Monday 28 January 2013

Marienbad 2013, The final word

After more than 20 days of chess adventures in Czech Republic, I am at home again.
There is so much to write about and everything can not be done in just one rapport, but I will summarise things about the tournament, my impressions, my play, and also to show most dramatic blunder in my chess career.
My feeling are very mixed, mostly satisfied with my efforts in both tournaments, but luck of crucial point from the very last round in Marienbad gives me a very bad feeling.
As I wrote in my first rapport about the tournament, organisers put efforts to improve playing conditions for the players in closed groups.
We played on LIVE boards, and place where we played was separated by chairs from the playing hall of open group.
What went wrong in this was not the fault of the organisers, but luck of (chess) culture by many spectators.
They thought that this chairs has a purpose of providing place for rest, where they can look open group and chat a little!
In drawing of lots, I took number 10, which means that I played all my games on first board, 1 meter from these spectators.
In the second part of the tournament, organisers make a good thing by putting invitations for next tournaments on these chairs so nobody could sit there.
One more thing was that Hotel Polonia Restaurant has a back door from the kitchen directly connected with a place where we played.
Most of the time this was not a problem but during the last round, it was some arguing and fighting in the kitchen, and they didn´t stop despite all complains.

Enough of these negative things, because as I said, most of things were improved from the previous years.

During this tour, I had the longest unbeaten run in my life.
I did not lose any game for 15 games (last 3 in Swedish league, 9 in Prague and first 3 in Marienbad).
Then, I lost the game against GM Vladimir Talla with White pieces, simply blundering in slightly better position in which I would never lose under normal conditions.
I think that I put to much pressure on me in that game.
When a chance for a norm vanished I started to feel and play better.
Latter in the tournament I won in nice positional game against Indian women player (lowest rated in the tournament), but I failed to win against opponents which were equally strong as I.

In the finish of the tournament I lost against Arseny Kargin (winner of the tournament) in very strange game in which I forgot something very important in the theory.
In the last game I was very determinate to win, and make a plus in Elo in this tournament too.
I outplayed my Danish opponent, Jens Ove Fries Nielsen, and got easily winning position, which I just need to show.

In this position I was black and on move.
I am a piece up, and I have tremendous attack on my opponents king.
I played (between many winning continuations):

30. Kd1, Bxc2+
31. Ke2

We reached a position which deserves one more diagram.
My question is simple.
Is it possible that International Master in chess failed to win this position?
It does not matter who is an opponent. It can be Gary Kasparov!

Here I thought that the easiest way to win is:

31...Bd4 (computer confirms this)

White is a piece down and has no treats at all.
On the contrary his king is under mating attack!
Then I saw an interesting (totally stupid) idea in which I can win immediately.

31...Bd3+ ??

I thought that I am winning with checks.....

32. Kxd3, Qc3+ ? (still I could probably win with 32...Nc5+ when in the time trouble my opponent has to find 33. Kc4, only move that draws. I doubt that he would see it)

33. Ke2, Re8+

and I thought that he loses everything with checks.....

34. Be6

Completely missed by me!

Now I have to take a draw with 34...Re7 and a move repetition after check on g8 or f8.
Instead, I blundered again with.....

35. Qxe6, Qxg3

When I thought that he can not take on d7 and than on f6 with check, because of Re7 which defends against check and checks him winning a rook on e1.

36. Qxf6+

As simple as that.
In couple of moves from being piece up I am exchange down.
The whole rook!
And that´s not all!
This position is not much worse for me. I probably has full compensation for the exchange!
After the time trouble I blundered again, lost my knight and the game.

I understand that this is my 18th game in a row, and that I was tired, we played a morning round and everything, but this things should never take place in my games.
It is like leading 2-0 in football game in minute 85 and losing 2-3 at the end!
Instead of good Elo plus in both of the tournaments I made minus in Marienbad which completely erased my good performance in Prague.

However there were many positive things in my play.
I am much better in defence than before, and I don´t know is this because that my level of resistance was higher or I just developed my skills in defence.
What I mean with this will be explained in my next post.

Here is the final table of GM group in Marienbad:

As always during these tournaments I met many new, pleasant and interesting people and I met some old friends from all parts of the World.
I hope that I will see them again very soon.
This year in Marienbad was very cold (-16 sometimes) but still this small town has it´s charm and if you add wonderful restaurants and the best beer in the World, than it is very much worth a visit.
I play there year after year.
However, this year I was extremely annoyed by lack of professionalism by players in GM group.
While I and Jens Ove played very correctly to the last move, fighting for nothing but a honor , most of the players played quick draws without any obvious reason.
If I am going to play there again I would ask for the list of the players and decide then.
If organisers wants to have a serious GM tournament, they need to carefully decide what GMs will they invite.

This and many other strange things extremely influenced Mladen Gajic, who was not psychologically prepared to answer all of the problems of closed tournament, and his result was really bad.

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