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  1. 03 Dec '16 11:23
    Notes from another OTB tournament

    This guy on the video is an average chess player on the tournament I just finished - a man who left his middleageness behind him and now is trotting to ugly phase of his life,... Now he is stiill making ikebana on his head, he is wearing nice albeit old shoes (cannot be seen on the video though), and a suit who will probably be on him in the coffin when the day comes. Now he is still playing chess. In Round 1, he got lucky to play on a board les then 21, so that his game was transmitted; he played against renowned Bulgarian GM Ermenkov. The man’s rating is around 1900 and he is average player of Belgrade Trophy.

    Find the move which wins instantly in this position.

    After chess holiday on Mediterranean island (which ended with unusual incident about which I wrote here, and which abruptly stopped my climbing to my first ever chess prize), only three days after I competed at home on jubilar XXX trophy of my home town.

    This tournament looks like it came out from one of Kusturica’s movies. Two main referees: one is Czhech, Serbia’s old friend, who learned to say “nema problema” /no problems/, the other is Serb, who looks like a wrestler..For the first 2 rounds I even checked in a hotel on Belgrade’s outskirt to avoid the trouble of first round, when people never know whit whom they play. During the breakfast Czhech couldn’t get the fresh water from vending machine, but he said “Nema problema”. Bulgarian competitors spoke broken Serbian with Russians, locals, and Czhechs and Serbian is indeed chess lingua franca here.

    This is “fight to see” pairings on small News Board:::

    The assistants of referees are locals, old guys who looks like episodists in some folk comedy, clumsy waiters or plumbers who make more damage than good.

    Thee rules are obeyed only on first tables, but often not even there. Average chess players always have smartohones on, “because they keep forgetting to turn them off”, and there are always a couple or more forfeitted games in every round. Silence is unknown concept here. Every player under rating 1900 must comment ther games immediatelly after the end, regardless other play around them.

    I am in Zeitnod and two people next to my ears are simoultaneously turning their smartphones on while they are commenting their game.

    In the middle of the tournament time several physical incidents occurred. In the main hall, one of the players threatened his opponent to beat him up and mentioned his mother in a typical Serbian curse.Referees chickened. Almost the same happened down there in “intensive care room” as I call it where on two tables with “average players” came to insulting and then again threat with fist fight. They calmed down somehow, however.

    My performance was lame. I began, though, with souverene victory with white pieces over pretty highly rated guy, a Macedonian who stared at me during the game as a gaaay who was shy to offer me to go to men’s room for a shaggg, (*and he had ticks, too).

    In the next round I was again white; I prepared for my opponent’s Grunfeld’s defense and confidently played until 38th move--->>>

    Here I missed 38. Bf7, which would probably enough for draw..
    I calculated wrongly that Black is bound to keep his King in e8-f8 to defend his Pawns.. I forgot Pawn g6 is defended by his Knight..

    After this I decided to save the money and checked out from the hotel and the rest of tournament I used overcrowded city buses to go to the venue. Smart decision.

    What a tournament. All kinds of losers, ugly faces, ocean of dandruff, smell of sweat and unwashed middle-age bodies, kids they are constantly dig their noses and kick their opponents under the table with their short legs, few girls and a pair of women, but mostly coffee shop player with no chess culture what so ever, noise and jam and melee, like on train station in East European film comedy from sixties, people wearing socks with sandals (although it is pretty cold here) but not because they are German tourists, but because either their feets swells or they can’t afford winter foot ware, fur hats like in Roumanian dracula villages, people who look like peasants on cattle fair or at green market.

    The organizers have trouble to keep the three different halls warm:: they use an ancient heater which has a loud fan on the back side. The fan makes noise like jet engine on the plane. Waves of hot air is hitting directly toward the players, they put their shirts off, and absurd cardboard letters on the wall, in English, Happy birthday (*from some old party when guests had celebrated that they were aging) is dancing, and I feel like am sitting in a plane and crematory at the same time. After ca. 20 minutes, am assistant referee is transfering the heater into another hall (I say “Thank God!” in myself), to warm it too and I can hear him saying to the coleague “They are complaining over there, it is cold!”

    It is a kind of Time Machine to play in such tournaments, when opponent is a kid who is digging his nose all the time (*luckily I had assepsolette tissues wet cleenex in my pocket to wash my hands after the game!), and I must sit aside, because he is cleaning his shoes on my trousers, and I am surrounded by bunch of peasants in sandals and dirty clothes... And I feel, oh Gosh, I am the only intellectual here, only good looking man in his best years, look that girl over there she is sending me signs... Maybe I should make a move to her after the round...
  2. 03 Dec '16 11:24 / 1 edit
    In the last round I made a draw.
    In this position as white

    I played Qd4 and I was convinced I must win.

    In second-last round I stayed late in the hall to see what will be the outcome of this ending::

    Black capturen Pawn a5 and White played Rc8.
    Yes, it ended draw. White had two wins, either to move with Pawn d6 or c6, but in this latter case, it was crucial not to capture black Pawn on c6 but to play Kc7.

    It was hilarious to see white (old man with broken glasses in old sweater, the guy smelled it was obviously he didn’t wash for a long time) enjoying the victory he put in his pocket alreadu, he stood up several times and stretched himself like he was doinf Swedish morning gymnastic, and his oponent was also old guy, 70 year old lawyer, now with thinned hair like duck fluffy feathers, and he was keeping sad expression on his face like he was in pains, but he still commented his game with his friends (!), and after a few moves, it was clear that White was insecure in what he was doing, he dived into thinking, and tke laeyer regained diabolic cynical smile on his face, the game reached this position--->>>

    Now the referee came with new score sheets – they filled the first out with 75 moves – but the old bugger said disappointed “We don’t need them, it’s a draw!” and it was so a draw.

    As I was standing there I thougt Whit is still winning if he place Rook on c2 etc., but I never was an expert for endings.

    And then, the comedy: the referee himself, although there were still other games going on, the referee set the position and gave a lecture to the unwashed old guy how he could have won!
  3. 03 Dec '16 11:30
    Few more pics--->>>>

    Sunny tournament

    Last night om Malta:
    Last supper on Malta, during Inter vs. Milan football match

    Retro coffee break on Malta

    A night view from my hotel terrace in Sliema

    Going back to the coldness:::

    Belgrade tournament:::
  4. 03 Dec '16 11:39

    Look at this pic.
    From the right side is old lady, WGM, who was at her peak in 1970's, she is now 72 but was champion of Yugoslavia 2 times during seventies, but now his rating lowered and she is struggling - just like old Bisguier on championships of his NY chess club - she is struggling with youngsters, this boy already has 200 higher rating than her and she eventually lost.

    Grumpy old lady who keep forgetting at which table she had put her umbrella... And she keeps a hat on her head like old dames in XIX century.

    More pics--->>>
    On the above pic - he guy in purple sweater with duck feathers like hair - that's the guy who managed to save a draw from the game mentioned in post No 2 (70 years old lawyer).

    In the hotel lobby

    In the hotel lobby 2

    After the last round, on my way out--->>>>

    And finally, relief, the gray chill day after another not so well played tournament-->>>

    Before the last round, "intensive care basement":::
  5. Standard member Schlecter
    The King of Board
    03 Dec '16 16:16 / 2 edits
    I don't know but many of my teachers came from Serbia, well in that time, was called Yugoslavia. The thing is I live in the other side of the world!!...
    One of them was a former singer, of a band called 'Pekinska Patka',
    next time it could be a good idea to listen that music during the tournament


    actually both of them were good teachers

    the other one, need his own post, maybe in the future
  6. 03 Dec '16 16:21
    Originally posted by Schlecter
    I don't know but many of my teachers came from Serbia, well in that time, was called Yugoslavia. The thing is I live in the other side of the world!!...
    One of them was a former singer, de Pekinska Patka,
    next time it could be a good idea to listen that music during the tournament


    actually both of them were good teachers

    the other one, need his own post, maybe in the future
    I saw band Pekinška Patka - one of few punk rock bands in former Yugoslavia - in Novi Sad 2008, when they played before Sex Pistols during Exit festival.

    Actually I had that idea in mind for years - to make my own playlist for chess games - abd the list would include happy music by Burt Bacharach and John Barry filled with some good old punk rock songs by Pistols, Chelsea, Ramones and why not Pekinška Patka "Bolje da nosim kratku kosu" "Biti ru┼żan, pametan i mlad" etc.
  7. Subscriber Paul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
    03 Dec '16 22:56
    Originally posted by vandervelde
    Notes from another OTB tournament

    This guy on the video is an average chess player on the tournament I just finished - a man who left his middleageness behind him and now is trotting to ugly phase of his life,... Now he is stiill making ikebana on his head, he is wearing nice albeit old shoes (cannot be seen on the vide ...[text shortened]... girl over there she is sending me signs... Maybe I should make a move to her after the round...
    I read this and think " This is how Jack Kerouac would have written about his experience if he had played chess", and I mean it in the best possible sense.
  8. 10 Dec '16 13:37
    To wrap up this report, it's a good custom to mention... winner(s), those guys from chess heights who never pay admission fees and hotel costs either, actually the people we, chess plankton pay for their prizes and accommodations, people who almost never dignify lower tables with quick visit and glance at their patzerish positions...
    Well, two players shared 1st placed, Boban Bogosavljevic and Alexey Kislinsky, but the fisrt took the cup. The other, leader for the most of the tournament, made "only" a spectacular draw in last round with the guy who I think likes to beat his opponents, but I am not sure if that was him who made an incident I mentioned before on this thread.
    Judging after positions on the table, several players could have got the cup - Tosic (who missed wins against both Milanovic and Kislinsky), previous winner Damljanovic (who lost two games due Zeitnod), Kislinsky, who perhaps played the best but lost because of promiles, and also MIlanovic.

    It is indicative that no paper published results of the tournament, and site of Belgrade federation published only photo of the winner together with best placed women. I heard some commotions during last round, but I never went up there, being busy with my kid opponent who was digging his nose.

    Before I show some games and blunders from the tournament--->>> I, in zeitnod, well not just yet, but have 12 minutes for last 10 moves, games should decide, the game just next to me is finished, an old guy defeated some younger fella, they shook hands and signed score sheets, the thootless referee turnded off the clock so as to save batteries, and the old guy is putting his windjacket on, and he is butonning his jacket, there are buttons and fasteners and snaps and a zipp too, and he is old and can't see without reading glasses, and he buttons up wrong buttons, and minutes are passing, hoours, days and week, and he can never finish blooooody butonning, and I begin to think he notices my nervousness and that he is delaying now just in spite, and then the door of our basement intensive care department for lame players are opened, and they arer squeeking and can't be clsoed properly, just in Hitchcock's movie "Troubles with Harry", and a woman who is playing next to the door is protesting and cursing "Keep the door open you idiots!", and thootless referee is explaining something but with his bariton voice he makes it only more irritating, and the old guy finally at last butonned his windjacket, and I have 7 minutes on my clock for next dozen moves or so, and I felt relieved, but, at the same time, two guys rushes into the room and loudly greet his buddy who is playing his games close to my table, and he stands up and they hug like in pub or a tavern, and referee is just looking at them and greet them too, and it's fycking cattle fair not a chess tournament.

    So, one of decsive games from last round
    Milanovic vs. Kirlinsky, draw

    In this position--->

    White had made a desperate check.
    39...Kg7 is winning and 39...Kh8 gives a draw.
    Why??'s Stockfish doesn't say, so I had to figure it by myself--->>>
    After 39...Kh8
    40. Nce4! Bxe4
    41. Nxe4 Nxe4
    White has a check
    42. Qxh4 which leads to perpetual check.

    With King on g7, it is not the case:::

    Here Black has a tempo for checkmating attack.
    What about 39. ...Kf8?!
    Not good either, because after Qxh4 White has threat of perpetual check-->>>

    And now if Black plays 40...Qc2, White has time for Qh8+ Ke7, d6+ Kd7, e6+! with perpetual check.
  9. 10 Dec '16 14:05
    More blunders from Belgrade Trophy.
    Tosic could have defeated Milanovic, but it looked as if he was afraid to do it or he didn't want it to.
    After 18 moves-->

    Tosic forgot what he knows from Theory of Combinations.
    Here he had - task No 1
    19. Bxg7

    Damljanovic vs. Tosic
    In this position

    Black is better but not much.
    White played 33. h5?! and opened the position to his damage instead of 33. Kf3 and Kg2 which would bring King into safety and possible draw.

    In game Kislinsky vs. Bogosavljevic, position after White's 53. Kc4:::

    is good for draw, but Bogosavljevic played

    In game Vulinovic vs. Antic
    after 39 moves--->

    Black is lost, but he is a GM and "he must win" so he refuses draw.
    In very next move White loses all his advantage with 40. Qg1?
    And he should have played
    40. Qe2.