Three Days To Launch

I will be flying to Barcelona tomorrow. The first round starts on Friday, the 20th. It’s close…

Yesterday was my last day of studying. I have been taking it a little easier the last few study days, being busy with other commitments. Today was my day off before flying out. The break is necessary to get a clear mind. I played some basketball this morning. To try to be even more healthy, I jogged to the hairdresser and back. I would be lying if I would say that I am not superstitious. The last several years, I try to get a haircut before I start a tournament, or before a series of tournaments. It has become a superstition of mine. Do I wear the same clothing to every game? I am not that superstitious.

You can find the list of registered players at:

I am currently ranked 6th. The top 5 players are over 2600, and 22 players are over 2500. This promises for some very strong competition. The top ranked player until a few days ago, GM Grachev, withdrew.

What are my expectations? Well, it’s very important to clarify the difference between expectations and hopes. I am optimistic, but these tournaments are mini-lotteries. There is no player clearly stronger than the rest, and the winner will need to get a few bounces go their way. After such a long break, it’s hard to expect to win the event. A top 5 finish will be a good result. I hope to win it, but such a long break from playing certainly puts some doubt in myself. A few good rounds might take them all away. The first tournament back is always the hardest…

I want to see where I am currently, in comparison to where I want to be. Barcelona will tell me that.

The official tournament website is: , I assume the results will be somewhere on there.

I will try to update my blog daily, assuming I have internet access in Barcelona.

The worst part of the tournament begins tomorrow, as I have to actually make my trip to Barcelona. I was never a fan of the “having to get there” aspect, but who is? It’s a big part of a chess player’s life. I hope that it will finally kick in that I am about to start playing…


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