Karpos Open: Summary

In the last two weeks I played in the very strong Karpos Open, which was held in Skopje, Macedonia.
I scored 9/5,5 points, winning some rating points and gaining a lot of experiences.

During the tournament I stayed in a Trubarevo (9km from Skopje) with my good friends FM Tésik Csaba and Péczely Sebastian Zsombor. The tournament hall was in 5* Hotel Aleksandar Palace, so the conditions were optimal. Even every player could get free drinks during the rounds!
The first round has been played in March 9, followed by a double round in March 10, and the last round was played in March 16. Usually the rounds started at 17.30(!), except the morning round (Round 2 and 9) which started at 9.30.

                                                  The tournament hall before the 1st round

A "short" summary about my games:

Round 1, Csonka Balázs (FM,2319) - Onal Ozan (1461): Finally, I won a game in the King's Indian Bayonet with white! We followed a long theoretical line, up to one point where my opponent deviated, and I managed to exchange his light squared bishop, achieving a slight edge. But then, he made a decisive mistake:

In this position (instead of changing bishop on g4) he played 18...Bf8?, allowing 19.Be6 and after changing the bishops, my knight reached the d5 square, with a huge advantage for me. After some inaccuracies from both sides I converted the advantage to a full point.


Round 2, Saric Ante (GM, 2549) - Csonka Balázs: As this game was played in the morning, I was tired and unprepared for the game, so I tried to surprise my opponent with something new. In the symmetrical English (first time I've ever played) my opponent played a tricky, pawn sacrifice line which I did not know before the game. I declined winning material instead I focused on my development and equalised comfortably. Unfortunately, I got into time trouble and started to play wrong moves, although my position was still playable. But then I made a terrible blunder:

In this position, I played 22...a6?? and when my opponent answered with 23.Rc6 I was completely shocked. The rest was easy for a grandmaster.


Round 3, Csonka Balázs - Velikic Adela (1990): As this was a "double-day", I did not have enough time to prepare for the game, and when I saw my opponent playing the Semi-Slav, I decided to try 5.g3 without too much knowledge. An interesting line, slightly reminding for the Catalan, but with an extra Nc3,c6 moves. My opponent played a passive line, so I could transpose to a favourable version of the Catalan. My bishop pair was very strong and black could not find any active plan. Finally, black collapsed. 1-0

R4, Malakhatko Vadim (GM, 2572) - Cs.B.:  My opponent played the London System, which I have used successfully some years ago. But this time, I was behind the black pieces. In the middlegame I found an interesting regrouping, playing for the central break. White could avoiding this, but only with some piece exchange. I think I got a reasonable position, with a counterplay on the queenside. Of course, my opponent should have do something, and he tried to spice up things with h4-h5 attack! My attack on the queenside was faster, but of course his attack was more dangrous, as my king was in the kingside. In a time trouble I sacrificed an exchange for a pawn, and I got a very strong compensation. But now, my opponent started to play like a computer! He found all the best moves in time trouble, but I could not. In the end, his attack was deadly, and I lose a piece. 1-0

R5, Cs.B. - Péczely Sebastian Zsombor: What a bad luck! Travelling more than 700km and facing a countrymate... Our preparation was quite hard, as we know the opening repertoire of each other quite well. So I decided to try the 5.g3 Semi-Slav (again) instead of entering to the main lines. For my pleasant surprise, Zsombor did not know my game from the 3rd round, and played a same line as Velikic did. The first deviation was in the 14th move, but it should not change the evaluation of the line. But strangely, I could not find the best way, and my opponent got a lot of counterplay. My opponent offered a draw somewhere, but of course I wanted to play on, even with a little time on the clock. I sacrificed a pawn for the bishop pair, but "Zsizsi" (his nickname) found the best plan, regrouping his pieces, and activating his bishops. At the end, I could not find better than move repetition. 1/2

R6, Bejatovic Bojana (2011) - Cs.B.: This time I chose the King's Indian with black. My opponent (who is a member of the Macedonian women team) played the solid fianchetto line with d3. The position was closed, my opponent played on the queenside and I tried to find the best places for my pieces. I should have do something, but how to crack such a stable position?!? Well, I remembered what Malakhatko did and a tried the same idea: h5-h4! Suddenly, my attack became obvious, and she had to transpose to a worse endgame. I had a bad pawn structure (c6,c5,e6,e5) but I had a very strong knight on d4. In additional her light squared bishop was very stupid, because her pawns (c4,d3,e4) completely blocked it. With 4 rooks still on the board I tried to change 2 of them, weaking her defence. I managed to do this, and my knight dominated over the board. Finally, her bishop has been trapped. 0-1

R7, Cs.B. - Indjic Aleksandar (IM, 2502): As it was predictable, my opponent played the Benoni. I reacted with a fashionable line, but he was well prepared against it and played a tricky variation, which I did not really know before the game. We played normal moves and got a fighting position. After manouvering on both wings, we got the following position:

  Of course, black can't tolerate the knight on e6, so he made a right decision with 29...Rxe6!. After 30.dxe6,d5 31.Kg1,Bxe6 I gave back the exchange with 32.Rxd5!? Of course, I could keep my material plus, but if I do this, where can I advance?!? So 32.Rxd5,Bxd5 33.Bxd5,Nxd5 34.Qxd5. It may look that white is slighly better, but after 34...Qe8! Black equalised. After few more moves, the game ended in a draw.


R8, Damljanovic Branko (GM, 2562) - Cs.B.: Another grandmaster, again with black... This time a faced the Trompowsky. I played my usual line, and my opponent played the main line. Unfortunately, I mixed up the move order and white could play Nh3-Nf2 which is usually good for him. My position was very passive, and I could not do anything, only waiting. I managed to survive the middlegame and I had to defend the following endgame:

First I felt that it should lose, but after finding a good defensive plan 31...f5!? (not allowing Bc2-Bf5) 32.Bc2,Nh4! (important time gaining move) I built up an unbreakable defence. My opponent of course tried hard, but he could not break through and the game ended in a draw in the 60th move.


R9, Cs.B. - Atanasov Radislav (2147): As this game was played in the morning I could not prepare too much, so I decided to play usual lines which I know. Again I faced the Benoni, and again I played the same line as I did against Indjic. But this time my opponent played a weaker line, allowing to regrouping my pieces. I achieved a huge positional advantage, which I first converted to a pawn and later to a full point.

Finally, I won 6,6 rating points.

The tournament was won by Kozul with 9/7 points, followed by M. Rodshtein, Lupulescu, Iturrizaga, Perunovic, Ivanisevic, Stevic and Hamitevici, also with 7 points.

                                                 Tournament winner, GM Kozul Zdenko

P.S.: Sorry for being late with this post!

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