European Club Cup Championship Impressions
October 24, 2009 • General
Hello to everyone once again, my apologies for not blogging recently, but I have been extremely busy on many fronts. A few weeks ago, I finished competing in the European Club Cup Championship. At the start of the tournament, I got off to a rather bumpy start as I lost a marginally worse endgame against Peter Svidler with Black. To be fair, he played the endgame very precisely while my attempts at setting up a fortress failed. After this disappointing loss, I beat a 2400 IM and then followed this up with a draw against Czech Grandmaster, Viktor Laznicka in the Kings Indian. at this point, having scored 2.5/4 I was not doing very well. Luckily, I started to regain my form as I followed this up with a nice wins against GM Sergei Zhigalko (2601) and GM Milos Pavlovic (2533). Having recovered from the bad start, I more or less played a forced drawn line against GM Alexander Grischuk in the last round. Overall, I was more or less satisfied with my play except for the game against Svidler. Thus, I cannot complain as I felt the event served its purpose and I put on a solid showing in my last event before London in December.
In terms of the general tournament, I was pretty amazed to see that outside of Svidler’s excellent performance (wins over me,Ivanchuk,Mamedyarov and Motylev) no one escaped the event unscathed. Aronian for instance trounced Grischuk, but then got steamrolled by Mamedyarov in the following round. Other notable American players in the event were Kamsky and Onischuk, but neither performed very well as they both lost two games. In the end, the super strong teams finished at the top of the event as it ultimately comes down to the board 4s, 5s, and 6s. When one team has players like Adams or Petrosian on board 6 against a 2300, it makes the odds impossible to overcome. All in all, a fun event and I hope to play several leagues next year and the European Club Cup as well.
That’s all for now, stay tuned for more updates shortly!