Round 8,9,10 and 11

The rest day was inbetween Round 7 & 8. We played tennis with Terry Chapman and Matthew Webb (a fellow Yorkshireman). After playing a few hours of tennis we ran to the Grand Port for an afternoon boat tour on the lake. We noticed that the Circus was in town and not having been for a long time we planned to go!

Round 8, Ga lost with the black pieces against Motylev. This was Gawain’s second loss in a row (which hasn’t happened for a while). He felt he was doing well but then again missed something  and blundered into a losing endgame.

Round 9, Ga bounced back with a win against a fellow Englishman who now plays under the Swiss flag. Ga after his loss against Motylev was hanging out with the english contigent and procedeed to declare he’d play the Grand Prix against whoever tomorrow. Little did he know that his opponent was in the conversation. He didn’t play a mainline Grand Prix but instead opted for this 2. d3 plan. He sacked a piece and in time trouble GM Gallagher blundered although the position was tough to calculate. This win meant that we could go to the Cirque Pinder. The circus itself was quite impressive although the use of various animals made me a bit squeamish. You can see why these shows aren’t around anymore in England. The show was full of people with many different talents and the acrobats were amazing. They were only in Aix for 3 days before moving on to the next town.

After winning, he was paired with GM Sargissian. He held the draw comfortably and may have been slightly better in the endgame although making progress who have been difficult.

Now on 6/10, Ga thought he’d play a GM who would take a quick draw and he could come back into the sun and relax but that was not meant to be. In the final round he faced GM Navara rated 2722 and 3rd seed in the touranment. Sometimes, at the end of a tournament many chess players (especially a very long tournament) just want the final round to finish but not Navara. He’d play on and so he did in the game. Ga offered him a draw after move 18. Nxe5 but he decided to press on and then blundered. After the game, he apologized for not taking the draw and resigning sooner!

So Gawain finished his tournament with 7/11. A respectable score and playing 7 players higher rated than him which is what we wanted from this tournament. We hope to be again in Plovdiv next year!

Now it is a few weeks at home. Ga is doing a simul at the RAC Club on the 16th of April before flying out to Norway for the Open Norwegian tournament.