I have played in two tournaments since the last update, both of which have gone well. The first was an international team event in St. Petersburg, open to teams comprising people who work in the rail industry. I scored three wins and two draws, which would have netted me 20 ELO points, but sadly despite the official nature of the event (Kirsan turned up for the closing ceremony) it was not rated. One of my wins is given below:
Although some of my team did not fare as well (we ended 11th out of 14), the event was hugely enjoyable, and St. Petersburg is highly recommended to anyone looking for an interesting holiday.
The second of my tournaments was the British Championships Weekend Open, where I got off to a storming start with 4/4. Facing the top seed (2226) with black in the final round, I needed only a draw to win the tournament, but despite getting an excellent position out of the opening he was able to outfox me. Losing in the final round pushed me down to shared second with two others.
FIDE standard: 1983-2020 (expected), +27 points
All of these points came from the British Weekender. As previously stated, the railway event was unrated, and I may come to rue these lost points (together with the last railway tournament, that’s 44 extra points I could have). Still, this is the first time I have pushed significantly above the 2000 mark this year, and it may still be just in time to make 2100 by September if the next two tournaments go as well as my last two.
I will be playing in Figueres and Sants back-to-back over the next few weeks. Both are strong events in the Barcelona area. If I am able to maintain my energy and play well in both it is certainly possible to gain the required number of points.
Assessment: Red (cause for concern)
I have not (yet) returned to using my study log, and will not be doing so over the next few weeks either. Still, I have been reasonably productive and have managed to patch up a couple of critical holes in my opening repertoire. Naturally I will not be studying as normal during the upcoming tournaments, and will just be doing opponent-specific opening preparation and looking to go into each game well-rested and energetic.
Assessment: Amber (some cause for concern)
As always, I encourage you to post any questions or comments you have below, but I may not respond until after my tournaments. This will likely be the last ‘Road to 2100’ review – for better or worse, see you in September!