Monday, 2 September 2013

Trip to Balkan, and the first divition of Bosnia and Herzegovina

After some time of inactivity on this blog, I am back with my usual reports.
This time, it is the second part of my Balkan tour.
I have a few days after Manhem GM tournament in Gothenburg, which I spent in Scania, with some visits to Malmö and Malmöfestivalen.
On 21st August I moved to the south, with intention to take part in Bosnian first A division (which is actually the second rank of Bosnian team chess, and is something like Swedish Superetan).
The rules allow the players to play in both leagues, the highest Premier league and in the lower leagues, which is suitable for professionals.
My first destination was Split.
The biggest city on Croatian part of Adriatic coast (during the 90-ties Split overtake the position of Croatian second largest city in front of Rijeka and after capital city Zagreb).

Split at night

The very first thing that I noticed (and probably everyone on the same plane from Copenhagen) was a drastic difference in temperature in Split (34 C ) compared with for example, Malmö during the festival, where I needed a jacket.
The second destination was of course my home city of Mostar, the Capital of Herzegovina.
It is just a two hours by car from Split.
After two extremely hot days in Mostar (this time Split was not comparable, the temperature in Mostar was over 40 C) I went for Neum, which is actually the only town in Bosnia and Herzegovina which lays on Adriatic sea.


Besides that many of Bosnian chess leagues were played here, European Club Cup was also played in Neum in 2000.
At that time I was not rated player, but I performed 2485 out of six games, and never got a chance to play the last game for IM norm as my team captain was not happy with that possibility.
This time, 13 years later I am already IM, and Neum was the place when I defended the colours of Chess Club Gorazde on the first board.

I will not go into the details of this competition in this article, as I want to write about the championship in the next articles (I also want to continue with analysis of my games from Gothenburg and Neum).

I played on the first board, and average Elo of my opponents was about 2350.
I made 3 pluses out of 8 games, and my performance was about 2500 which is actually the performance which I showed in the many tournaments in 2013 (I have to take care about some black outs in other tournaments).
My club was a leader during the whole competition, but we lost our match in the last round (when I lost a game against GM Kurajica Bojan) against Bihac, and that´s why this silver medal and my good performance has a bitter taste.

I can not be satisfied when I had perf. 2600+ during the biggest part of the league, and SK Gorazde was sole leader most of the times. Even in the final standings we have 3 game points more then the winner SK Bihac.

The view from my room in Neum

However, the team mates from Gorazde were all very nice guys and we did not have any pressure to win this competition. The main goal was top 3, and we achieved that.

After the tournament, I went for Mostar again, where I enjoy very much and I write these lines in this beautiful city.
It was a nice break and the time which I use to party, and visit a family and friends from chess life, and other parts of my life too...

Old Bridge in Mostar

I will stay couple of days here, and the next destination will be Dubrovnik, which is one and the half hour drive from Mostar, on seventh September and from that town I will flight to Copenhagen again.

Dubrovnik´s Old town from the air

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