Sunday, 23 August 2009

Just as I expected

If I want to take chess seriously - I have to play it! So I went to my first international tournament in 3 years. Where to I thought? Why not go to the sunny Greece in the middle of summer, especially since a couple of my friends are going as well? Kavala Open turned out to be rather strong for my rusty chess and a bit hard to adjust to the time control (1:30hr for 40 moves followed by 30 min + 30sec after each move). After all, I've been mainly playing in the 4NCL in the past few years where they do give you a lot of time to think!

I started with 0 out of 4 - I think a real record for me! I had it all - blunders, time trouble, positional errors and trying too hard to win. I kept reminding myself that Shirov sometimes has very bad tournaments, so nothing to worry about, I'm just out of practice. However, after getting only half a point in another two rounds I was in tears! Time to call my parents. They are great motivators - I should have talked to them earlier. My dad reminded me how he got 0 out of 9 in Chelyabinsk town championship. I certainly hoped that wasn't going to be the case for me, so I finished with 2.5 out of 3! In those last rounds I even had time to walk around and observe some of the grandmasters' games which I found rather entertaining. One of those Russian GMs even looked kind of cute... :) Of course, it's important to switch off from chess once in a while if you don't want to become too crazy for the outside world! Though I should proabbly stick with chess to keep safe as I managed to scrape my knee while swimming in the warm Aegean Sea. At least I didn't drown, I suppose!

I still lost 30 rating points, but now I have to concentrate on improving chess rather than worrying about rating. It WILL rise if I train. During the tournament I certainly refreshed some of my openings knowledge and had some helpful advice from my friends IMs Simon Ansell and Adam Hunt. I also feel I had a valuable practical experience in Kavala and I'm sure I'll do better next time, especially since I now make sure that I analyse my games.

Just to prove that I was in Kavala, here is a token picture of me playing chess, taken by one of the tournament photographers (I'm in a blue top in the background):

And I did actually write a short tournament report for the ECF website. See it here if you like:

Till next time!


Anonymous said...

First post in a long series, then? Looking forward to reading all about the rest of your journey to stardom. You go girl! K x

Ivo Serenthà said...

Congratulation for your blog and pictures included,I enocourage you to photoblog

Greetings from Italy,