Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Cannes 2014 - Promising story without final touch

Cannes winter open eventually finished, so the readers of this blog can finally get a chance to read about the tournament.
In all three groups played about 400 players which makes this tournament one of the biggest in this part of the year. Somehow in the same period, there are also tournaments in Cappelle la Grande and in Reykjavik, and they get a much more attention in chess media.
However, the reason that the players are separated in three groups, which means that there are no weak players in A group, makes this tournament my favourite open, not only during this period, but in the whole calendar.
There are a lot more reasons of course, and the playing hall is one of the most important!
Because of very busy schedule, I could not write from the tournament, but this article will not be the only one about Cannes winter open.

The only small disadvantage of the tournament is that the games are not transmitted live, and that it will not be published in TWIC or anywhere.
It is pity, for such a big event.
Everything else is pure class!

For example, this is the view from the playing hall.

You can only imagine how inspirational is to play here, when during the second part of the game you can see Cannes´s port in lights...

Back to the events on chess board.
In the first round I was paired against promising Italian player Paolo Formento, one of these guys from Milan Chess Club.
I won against him in Milan, but this time he held me to a draw.
To get 1,5 out of 2 with black pieces against him, is quite okay result, but I would prefer to win in Cannes, when I got a really good chance for something!

The only double round was on day 2.
I started with victory against one home player, and it was anything but easy!
In the third round I got a chance to play against star player, Vlad Tkachiev.
I was black, and I played very brave, sacrificing the pawn out of opening. I got long lasting initiative, and later on I sacrificed even exchange (I got a pawn back, so I was clear exchange down).
My attack on his king was strong, and he was forced to find the save way out...he took perpetual on my king.

In the fourth round I played against home player, slightly under 2300, but performing much higher....
Very intense and hard fight, and another victory for me.
In the fifth round I was Black against Russian GM Jakov Geller.
I was of course satisfied with a draw in forehand, but....
This time I got some material, but he got long lasting initiative....
I defended quite well and in the second time trouble he missed his way out with a draw. I went for a rook endgame with pawn up, which I converted without difficulties.
At that point my performance was already over 2600, and I looked optimistic on my prospects. In the sixth round I played against tournament winner, Indian IM rated 2455, but performing way over 2700. I was white and I got some advantage, but I could not squeeze more than a half point.
I was lucky to get white even in the seventh round, and it proved to be decisive for my standings at the end.
I played against young Russian GM Ivan Bukavshin 2585. I was slightly worse straight from the opening, but I fought well and just before time trouble I got the position that I could not lose....
There came the thing that I was in need to try to win in order to achieve GM norm.
I sacrificed exchange (enough for a draw), but in the moves 39 and 40 I made inaccuracies, and later on went on to lose the game.
In the next to last round I was Black against Spanish/Catalan GM Alsina, and I defended quite well to the moment when I blundered badly in late endgame.
I think that at that point I had not energy to play on...
In the last round I tried with risky and aggressive opening, and I got a draw, against 2300+ home player.
At the end I performed around 2460, which sound good (I earned 6 Elo points), but the general feeling was that I played much better then that

You can see the final table (top 30) on the picture, with rating performances, which was first criteria for shared places (one more huge plus for Cannes tournament).

In the next articles I will write a lot more about this tournament, and show some games (mine, but also some curious positions of other players).

1 comment:

  1. Pictures of the sixth round Bejtovic-Ankita, among others (by Ira Stepanyuk) :