From November 10th there is 5th Malta Open going on, and I was enjoying food and wine, and playing and swimming in warm sea (water temperature is still 22 °C. T or 72 Fahrenheit). I was preparing a thread about this, but it was much more everything else than chess itself, and my games were not so interesting. (I was hoping I might repeat success from last year.)
Malta is paradise for street cats, chess players, old and ugly people.
Not a single day without swimming and fine food.
In the first round I experienced my first forfeit-win. My opponent was – funny enough – Marinkovic, Serb who now is living in Malta. In this position
…he received a phone call on smartphone. Someone must have reported this, and after minute or two, after he played 18…Bd7, the refferee came (tall old man), took score sheets and prolaimed the game 1-0. It felt awkward, I apologized to my opponet later…
In this position, there weretwo ways, 19. a5 or 19. Rfb1. I was going to play “safe” Rfb1, but a5 was stronger.
Did any of you get won or lost game forfeit?
So far, the only interesting game was in 2nd Round, against Kaehler, German that runs casino in Malta, the same casino which sponsored rating tournament in May. He plays fast and “relaxed” as he doesn’t give a parsley for final result. We exchanged some polite words before the game in which he didn’t enjoy, probably due my bad breath and stinking feet (farting came later).
1. e4 g6 2. d4 Bg7 3. Bd2?!?
I was set to play 3…d5 on everything, even on 3. Bc4, so I thought it must be good here, too, but it never occurred to me, that I could take Pawn on d4. Suggestive move. But it was a relief when I later found out that 3…d5 was better than 3…Bxd4 (but weaker than 3…c5).
3. …d5 4. Bc3 dxe4 5. d5 Nf6 6. f3 e3 7. Bc4 O-O 8. Ne2 Nbd7 9. Bb3 Nc5 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. Nbc3 Nxb3 12. axb3 e6 13. Qd3 exd5 14. O-O-O c6 15. Qxe3 Re8 16. Qf2 Qb6 17. Qg3 Qa6 18. Kb1
Ok, so far I played very nice, and now I had huge advantage. But I wanted to round this game with a fantastic trap (as *GP might also have). It was the best to advance Pawns b5, and a5 and start an attack. But I wanted this
18 …Rxe2 19. Nxe2 Qxe2 20. Rae1 Qb5 21. Re8+ Kg7 22. Rde1? Qxb3!
and I win. But it was obvious that my opponent saw it all. He calculated better than me.
18 …Rxe2 19. Nxe2 Qxe2 20. Rhe1 Qb5 21. Re8+ Kg7
I blushed and was about to resign. No defense from checkmate, I thought, and other Serbian Maltesers came around the table to see my disaster.
But there was an escape, very simple:
The best move I played on this tournament. I survived. My opponent began to shake with his head as he missed a splendid opportunity. It was patronizing and irritating.
23. Qf8+ Kg6
Here White has advantage only if he plays
24. Qg8+ Bg7 25. Re7 (25. Rf8 Qe2!=) but I still have chances for a draw.
He decided to go other way::::::
Now I had chance to win with
25…Qe2! 26. Rd1 Qe5 27. c3 Qf5+
and I capture Rc8. But I was occupied with an idea to exchange Queens and to get a draw… I began to fart. Then I had to go to men’s room but it was occupied, so I went to women’s men’s room, because it was “number two”. Flushing doesn’t work at tilets there on chess venue, so it is sensitive when yoy have to drop the poooop. I saw already an amount of craap here so I added mine with less guilt. I covered the pile with toilet paper and went back to the game. I imagine an old grandmother’s surprise when she entered thos temple of sh.it.
25. …Rxc8? 25. Qxc8 Qe2 26. Rc1 Qe5 27. c3 Qf5+?!
I was convinced I now have a draw here without Queens.
28. Qxf5+ Kxf5 29. Kc2 Be5 30. Kd3 h5 31. h3 a6 32. g4+ Kg6 33. b4 h4 34. b3 Kf6 35. c4 Ke6 36. b5 dxc4+ 37. bxc4 Kd6??
first and then Kd6 would give me good chances. I played more, and chess clock wasn’t set to give extra time after 40 moves but when the flag falls, which confused me. At a point, I forgot to press my clock… and I after flag fell I really got promissed extra time, and Kaehler just nodded (*and he should have warned me, all right) but it didn’t affect the result.
I never recovered from that game in 2nd Round. Silly loss.
My opponent, who was a member of Human rights organization in Azerbeijan, was also a chess lover and he ave each off his opponent a relief of Baku.
In this position
I just blundered with 10. b4?
But my body language must have been very concvincing, since it seems he believed that it was a briliant idea, and he didn’t take Pawn; in this position he played:
This endgame, that occurred later (when I lost small advantage and lost Pawn just like that), might be of an slight interrest, though::::
It continued as following::
24. Bb4 Na6 25. Be7!? f6?? 26. Rd7 Kf7 27. Ba3+ Kg6 28. Rxb7 Re1+ 29. Kf2 Ra1 30. Bf8 Rxa2+ 31. Ke3 Rxh2 32. Rxg7+ Kf5 33. Rxa7 Nb8 34. Bd6?
gave me advance, not sure if it would be enough for win.
And after few moves it was draw…
I won as Black against old Frenchman in Ben Oni, no worth mentioning.
I had troubles to find my table… Unlogically placed near big shots.
I was white against old Swede who was munching with his not well maintained dentures so he had beaten my bad breath and won by irritating sounds.
I expected either 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 g6 or the variation in the game. I spent 2 hours for “preparations”.
After those moves
1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. d4 cxd4 5. Nxd4 Qc7 6. g3 a6 7. Bg2 Nf6 8. O-O Be7
I played 9. c4 as a tribute to late Yugoslavian GM Dragoljub Ciric who had played the move almost 20 times.
Already after 5th move, it became clear that I will have to deal not only to munching appartion across the table, but with another jigger next to me. I am atracting for jiggers by default, as Rubinstein was to flies.
Anyway, in this position:::
::::I thought I was wining if play
But it was equal position, 25. e5 wasn’t big mistake, but nto the best move either. What I saw was just a couple of easy traps.
25. e5 Bxg2 26. exd6 Rxd6 27. Be5 Rxd1+ 28. Rxd1 Qa7 29. Kxg2 f6 30. Bd4 Rd8 31. Rb1 Qa8+
I was still convinced I must win and played 31. Kh3??
and lost after further 30 desperate moves.
was probably good enough for a draw.
After this round I was on downhill and made two quick draws with players with much lower rating than mine. I promissed to myself no to refuse draw offer and didn’t have lion heart to play for a win.
In 6th Round, morning round 10.00 O’Clock, I began with King’s Fiancheto again, but than a Swede Bjørn Alenfalk (he was looking as a bear) came late for the game and took a chair next to me, and was obviously suffering from a bad hangover, and he needed ages to wake up, and was mean coughing so that I had to put paper handkercheaf in my ears. You know that, when zou go to the cinema and after 5 or sif minutes after film began, there are always two ladies or two guys late, and they sit next to you, and need time to turn off their blo.o.dy mobiles and to explaine why they were late, traffic, emergency, and they have shortbreath because they were running, and they ruin the film for you. Such was this bear and I accepted a draw in 12th move.
In 7th Round, afternoon Round same day, after good swimming at sea, I was ready for fight.
But next to me was sitting a German Cristoph Klamp. I noticed him already during the game with Kaehler. He writes down his moves with souvenir oversized giantic pencile with I LOVE MALTA on, and he stared at me as a maniac, as he was studying my ear wax or something. Maybe he saw some limphoma on my neck?! He was so irritating with his pencile that reminded me on baseball club so a scene from Robert de Niro gangster movie (Untouchables?) crossed to my mind, I saw vividly how he smashes my scull with a club. After he writes down the move he was holding the club-pencile on his shoulder as he was prepared to attack any second.
In this position:::
Romanishin would have played 10. Rd1!
but I took Pwn on c6 with wrong piece, and in 12th move I got a draw offer. I accepted.
I am on 50 percent after 7 rounds.
But Malta is so nice for holiday in November…