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 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 🙂

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 😛

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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 😀

…but let’s better talk about positives. I played in FIDE Open and the field was quite strong, there were 28 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 still without a win over someone strong so 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! My detailed results: 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 🙂 One thing which caught my eye immediately was… chess set (made 12th century!) 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!

What’s next?

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As usual I’m not writing here as often as I should but this year I had quite good results and I’m playing much more than in last years 🙂 Recently I played a training tournament in Warsaw and even though it wasn’t very strong I managed to show some nice play and made great score 9/10 with performance over 2600!performance_ymca

detailed results: http://www.chessarbiter.com/turnieje/2015/ti_5171/index.html

It looks as I’m in a good shape so it would be a pity if I loose momentum so… tomorrow I’m flying to London for very strong tournament 😀 There’ll be possibility to score Grandmaster norm; as I have already three International Master norms I think it’s the first time I should be thinking about GM title. My recent performance is at least good prognosis for that 😉

Besides of playing I’ll be also watching best players including current World Champion Magnus Carlsen who will play the last tournament from Grand ChessTour!

For results etc. see there http://www.londonchessclassic.com/

Keep fingers crossed for me!

Overdue tournament reports

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Again, I didn’t write here for some time even though I played two tournaments! Somehow I was unable to find time for blogging… In August I played in Prague and you can find some short summary on my twitter. By the way I encourage you to follow me there 😛

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me playing Hippo Opening in the 1st round of Summer Prague Open

(more photos from that tournament on my friend’s site)

On Sunday I finished my second tournament, 2nd Polish League. I was playing on the 1st board for my team Gostmat Gostynin and I had quite strong opponents. This time I had rather bad start (although I must admit my opponents played very well in those games) but later I recovered a bit winning two nice miniatures(!) and all in all my result wasn’t bad 🙂

Link to detailed results: http://chessarbiter.com/turnieje/2015/tdr_4099/results.html?l=pl&tb=202_ My team was 9th but we were very unlucky to play against best team in the last round which we lost terribly… Had we won the last round we would have been promoted to the 1st League.

I’m pretty sure you would like to see some more comments strictly related to my games on this blog so…

…I promise to give 1 highlight from my latest games soon!

You can leave some suggestions in the comments 😉

 

 

 

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 😉

I play better chess when I write about it!

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I’ve been neglecting this blog for more than 2 years (since July 2012 when I started my job as computer scientist) and Ioose my ELO points in every tournament I play. I haven’t played a lot since then but I still managed to loose more than 100 points what is really frustrating.

Playing chess is not just about the results but clearly playing bad games is no fun at all. Now, when I’m under 2300 I decided I need to come back somehow that’s why I returned to this blog as “I play better chess when I write about it” 🙂

How does writing a blog can have anything in common with my playing strength? The answer is very simple. When I write about chess it means I have time for it. Time is a crucial factor when it comes to development of any skill. Also it shows that I’m much more attached to my play. It’s essential to have some goals etc.

I’ve chosen some nice books a few weeks ago and expect my big comeback this year 😀 I’m also looking for some strong tournaments. Unfortunately I can’t play too many tournaments because of my other obligations but I think I can afford playing much more than in the last 2 years.

I hope this year will be as good as 2005 when I gained nearly 200 ELO points and had my best results in my career as a junior. I was vice champion under 14 in Poland (classical chess) and played European Junior Championships in Herceg Novi where I came 22nd.  Also I won National Championship (U14) in rapid chess.

P.S. A little throwback from 2005 🙂 I wish I could be as much devoted to chess as I was back then…

PIOTR

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

 

 

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