Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Campomanes Memorial Yangon GM Tournament

After making 3 tedious visits to the Myanmar Embassy, I've finally received my visa which means I am all set to fly to Yangon tomorrow afternoon for yet another GM tournament.

Tournaments in Myanmar receive little coverage on the net so I guess I can only update my results periodically here. Here's the tentative player list:

GM Nguyen Anh Dung
GM Bui Vinh
GM Jha Sriram
GM Zaw Win Lay
IM Mok Tze Meng
IM Wynn Zaw Htun
FM Nguyen Van Hai

This is naturally not the final list but I reckon there will be a few other Myanmese in the line up and from the looks of it, the average opponent rating is likely to be in the lowest category which means I'll need to score a minimum of 7/9 or 8/10 or 9/11.

In any case, I have never been to Myanmar and I was told Yangon has plenty of beautiful places so perhaps, I'll mix a bit of tourism in this tournament for a change.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Goh Wei Ming, Kevin - Das Arghyadip, DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters Round 3

In the 3rd round, I had to face Indian IM Das Arghyadip with the White pieces. Buoyed by my 2nd round win against Anh Dung, I naturally wanted to win badly given that I was White and that a win would put me back on track for the coveted GM norm. However, Das is clearly not a pushover as he had outplayed Malaysian no.1 IM Mas Hafizul nicely with the Black pieces in round 1 and was clearly better against Oliver Barbosa in round 2 (before blundering the game away). I was sure that both of us would be playing actively for the win and sure enough, the game turned out to be a huge tactical battle:

Friday, 9 September 2011

Nguyen Anh Dung - Goh Wei Ming, Kevin, DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters, Round 2

In round 2, I was Black against Vietnamese veteran GM Nguyen Anh Dung who fell to a superb piece of preparation in round 1 against the Uzbek prodigy Jahongir Vakhidov. I expected Anh Dung to be an angry animal after that and true enough, he started the game with 1.e4 which he hasn't been playing often recently. In turn, I replied with the Sicilian Dragon which I've never played before:

(Note: at the time of posting this, Oliver Barbosa has secured his final GM norm with a score of 6.5/8 and as such, is the Philippine's latest Grandmaster. My sincere congratulations!)

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Goh Wei Ming, Kevin - Oliver Barbosa, DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters Round 1

And so after 6 rounds, I am on a less than satisfactory 2.5/6 although I feel my play hasn't been that all bad and I'm trying to come to some conclusions why the results haven't been going my way so far.

I'll be annotating all my games from this tournament and in round 1, due to the worst possible draw, I had to face top seed IM Oliver Barbosa with Black. With a 2538 elo, Oliver is clearly a GM in the making and just needed the opportunites to complete his GM requirements. I felt he played the entire game flawlessly and just a couple of inaccuracies meant I had no chance to survive his dashing attack. I think he conducted the attack extremely well and would make a good training example for any trainers. Here's the game with some of my comments:

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Chess Tour 2011, Part 2

After playing 7(!) tournaments in a row and having a 3 months break during which I held a couple of wedding dinners and pretended to be a trainer in Shenzhen,I am now ready to commence on World Tour part 2 which begins tomorrow:

1) 4 - 10 Sept: DYTM Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah Invitational Masters, KL, Malaysia
2) 21 Sept - 1 Oct: Campomanes Memorial GM Tournament, Yangon, Myanmar
3) 15 - 24 Oct: Caissa GM Tournament, Kecskemet, Hungary
4) 5 - 15 Nov: First Saturday GM Tournament, Budapest, Hungary
5) 26 - 31 Dec: 2nd Asean Open Championship, Singapore

Hence if nothing goes wrong, I would have played a total of 12 tournaments and a staggering 109 games in 2011.

When I first began this sabbatical, I initally thought that it is imperative that I make my 3 GM norms in this period. Chess is not easy to achieve mastery and I do not think it is possible to train intensely while I'm back in my audit career and achieve excellence in both areas. As a result, I unknowingly put an incredible amount of pressure on myself during each tournament and I'm constantly worrying over my results.

After giving the game far more attention than I have ever given, it is easy for me to realise that Chess should not be played with such a mentality and that it is simply impractical to expect to make a norm at every tournament. True, making my first GM norm in March had raised my personal expectations but I cannot deny the fact that fortune played a amazingly large part in Kecskemet and that in these GM tournaments, a lot of luck (not just skill) is required to fulfill the criteria.

I am trying to approach each tournament not just with the aim of making a norm, but also to obtain fresh positions, study other facets of chess and ultimately enjoy each game. I've realised that there is simply no point in stressing myself up and forgetting that I'm doing this not just because I want to be a GM but also because ultimately, chess is what I do, and I plan to be around for a very long time.

The tournaments are coming thick and fast and whatever happens, it promises to be an extremely interesting and challenging period from now till the end of the year. Wish me luck, I'll need loads of it!