The European Team Championship has just started and I lost my first game in our (Sweden’s) match against France. In an attempt to turn the focus away from the current state of my game, I’ll point towards the Danish League today, in a “look there!” attempt. My team Brönshöj got a decent start in this years Xtracon Skakligaen and won the first two matches. But looking back at that weekend what I really remember is watching a guy born in 2003 play like a constrictor and slowly squeeze his opponent in a slightly better endgame. This is how it happened:
It seems like my team mates are doing well today, so you can expect a game from that match in the coming week.
…is something of a challenge. For months I didn’t play a single game I was prepared to publish and my self confidence went into a head spin. Lately, though still playing rather kamikaze-like chess (trigger-happy-g-pawn-pushing-side-pawn-launching-no-objectivity-whatsoever-stuff), I have finally played some decent games. At the beginning of October I participated in PokerStars Chess Masters, in Isle of Man. It’s a strong tournament that again was faultlessly arraged. While Pentala Harikrishna steamed on to win the tournament I did my best to find my game. In the eight round I faced Gawain Jones with the Black colors and knew that kamikaze would just not do:
Although I missed some opportunities at the end of the game, I was happy with my play in the critical phase and enjoyed the whole experience very much. It’s a fact: give me a fianchetto and I’ll be happy.
After a rather long struggle to get up to 1 dan on KGS I finally managed the other day. It might seem like a rather small step for mankind, but it felt quite big to me and merited a rather bouncy and ungraceful dance around the livingroom. As a chess coach I always recommend my students to annotate their games and I do – of course – follow my own advice as I try to improve my go skills. Here are two examples that I have tried to make less go-diary-like. The first involves a rather simple but effective tesuji that caught a number of my opponents stones. The second game started out very well, but ended with me being in contest for a possible “the … of the year” price. You will get what the “…” stands for.
The “…” was obviously for “failure”. 🙂
In last months Elite Hotels Open, in Växjö, I played a decent tournament and in the last round I found myself facing the sympathetic Yuri Solodovnichenko, on board 2, with the Black colours. I have lately been working extensively on my repertoire with Black, but with only half an hour to prepare I did, for a moment, lose my confidence and decided to play something that “I know well”, ergo the Modern. I knew that Yuri has a favourite line that I wasn’t afraid of, so it seemed like a good idea. Instead of repeating the this line, my opponent played something that I had previously not even considered as critical. I followed my own recommendation, but after just a few moves my position started to deteriorate, fast, and it became a horrible game for me. It was a hard way to discover a flaw in my views on the Modern, but now I feel obliged to share it with other Modern afficionados: