Disaster at the Aeroflot Open 2018

The Aeroflot Open 2018 was a good opportunity for me as I started as the second seed. If I won it, I would have got a direct entry into the Dortmund Super GM. However, things did not turn out the way I had planned and I slumped to a poor performance.

My tournament at the Aeroflot Open 2018 ended in a disaster. Have a look at my score card:

I started as the second seed but just couldn’t get it going. I scored 5.0/9, +1 with 8 draws and 1 win. It was quite frustrating not to be able to win. I lost 16 points. But in all of this there is an upside. I did not lose a single game and I managed to keep my objectivity at some level to not self destruct. Anish is always there with his typical humourous quips on Facebook:

I tried to analyze what went wrong. What I write here is not some sort of an excuse but something what I feel from within. There were some issues related to visa, because of which I was not sure until the last moment whether I would be flying to Moscow or not. Somehow I am able to do the best when I have things figured out. I like to plan, I like to do things in a systematic manner. Even though the visa arrived on time, I was not mentally prepared. Somehow, I wasn’t able to play well at the event. I tried my best but nothing was helping. Also nearly all my opponents were pretty decent players with an Elo of 2550 and above. It was a good learning experience and I am sure that I do not repeat the mistakes again. It’s fine to go wrong, but it’s not fine to go wrong in the same way again!

With Debashis Das and Abhijeet Gupta at the Sheremetjevo airport | Photo: Niklesh Jain

There was nothing much to show you chess wise but I will leave you with my lone win in the tournament:

Aleksey Sorokin – Vidit Gujrathi

White has just moved his knight to d1. e3 looks like the perfect square for the knight. But I had a surprise prepared. Can you see it?

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