March 23, 2009 • General
Hello to everyone out there. I do apologize for taking such a long absence from blogging, however I have been busy of late with many other projects. I do not plan to take such a long break in the future though and will try to blog as often as there is relevant news pertaining to chess.
Unfortunately, I never could quite get my feet on the ground during the Austrian League. I think in large part this was due to my lack of recovery time after flying in. On most of the days, I was usually asleep until about an hour before the games and this affected me adversely. Overall, the first two legs were quite forgettable and I played anything but inspiring chess. This time around though, I started off quite well with a nice win over Gyimesi in the first game. In the second game against GM Miroshnichenko from Ukraine, I first obtained a winning position, then a losing position, then a winning position again! However, due to some very bad time pressure I missed a win in two and lost. It cannot be understated how much this game affected me the following day when I walked into some preparation by GM Gustafsson and was simply lost with White after 15 moves! This was simple a disaster of epic proportions and one which I don’t hope to repeat. In the final round I was black against the Hungarian GM Ruck. There are really very few comments that I can use to describe this game other than that it was a game where none of my moves make much sense unless one has studied the games of Suttles. In the end, I found a way to grind an endgame to somewhat salvage the damage. In the end my final result was 5 wins, 5 losses?? and 1 draw. I shedded quite a few points along the way, but alas such is life. The one bright spot was that my team Husek Wien ended up winning the league overall due to our massive 5.5-.5 score in the final match. Overall my result was quite mediocre, but I think more than playing badly it was simply all the wear and tear of traveling and not having enough time to recover.
For the 10th year, ICC ran a form of the Dos Hermanas internet chess tournament. Originally, as I recall, the winner of the online event (before computer programs) got an invitation to the actual event in Spain which no longer exists anymore. Therefore, it has simply turned into a blitz tournament. In past years, there has been rampant cheating and it always seems that the top players never win. As such, I was not planning to play this year, but a friend convinced me to at least take a shot. In typical fashion, much like last year, I lost to someone who I ordinarily would not lose to. Although I’m sure that many people would love to hear who I think may or may not have cheated, I will stay away from such gossip as I’m not 100% convinced about it unlike the past few years when it seemed rather obvious to me. There really is little else to say other than that I am not going to play this tournament in future years due to inability to prove or disprove one’s ability to cheat.
My next event will be the French League at the end of April, and I will do my best to have better results there than I had in Austria! I will also be in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada from July 20-22 for the Canadian Youth Chess Festival (http://monroi.com/2009-canadian-youth-chess-championship-home.html)
Other notable events which I have planned are the NH Rising Stars event from August 19th-September 1st along with the European Club Cup Championship in Macedonia in early October. Last but not least, I will be playing in a prestigious category 19 (2700 average) round robin in London during December. Until next time!