Home, sweet home. I seem to be repeating myself often, but truth is that coming home after a heavy tournament schedule the past seven weeks is incredibly sweet! ECC was as previously mentioned perfect – and it also helps your mood (when you’ve beaten Chucky) that Ivanchuk proved that his losses in Plovdiv were not the start of another roller-coaster. He won convincingly in France by playing much better chess than the rest of us!
As for me, I got Hikaru in the quarter-final, and obviously that’s going to be a tough task. However, I was hopeful that Naka thought he could/should sweep me in the rapids, and therefore take excessive risks. I never got the chance to see if he would, as I blundered in the first game (my white) followed by a cynical (smart) choice of opening by Hikaru in the second game after which I was unable to create anything remotely resembling serious winning chances.
Nevertheless, I was very happy to play another high-level rapid tournament and could rest the last couple of days knowing full well that I could be proud of my performance. Hopefully the experience I gained in France will help me to new heights in my next rapid tournament!
I had my own personal amateur photographer in Cap d’Agde, and even though many of the pictures were ‘comme ci comme ça,’ when you take 1200(!!) pictures, the law of pretty large numbers tell us that there’s bound to be lots of great photos! So without further ado:
The designated photographer! For once in front of the camera.
There’s a lot you can get done with the right equipment. While in France I did a session with John Watson for his ‘Chess Talk’ program on ICC Chess.FM. I’ll make another post when they publish it.
Getting chessplayers to line up for a group photo requires good herders!
The Norwegian taking his ten second photo-op at the presentation of the players!
Explaining the concept of my former high school NTG to representatives of the tournament bulletin!
Polishing my penmanship to achieve perfection.
The key to success!
A very happy quarter-finalist after beating Pelletier (behind the curls) in the decisive last round game.
Joining the commentators to give some thoughts on Tromsø 2014, Cap d’Agde and my preferred opponent in the quarter-final.
Singing along to Smash Mouth’s ‘All Star’! Ready to reach for the stars against Hikaru!
Caught in the moment. Taking a timeout after game 1. Not exactly pleasant memories, but the picture is way too good to leave out!
Avenging the loss to Naka: beating two locals with my special double hand-move!
Enjoying the sun, beach and – heh?! – jacket!!
Practice makes perfect!
And in the end, the most important thing – win or lose – is that we were offered excellent French cuisine – every day!
If you still wanna see more pictures and/or results from the CCAS Trophée, check out their website!