Round 2

The National Team was paired up with Uzbekistan today, led by former FIDE World Champion, GM Kasimdzhanov. We knew it would be a good challenge against a team with higher rated players on all 4 boards.

I didn’t really doubt the Kasimdzhanov would play, so I started preparing yesterday. When the board pairings came out this morning it was official that I would be playing the former World Champion. Here is the game.

[Event “?”]
[Site “?”]
[Date “2010.09.22”]
[Round “?”]
[White “Kasimdzhanov”]
[Black “Bluvshtein”]
[Result “1-0”]
[ECO “C42”]
[PlyCount “69”]
[EventDate “2010.09.21”]
[SourceDate “2010.09.22”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. d4 d5 6. Bd3 Bd6 7. O-O O-O 8. c4
c6 9. Re1 Re8 10. Qb3 Na6 11. c5 Bf8 12. Nc3 Bf5 13. Bxa6 bxa6 14. Bf4 Qa5 15.
Ne5 Nxc3 16. bxc3 Qc7 17. Qa4 Qc8 18. c4 dxc4 19. Nxc4 Qd7 20. Bd6 Rxe1+ 21.
Rxe1 Re8 22. Rxe8 Qxe8 23. Ne3 Qe4 24. h3 Be6 25. Qb4 Bxd6 26. cxd6 h6 27. a3
f5 28. Qb8+ Kh7 29. Qe8 f4 30. Ng4 Qd5 31. Qe7 Qf5 32. Ne5 Bd5 33. Qe8 Qe4 34.
Qg6+ Qxg6 35. Nxg6 1-0

It’s always nice to know the opening better than your opponent. I had the position prepared up to the above, with some games played before. My opponent played 11.c5! which is a novelty, prepared by him. Rybka recommends sacrificing the the piece for two pawns on c5 and getting the bishops. I seemed to handle the novelty pretty well though, with 11…Bf8

This was a critical position in the game. I have a very bad pawn structure but the two bishops are compensation. I need to consolidate. 14…Nxc3 15.bxc3 Qd7 might be the best way to do it. 14…Qa5 was too loose and my opponent started playing very accurately.

18.c4! was critical. Without that move I might not be worse. I underestimated how strong the move will be. 18.Qxc6 would be answered by 18…Rxe5! 18.Nxc6 would be answered by Bd7.

23.Ne3! was an important move. The knight controls a lot of squares from there and limits my queen and bishop. I tried to fight for activity but the position is very tough here. White is clearly better.

27…f5 is the losing move due to exactly what my opponent did. I needed to play 27…Kh7 to keep the game going. My position is still very hard though.

This is the final position. I simply can’t stop the passed pawn.

This was a disappointing loss because every loss is disappointing. My opponent played very well. It’s hard to battle against a novelty in the opening when playing against such a strong player. I almost got out of it, but I lacked a few precise moves when I needed them most in the opening.

It certainly didn’t help that I was in time trouble already after 18 moves, when I had 14minutes. I was spending a lot of time in the opening trying to keep the balance in check. Didn’t work that way.

It’s a good lesson. It was a pretty clean win by my opponent.

The Men’s team lost. Thomas beat Filippov, a 2600 GM with white, when his opponent went crazy with a piece sacrifice which Thomas reacted to with precision. Leonid lost on third board. Apparently he was winning at some point but then misplayed him hand. Nikolay drew a rather uneventful but long game.

The team lost 2.5-1.5 against a strong team. We could have done better. Of course, I am upset with myself in the role I had in the score.

The Women’s team also lost 2.5-1.5, to Kazakhstan. I believe they were also outrated on every board. Yuanling and Dalia lost, while Dina showed some great technique in the endgame and won. Iulia drew her game.

Tough day today, hopefully our morale does not suffer. It’s a good lesson for the team and everybody is aware that life at the Olympiad will not be like the first round again.

I have some bad news. I don’t think I will be updating the blog daily from now on. I need to focus on my games more. I didn’t think that the blog is affecting my play before, but I can’t take any chances. The most important thing is for me to play my best. I need some more “me” time. I will  try to update my blog on the rest days.

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One Response to Round 2

  1. Denton Cockburn says:

    Just do like you did after Barcelona and give us the updates after the whole thing is done. Unless you’re bored in between and want to update then 🙂

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