Norwegian Open – The Finale

Round 8 I played White against the solid and well prepared Michael Richter. I’d looked him up and seen he had recently gained a lot of rating points and was now closing in on the GM title so I knew the game would be tough. I decided to surprise his French with 3.Nc3 (rather than my typical Universal System Tarrasch). He counter-surprised me and we reached a complex rather non-theoretical position where I have the better structure and his king is stuck in the centre but in return he has strong potential kingside play along the open g file and the bishop pair.

I felt I played well and set him some problems, which used up all his time and he erred allowing me to exchange into a won endgame. I was slightly surprised how early he resigned but I should be winning. The top two boards were drawn leaving the standings: Tiviakov 6.5/8, Kasparov, Karlsson, me 6/8, and then four players on 5.5.

###pgn###[Event “Fagernes Norwegian Championship”] [Site “?”] [Date “2011.04.23”] [Round “8”] [White “Jones, G.”] [Black “Richter, M.”] [Result “1-0”] [ECO “C13”] [WhiteElo “2578”] [BlackElo “2486”] [PlyCount “69”] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 dxe4 5. Nxe4 Be7 6. Bxf6 gxf6 7. Nf3 b6 8. Bb5+ c6 9. Bd3 Nd7 10. c4 Bb7 11. O-O Qc7 12. Qa4 Qf4 13. Rfe1 a6 14. Qb3 h5 15. Re3 h4 16. Nc5 Nxc5 17. Qxb6 Qb8 18. dxc5 Qa7 19. Be4 Qxb6 20. cxb6 O-O-O 21. h3 Bc5 22. Rc3 a5 23. a3 Bxb6 24. c5 Bc7 25. b4 Be5 26. Nxe5 fxe5 27. bxa5 Kc7 28. Rb1 Ra8 29. Rcb3 Rhb8 30. Rb6 f5 31. a6 Rxa6 32. Rxa6 Bxa6 33. Rxb8 Kxb8 34. Bxc6 Kc7 35. Ba4 1-0%%%pgn%%%

After the game Matt and I repeated our earlier walk but this time well prepared with a six-pack of beer (at a mere £2 a can rather than £8 at the hotel!) Walking the same route it was amazing how much the ice had melted in the week we have been here.

Round 9 I was paired against the Dutch GM Sergey Tiviakov. With White he has a very solid repertoire going for a slight niggling advantage so I knew it would be tough to get the win necessary for tournament victory. Board Two was a fairly tame draw and so Sergey offered me a draw. I felt obliged to play on a while but we reached an endgame in which he had a small edge and I had no winning chances myself so offered back and a draw was agreed. Boards 3 and 4 were decisive leaving Tiviakov outright 1st on 7/9 and then five GMs on 6.5/9; the aforementioned group being joined by Mirzoev and Miezis.

A highly enjoyable tournament in a beautiful spot and after seeing the photos I’m sure Sue will be bugging me to take her there soon! Thanks to Øystein Brekke for a well organised tournament where I was made to feel very comfortable and thanks to Matt for ensuring I didn’t have to eat at the romantic candlelit dinners by myself 🙂 After my disaster in round two I managed to regroup and only lost 3 rating points. I’ve noticed that I generally perform far better at the end of tournament and it takes me a few games to feel comfortable. This is definitely an area I need to work on to ensure that I can become a solid 2600+.

I’m writing this at Oslo airport waiting for my flight back but will have to post it when I get back as I can’t find any wifi. I’m planning a couple days break before heading off to York on Thursday for a simul which should be fun; I haven’t been back for years! I’ll update soon…

 

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