Reports | April 05, 2007 22:00

[lang_nl]Beach boy Smerdon wint Bangkok Open en pakt zijn tweede GM-norm[/lang_nl][lang_en]Beach boy Smerdon wins Bangkok Open and scores his second GM-norm[/lang_en]

[lang_nl]De Australische IM David Smerdon, over wie we al vaak schreven (hier en hier bijvoorbeeld), begon eind januari aan een reeks toernooien met als doel het scoren van een volgende GM-norm (hij had er al ?ɬ©?ɬ©n op zak). In Gibraltar, Moskou en Cappelle la Grande wilde het niet lukken maar vorige week was hij zeer succesvol bij het Bangkok Chess Club Open. Hij werd ongedeeld eerste en pakte zijn tweede grootmeesterresultaat met een half punt overscore. Voor ChessVibes analyseerde David zijn cruciale partij tegen de Filipijnse GM Antonio. Bovendien verklaart hij het geheim achter zijn succes.[/lang_nl][lang_en]The Australian IM David Smerdon, who appeared on this site a couple of times before (e.g. here and here), started playing many tournaments as from January with the aim to score another GM result (he already had one). In Gibraltar, Moscow and Cappelle la Grande he didn't succeed but last week he was very succesful at the Bangkok Chess Club Open. He finished clear first and grabbed his second GM norm with a half point to spare. For ChessVibes David analysed his crucial game against Philippine GM Antonio and reveals the secret of his success.[/lang_en]


Een paar mensen vroegen mij hoe het kwam dat ik zo goed speelde in Thailand, maar zo zwak in de grote Europese toernooien (Gibraltar, Essent, Moskou Aeroflot, Cappelle la Grande, etc). Inderdaad een terechte vraag! Mijn gemiddelde prestatierating over deze toernooien is denk ik ergens rond de 2400 - helemaal niet indrukwekkend.

Het offici?ɬ´le antwoord is dat ik gewoon verschrikkelijk nerveus was tijdens die toernooien. Ik legde steeds heel veel druk op mezelf om de normen te winnen terwijl ik aan de andere kant van de wereld zat, en de verre reis naar Moskou is alleen maar een overdrijving van dit belang. Ik ontspande nergens, en de partijen zelf werden werk, en alleen maar de weg naar de ongrijpbare 'norm'. Ik had helemaal geen plezier in het spelen.

Maar in Thailand kon ik me wel ontspannen. Ik verwachtte niks en beschouwde het toernooi eigenlijk gewoon als vakantie. Ik bereidde me niet langer dan 15 minuten voor op een partij, zwom elke dag, at goed, ontmoette 's avonds mensen en had in het algemeen gewoon een goede tijd. Terwijl ik bij de andere toernooien de rest van de dag besteedde aan voorbereiding, besteedde ik het in Phuket aan het zwembad, herstellende van het feesten tot het ochtendgloren, de vorige nacht. De partijen zelf waren vrij spannend omdat ik, in plaats van veilig te spelen, steeds als ik voor een belangrijke beslissing stond, gewoon besloot 'ga ervoor'. Kortom, ik had weer plezier in het schaken.

Maar de echte reden dat ik goed speelde in Thailand was natuurlijk dat ik verslaafd aan het strand ben :)

>> open deze partij in een apart venster

De eindstand aan kop:

 1. IM David Smerdon     AUS  2460  7?Ǭ?
 2. GM Rogelio Antonio   PHI  2551   7
 3. GM Ian Rogers        AUS  2522  6?Ǭ?
 4. GM R B Ramesh        IND  2483  6?Ǭ?
 5. GM Dimitri Komarov   OEK  2540  6?Ǭ?
 6. IM Simon Ansell      ENG  2393  6?Ǭ?
 7. Cor van Dongen       NED  2307  6?Ǭ?
 8. FM Martin Haag       DUI  2289  6?Ǭ?
 9. FM Asko Hentunen     FIN  2334   6
10. FM Colm Daly         IER  2353   6
11  ... (85 spelers)

Hier de volledige eindstand in PDF.[/lang_nl][lang_en]

A few people have asked me why I managed to play so well in Thailand, but so poorly in the big European tournaments (Gibraltar, Essent, Moscow Aeroflot, Cappelle la Grande, etc). A fair question indeed! My average rating over these four tournaments is I think somewhere under 2400 - not so impressive at all.

The official answer is that I was just too damn nervous at these events. I'd put a lot of pressure on myself to get the norms while overseas, and travelling all the way to play Moscow only serves to exaggerate this importance. I never relaxed, and the chess games themselves became work, and only a means to the elusive 'norm'. I didn't enjoy playing at all.

Conversely, in Thailand, I was able to relax. I didn't expect anything, and basically treated the tournament as a holiday. I didn't prepare more than 15 minutes for a game, swam every day, ate well, socialised at night, and generally had a good time. While in the other tournaments I'd spend the rest day preparing, in Phuket I spent it in the pool, recovering after partying until dawn the night before. The chess games themselves were exciting because, rather than playing safe, whenever I was faced with a critical decision, I just decided to 'go for it'. In short, I was just enjoying playing chess again.

But the real reason I played well in Thailand, of course, is just because I'm a sucker for the beach :)

>> open this game in a separate window

Top final standings:

 1. IM David Smerdon     AUS  2460  7?Ǭ?
 2. GM Rogelio Antonio   PHI  2551   7
 3. GM Ian Rogers        AUS  2522  6?Ǭ?
 4. GM R B Ramesh        IND  2483  6?Ǭ?
 5. GM Dimitri Komarov   OEK  2540  6?Ǭ?
 6. IM Simon Ansell      ENG  2393  6?Ǭ?
 7. Cor van Dongen       NED  2307  6?Ǭ?
 8. FM Martin Haag       DUI  2289  6?Ǭ?
 9. FM Asko Hentunen     FIN  2334   6
10. FM Colm Daly         IER  2353   6
11  ... (85 participants)

Full final standings here (PDF).[/lang_en]

Editors's picture
Author: Editors


Thomas's picture

Well done, Dave! Congratulations. Nice analysis. However, some more respect for the Caro would be appreciated. :)

Maarten van Zetten's picture

Well done David, congratulated! On to the last GM standard! and a nice analysis!

Met's picture

Enjoy yourself.Go to the beach.Relax.Don't get nervous.Don't feel the pressure.Get the GM norm.Get the 2500 rating.
Do it.

Jan Jaap Janse's picture

Congratulations, David! Just find another tournament near a sunny beach and everything will be all right.

By the way: if you want to play a relaxed tournament in Utrecht: you're welcome at the Open Utrecht Championships ( No beaches nearby, sorry...

Martin Crichton's picture

I agree about David being a popular winner and having a good attiude... actually my theory about luck is slightly different to yours.... if you notice David was on his 4th international tournament in quick succession and luck comes in waves...he had bad luck in Gibralter as he was doing exceptionally well after 4-5 rounds but then his luck ran out..if you play enough chess the norms will come! If you only play once a year you will need more than luck... maybe a miricle to get a norm!
Anyway well done David hope you will be back in BKK next year to defend your title:)

Colm Daly's picture

One assumes david avoided the line coz he didnt know you would play Nb6 and thus would have been in a very drawish line? against Rogellio that was not such a big deal as a draw was no big deal but against "a mere 2022 in round 1" ??? Nah I think he wanted a bit more from the game.True he went wrong and even had a losing position in your game but hey it was only round one and you cant blame him for your naking a balls of it? Overall you always need a bit of luck but you make a lot of that yourself too, and in the end David had a great attitude which served him well [same as my own in 2004 when I made an Im norm] He played some great chess at the right moments and was both a deserved and poular winner. Oh and yeah the Caro Kann is a bloody boring opening! Which is not the same as saying it is a bad opening. just that it is often a bit dull!

bram van den berg's picture

Congrats david...well done....and relaxed playing is necessary for the best results indeed

Martin Crichton's picture

such slander against Caro Cann players cannot go unpunished
9... Nb6 is the sharper alternative, with exciting play, but most Caro-Kann players are too dull to consider it. Sorry, Karpov. ....
tut tut Dave.... against me, a mere 2022 in round 1, you avoided the sharp line ... Nb6 completely which I told u after the game I would have played it!...who is the dull player?
for those interested.....(this dull 2022 had a winning position on the black side of a caro - cann) is the game...
[Event "7th Bangkok Open"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2007.03.23"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Smerdon, D."]
[Black "Crichton, M."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B13"]
[WhiteElo "2460"]
[BlackElo "2022"]
[PlyCount "71"]
[EventDate "2007.03.23"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. Be3 e6 8. h3
Bxf3 9. Qxf3 Be7 10. cxd5 Nxd5 11. Bc4 Nxe3 12. fxe3 O-O 13. Rd1 Qb6 14. O-O
Rad8 15. Qe4 Qxb2 16. Rc1 Qb4 17. Ne2 Qd6 18. Rf2 Na5 19. Bd3 g6 20. h4 Rc8 21.
Rcf1 Nc4 22. Bxc4 Rxc4 23. Qxb7 Rc7 24. Qe4 Qd5 25. Qg4 h5 26. Qg3 Qd8 {
!(-/+0.94..Fritz)} 27. Rxf7 Rxf7 28. Qxg6+ Rg7 29. Qxe6+ Kh7 {
?? Kh8 was necessary)} 30. Rf5 Qe8 31. Nf4 Rc6 32. Qe4 Rc1+ 33. Kh2 Qc6 34. d5
Qd6 {?? the final blunder...)} 35. Rf6+ Kg8 36. Rxd6 1-0

maybe just as well you avoided it against me as white can get smashed in this line with 1 or 2 careless moves as can be demonstrated from a game I played last season....
Mercs,Peter J (2110) - Crichton,Martin (2035) [B13]
4NCL/Div4/NOTT1 vs. CAV West Bromwich ENG (3.3), 03.12.2005

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.c4 Nf6 6.Nc3 Bg4 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Qb3 Bxf3 9.gxf3 Nb6 10.Be3 e6 11.0-0-0 Be7 12.Rg1 g6 13.Bh6 Qc7 14.Rg4 0-0-0 15.Bf4 Bd6 16.Bxd6 Rxd6 17.Kb1 a6 18.Re4 Rhd8 19.Ne2 Kb8 20.Rc1 Ka7 21.Qa3 Qd7 22.Nc3 Kb8 23.Qc5 Ne7 24.Bh3 Rc8 25.Qa5 Nc4 26.Qg5 Nd5 27.Nxd5 Rxd5 28.Qf4+ Ka8 29.Bf1 g5 0-1

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