And so it begins… | Road to GM, Game 124

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This is my round 2 game from Zadar Open. I faced a higher rated opponent at start of day two, and the outcome of this game would decide whether I would have a good or bad tournament. Itโ€™s always like that in Swiss tournaments. If you start well, you get paired up. And vice-versa.

The game was very interesting positionally and strategically. Both me and my opponent fought in a relatively equal and boring queenless middlegame. We reached an equal knight endgame. And then my stupidity, which knows no limits at times, forced me to make an irrational decision. Instead of repeating the position and taking a draw, I pushed for a win.

Only because Iโ€™d drawn 4 games at Zagreb Open the week before. For no other reason! A draw against a higher rated player is good! Not for me thoughโ€ฆ I wanted to push. And if you push too hard, you may get punished.

This game marks the start of the two absolutely horrible tournaments for me, Zadar and Rabac. The following 13 games will be hard to cover.

2019 Zadar Open, Rd. 2, 12/16/2019, Bo. 17,
S. Tomiฤ‡ (1911) vs D. Kajtazi (2020), Caro-Kann

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d6 3. c4 e5 4. dxe5 dxe5
5. Qxd8+ Kxd8 6. Nc3 Be6 7. Be3 Bb4 8. O-O-O+ Kc8
9. Kc2 Nf6 10. f3 Na6 11. a3 Bc5 12. Bxc5 Nxc5
13. b4 Na6 14. g3 Rd8 15. Bh3 Re8 16. Bxe6+ Rxe6
17. Nge2 Kc7 18. Rd2 Rd8 19. Rxd8 Kxd8 20. Rd1+ Nd7
21. c5 Nc7 22. Na4 Ke7 23. Nb2 Rf6 24. Rd3 b6
25. cxb6 axb6 26. Nc4 b5 27. Ne3 g6 28. Ng4 Re6
29. Ne3 Rf6 30. Ng4 Rd6 31. Ne3 Ne6 32. Rxd6 Kxd6
33. Kd3 Ng7 34. g4 Ne6 35. h4 Nf4+ 36. Nxf4 exf4
37. Nc2 Ne5+ 38. Ke2 Nc4 39. Kd3 h5 40. gxh5 gxh5
41. Nd4 Ne5+ 42. Ke2 Nc4 43. Nf5+ Ke5 44. Ng7 Nxa3
45. Kd3 Nc4 46. Nxh5 Nd6 47. Ng7 Kf6 48. Nf5 Nc4
49. Kd4 Ne5 50. Kc5 Nxf3 51. Kxc6 Ke5 52. Kxb5 Nd4+
53. Kc5 Nxf5 54. exf5 f3 55. b5 f2 56. b6 f1=Q
57. Kc6

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