It was a last round in the top section at the new club. I was sharing a first place with 3.5/4 with a boy rated 1767 that played quite a few years in the USA and then it looks like he moved to Canada this summer. I thought if I need to play at all, as I had a lot to lose from the ratings point of view, even a draw would give me about 30 points less, due to a decrease of the performance rating and getting accordingly less bonus rating points.

But I wanted the first place and also a clean tournament, so I came to play. He got Black and played Pirc Defense, I hate to play against it, because it often gets murky. That’s what happened this time too. After he delayed fianchettoing of his bishop, I played Bh6 and left him without a kingside castle when his rook took on f8. As he advanced his queenside pawns, the queenside castle didn’t look well either.

The thing is, I got a similar problem, on the queenside I would get under attack and on the kingside he also played h5 and his rook was ready. My move Kf7 is criticized by the computer and I ended up with an artificial castle. On the queenside I lost a pawn, missing a couple of counter-strikes. First of them was 21. Qd4 Qc5 22. Nxb5, second – 24. Nxb5. Then I regrouped my pieces and started an attack on his king. My big mistake was advancing “f” pawn instead of “e” one, i.e. f5 instead of e5.

Computer doesn’t like 31. Nxf5 evaluating it as -1.65 and says that exf5 is equal. On move 33 I considered Rxf5, but then saw his knight’s strike on e4. I didn’t see how I could continue my attack after sacrificing an exchange. But 33… Nxe4 after 33. Rxf5 is a mistake because of 34. Nxe4 Rxf5 35. Qh6+ Ke8 36. Nf6+! Rxf6 27. Qxh6. Then my position started to deteriorate, I also got into a time trouble. My exhaustion after previous day, when I slept 5.5 hours and worked 10 kicked in, I started to lose pawns.

We ended up in a queen endgame that was lost for me, I was playing it on increment having less than a minute. After he managed to force the queens exchange I resigned. I was really upset after that game, but eventually calmed down. I still got a second place thanks to the best performance rating which was 2009 – my best in the last 4 years. The second place was also the highest result in the top section ever. My rating went up to 1760, so I will be able to play in the top section in another club too.

It was a first round. My opponent was a guy rated 100 higher, I lost to him two months ago. So, I got White and he played Pirc defence. Usually I am not very good against it, so I was careful. After Bxd5 I thought that my bishop is not better than his knight and decided to exchange it. Then I went for queens exchange.

I knew that he will play f5 at some point to attack e4 pawn, c4 was also planned. Then after Bg6 game became sharper. I had to be careful to play the right moves. Bd3 forced me to think for some time until I realized that he is losing a pawn. This was probably a classical example of overstretching, he wanted to win too much. Fritz recommends Ng7 instead of Ng3, it just seemed risky to me to put my knight there. Ng7 wasn’t winning anyway. Kd3 was a blunder, though Fritz doesn’t think so. It is actually a draw here anyway. I was getting tired, as we were playing already for 4 hours.

After 65. Na7 I asked TD if it would be a draw if I take the pawn and he said he is not sure. Actually I can blunder my bishop and it would be a win for him, right. So, I didn’t do it. Then after 68 moves I got a bit angry with him continuing to play for a win, said: “OK, let’s play” and took the pawn. Then I told him that I will be giving checks with my bishop. Usually I do not behave like that, it’s just I thought that his behavior was on the boundary of no respect for his opponent. After a few moves I saw that he can’t do anything and calmed down. Then he realized the same and offered a draw. It was midnight already.



I came to the club with  a strong desire to win. I got White, here is the game.  In the beginning it went smoothly, with me having more active position. I eventually organized a pawn push with f4, f5 and here I missed Bc4 playing an obvious fxg6. I played Bc4 later and he still made a mistake allowing my queen to get to h6, but I didn’t see it. Then the position became equal, then he missed Bxg6. After that his position was quickly deteriorating.

My attack was developing, I didn’t have much time left, probably a bit more than 5 minutes when after playing Qh5 I saw Re7+ idea with a mate. It was too late, he played Rd7. I tried to find a knockout punch, he had about a minute left, I had about too. He played strangely looking Qb1, I wondered why would he do that and continued with my idea of check on f7. To my horror he played Qh1+ and I realized that missed the win. I intuitively felt that I shouldn’t go to g5 with my king – seeing the bishop check, I found later it was simply losing. So, we repeated the moves  and agreed to a draw.

My major fault in this game was probably not leaving enough time for the final part, the time became a crucial factor in the game.

Another game on Thursday, I was White against guy rated 1937.  His rating exceeded 2000 on November 1,  then went down. I was worse most of the game, battled and missed my “golden bullet” – forced win shown me by my opponent after the game and “silver” one too – a draw 2 moves after that. Here is the game.
He played Pirc defense, opening I don’t know well and don’t like to play against.  My 6th move was not the best, with 2 losses for White in DB.  The best plan was probably to castle queenside, but I wasn’t ready for that.
I tried to make the play similar to the play in Rossolimo with exchanged bishop, stable center and attack on the kingside. I got worse after missing 18… Ng4, when because of Qb6+ threat I had to put for exchange my black-colored bishop.
After 22. Ng5 Bf6 23. Nf3 Bg7 I played 24. Ng5 thinking about Bf6 and possible 3-fold repetion, but I forgot that before move 22 bishop was on h8, so Bh6 with a pin was unexpected. I found a way to minimize my losses, losing a pawn.
He had less time than me and with my position being worse I decided to play sharp and try to get him into time trouble.  Pawn sacrifice ce on e4 was correct, but on e5 wasn’t.  Still he did’n make the exact moves and my knight went on e5 for 3 pawns.
A bit later his 40…Kf8 could cost him a game. I didn’t see 41. Re8+! and then I missed a draw after 43. Ke3!.  After he managed to exchange the queens, I found myself in completely lost endgame with him having about 2 minutes (I had about 5).  I played to the bitter end and he mated me with 1 minute remaining.