Saint Petersburg match against Alexander Morozevich, part 1.

When I first arrived at a chess club in 1984, I was already hooked on chess. I had played with my father for a few years and was in the habit of writing down our games in i red notebook. If someone asked me then whether I wanted to swim, play, go for a walk, run a kite, or just about anything, then what I’d really wanted to say was: “I’d rather play some chess”. I usually didn’t say that, but the feeling was there. One of the things that I have loved about learing to play go is that I sometimes get that same feeling (to the annoyance of those close to me), that, no, I’d rather just play a game of go. I write this just to give you a sense of how happy I was when I was invited to the European Go Congress, to play a combined chess- and go-match against Alexander Morozevich in Saint Peterburg. The match took place the 27:th of July and although I lost it 3-1 it was a great experience; one of those that can make a guy like me go humming “je ne regrette rien” for days. The best part was that I managed to play another ten go games in the two days I was there and got to meet some very strong go players.

IMG_1719

My opponent needs no presentation in the chess world, but I knew little about his strength in go. Alexandre Dinerchtein 3p wrote that AM was “close to 3kyu”, but when I heard that he had already played a few tournaments and was to play both weeks at the European Go Congress, I sensed that he would probably improve fast and that anything was possible.

IMG_1721

I arrived on the 26:th and spent the evening going from hall to hall, checking all the side events and eventually I ended up at an outdoor bar where go players where hanging out, playing and analyzing games. I intended to prepare a bit for the chess games, but in the end my preparation came to primarily consist of a few hours of evening go.

The match started at 10 in the morning and we started with chess. The time limit was 15 minutes +5 seconds. I played Black:

I wasn’t unhappy about the game. My level in rapid games is not that good and Alexander is a world class act. After a short break it was time for the first game of go.  Now I would find out how strong he had become… (The comments below are heavily depending on the video with Wu Hao 2p and Vadim Efimenko 1d.)

So, down 0-2 after the first two games and a chess game coming up next. I wasn’t too optimitic about my chances to win the match. (To be continued)

Old news and good news

The good news are that Cellavision Cup starts today, with a very strong field. I’m rated number 7, but if I can survive the first four rounds of rapid chess, then I’m optimistic about my chances. The old news I’m referring to are concerning the Swedish Championship, which I promised to cover in my last post. I didn’t play well there, but I had my moments and since I hadn’t played a lot in the months before my expectations weren’t that great. The winner, Erik Blomqvist, started out with three draws, but then he’d had enough and won the last six games. It was an impressive run. Here is a game from round 6, that illustrates an important aspect of his style:

After the weekend I’ll cover Cellavision Cup and my match against Morozevich.

Carlsen plays the Modern

I really hope this is not the last part of a series, but considering that the result went his way, I’m hoping for a continuation. So, to make a short story: Magnus (who’s surname everyone knows) lost the first round of the Bilbao Masters to Nakamura and had to bounce back, fast, in order to have a chance at winning it all. The counterpart: Wei Yi, a player from the East, of awesome strength. Will Magnus answer his opponents 1.d4 with his traditional light square strategy? Anyone? (Yes, everyone knows the answer to that question. Everyone deserves a “well done”.)

In the coming week I will update you on the progress of the Swedish Championship and also write something about my upcoming match against Alexander Morozevich. We will play a bit of chess, but also go.

Look there!!

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.