I had not played a tournament game in three months when the Swedish Team Championship started last weekend, which meant coming back from my longest break from chess since 1993. My team, Växjö SK, played in the second league last year, and we won it, and thus we are back in the top group, “Elitserien”. In the first round we played against Wasa SK, and I managed to win with White against Nikita Meshkovs. After the game there were quite a few who expressed the opinion that the game looked very smooth on my part. Well, it was not. Judge for yourselves:
My team managed to draw the match, and also in the second round we drew against Stockholms SS, a team that was stronger than us on paper. In the third round we played against last years winners, and we got properly creamed, with 6-2. Still a good start to the season for us.
The Swedish team has been set for the European Team Championship later this year. Hampus Sorensen and Kaan Kucuksari will play for the first time on the National team, and with me, Erik Blomqvist and Nils Grandelius on the other boards it seems like a decent team. Nils went far in the World Cup, and in the fourth round he only needed a draw against Jaime Santos Latasa in order to get through to the next round. It was one of these reverse Carlsbad:s, where White pushed the a-pawn:
In the end I scored 10/13 in the Main Open and the Weekend, and I should really not complain. There were a few games that I won with small margins, and it was only in the last game that I messed up a position that was very good for me.
Before the tournament I did not have high expectations, since I had not played very well in the games just before. I felt I could get to a stable 2dan rank, but no more. In the end I won against all the 2- and 3dans I faced, and got an even score against 4- and 5dans. My highest ambition has been to get to 3dan, but now I aim higher.
The last game was hugely entertaining to play, but I messed up a good position, and at the end I ought to have resigned earlier:
Next post will be about chess.
So, finally, I lost a game in the main open. Most of the early stages of the game went my way, but by the late middle game, I became increasingly unsure about the standing. Was I ahead by a few points, or was I behind? It really shold be my first priority to improve my counting. Not knowing if you are ahead or behind is a big handicap towards the end of a game.
I analyze all my games first on my own or with someone else, and then I use AI-sensei to get something to compare my opinions with. I believe this is the right order. A lot can be lost in the learning process if we just look for answers, without having a clear opinion ourselves first.
As the tournament has proceeded I have been able to look at my games together with other go players, and I came to realize that my games are overly dramatic. I tend to start complications even when they do not favour me. This loss was perhaps a move in the right direction. I did start complications that did not favour me, but it was not too early on, and with my understandning of the score it made some sense.