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 KhalifmanĀ 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 šŸ™‚

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 šŸ˜›

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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 šŸ™‚

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 goodĀ 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 GrandMastersĀ 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 lastĀ 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 GĆ³ra by the Polish Sea so I’m looking forward to yet another good rest šŸ˜›

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:Ā http://www.chess-results.com/tnr207899.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=9&turdet=YES&flag=30&wi=984)Ā 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 šŸ™‚ 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.Ā 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 šŸ™‚

 

2015 Little Summary and New Goals for 2016!

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As you have probably already read on my blog 2015 was a very successful year for me. I gained more than 100 ELO points, just like in the old good days when I was very young šŸ™‚ I also managed to play quite many games (almost 80). When I was still a junior I used to play more than 100 games per year but such amount of games played in one year will probably be only possible when I retire šŸ˜€ Ā From now on I will try to play minimum 40-50 games each year (hopefully it will be more!). Also important point to note I chose only very strong tournaments and I shall continue doing so. I can’t afford playing some weak tournaments as time is too valuable.

Regarding my International Master title the application is already online atĀ http://ratings.fide.com/title_applications.phtml?details=1&id=1127993&title=IM&pb=44Ā and as far as I understand I’ll get it after the nearest FIDEĀ Presidential Board Meeting which is held at the end of March in Moscow.

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Facing very difficult positionĀ at Cracovia 2015. Credits: zielonizielonka.info

I haven’t chosen all tournaments for this year yet (If you know about any nice tournaments please let me know!) but on 12th February I will playĀ very strong tournament in Graz. You can see theĀ starting list. There’re more than 10 GMs! As usual I ask you to keep fingers crossed for me šŸ˜›

Tournament website:Ā http://www.chessopengraz.com/2016/de/Ā – You should find there link to online tranmission so you can watch some top games live.

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 šŸ˜€

…but let’s better talk about positives. I played in FIDE Open and the field was quite strong, there were 28Ā 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 butĀ still without a win over someone strongĀ soĀ 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!Ā My detailed results:Ā 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 šŸ™‚ One thing which caught my eye immediately was… chess set (madeĀ 12th century!)Ā 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 šŸ™‚ 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:Ā 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 šŸ˜€ There’ll be possibility to score Grandmaster norm; as I have already threeĀ 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 šŸ˜‰

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.Ā see thereĀ http://www.londonchessclassic.com/

Keep fingers crossed for me!

My impressions after Frydek Mistek 2015

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Dear All,

That was my 10th tournament in Czech Republic! I’ve never played such an exhaustive tournament, 4 days double round and on 5th day last round at 8am šŸ˜€ After a long break I tried to play some serious chessĀ and I think I more less played good and interesting games calculating lots of variations quite well. I made 5 draws and had 4 wins and even though I had couple draws with lower rated players I think the quality of games was decent so I’m happy with it. I finished the tournament on 3rd place behind IM V.Plat and IM I.Sipos.

Detailed results are here:Ā http://chess-results.com/tnr162262.aspx?lan=1&art=1&rd=9&turdet=YES&flag=30&wi=984

Apart from the Open tournament I played, there were also tournaments for kids. Each time I visit Czech Republic I wonder why tournaments there are so much better than tournaments in Poland (More players from different countries and much stronger players comparing tournaments with similar prizes. I have already written something on that topic on this blog back in 2012). And the events for kids were great example of what chess events should be about. I was very glad to see children enjoying the tournament afterĀ the rounds, the organizers preparedĀ plenty activities for them. There were some clowns entertaining kids, simultaneous display, theatre and many other things I don’t even know how to name. (You can see everything on photos from the event at organizers website http://www.chessfm.cz/)

Of course all of this is not maybe directly important for older guys like me, but what I want to say is:

After finishing each round going straight to the hotel room is against chess culture.

…and let this messageĀ guide organizers from Poland. Of course this is also up to chess players if they are cultural or not but the first thing depends on organizers if they for example provide a place for post mortem analysis, organize simultaneous exhibitions etc. In Frydek Mistek I got to know some new chess friends, analyzed games with them and that’s not lessĀ important than the games I played.

Some pictures of me in Frydek Mistek šŸ™‚

25 99photos taken fromĀ https://picasaweb.google.com/112682136492602655076

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