First off, check out those ratings! I’ve had a bit of a bump in December on ICC, maybe a bit of luck as well, but I’ve broken 1500 (my “short-term” goal over a year ago, which permits me to buy a DGT chess board (which I bought already because I got impatient)), I’ve broken 1556.59 , ICC’s median standard rating, and if I keep it up, I’ll be kissing 1600 before too long. My trainer, IM Lazypawn, has stopped hurting my feelings for a while and thinks I’ve got another 300 points in me for 2013. Let’s see. In any case, it’s been a good 2012-2013 transition, and I feel like I’m starting to get better again, after plateauing around 1450 for way too long.
Anyway, today was round 5 of the 2013 Berlin Mannschaftsmeisterschaft, in which I’ve performed at a decent, but not spectacular level to date. I’m in the 10th Mannschaft (Klasse 3, Staffel 2) at my chess club, SC Kreuzberg, normally on board 5 (of 8). My team’s doing pretty well overall, considering our average rating of 1161 DWZ (about 1350 FIDE ELO, approximately), with 3 wins, 2 draws and a loss so far against generally much higher-rated teams.
Today’s home round was a played against the Serbo-Berlin club SK Dragojle Babic, and we walked away with a sweet 7:1 result. Dragojle Babic has an average 1523 DWZ rating, so no complaints from us.
My own game started out great, as my opponent botched the White side of the Caro-Kann, basically giving me the bishop pair for nothing in the Classical variation. Although I couldn’t find a decisive advantage, I was easily equalized, had good chances to win a pawn, and White was going to have to fight to pull a draw out of the position. Awesome.
But then I made a few bad decisions, maybe I got a little too confident, impatiently took the pawn that I’d been fighting for a tick too early, made some unnecessary calculation errors and soon found myself suddenly pretty much losing, 2 pawns down. Oh no!
But I kept at it, and found a tactical solution to a decisive material advantage (although it turns out that it wasn’t good enough – my opponent missed a chance to stay on top, but it was hard to find), played an imperfect but sufficient endgame and won the point.
Anyway, an instructive game, see my annotations in the embedded board below! Click e7 to see the board from Black’s perspective.