Dortmund

I hadn’t played for a while before the event, but had done some prep at home and played a few successful training games. The tournament wasn’t a disaster but was rather frustrating, as it seemed a long list of missed opportunities, but some of them weren’t easy to spot, at least for me! Read the rest of this entry »

Telford Simul and Lecture

Francis Best and Michael Bukojemski did a fine job, creating a chess filled day beginning with a blitz tournament before I began my lecture. The original proposal was that I would show my games with Andreikin and Caruana from last year’s Dortmund event, but I was a bit concerned that 2 Berlin variations where the queens disappeared from the board on move 8 might not appeal to all, especially as I had annotated the Caruana game elsewhere. So instead I showed my games against Dzagnidze from Gibraltar 2013 which I always liked, in addition to the Andreikin one. Four of the players for the live DGT boards were selected from the blitz results, with the final one selected by lot. I randomly selected Francis Best who played a solid draw.
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Hitching a Ride

I made my Bundesliga debut this season in the March weekend. My teammates had been doing excellent work in my absence and we have a perfect record heading into the final weekend. On Sunday morning I played Luke McShane again, we seem to have played quite often recently despite his work commitments. It was another long and difficult game although this time I managed to convert my advantage albeit in rather unconvincing style. The lengthy encounter meant that although I avoided timetrouble at the board it was looming at the airport, but Luke sportingly arranged for me to hitch a lift with his team, some of the variations below were discussed on the journey. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cave Dining

Gibraltar is always noteable for the special events put together during the tournament, a spectacular highlight this year was the visit to St. Michael’s Cave after the first round, I had visited the caves before but sightseeing on a wet day with the water dripping though the cracks couldn’t compare to the dinner hosted by Brian Callaghan with music, lighting and drinks. A very memorable occasion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Castling Calamity at Classic

The London Classic began with some exhibition games: the Pro Am event in the morning was won by Matthew Sadler and Daniel Lindner from Barclays. As it coincided with the very welcome BarcIaycard sponsorship deal with Chess in Schools and Communities this seemed appropriate. This tremendous achievement was a fitting reward for the work Malcolm Pein and others have done with the charity.
I was originally going to be playing with Edgar Davids Read the rest of this entry »

Hoogoveen

Until Bilbao I don’t think I had played a 4 player double round event in my life, but less than a week later I was starting a second.The traditional Univé tournament in Hoogoveen was very welcoming, a impressive mix of old and new, one nice touch was the traditional wooden old style demonstration boards in the tournament hall.

I was happy to claw back to a 50% score after an unimpressive start, some interesting variations remained in the shadows in my last round game. Read the rest of this entry »