Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Home and Away

In the past week I've played two league games. I've won both times and I think I can get used to this :) My Surrey League opponent was significantly lower rated than me at 122 ECF, so the game wasn't particularly challenging. However, I decided to have a bit of fun with my black pieces and played an unusual variation I've never played against the Torre Attack. So that kept me entertained as I wasn't quite sure what I was doing. That line certainly surprised my opponent enough to give me a lasting advantage out of the opening. My Sandhurst team also won easily 4.5 : 0.5.

And in the London League I won against 206 ECF - nice achievement for me! I was playing QGD for white quite well and had a slight advantage throughout the game. However, I messed things up in the endgame when I started getting short of time (quick play finish has some downsides!) Nevertheless, my opponent was the last one to make a mistake as he missed a checkmate in one instead of winning rook and pawn endgame. Well, we both had about 1min left on the clock (without increment) and luck was on my side :) My Hackney team did very well and lost only 7:5 against much stronger opposition. Unfortunately our last board defaulted, otherwise maybe we could have drawn...

I've been watching the World Cup every day as I seem to be addicted to it, but I think it's probably good chess training for me anyway. There are very interesting interviews on the World Cup website as well, and only a fraction of them end up on the Chessbase website, so it's definitely worth checking out. They've just published an interesting interview with GM Tkachiev. Unfortunately, it's only in Russian at the moment, so watch out for it to be translated - probably in the next few hours, as the World Cup website seems quite efficient. Also a few days ago GM Ivanchuk got knocked out of the Word Cup and he gave a very interesting interview threatening to quit chess. Thankfully, he seems to be feeling better now as he said he'd be back. Chess can be just as dramatic as any other sport!

I was very impressed with Judit when she won her second slow play game on demand against GM Gelfand in a very nice attacking style. Unfortunately, she lost in the rapidplay but not without creating significant complications out of nothing in the last game, in what looked like a totally hopeless position for her. That woman has amazing fighting abilities and imagination! Anyway, it's very interesting to see how grandmasters realise their advantage or make mistakes and miss their opportunities. I try to guess their moves and on occasion I find better ones than the players, so they are human after all :)

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