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 🙂

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 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 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 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 Góra by the Polish Sea so I’m looking forward to yet another good rest 😛

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How I scored 3rd International Master norm

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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.

Chess holidays plans

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Yet again you haven’t heard anything from me for a while but I’ve done some work on chess since my last tournament. Now it’s the right time to test my strength and this weekend I’m going to play Polish blitz championship in Lublin. I’ve never been good as a blitz player but I’ve been playing a lot training blitz games online recently so I believe it won’t be so bad.

Next, in July I’m going to play Najdorf Memorial in Warsaw where I hope to play at least as strong as I was able to play couple years ago 🙂 I’m also considering playing in Wrocław just before the Najdorf. I don’t have any specific plans for the August but I have a feeling I need to play something… If you have heard about any nice tournaments in August let me know 😉

Tricky Endgame

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I promised to write about Najdorf Memorial but again somehow I didn’t have much time 😀 and basically there was not much to say… I lost 7th round to relatively weaker opponent and it was kind over for me. I made draw in 8th round and won 9 round finishing the event with only 4/9 again loosing some ELO points. But I think it was very good training for me, I learnt few new things and what’s maybe much more important – I reminded myself bunch of interesting things I knew some years 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 😉 That’s how it works when you don’t play regularly… and it’s not only with chess, it’s with everything, it’s life.

In order not to leave you with just some sad comments I’ll share with you one interesting endgame from the tournament. In 4th round I played White against Woman International Master Yuliya Shvayger (rated 2287). I got winning position after the opening but I managed to spoilt later just getting slightly better endgame.

P.Nguyen vs Y.Shvayger

 

It’s Black to move and it looks that even though c4 pawns is falling Black can create some counterplay as White has so many pawn islands.

30…Rd8? with interesting idea in mind should White take on c4 but it just runs to nice grip for White by force.

Correct was 30… Ra8 31. a4 (immediate 31.Rxc4?! is not good in view of  31…Ra3) Ra5 32. Rxc4 Ke6 and even though White won a pawn things are not that easy 33. e4 +/=

31.Nd5+!

Black’s idea was that after 31. Rxc4? she could play 31…Ne5 32. Rc7+ Ke6 33. Kf2 (33. Rxh7?! Rd2 and Black will pick up some pawns while White’s king is very weak) 33… Rd2+ 34. Ne2 Kd6 35. Rc3 Rd1 and even though White is pawn up it’s hard to create any passed pawns, Black is very active so it would have ended most likely with a draw.

31… Ke8 32. Re6+ Kf7 33. Rd6 Ke8 34. a4! Fixing b6 pawn, Black is in kind of zugzwang 34…f5

Black couldn’t move the rook 34… Ra8?? 35. Rxd7; 34… Rc8?? 35. Rxd7; and if 34…Rb8? 35. Kf2 +- and Black is hopeless.

35. Kf2 Nc5 Black had to do this finally 36. Rxd8+ Kxd8 37.Nxb6 c3 (37…Kc7 38.a5!) 38. Ke2 h5P.Nguyen vs Y.Shvayger

 

Now I went a bit wrong with 39. Kf3

The fastest way to finish the job was straightforward 39. a5 Kc7 40. Nd5+ Kb7 41. Nxc3 Ka6 42. Nd5 Kxa5 43. Ne7 picking up kingside pawns.

39… Nd3!? and things became very tricky but I managed to keep everything under control. 40. a5

It was  easy to spoil the position playing passive 40.Ke2 Nb4 and now still 41.a5 Kc7 42.Na4! wins but one could go 41.Kd1? Kc7 42.Nc4 h4 (42…Kc6 43.Na3!) 43.Na3! and probably White still wins but the mess was really unnecessary.

40…Nb4 (40… Kc7 41.Nd5+ Kb7 42. e4 +-) 41. e4! I worked out it well and the rest is very simple

41…f4 (41… Nxc2 42. a6 Nd4+ 43. Ke3 Nb5 44. exf5 +-) 42. Ke2 Nxc2 43. a6 Nd4+ 44. Kd3 Nb5 (44… c2 45. a7 c1=Q 46. a8=Q+ Ke7 47. Nd5+ Kf7 48. Kxd4+-) 45. Nd5 h4 (45… c2 46. Kxc2 Kd7 47. Nf6+ Kc8 48. Nxh5 Kc7 49. e5 $18) 46. Nxc3 Nxc3 47. a7 1-0

 

 

The most important are 3 last rounds

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Hi,

As some of you may have already been following I’m playing Najdorf Memorial in Warsaw. The tournament is very strong and I have 2,5 out of 6 rounds. I played 2 GMs (made draw with one of them) so it’s not that bad but I still feel like I’m far from playing my best… Yesterday I played nearly 9 hours! (one game 5, second 4 hours) so I’m really exhausted… I hate double rounds…

IMG_5840

playing Black against GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda. This game ended in a draw after 5 hours long battle…

Still, as they say “The most important are 3 last rounds” 😀

The pairings for today:

http://www.chessarbiter.com/turnieje/2014/ti_1759/results.html?l=pl&tb=1_&rd=7_

A little come back

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…This time I must say I haven’t been writing for really looooong time 😀 I have played just few tournaments since then without any success but at least each time I reminded myself how the pieces move.

Next week I’m going to play very strong tournament (Najdorf Memorial in Warsaw) and I feel like this time I need to play well and prepare a bit. That’s why also I reactivated my blog 🙂 now you can follow my results and I’ll do my best.  The starting list: http://www.chessarbiter.com/turnieje/2014/ti_1759/results.html?l=pl&tb=2_ – as you can see there’re many strong GMs and usually there’re no such strong tournaments in Poland so if I don’t play well that would really mean a huge waste…

So keep fingers crossed for me 😀 I’ll write about my impressions after the tournament and maybe some short notes during the event after some interesting games 😉

 

Najdorf Memorial 2011: decent result

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Today was the last round of  Najdorf Memorial and I finished tournament on 16th place. I won 7th and 8th round against players rated 2200+ and in last round made a draw with Black playing versus experienced Ukrainian GrandMaster Michail Brodsky. Final standings: http://www.poloniachess.pl/najdorf2011/A/final_standings&9.html

Summary: I gained 11,4 rating points and I’m very close to 2400 again, I won two prizes (for 16th place and 1st place under 2400 – I hope it’s my last prize like this 😛 ).  But what is much more important: I managed to perform quite well (draw with 2 GMs and beating weaker players) after terrible loss in the first round. Such thing to happen is crucial for my development.

My next tournament is Transylvania Cup in Brasov, Romania 1st-10th August. Follow my results!

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