OTB Tournament Report 5

A good tournament with a disappointing end

I recently played in an U2000 7 round swiss tournament. This was my first OTB tournament this summer and I was really looking forward to play more tournament chess.

Round 1

I started with black against someone rated around 500 points lower than me. I arrived 5 minutes late for the first round and wasn't really into the game for the opening. I half remembered some theory as black in a Jobava London and had an alright position from the opening. After 22 moves we reached the following position:

Black to play

I had just played 22...e4 and completely missed my opponents next move, 23.Bxd5? Luckily, this turned out to be a mistake because black has the strong move 23...e3! . The game continued with 24.Bxf7+ Rxf7 25.Qxe3 and I converted my advantage.

Round 2

I played against a higher rated player in round 2 as white. The game started out as a Grünfeld defense and both players were soon out of theory. Black managed to gain space by pushing his pawns to d5 and e4, but I felt that my pieces were better placed and thought that I was better. I pushed c4 and we both were trying to take control of the c-file. We eventually reached the following position:

White to play

Black has just played 20...Bf8 and here I found the nice tactic 21.Nxe4! Bxe4 (21...Bxc5 22.Nf6+) 22.Re5+! Be7 (22...Nxe5 23.Rxc8 mate!) 23.Bxe7 Qxe7 24.Rxe7+ Kxe7 and white is completely winning.

Round 3

My game in round 3 turned out to be very interesting. I was on the white side of a Dutch defense, but my opponent played a variation I have never faced in a serious game before. Soon we exchanged queens and the game was pretty level until move 22:

Black to play

Here my opponent played 22...h5?! and I won a pawn after 23.Bd7! Re7 24.Rxd5 . I held on to the pawn but my advantege slipped away. When I thought about offering a draw my opponent suddenly played a risky king move:

Black to play

He played 32...Ke5?! and I noticed that the king is very short of squares after 33.g4! Rf8 35.Bf7! But white didn't have a very big objective edge and in mutual time trouble the game was a very sharp draw.

Round 4

In the fourth round, I was on the black side of a Botvinnik English. I never feel confident playing against this setup and in this game I got outplayed in the middlegame and underestimated my opponent's attacking chances. They won a very conincing game.
I am not sure where I went wrong in the game so I will certainly analyse it in depth to improve my play in such positions.

Round 5

Going into round 5, I was not very happy with my play in the previous round but I managed to focus on the next round. The game was a Kings Indian Defense where I felt that Black played some inaccuracies early on. After 13 moves, we reached the following position:

White to play

I invested quite a bit of time in this position since I wanted to attack along the g-file but I had to keep my own king's saftey in mind. After a lot of calculation the game continued 14.O-O-O Nb4 15.Bxc5! dxc5 16.a3 Na6 17.Rg1 Kh8 18.Nh5 and I had a big advantage due to the weak black king and the misplaced knight on a6. I didn't find a way to win by a direct attack but we exchanged pieces and black was left with the horrible knight on a6 and I converted my advantage.

Round 6

In round 6 I was on the black side of an Alapin Sicilian. I don't have much experience in this opening and was in a bit of trouble early on. But after investing some time, I managed to untangle my pieces and we reached the following position:

Black to play

I tried to squeeze in the endgame with 26...g5 27.g4 f5 28.Rxd8 Rxd8 29.b4 f4+ but I couldn't gain a real advantage and the game ended in a draw.

Round 7

I went into the final round with 4.5/6 and was pretty happy with the tournament overall. I was white and the opening went quite well. However, I never saw a way to break through and eventually missed counterplay by my opponent.

Black to play

Here black played 30...Rxa3! 31.Rxd2 Rxa1+ 32.Nc1 Rxc1+ 33.Bf1 . Black has a rook, a knight and a pawn for the queen and more importantly white's pieces are uncoordinated. In the end, I made a big blunder and lost that game.


Overall I finished with 4.5/7 and this tournament was quite a success, I gained around 20 rating points and played most of my games against higher rated opponents.
However, that last round game was a bit frustrating and my loss in round 4 shows that I need to work a lot on some areas of the game. I will analyse these games and learn from my mistakes.