"The first round, however, quickly put me back to Earth..."
Anish on TATA Steel Tournament with analysis of his games (Part-1)
Before the tournament I obviously had a specific training for the actual event, but in fact, since I was playing quite a lot the whole year before the event and a lot of things were left unused, I arrived to the 'Seaside Village' more than ready to meet 'The Big Guys'. Anxiousness is maybe a more suitable word even.
A friendly dinner
As usual, it started with two opening ceremonies. I do enjoy those quite a lot. The sphere is very relaxed, with lots of people you already met and those you still haven't. It is nice to get some social doze before fully diving into the world of Anand's and Carlsen's and their opening repertoires.
At first there was the opening of the group-C. I remember two years ago it was of a more importance to me, as I was a participant myself, yet I was there again, as all the players, also from the top group, usually do attend the evening. The friendly dinner followed by the drawing of lots pulled us all into the 'tournament modus', not even talking about the participants of the C-group, who already knew who their opponents in the first round will be and were probably already dreaming of going back to room and start preparing...
Garry's lucky number
The next day there was the opening ceremony, for us, the players of A and B group. A cup of tea was followed by the simple traditional procedure of pushing on the red button. It isn't the most complicated way to decided the colours, but I guess to have 42 chess players doing something complicated, must inevitably lead to some trouble (may chess players forgive me some irony?), so the red-button is more than understandable.
The pairing is in fact, probably of a lesser importance than it feels right after the opening ceremony. I had mixed feelings about my 'Dutch start' (my first two opponents were Erwin and Jan) and my feelings about 7 blacks, among which were those against Anand, Kramnik and Carlsen, were a bit less mixed, to put it mildly. Yet, I was happy with the tournament getting closer and closer and my fighting mood was only getting better and better with every minute. The opening ceremony wasn't very eventful for me, besides the official, drawing of lots part. Or well, it maybe was. Unlike my previous experience, when it was all very quiet, peaceful and friendly, this time I was travelling through the 'tent' (place where the opening ceremony took place. Not to be confused with the one you take to the camping, also being the one from the Sherlock Holmes joke *hyperlink*.), from one interviewer to another, getting wet in between, with no jacket on, because a newspaper photographer (obviously not Fred Lucas), told me 'the lighting was beautiful outside' ...Anyway, it was an unusual 'media' experience and as Dutch people like to put it 'naja, dat hoort er ook bij', what would mean something like 'well, it's also a part of it'. And that's right.
Well, as I said I was more than waiting for the tournament to start and the feeling of something big and special to come was in the air.
The first round, however, quickly put me back to Earth...
Erwin l'Ami - Anish Giri
My second game, the one against Jan Smeets, with white by the way (after more or less10 moves of that game, I forgot who was white and who was black...), was really a tough one...
Anish Giri - Jan Smeets