September 05, 2008 • General
Hello again! Once again, I find myself apologizing for not keeping up with the blog during the tournament, but I was quite busy. The last time I blogged was after I drew against GM Charbonneau in round 4 of the tournament. At that point I was doing quite well, tied for the lead with GMs Charbonneau and Shulman. Unfortunately, in round 5 I proceeded to play very badly. Against IM Zugic, I played quite a bit too aggressively instead of being content with a draw. Somewhere around here, I realized that I was off form. Unfortunately, the rest day did little good for me as I proceeded to play a highly dubious Rauzer setup against GM Nataf and was close to losing if not lost in the final position. After this, I played against GM Mark Bluvshtein whom I have known since we played way back in the World Youths in 2001. The game was quite balanced, although I obtained a small initiative out of the opening. This eventually led to an endgame where I was a pawn up, but due both to feeling slightly sick (more on that later) as well as being tired, I was unable to convert. All in all, this game was when I realized that it just was not going to be my tournament. In the 8th round I was black against GM Kovalyov who clearly seemed very unprepared for my Dutch. After the first 10 moves and a fairly standard position, Kovalyov proceeded to fall apart incredibly quickly and overlooked my nice tactical shot 25…Nf2! After this the rest was fairly simplistic and I won with relative ease. Unfortunately, by the time round 9 rolled around I was feeling extremely sick and barely managed to salvage a draw against GM Maze. All in all, the tournament was not my best, but I cannot complain considering how much worse things could have ended. I probably lost 5-6 points, so I will be 2698 or the next list I think.
In other news, I will be playing in Gjovik, Norway at the beginning of the new year in a 4 player rapid tournament with Carlsen,Svidler and Agdestein. For right now though, I am going to rest up and try to get over the cold I picked up in Montreal and gear up for the fall/winter season of 2008/09 when I will be very busy with many different tournaments. For more info on upcoming events, just check out the events section on the webpage. Shortly, I will also be doing my monthly interview starting off with the first one in September.
Until next time!