Round 3

I got into my pre-game ritual as usual today. That being 1.breakfast 2.prepare 4.nap 5.shower. A regime helps me get myself mentally ready for the game.

Vinay and I went to the game with the usual subway route. I like to buy my cold drink right before the game at a convenience store close to the playing hall. Today is Sunday. Everything is closed on Sunday. So I had to walk further into a cafe/bar, to buy a can of coke. About a third of the size, almost double the price. Just like Toronto…

My opponent for the game was IM Bukal from Croatia. I found out that he is a very nice guy in the post-mortem. Here is the game.

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2010.08.22”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Bukal”]
[Black “Bluvshtein”]
[Result “0-1”]
[ECO “E20”]
[PlyCount “78”]
[EventDate “2010.08.20”]
[SourceDate “2010.08.22”]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. g3 O-O 5. Bg2 d6 6. Nf3 Nbd7 7. O-O Bxc3 8.
bxc3 Rb8 9. a4 b6 10. a5 Bb7 11. Ne1 Qc8 12. Bxb7 Qxb7 13. Qd3 Qa6 14. Ba3 bxa5
15. Bb4 a4 16. c5 Qc6 17. Qc4 Ne4 18. Nf3 Nb6 19. Qa2 a5 20. cxb6 axb4 21. cxb4
cxb6 22. Rfc1 Qb5 23. d5 e5 24. Qc4 Qxc4 25. Rxc4 f5 26. b5 Ra8 27. Rcxa4 Rxa4
28. Rxa4 Nc3 29. Ra3 Rc8 30. Ng5 Nxb5 31. Ra6 Rb8 32. Ne6 Kf7 33. f4 Kf6 34.
Kg2 exf4 35. gxf4 Nc3 36. Ra7 Nxd5 37. Nd4 Nxf4+ 38. Kg3 Re8 39. Kf3 Re4 0-1

The opening was an interesting one. I saw that he plays this early g3 Nimzo Indian. I wanted to avoid main lines and try to force my opponent to think early on. I shortly prepared 5…d6 followed by Bxc3 and doubling his pawns. All of a sudden, my play becomes easy, but his does not.

He soon started with the wrong plan on the queen side with a4 and a5. I kept improving my position each move. My opponent missed 13… Qa6 which caused him problems. After that I was already better.

18… Nb6 was a mistake, I should have just built up my advantage gradually instead of trying to force the issue right away. 19.Qd3 dxc5 20.Ne5 Qd5 21.dxc5 would have complicated the issue.

My opponent was offering pretty good resistance. 26…Ra8? was a big mistake. Rfc8 and Nc5 held onto a big advantage for me. I’m not sure what had happened to me there. My opponent had about 2min left on the clock. I don’t want to say I was blitzing against his time pressure, but maybe I should have taken a bit more time. In reality though, I had just over 20min myself, and did not want to get into time trouble.

If my opponent would play 29.Rc4! the position would be close to equal.

I showed some smooth technique in the rest of the game. My favorite move was 38…Re8, finishing the game immediately. I know, I know, I was already up three pawns…

I am happy with the result. But chess is not only about the result. I feel like my 2 mistakes could have cost me the win. Against stronger opposition, they would. It’s hard to maintain a good level of intensity throughout the whole game, and I feel like that’s what I might need to work on. On the flip side, I feel like I am still getting back into shape. My feel for the game seems to be doing well, and I keep coming up with creative ideas.

I am happy with the opening choice. I decided to play something positionally oriented and it worked. I was also trying to play the opening pretty fast, just by being more confident.

The opposition is only getting tougher. I am playing IM Khmelniker tomorrow. I have known Ilya since my living in Israel days, when he played in a higher age category than me at Israeli youth championships. I don’t think we have ever actually played though. In 2005 we played together on the same team, in Beer-Sheva.

Vinay drew a very wild game today. After reading my post from yesterday, he made sure to let me know he didn’t need the reminder about the shirt. I got the shirt from him after the round today. But reminders never hurt anybody Vinay… I will be eating breakfast at 9, as usual;)

I have been noticing that playing on the stage is very hot. The projectors and the extra lighting make the difference. Aside from that, conditions in the playing hall are pretty decent. Men’s washroom over flooded today. Chess players… We should stick to playing chess and not using washrooms…

I took some more pictures of the playing hall. First one is of the trophies that are given out at the tournament.

The next one is of the flags that are present in the playing hall. Truly a great feature at this event. You know which flag I care about…

Then I found two statues in the playing hall. I think that they are supposed to represent the king and queen of the chess board. I am not sure about that though… Here they are.

That’s all for today ladies (I would assume there are some ladies) and gentlemen.


2 Responses to Round 3

  1. Stan Percival says:

    Hi Mark:

    as a class A player from Burlington I have been following your chess career for years. I am impressed with your play and persona and really appreciate your blog. it provides some personal details of your life which are unavailable anywhere else, as well as your perspective on your games.

    I think it was wise to complete your degree before continuing your chess career,

    best of luck and good play in the rest of the tournament and the rest of your chess year.


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