It was a last round in Thursdays club. I had 4/4, was a leader and realized that for the first time I can get a perfect record (all wins, no draws or byes), but calmed down myself thinking that a draw would be OK too. I had a swollen gum just a day before and thought I won’t play. But antibiotic made it’s magic just in 24 hours and I felt good enough to go. My opponent was a girl to whom I painfully lost in the big tournament in February. This time I had White and we played Ruy Lopez.

On move 15 I considered Bf4, then decided to force her to do something with her knight and forgot about Nc4. So my bishop went back and after 17. b3 suddenly she played Nxa3. I realized that main threat was to win my e4 pawn, so 19. d5 was preventing it, though computer prefers e5. After 22. Bxb4 I started to think that it is actually me who has an advantage, it explains the title. My bishops became very active and she blundered a skewer.

30. Bxf6 really made the game easier for me. After 42 moves I had about 5 minutes left, thought that the position remains too complicated and decided to exchange queens. 46… Be5 was a game losing mistake, instead 46… Bb2 was ~-2.5. 47. d7 was using the fact that the rook was overloaded. In a few moves she resigned. Needless to say that I was very happy to get 5/5 as well as revenge.


It was a second round in Mondays club, my opponent was a 1447 rated young man. I got Black and we played Queen’s Pawn game. Computer agrees with my 13… Nbd7, but criticizes 14… Bxc3 (which I didn’t like myself) suggesting 14… Qb6 and if 15. a3 then 15… Rfe8 16. Bd2 Bxc3  17. Qxc3 Nxe4.

He went for a double rooks exchange, computer prefers 19. Ne5. I was glad to find 22. Nc8, it defended against all threats, also it contained a trap. After b6 his bishop was getting caught. He didn’t see it and played 23. Nd3. After 25. Nf4 I thought about moving the bishop, but then decided to play simple. He resigned right after my move.


It was a 4th round in the Thursday’s club, my opponent was a boy rated 1596. He had White and played Scotch Gambit. I had it 4 months ago and went along the same line with 5… d6. It is a 3rd book choice, but with good stats.

I was feeling under pressure until move 20, he could play 19. f6 with 0.5 advantage. Then I equalized, then suddenly he played 25. Kf2, it wasn’t a good move. His position started to deteriorate.

I considered 29… Rxe4 and didn’t quite like it, because it would lead just to a rook endgame with me being pawn up. So I found 29… d5. His 32. Rxd5 was a game losing mistake and after 32… Qxf5 he resigned, Computer evaluated this position as -9.

I played in the Rapid Team tournament on Monday. The tournament didn’t go too well with 2/5, but the last round game was interesting.

We castled opposite sides, he attacked on the kingside, me on the queenside. After I opened the “b” vertical, I sacrificed the rook for the knight on b8 and pawn on a6. After a few moves we came to the position on the diagram. I played 1. Ne5 Nxe5 2. Qxe5+ Ke7 3. Qg7+ Kd6. Then I saw the knight sacrifice on e4. So I played 4. Ne4+ dxe4 5. 5. Bb4+ Kd5, then I made a planned move Qe5+. Suddenly he takes my queen with the bishop.

I was in a shock, then played 7. c4+ Kxd4 and suddenly  I saw a mate on d1.

It was a 3rd round in Thursdays club, I almost didn’t go as I had a cough since Monday. But it got better and I didn’t want to miss the game. My opponent was an old man rated 1479, I drew him recently. He played the same Four Nights Defense, a quiet line, as the last time.

He definitely wanted a draw and went for exchanges. His exchange combination 24. Nh4 was actually a mistake, he was getting a piece back of course, but after 27… Qa5 28. Kg1 f6 29. b4 Qxa2 was losing a pawn. After queens exchange I was feeling that I still have some advantage and tried to use it.

After 56 moves the position was still equal. I thought that he made a blunder on move 58, but his 57. bxc5 was already a crucial mistake, instead 57. b5 was keeping it equal. After I won the pawn it became technical.


It was a last round, I was playing against the leader having 4/4 (despite of his 1442 rating). I expected him, looked at the game that I won with Back against him, but unexpectedly got White. He played French, I chose Tarrasch closed as usual and after 11 moves was on my own, as Bf4 that I remembered didn’t look alright because of Qxb2. I wanted to prevent e5, but didn’t see how and only after I played 15. Qd2 I saw that I had to provoke, not prevent e5. If let’s say 15. h3 e5 then 16. Rxc6 bxc6 17. dxe5 and I win 2 pieces for a rook. But it was already late, as now it didn’t work.

I was feeling under pressure until 23. h3, but then realized that I am OK and his position has some weaknesses including king cover. His 23… h5 just strengthened that point of view. I saw that I can play Nxh5 with the following queen check, but then I thought that Rf7 prevents it, not seeing the check on e8.  Then I saw 27. Nxg7, but again thought that it is not possible because of 27… Ne4, but White just plays 28. Nxe6 and stays the pawn up.

Instead of 31. Nd4 I could play 31. Qh4 Kg8 32. g5 and Black can’t move the knight because of g6 threat. 31… g6 was a game losing mistake.

It means “Success favors those who take pains”. It was 4th round in Monday’s club. I didn’t feel like I am in my best shape returning late from relatives  because of the blown tire, still decided to play. My opponent was a young guy rated 1688. I got White and played Closed Sicilian. On move 12 I didn’t like 12. fxe5 Bxe5 not seeing yet g4, so I took some risk and played f5, though computer gives a line 12. f5 gxf5 13. exf5 Nxf5 14. Rxf5 Bxf5 15. g4 which considers equal.

On move 14 I didn’t see that he can win a pawn, computer thinks it was a mistake to take it. It doesn’t like 18. Ne2 and prefers Nd5. So I am worse after 20 moves, but 22… Qb6 gave me the initiative and 23… Qa6 was a crucial mistake. After 24. Qh6 I considered a possibility of Nf5, but thought that he can just play Re8, so I found Nh5. Actually 25. Nf5 wins too after 25… Re8 26. Qh4.

So he thought for at least half an hour and found 26… f6.  I didn’t know what to choose – 27. Rg3+ or 27.Qg6+, chose the first one. Qg6+ was mate in 7. Then 29. h6 was a mistake, Rxf6 was mate in 5. He made two mistakes 31… Rxg3 and 32… Rag8, mine was drawing one 32. Rxe6.

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