Monday 10 March 2014

Elitserien - Fiasco at the end

Swedish team championship, for 2013/2014 is over, and the new champion is Rockaden Stockholm.
The second place took Team Viking.
For Eksjö S.K. things did not went as we expected, and after three narrow defeats, with minimal possible margin 4,5-3,5 we finished on seventh place.
It does not look good, but the general performance and feeling during the season was much better then the table shows.
In this article I am going to describe what happened in the last three rounds, but also some thought about result of Eksjö S.K.

First things first!
Here is the final table:

1SK Rockaden, Sthlm971146.515
2SK Team Viking971146.015
3Lunds ASK961245.013
4Västerås SK952239.012
5Limhamns SK933338.59
6Farsta SK941436.09
7Eksjö SK940538.08
8Örgryte SK920720.04
9Burgsvik Alva SK911726.03
10Upsala ASS910825.02

As it can be seen from the table, Rockaden won the league by half a game point (one draw).

Friday 7th March:

We played against Västerås, and it looked promising for us, especially as I had very promising attack against GM Ralf Åkesson.
However, a blunder near the time control gave them full point from nowhere.....
In the first round happened some strange things, as the boards were very near to each other, and a lot of players pushed the wrong clocks (not only in our match).
The arbiter in our match was forced to set the clock on fourth board twice, as their player from board three pushed the wrong clock.
It is interesting that ,after the whole final and two days after the match that they won, the players from Västerås want to see only one side of the story as they complained about one of their lost games....
Very strange.

All three clubs from the top won their matches on Friday, and Örgryte won against Upsala so their survival hopes were alive....

Saturday 8th March:

The second day gave one very important match on the top, when Team Viking crushed LASK, and we gave heroic resistance to the winners, Rockaden Stockholm, but they won with 4,5-3,5.

Picture by Sveriges Schackförbund

I played a draw after 110 moves against GM Erik Blomqvist, demonstrating how to defend with a rook against rook and knight.
Earlier in the game I was lost at some point, but mainly as I tried to make some winning chances in order to save the match.
Örgryte won their second match in the row, and they were over the line....

Sunday 9th March:

The last match of the season we played only for pride.
It looked quite good for us, and I was confident about my position. I had winning advantage at many points, but at the end I blundered a rook, as it seems in one of the heaviest blunders in my life. Instead of deserved victory, in my game and in the match, we got bitter defeat 4,5-3,5.
Rockaden won against LASK, and Team Viking won against Limhamn, but as Rockaden won with bigger margin, they took the title of Swedish team Champions for 2013/2014.

Final thought:

It is not easy to say something about the season when we end it in such a way with five defeats in a row.
However, we were leaders after three and join leaders after four rounds, and as it was usual in previous seasons, this time we avoided relegation battle.
In the beginning our team showed that we have a quality for fight for the medals, but we lacked control in our matches when the league reached the end.
As a team we do not have installed mentality to win the matches.
The atmosphere in the club is great, and that is because of very experienced team captain, Håkan Åkvist as he really knows how to approach and treat the players...and the new players GM Pontus Carlsson GM Allan Stig Rasmusen and IM Nikolaj Mikelsen adapted very quick.
However, our team is not used to play together with this starting line, and as the team chess is different from individual, we can expect to do much better next season.
What I mean by this?
In team competitions, if one player knows well his/her team mates, he/she can feel who will win the game and who is in the problems, and according to this take his/her decisions on his own board (put more pressure or play safely)...
In previous seasons our team played only to avoid relegation, and as we were more or less favourites to avoid it, we played without any pressure.
This season showed that under the pressure of bigger expectations it was much harder to play.

When it comes to my result in Malmö, I am disappointed by my play.
I pushed really hard as I felt that I am generally in the good form, but two big blunders took away two expected points.
I think that it was the result of fatigue, as I just finished very intense tournament in Cannes where I pushed to the maximum and played very hard games.
The conclusion is obvious. I have to improve my physical condition!

No comments:

Post a Comment