Finally I am travelling again and playing chess so its time to blog again. Besides, four months on the "front cover" is enough for our esteemed champion Max Illingworth. Never before have I honoured somebody for so long. Lets start with my first round debacle.
Everything was actually going quite smoothly here as you can see until I hallucinated that I was playing
40.Rd2 covering my extra pawn. At this point I should have cut my losses and started playing for a draw. I have come to the conclusion that it is not a good idea to arrive on the day of the first round....again.
After a good nights sleep it was time for the first of the double round days. The organiser, Peter Long, warned me that my opponent was considerably higher rated and stronger than my first round opponent so I went into the game with a good dose of paranoia.
Paranoia is good for chess :-) There IS always someone out to get you. Mind you playing a "Barry Attack" a tempo down is not the way to go about it and 9.Be5 is way too creative.
Jewel played one of my pet openings against me, Tiger's Modern. I suspected deep psychological preparation but decided to play the most principled continuation. It was nice to finish a game with double discovered checkmate.
It was obvious something was up when I saw a whole lot of kids in the lobby in the morning. There was a one day junior tournament on.
One quick look
And then it was time to escape.
After three rounds it was nice to have a day off and I needed the time to buy a new laptop. The IT mall in downtown KL is a sight to behold. Five floors of everything you can imagine. One is truly spoilt for choice. After a couple of hours of salivating I settled on a Lenovo Ideapad S410p. Great specs with one downside, Windows 8. Apart from the annoying interface it tries to force you to get a Microsoft account to use apps like Skype.
One of the other great features of KL is the plethora of restaurants. One can eat anything any time of day. We had lunch at the Wangsa Walk Mall where another junior tournament was taking place, complete with a DJ, loud music and multi-coloured pieces! I was asked to give a quick talk, answer some questions and give out some prizes.
As soon as it finished we escaped for a well deserved dinner :-)
Wobbly pork, Peking duck, fried eggplant, omlette and duck soup. Mmmmmm
Well yesterday was more fun than today. My endgame play resembles my French grammar. My opponent is the Indonesian team manager who only decided to play at the last moment so there wouldn't be a bye. Having said that he is a dangerous attacking player who has already victimised some strong players. True to his style he launched a kitchen sink attack only to end up in a bad ending. Then instead of the intended and strong 45...Rc4 I calculated a long variation. Like Bent Larsen said, "long variation, wrong variation :-(
When it rains it pours? Well that's the theme for today. Many years ago in Calicut India I once beat the Indian GM Praveen Thipsay in a model Alekhine's defense. Not long after his wife got revenge and today she held me to a draw. Again in the later stages of the game my brain played some tricks on me. To allow b4 is incomprehensible.
Anyway folks, its past midnight and the rounds start at 9am so I'll bid you goodnight and will try to salvage something from the last four rounds. Now that my IT issues are solved I'll try to only impose one game a day on you. Thank you for your indulgence.