear plans yet but if you know about any strong tournaments (best with the possibility to make a GM norm) please let me know 馃檪

London Chess Classic 2015

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Today I came back home from London. I think I could write entire article just about my travel as I missed my flight and basically was stressed more than during the whole tournament 馃榾

…but let’s better talk about positives. I played in FIDE Open and the field was quite strong, there were 28聽GMs, 34 IMs and I was 63rd on the starting list so it was a great chance to show my potential. I managed to outplay every weaker player I faced quite convincingly and each game against stronger player was full of fight. I played 2 guys from world top 100, GM E.Postny and GM H.Melkumyan, even though I lost those games I played very agressively and had some chances. After 6 rounds I had 4 points but聽still without a win over someone strong聽so聽the real test came in the last three rounds where I made 2,5 with average above 2450! I beat 2 GMs and made a draw with 1 good IM.

I shared 8th place, my performance was above 2500, I got 4th International Master norm and gained more than 40 ELO points so on January I’ll finally cross 2400!聽My detailed results:聽http://chess-results.com/tnr197807.aspx?lan=1&art=9&fed=POL&flag=30&wi=821&snr=63

LCC 2015

In front of Olympia where the event took place

I also had a chance to follow the best players in the world live in action. Unfortunately they were playing more less at the same time as I was playing my games so I was unable to enjoy it as much as I wanted… Still that was nice to sit in their playing hall and experience it live, not online.

Naka vs Caruana

just before handshake Caruana vs Nakamura

There wasn’t a lot of time to visit the city but I managed to see a thing or two 馃檪 One thing which caught my eye immediately was… chess set (made聽12th century!)聽https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_chessmen

Lewis Chess Set in the British Museum

What can I say more? I’m just looking forward playing more such tournaments!

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