BN Bank Blitz 2010
November 29, 2010 • General
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I hope that everyone had a festive and enjoyable weekend. Unfotunately, I did not have the chance to partake in the festivities as I left for Norway on Thanksgiving to participate for the 2nd straight year in the BN Bank Blitz. After accepting the conditions immediately to participate, I was extremely disappointed to see that the field did not have either of Norway’s top two players in GM Magnus Carlsen and GM John Ludvig Hammer. Nevertheless there was still a respectable presence with GMs Agdestein, Johannessen and Lahno also competing.
The event itself was broken down into two groups of six players. Most of the other players won various qualifiers around the country of Norway. Also worthy of mention was John Kristian Royset who was also the Backgammon world champion in 2003. I cruised through the qualifier with a perfect 10/10. GM Lahno was the other player who qualified from my group. In the other group, the top two seeds GMs Agdestein and Johannessen advanced. This meant that the two semifinal matches were Agdestein-Lahno and myself against Johannessen. In my match, I decided to play the Dutch with both colors and it worked extremely well as I won 3-0. The other semifinal match between Lahno and Agdestein was very up and down as either player could have won. In the end, Agdestein had the better end of the luck and prevailed 2.5-1.5 in a tough match. This result meant that I would face Agdestein in the final.
After starting off with 13 wins in 13 games, I knew something was bound to go wrong in the final for two reasons. For starters, as I learned from the World Blitz Championship, at some point you get tired and cannot continuously play well. The other huge issue is that as I had a perfect score up to this, point I was starting to have these ridiculous notions of finishing the event with in style with absolute perfection.
The match got off to an incredibly bad start as I tossed away a drawish ending by being a bit too ambitious. However, I recovered nicely and won games two and three. This gave me a one point lead and White in the final game of the match. This game is incredibly hard to explain as I simply went brain dead during two crucial points in the game. I still had some chances to draw the resulting endgame, but Simen kept creating problems and I eventually cracked under the pressure. The shocking loss setup an armageddon game in which I had White against Simen. I received an extra minute while he had draw odds. After a very choppy opening and middlegame, I tricked Simen in the complications and achieved a winning position. Simen could have probably fought on, but he ended up flagging. Although I did not win in the smooth non stressful situation I would have liked, the victory still counts.
That’s all for now as I have to get ready for the upcoming appearances by 13th World Champion, Garry Kasparov as well as the lecture and simul by Nigel Short here at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis!