A memorable tournament in Bhadravathi22 Aug 2016
Lions club is an international club for community service. They have clubs all over the world and pretty common in India. They are known for social activities like blood donation camps, free eye check-ups, and other things.
A lions club in Bhadravathi organized an open rapid chess tournament on 21st August 2016 as they were celebrating 100 years of glory. So this place is near to mine and my chess teacher, me and my student thought of attending this.
It was good to see players from all around the town, especially from Shimoga. Shimoga is known for producing high-quality chess players because of Sri Krishna Udupa a well-known chess coach. In the tournament, the center of attraction was Sachin P S who’s rated 1767 and he leads the top board.
When I started off to the tournament I had no expectations because of a bitter experience in the last tournament I played in Mudigere. One of my students got an award there but I did not. Actually, I was expecting a top place and I could manage to score only 5.5 out of 7 rounds. That bitter experience made me not to expect much from this tournament.
When the game started I had to face a good player from Sagara called Manaswini R.
She played really good but made a positional mistake of letting my Queen and Rook enter the 8th row that eventually led to a checkmate.
She was expecting me to take the b2 pawn with my Queen(or Rook). She must have thought that she could buy some time by moving her King to a4. But she totally under-estimated the move Qc2+ and forced Ka2. Checkmate in two!
Second game was against my teacher Prashanth M P who is a very strong player. I know that he is a strong player because I have played at least a hundred games against him when I was learning chess from him. I wasn’t sad for losing the second match because he was my guru after all.
Unfortunately, the third match was with my student! I won that game with a Rook up but he tried some nasty threats which could have led to a disaster or at least a draw.
The fourth match was an easy win. My opponent had no idea about the plan I was laying out.
Fifth and sixth matches were against 1100 and 1200 rated players who seemed good in the beginning but did a lot of mistakes towards the middle and end game. Many times they did not exploit the mistakes I did in the beginning.
The final round was the one I enjoyed the most. There was a rigorous tactical gameplay going on between us. Before I discuss this game I have to take you back 10 years. Because I played him before!
It was in my 10th grade. There was this state selection tournament going on. I managed to beat some of the well-known players and somehow managed to get to the 6th table in the last round. Sachin PS was my opponent!
In the whole tournament, I played Queen’s Gambit whenever I got white and surprised my opponents who were used to play only e4-e5 openings. Sachin was also surprised and I could see it in his eyes. For beginners, Queen’s Gambit is considered to be risky. This is because when Black plays Queen’s Gambit accepted, most players did not know how to take the pawn back.
I somehow mastered this art and managed to win almost all the rounds. Sachin asked for a draw where he realized none of us can do any progress in the game. I was playing for a win because I knew I will not make it to the nationals if I drew. I said NO and continued to play.
But eventually I became greedy and took a pawn in the corner with my Bishop and it got trapped by a pawn push. That’s when I realized I’ve lost the game.
So all this happened a decade ago. I remember this because I was really sad after losing the last game(must have cried a bit). But now I had a chance to play against the same guy in the last round again! Pretty amazing I must say.
I had Black pieces and I played Sicilian Defense. He pushed his f4 pawn without doing d4 (which leads to … cxd4 and Nxd4). This gave me a good hold on Queen side. He did try to attack my castled King but it wasn’t successful as I transformed the position to Sicilian Dragon.
I exploited a minor weakness in his Queen side to create an open file and pushed both my Rooks to the open file. This is where things got spicy and he brought all his defense to Queen side. We exchanged most of our pieces but by the end his King side was defenseless.
I pushed my King to the middle and then to the King side grabbing two pawns. That made a clear path for my pawns to promote. I promoted a pawn and took his Rook in exchange. He still had a passed pawn and tried to promote it. This is how the position looked like.
At this point, I had hardly 20 seconds. In such situations, we do make mistakes like the one I have shown in the above image. If I overlook the position and give a check then I will lose horribly. His Pawn cannot be stopped after that. I saw this Bishop and blocked it with a pawn.
At this point, he and his friends around watching the game realized that the things are out of hand. Sachin still tried to push the pawn but got checkmated in the back rank.
I was expecting him to resign because our game was the last one going on and all the players were around us. It would look hopeless for a 1767 rated player to lose against an unrated player. A resign would have been nice.
He had to settle for sixth place and I got third. He didn’t even attend the prize distribution ceremony. Maybe he was late and wanted to catch a bus home. Anyway, I was really satisfied with the game and felt good when people started asking my rating!
Here is the tournament details:
Thanks for reading!