Friday, February 19, 2016

2016 Gibraltar - Challengers A - Round 1

Ok. Time to play some chess.  I had entered the Challengers A (for U2250), the Challengers B, and the Masters (Open). Each of the Challengers was a 5 round Swiss; the Masters, 10 rounds,  The Challengers start at 9:45 a.m., the Masters at 3 p.m. The Masters started one day after Challengers A started and ended the day after Challengers B concluded. I was ranked near the bottom of each section with all-time low ELO of 1915.(My high was ~1960).

I took a taxi (~ 5 pounds)from Casemates to the Caleta Hotel, as I wasn't quite sure yet, about the bus schedule or the route.  And although all participants enjoyed free bus travel around Gibraltar, I hadn't been to the hotel to pick up my credentials.

My first round opponent was 'Osi' Omoifi of Nigeria.  He has spent some time in the USA as a student and had a USCF rating of 2350-ish at one point.  I noticed soon after the game that one of local players had posted that the game appeared on chessbomb, so you can play through it there.

I was feeling pretty good around moves 27-30, as I thought I could work on the backward pawns. But I underestimated his queenside pawn advances as does the chessbomb engine. It indicate .21 before 32...a4, but  .0 after that move.  (not that is a big difference) I had a tough decision on move 33; play Nxc4 with the mess that ensues, or cxb4. I decided that I would live dangerously with the former, as I still had 19 games to play! The complications turned out well for opponent, and he conducted the rest of the game quite precisely. In the post mortem, we had a long look at 48. Qd8 which Osi suggested and feared; it took us a long time to find the lines that won for Black, so that would have been a good practical try.

Photo by Sophie Triay

No comments: