Wednesday, 9 December 2009

London Chess Classic Part 1

Today was the start of the London Chess Classic festival and I'm glad that my anticipation and training is over and all I have to do now is play chess ... but play it well! I drew my game against Elena Winkelmann today. I was a bit better throughout the game, but couldn't find a way to progress and keep my advantage so I forced a draw. However, it's nice to get a good start in a tournament. My friend Denise Frick did even better and managed to win the game that she was losing! Denise is staying with me and it's great to have some company to discuss chess and to support each other during the tournament.

I finished my game quite early, so had plenty of time to watch games in the grandmaster tournament. By that time Kramnik was already a pawn down against Carlsen. Apparently he had problems with getting a British visa (how is that possible??) and that may have affected his state of mind. He eventually lost the game. I really hope he does well in the rest of the tournament. Short lost to McShane but I didn't stick around long enough to find out how exactly that happened. I thought it would end up being a draw as their position didn't seem to change much for a long time. The other two games were draws, but everyone kept wondering how Nakamura managed not to win against Ni Hua in what looked like a winning rook and pawn endgame. Of course, that happened because all rook endings are drawn :)

I haven't stopped following the World Cup. With fewer people it's less exciting but there are still some very interesting games. In semi-finals, Karjakin against Gelfand was very entertaining apart from the fact that I wanted Karjakin to win. At least Ponomariev managed to overcome Malakhov in today's tie-break. I saw their first two exciting rapid games and then I had to force myself to switch off the computer and go to my own tournament! So, the final will be Gelfand-Ponomariev. Come on Pono!

Tomorrow I'm playing against Arianne Caoili. Everyone knows that her boyfriend is GM Aronian and it seems he's arriving today to support her. So, will this super-GM find any holes in my openings that Arianne can use? Can't wait to find out!


Ryan said...

Good luck in the rest of the event. :-)

Maria Yurenok said...

Thanks! I lost today though, perhaps I shouldn't have sacked a pawn in the opening...