Richard Jones, Ioan Rees and Tim Kett played in a 10-player round robin event in Augsburg, Germany over New Year.
Reports from Tim Kett:
Thursday 5th January
Not a great finish in the final round. My opponent played the exchange Ruy Lopez and offered a draw…. and that was the highlight of our round.
Ioan was doing fine early on in some sort of English /Catalan but then fatally transposed 2 moves so that instead of being slight better was suddenly dead lost.
Richard decided on the Kings Indian in order to finish with a lively fight and a chance to tie for first ….. but his opponent was better prepared and managed to effectively get into a favourable 4 Pawns Attack position. Rich grovelled and wriggled successfully for a long time and averted the seemingly inevitable middlegame mate – but eventually finished in an ending of B+P vs R+P which was not quite savable.
Oh well. Final scores…
|5||FM||Jones Richard S.||2392||WLS||0||½||0||½||*||½||½||1||1||1||5.0||18.25||0.0||3|
|6||FM||de Francesco Klaus||2307||GER||0||½||½||½||½||*||½||½||½||1||4.5||18.00||0.0||1|
So that’s it. The extra-curricular entertainment is rounded off tonight - after the dinner and prizegiving - with a blitz tournament against some (lucky ! ☺) invited locals as well as the tournament players.
We’ve been treated royally here with everything paid for including unlimited free beer (!), taken to a concert and other excursions… we still can’t quite believe it really. We didn’t win that much but we certainly contributed some exciting chess and ensured the number of decisive games were over 50%. Hopefully we’ve done enough to show Welsh Chess in a positive light and that it’s a suitable country to look for future invitations !
Wednesday 4th January
3 draws for us today which means Richard’s title hopes slipped back again. Bayer won to take the outright lead. Richard has to win his last game with Black and hope Bayer doesn’t win to tie for first.
Richard’s game was a little disappointing in that he just got absolutely zero out of the opening (A French 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Be7 !?) against Hausner. He didn’t push his luck … just reconciled himself to the facts and offered a draw after 15 moves.
Ioan tried really hard against Nuber on the W side of a Slav but couldn’t quite break through. Several times he was on the verge of some kind of breakthrough or gain but B always just managed to hold the position together.
That left me against the GM and I was really made to suffer (partly for Ioan’s win yesterday I reckon !)
Kett,Tim (2184) - GM Schmidttdiel,Eckhard (2466) [B30]
Augsburg (8), 04.01.2012
Here I had 2-3 minutes left to reach move 40 and chose the wrong moment to try and be a little bit ‘cute’. Basically I was hoping for say ....Re7 then Bd4 and I’m fine ….. but I overlooked his 36th.
34.Rd2 Be1 or Bb4 or Be5 and W has no problems at all 34...Rxd2 35.Bxd2 Nxb2 36.Bxf4? [36.Ke2 Rc2 37.Ke1 Rc4 38.Ke2] 36...Rf8 37.g3 Nd3 38.Rd5 [38.Rg4 Rf5 39.Rg5 Rf6 40.Kg2] 38...Nxf4 39.gxf4 Rxf4+ 40.Kg2 Kh7
Time-control reached but now I just knew I was in for at least 2 more hours of torture. I’ve lost these simple endings so many times before as well. I guess the practice came in handy though ….
41.Kg3 Rb4 42.h4 Rb5 43.Rd7 Kg6 44.Kg4 Rb4+ 45.Kg3 Kf6 46.h5 Kg5 47.Rxg7+ Kxh5 48.Kf3 Kh6 49.Rg1 Rb5 50.Ra1 Kg6 51.Ke3 Kf6 52.Kd3 Ke6
53.Ra4! Kd6 54.Kc3 Rb1 [This ending could still be won by B if he can establish his K on b5 before W gets his K to a4. White needs the defence of checking on the 4th rank e.g. 54...Kc6 55.Rc4+! (others e.g. 55.Kc4 would fail 55...Rh5 56.Kb3 Rh3+ 57.Ka2 Rh7 58.Kb3 Kb5 59.Ra1 Rh3+ 60.Kb2 Kb4 61.Kc2 Rc3+ 62.Kd2 Ra3 63.Rb1+ Rb3 64.Ra1 Kb5 65.Kc2 Rb4 66.Kc3 Ra4 67.Rb1+ Kc6 etc) 55...Rc5 56.Kb4 Rxc4+ 57.Kxc4 and W keeps the opposition] 55.Rh4 Rb5 56.Ra4 Rc5+ 57.Kb4 Re5 58.Ra1 Re4+ 59.Ka3 Re3+ 60.Ka4 Re4+ 61.Ka3 Kc5 62.Rb1 Re7 63.Ka4 Kc4 64.Rc1+ Kd3 65.Rb1 Kc2 66.Rb4 Kd3 67.Rb3+ Kc4 68.Rb4+ Kd5 69.Rb1 Kd4 70.Rb4+ Kd3 71.Ka3 Rd7 72.Rb3+ Kc4 73.Rb4+ Kc5 74.Rb1 Kc4 75.Rb4+ Kc3 76.Rb3+ Kc2 77.Rb2+ Kc1 78.Rh2 Rd3+ 79.Kb4 Rd5 80.Rh7 Rb5+ 81.Ka4 Kb1 82.Rh2 Kc1 83.Rg2 Kd1 ½–½
Tuesday 3rd January
Yesterday I wrote that Richard’s bid for the title hit the buffers …. today its back on track ! He won comfortably enough but sensationally Ioan shot back to form by chopping up the leader Schmittdiel – his first-ever win against a GM …. what a time to do it after 6 consecutive losses !!
GM Schmittdiel,Eckhard (2466) - Rees,Ioan (2284) [E17]
Augsburg (7), 03.01.2012
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.b3 Nf6 4.Bb2 Be7 5.g3 b6 6.Bg2 Bb7 7.0–0 0–0 8.d4 dxc4 9.bxc4 c5 10.e3 Nc6 11.Nbd2 Qc7 12.Qe2 Rfd8 13.Rfd1 Rac8 14.Rac1 Na5 15.Nb3 Nxb3 16.axb3 Be4 17.Bh3 Ra8 18.Ne5 Bd6 19.f3 Bb7 20.Nd3 Nd7 21.Bg2 a5 22.Qd2 Bf8 23.Qc3 Re8 24.Ra1 f6 25.Qc2 cxd4 26.exd4 e5 27.dxe5 Nxe5 28.Nxe5 fxe5 29.Kh1 and the GM offered a draw, but Ioan was having none of it !
29...Re6 30.Re1 Rae8 31.Bc3 Qf7 32.Rf1 Qh5 33.Rae1 Bd6 34.Bd2 Rf8 35.Qd3 Ref6 36.c5 Desperation ... but W's position is already bad 36...Bxc5 37.g4 e4 38.Rxe4 Bxe4 39.Qxe4 Qf7 40.Qc2 Bd6 41.g5 Rf5 42.f4 Qc7 43.Qd3 Bxf4 44.Be4
Rd8! a very well calculated finish by Ioan 45.Qf3 There were various other tricky tries here .... but none of them work [45.Qh3 Rxd2 46.Bxf5 Rxh2+ (46...Qc6+ 47.Kg1) 47.Qxh2 Bxh2 48.Be6+; 45.Bxf4 Rxd3; 45.Qc2; 45.Qc4+ Qxc4 46.bxc4 Rff8 47.Bxf4 (47.Rxf4 Rxd2 48.Bd5+ Rxd5) 47...Rd4 48.Bd5+ Kh8] 45...Rxd2 46.Bxf5 Rxh2+ 47.Kg1 Qc5+ 48.Rf2 Rxf2! 49.Be6+ Kh8 50.Qa8+ Bb8 51.Qxb8+ Rf8+ 0–1
Richard prepared very hard and very well and had the whole game (against Nuber’s Bb5 Sicilian) almost won on his computer before it started. He messed around a bit in the rook ending but the result was never seriously in doubt.
I played total rubbish against Bayer and lost miserably.
Still its all set up now for a Grandstand finish ….
Scores after round 7: tomorrow Richard plays Hausner and Schmittdiel plays …me !
Monday 2nd January
Richard’s bid for the title hit the buffers today. Despite expecting and preparing for Schmittdiel’s Kalashnikov Sicilian he was totally unable to make any headway against it. As he said afterwards it was the sort of defeat that makes you want to play that opening yourself !
Jones,Richard (2392) - GM Schmittdiel,Eckhard (2466) [B32]
Augsburg (6), 02.01.2012
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5 5.Nb5 d6 6.N1c3 a6 7.Na3 b5 8.Nd5 Be7 9.c4 b4 10.Nc2 a5 11.Bd3 Nf6 12.b3 0–0 13.a3 bxa3 14.Rxa3 Rb8 15.0–0 Nd7 16.Nce3 Nc5 17.Bc2 Bg5 18.Bd2 Be6 19.Bc3 Rb7 According to my computer White is still OK here if he continues with Nf5 and tries to make some K-side play (e.g. f4 at some point). Instead, unfortunately Richard tries to fight a losing battle on the Q-side and its mostly one-way traffic from here on
20.Qa1?! Nb4 21.Bb1 f6 22.Rd1 Qb8 23.Qb2 Nc6 24.Bc2 a4 25.b4 Bxe3 26.Nxe3 Nxb4 27.Bxa4 Nd5 28.Bb5 Nxe3 29.fxe3 Nxe4 30.Bb4 Qc7 31.Ba5 Qc8 32.Qc1 Qc5 33.Ra4 Rbb8 34.Bb4 Qc7 35.Ra6 Rfc8 36.Bxd6 Nxd6 37.Raxd6 Rxb5 38.Rxe6 Rc5 39.Qa3 h6 40.Ra6 Rxc4 41.Ra7 Qb6 42.h3 Rc3 43.Qa2+ Kh8 44.Kh1 Qxe3
45.Rxg7!? The last chance .... 45...Kxg7 46.Rd7+ Just a brief flicker of hope and maybe a little bit of bad luck - the GM hadn't seen in advance that ....Kh8 only draws to Rh7+! .... but he soon regained his composure 46...Kg6 47.Qf7+ Kf5 48.Qh7+ Kf4 49.Qxh6+ Kg3 50.Rg7+ Kf2 51.Qxf6+ Qf4 0–1
Ioan’s travails continued today when – once again – he got an excellent position from the opening but tried to force the issue too quickly against me and his sacrificial attack gradually petered out. It is to his eternal credit that he went for maximum once again (I know I wouldn’t be playing so bravely in his position) but when you haven’t won for some time you forget that sometimes it can be done without trying too hard….
Rees,Ioan (2284) - Kett,Tim (2184) [D46]
Augsburg (6), 02.01.2012
1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 c6 4.Nc3 e6 5.e3 Nbd7 6.Qc2 Bd6 7.Bd3 dxc4 8.Bxc4 b5 9.Be2 a6 10.0–0 Bb7 Its a bit 'luxurious' of Black to play both ....a6 and ....Bb7 before castling - although it has been tried by one 2700 in the last year. 11.Rd1 Qb8 12.e4 e5 13.dxe5 Nxe5 14.Nd4 Ng6 15.Nf5!? [15.g3 gives Black a chance to return to normal-ish lines with .....0–0] 15...Bxh2+ 16.Kh1 h5 already having to improvise to stay afloat but I didn't want to allow [16...Be5 17.Nxg7+ Kf8 18.Bh6] 17.Bg5 Be5 and White stands clearly better
18.Nxb5? Brave and ambitious - but flawed [After the simple 18.Nxg7+ Kf8 19.Nf5 White has a clear plus] 18...axb5 [If 18...cxb5 19.Qc5 Nxe4 20.Bxb5+ axb5 21.Qxb5+ Kf8 22.Rd8+ wins B's Queen - but even here Black comes out fine 22...Qxd8 23.Bxd8 Nxf2+ 24.Kg1 Rxd8 25.Qxb7 Ng4] 19.Qc5? Threatens various mates but overlooks a massive shot [After 19.f4 0–0 20.fxe5 Qxe5 21.Bxf6 Qxf6 22.Bxh5 White has lost his advantage but the game is still more-or-less on an even keel] 19...Nxe4! Now its all over. It was lucky for Black (and not at all obvious for White to foresee) that such a counterattacking move is possible when Black is otherwise so on the defensive. 20.Qe3 Nxg5 21.Qxg5 0–0 22.Qxh5 Bc8 23.a4 Bxf5 24.Qxf5 Rxa4 25.Rxa4 bxa4 26.Bc4 Qb4 27.Qe4 Qe7 28.g3 Qf6 29.Rd7 Bxb2 30.Rc7 Ne5
3.5/6 Richard, Tim
PS. Seems like I was rather too easily impressed earlier by Mr Hausner …. he played total rubbish today - perhaps he should slow down a bit ?!
Sunday 1st January
Very brief today …… I only hope your hangovers are not as bad as ours ! We had an excellent night out in Augsburg to celebrate New Year but the less said about today the better.
Richard and I had a short draw and unfortunately Ioan put up little resistance in his game blundering twice early on.
I don’t think any of you will want to see any of that – you certainly won’t learn anything !
Saturday 31st December
I can’t bring you any excitement from my game today, I’m afraid, but I didn’t expect this. My opponent is 120 pts higher, with White and, apparently, seeking an IM norm. I prepared hard (and well enough judging by the outcome) and after 12 moves when he realised he had no advantage at all he simply made a “shut up shop” kind of move and offered a draw.
I could of course have played on but my psychology for this tournament is “draws are OK – if they try to win then I do as well” so I’m not going to start making the running in games just yet. Later on I’ll have a bit of a lash if things are still going well.
I’m definitely not showing you the game though as it was a new opening for me and I want to keep the surprise to use again back home….
The big clash today though is Richard (White) against Ioan. Now that I’ve finished my game early I can spend some time watching that and updating you as it goes along. Ioan, despite his poor start, has made it absolutely clear he’s going to fight his way through the tournament and Richard still has chances to win the whole thing so we can expect a full-blooded battle…..
It’s an Open Sicilian, Classical at first, with White playing a la the English Attack (f3 and Be3) and Black responding with an early ….e5 and after Nb3, and both sides castle short, an immediate ….a7-a5-a4-a3. Ioan’s position looks slightly loose to me and Richard appears as though he might be picking off a pawn on the central files based on Rd1 pinning against Black’s Q on d8. Ioan has judged his counterplay well though and soon he wins an exchange on d4 (for another pawn).
So…. its Ioan with 2 R’s, N and 5 pawns vs Rich with R, B, N and 7 pawns. Ioan still has his pawn on a3 (Richard replied b3) and if he can break through down the c-file to c2 then he must be winning. He flings his K-side pawns at White’s Bishop trying to release its grip on c8 but Richard is having none of that and stays ahead on the clock as well. With 15 moves to go Ioan has 20 mins, Richard 50. Ioan is clearly trying hard and taking risks for the win – whereas Richard may be able to mop up himself if Ioan overdoes it.
The pace and tension continues and there’s no backing off …. Black gives up another pawn and then the exchange back in order to finally win the a2 pawn via his Kt hopping in on c3. So now its Rich R, B and 6 pawns vs Ioan R, Nand 3 pawns …. But with Ioan’s a3 pawn looking very hard to stop. Will Richard be able sacrifice his Bishop for it ?
Yes he can, is the short answer to that and so we arrive at the technical ending stage. Richard has R and 5 pawns, Ioan R, N and 2 ….. and it looks to me that it’ll be Rich playing for the win. The key factor now is King activity. In the tactical melee earlier Rich managed to get his K out to the middle of the board while Ioan’s is trapped on h8 by W’s rook on the 7th. White’s pawns are going to steadily advance while Ioan will have to thrash about with R and N and maximise their activity.
No, its no good, the rook and knight have thrashed their best but Richard has just patiently trundled everything up the board …. its all over now. It won’t be any consolation to Ioan but this was the first game of the tournament to draw a round of applause at the end from the appreciative local spectators ! No points but they know a good fight when they see it….. and they especially liked it that their visitors fought such a hard game between themselves.
Jones,Richard (2392) - Rees,Ioan (2284) [B56]
Augsburg (4), 31.12.2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.f3 e5 7.Nb3 Be7 8.Be3 Be6 9.Qd2
The first key point. This position has been reached a number of times before and Black has a choice of 9....d5 which usually leads to dead equality after a load of swaps on d5. Or ..... 9.0–0 after which White usually replies 10.0–0–0 and then Black initiates Q-side play with 10....a5. I'm not sure yet if this was some home-brewed prep or if Ioan just mixed plans here ... but B seems a little worse after his next
9...a5 10.Bb5 0–0 11.Rd1 Nd7 12.0–0 Nb6 13.Qe2 a4 14.Nc5 a3 15.b3 Nd4 16.Bxd4 exd4 17.Nxe6 fxe6 18.Rxd4 Qc7 19.Bc4 Bf6!? After 19....Nxc4 Black would remain worse although he would also have a fair bit of activity on the dark squares for his pawn. Who wouldn't give up one more pawn to win an exchange though ? Black's plan seems natural but the computer assesses White's position as winning from here onwards. 20.Bxe6+ Kh8 21.Qe3 Rfe8 22.Bg4 Qc5 23.Rfd1 d5 24.Kf2 Very cool. the queens are coming off so why not centralise the King ! 24...Bxd4 25.Qxd4 Qxd4+ 26.Rxd4 h5 trying hard to get a R to c8. Black has to focus everything now on winning the W pawn on a2. Its almost unfair that with R for B+2 Black stands so much worse. But as Topalov and Aronian have shown us in recent years ... Exchange Sacs R Us ! 27.Bf5 g6 28.Bh3 dxe4 29.Nxe4 Re5 30.Rb4 Nd5 31.Rxb7 Rxe4 32.fxe4 Nc3 33.b4 Nxa2 34.Be6 Nc3 35.Ke3 a2 36.Bxa2 Rxa2 37.Kd3
Time to re-assess..... so Black has won the piece, but with his King so badly placed it looks like W will just trundle his pawns up the board to victory 37...Nd1 38.e5 Nf2+ 39.Kc3 Ra8 40.Rc7 Rb8 41.Kc4 Ng4 42.e6 Kg8 43.b5 Ne3+ 44.Kc5 Nxg2 45.c4 After the game Richard was chastising himself because 45.b6 wins more quickly albeit only by one tempo in the critical line (play it out !) 45...Nf4 46.Kd6 h4 47.Kd7 g5 48.Rc5 Rb7+ 49.Kc8 Rg7 50.Re5 Nxe6 [50...Ng6 looks like it might put up more resistance but after 51.Re1 Ne7+ 52.Kd7 g4 53.b6 etc any discovered checks by the N are simply met by e7] 51.Rxe6 g4 52.b6 Kf7 53.Re1 Kf6 54.b7 Rg8+ 55.Kc7 Rg7+ 56.Kb6 Rg8 57.Ka7 Rg7 58.Ka8 1–0
I have to update you on the performance – and particularly the time-keeping – of the Czech IM, Hausner. Today he made, for him, a simple draw with Black against Bayer. He took 15 mins for the 20 moves, White took 1 hr 45 mins sweating away desperately trying to find an advantage out of nothing. Hausner just made light of everything and played simple, standard moves like he just knows where the pieces go and understands the inner logic of chess.
He has now taken only 1 and ¾ hours for the tournament in total ! Its always impressive to me in any sport when people make playing really well look really simple. This guy is fat and old and smiley and looks completely harmless – and yet he might well win this tournament and make all the keen, hungry young wannabe’s look like patzers.
Friday 30th December
An eventful round – four out of five games were decisive, bringing the tournament total above 50%. Unfortunately the worst event though was Ioan losing again. He just wants one good, substantial performance to kick-start his tournament. He prepared hard and tried hard, perhaps too hard, to make something with the White pieces today but ended up trying to play on both K-side and Q-side simultaneously with his king left at home behind a weak centre.
Richard looked for a while like he might chop up his opponents Caro-Kann in classic fashion but in the end it came to nothing. A few fireworks but basically a short little draw with just 3 talking points….
Jones,Richard (2392) - Bayer,Bernhard (2434) [B17]
Augsburg (3), 30.12.2011
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Ng5 Ngf6 6.Bd3 e6 7.N1f3 Bd6 8.Qe2 h6 9.Ne4 Nxe4 10.Qxe4 Nf6 11.Qe2 b6 12.0–0 Talking point no.1 Next time he reaches this position Richard says he'll play Bd2 and 0–0–0 instead 12...Bb7 13.Ne5 Qc7 14.Re1 c5?! Talking point no.2. This is provocative ! Instead he was presumably worried about [14...0–0 15.Ng4 Nxg4 16.Qxg4 but Black can defend, if only just e.g. 16...c5 17.Bxh6 f5 etc] 15.Bb5+ Ke7 16.Bf4 Rhd8
17.Bxh6?! Talking point no.3. Many would think this a brilliant sac but Richard describes it as a "glorified draw offer" ! Instead he should have just kept the pressure up with Rad1 17...gxh6 18.Ng6+ fxg6 19.Qxe6+ Kf8 20.Qxf6+ Qf7 [20...Kg8?? 21.Bc4+ Kh7 22.Re6! Bxh2+ 23.Kh1 Rg8 24.Re7+] 21.Qh8+ Qg8 22.Qf6+ Qf7 ½–½
It was Richard’s turn for “Game of the Day” but I have to show you the end of my lucky win at least…..
Kett,Tim (2184) - Deglmann,Ludwig (2324) [A40]
Augsburg (3), 30.12.2011
The triumph of the ‘nuisance’ pawn. After a rather chaotic game in which I held no advantage - nor even much idea what was going on - from about move 4 onwards we reached the diagrammed position below with me having about 5 mins left to his 20.
I have weak pawns, a dodgy king, a bad bishop and one very bad rook. Technically I’m a pawn up but it doesn’t look like a great one on d6 – Black can round that up anytime of course. Black can also take a draw hereabouts with ….Qh3 (threatening …Nf4/h4) Qf1 ….Qf5 Qe2 etc – but the mating ideas are tempting and the d-pawn isn’t going anywhere…..
27.b4 Maybe I can create a distraction ! 27...axb4 28.Bxb4 e5 29.dxe5 [29.h4! gxh4 30.dxe5 was stronger but by now I had about 3 minutes left to reach move 40] 29...Nxe5 30.Kg2 Re8 31.Rae1?? my only bad move of the time scramble - but a real stinker. 31.h4 and 31.Bc3 were both good. Now the obvious 31....Nd3 wins for him. 31....c5 keeps an advantage as well 31...Kg6? looks ok at first - but isn't. 32.h4 finally ! Now White turns the tables on the K-side 32...gxh4 33.g4 Qf4 34.Bd2 Qxa4?? Totally losing the thread. 34....Qd4 or 34....Qc4 were necessary to keep the balance 35.f4 h3+ 36.Rxh3 Rxh3 37.Kxh3 Qb3+ Black's lost now with best play but at least 37....Qa3+ would have picked up the d-pawn for the Kt 38.Kg2 f6 [If 38...Rh8 39.f5+ wins] 39.fxe5 Rxe5 40.Qf3 [Or 40.d7! immediately .... but I had only seconds left] 40...Qxf3+ 41.Kxf3 Rxe1 and now 15 moves later the ‘useless’ extra pawn has its moment of glory ! 42.d7 1–0
The other news of the day was that the three of us were interviewed by the local newspaper this morning. The, female, reporter normally covers football (Augsburg FC are in the German Premier League) and was all a bit new to chess but didn’t have any argument with treating it as a sport ! She was a bit shocked though to hear that players as weak as us could all play for our country and have been to many World and European Championships ! None of the German players she knows are anywhere near their national team.
Thursday 29th December
Mr Pitl is trying his best to make this a social and cultural experience for us as well as a decent chess event. We started today with a reception at the Augsburg City Hall which was completely re-built in the 1980’s back to its original medieval splendour after being bombed to smithereens in World War 2. We were met by local officials and plied with Bavarian wine while we admired the displays of wealth and opulence – apparently Augsburg was the richest city(-state) in the world around 1500.
Still, never mind all that ….. I know you mostly just want to hear about the chess so I’ll cut to the chase. Basically we got another 1/3 today, with all three possibly having some cause for regret.
Richard was over first after a completely correct and solid Slav Defence against de Francesco (2307) in which White made no serious winning attempt at all. Rich should have played the KID against this bloke I reckon …. he could win this tournament if he gets into his stride here and one or two things break his way.
My opponent (Pitl 2377) has played 1.e4 and 1.d4 in about equal measure so I prepped loads for both of those and then sat down to 1.Nf3. It became a typical Reti kind of position and White set about slowly pressuring my Q-side. He was just gaining the upper hand and forcing me into unpleasant time-trouble when he dropped the exchange to a cheap little tactic. I then quickly offered a draw while he was still feeling a bit vulnerable and sheepish and before he realised that White still had sufficient grip on the position not to even stand worse. Canny at one level perhaps – but if I had any proper ambition I’d have wanted to play on myself.
Ioan had another tough battle and another unfortunate result. In his own words he played a couple of “lazy” moves rather automatically early on. Then rather than accept a worse position and grovel he tried to fight back in principled fashion – but it was bucking the odd by then. Still – it was interesting enough to be “Game of the Day”….
Deglmann,Ludwig (2324) - Rees,Ioan (2284) [A13]
Augsburg (2), 29.12.2011
1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.0–0 Nbd7 6.Na3 Nb6 [6...Bxa3!? 7.bxa3 Nb6 making a serious attempt to hold onto the pawn, is an interesting alternative] 7.Nxc4 Nxc4 8.Qa4+ Bd7 9.Qxc4 Bc6 10.d3 Be7?! [Black should try harder to hold the centre with 10...Bd6 11.e4 e5] 11.e4 0–0 12.Ne5 Be8 13.d4 Black's position is on the verge of being critically passive. Ioan tries the only plan to fight for full equality - and it nearly works, but not quite 13...b5!? 14.Qc3 b4 15.Qc4 c5 16.dxc5 Qa5 The key moment of the game. White realises that he needs to offer an exchange by allowing ....Bb5 in order to keep his advantage
17.a3 Rb8? [17...Bb5? is also insufficient 18.Qxb4 Qxb4 19.axb4 Bxf1 20.Kxf1 and W's pawn mass is unstoppable; The right way is 17...Bxc5! although its very hard to forsee the way the tactical chances balance out over the next few moves 18.Nd3 (18.axb4 Bxf2+!) 18...Bb6 19.Qxb4 Qxb4 20.Nxb4 Bb5 21.e5 Ng4 22.Bxa8 Rxa8] 18.Bf4 bxa3 19.Rfc1?! giving Ioan one last chance .... [19.Rxa3 was the simpler win] 19...Rb4? [Ioan couldn't believe he could stop the c-pawn after 19...Rxb2 20.c6 Rb8 21.c7 Rc8 but in fact its not completely simple for White] 20.Qc3 Ra4 21.Qxa5 Rxa5 22.b4 and its all over 22...Rb5 23.Rxa3 Rxb4 24.Rxa7 Bd8 25.c6 Nxe4 26.Nd3 Rd4 27.Bxe4 Rxe4 28.Bd6 1–0
Wednesday 28th December
The tournament is named the Werner Reisinger Memorial after a popular local player who died a year or two ago and they decided to have this event to remember him. The time limit is nice and slow and old-fashioned – 40 in 2 then 20 in 1 then 30 mins to finish. In fact everything is pretty nice and old-fashioned….
The clocks are the real old-style big wooden ones; and they don’t even have duplicate scoresheets – the tournament organisers just copy all the moves out and give you your sheet back ! There’s no official website reporting, but among the spectators from the towns clubs there are also a couple of reporters and photographers from the local newspapers. I feel like we’ve gone back about 30 or 40 years here.
(not much more than 2 hours later ….)
Well that was pretty brutal. I got mashed up in 27 moves with White by the No.2 seed, Czech IM Ivan Hausner who only used 20 minutes for the whole game. Maybe he saw everything, maybe he just trusted his judgement, I don’t know. But in an Open Sicilian where I thought I was attacking on the K-side, he just opened up the centre, sac’ed an exchange and mated my King on h1 instead. I don’t feel like I did that much wrong, everything just clicked perfectly into place for him.
Kett,Tim (2184) - IM Hausner,Ivan (2400) [B42]
Augsburg (1), 28.12.2011
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6 5.Bd3 Nc6 6.Nb3 I knew this move wasn't the mainline but I wanted a complex but untheoretical battle 6...Nf6 7.Nc3 b5 8.0–0 Bb7 9.a4 b4 10.Ne2 Be7 11.a5 d6 12.f4 0–0 13.Ng3 g6 14.Qe2 e5 perfectly good - but I hadn't expected it straightaway assuming I would be getting K-side attacking chances here (....wrong !) 15.f5 d5 16.exd5 Qxd5
17.Bh6? Of course I saw his next coming but underestimated the Black Queen switch to h4 - and that its more than worth an exchange [17.Be3! instead and White is still OK e.g. 17...Nd4 18.Bxd4 exd4 19.Rad1] 17...Nd4 18.Nxd4 Qxd4+ 19.Kh1 Qh4! 20.Bxf8 Rxf8! [not 20...Ng4? 21.Qxg4! Qxg4 22.Bxe7 a defence I had seen] Now I had thought I'd be able to do something .... but there really is no defence at all 21.Rf3 e4 22.Nxe4 Nxe4 23.fxg6 hxg6 24.Bxe4 Bxe4 25.Re3 Bd6 26.h3 Qf4 27.Kg1 Qh2+ 0–1
Ioan was doing really well early on and had a clear advantage over IM Gregory Pitl (son of the organiser)….. but sadly let it slip and then pushed his luck one move too far later on. He had a draw by repetition but with his flag hanging at move 40 decided to keep going for it, lost a pawn and eventually the rook ending too.
The good news though is that Richard won. He beat one of the youngish FM’s, Ludwig Deglmann, after messing up the opening (a Winawer French with …Qa5…Qa4) and allowing his opponent to equalise – but then outplaying him later on in a queenless middlegame. He won a piece for 2 pawns and never allowed a glimmer of a chance in the ending.
0/1 Ioan, Tim
Tuesday 27th December
The journey went fine – the local trains that whisked us from the airport to Augsburg via Munich City Centre were as efficient and speedy as widely imagined ! Everything at the hotel was fine too but it soon became clear this was not going to be any sort of holiday – at least not for me !
The 10 players (6 German, 3 Welsh and 1 Czech) may contain ‘only’ 1 GM and 2 IM’s but several of the other players have almost gained their titles too and this is obviously an event designed for norm hunting. Apart from the wily and experienced Czech IM (who’s got games against Ribli et al from the 1960’s on my database !) the rest look pretty young, lean and hungry. We might be feeding on free German food – but they want us here so they can feed on our rating points ….
Monday 26th December
A few months ago I received an email out of the blue from a German I met a while back at one of the famous First Saturday tournaments in Budapest. It turned out that Mr Johannes Pitl is a regular tournament organiser and never having had any Welsh players at one of his events before he thought it was long overdue he put this right.
Would I therefore like to play in a 10-player IM-norm tournament over the New Year holiday period, entry, hotel room and meals all paid for …. and would I like to bring any mates along too ?
I didn’t know straight away if Carlsberg did Chess Organisers but if they did this guy sounded like he must be a candidate. Ioan Rees and Richard Jones were well up for it too and so as soon as we’d eaten enough Xmas turkey we packed our bags and set off for the attractive, historic town of Augsburg just outside Munich.