17. tammikuuta 2017

Stunning victory gives LauttSK 2 a shot to qualify for Division 2

LauttSK 2 – VihdSK 3–1

Piippo Mikko (1823) – Sund Jan (2072) 0–1
Kumar Ashwin (1864) – Kool Kaspar (U1924) 1–0
Rautio Reijo (1763) – Alzakout Hassan (1701) 1–0
Siikonen Timo (1766) – Häkkinen Henrik (1595) 1–0
Heimonen Arto (1684) – Niinimäki Otto (1587) ½–½

On January 14, 2017, LauttSK 2 beat the table toppers VihdSK in a shocking display of mind over matter, and are now poised to potentially wreak havoc in their final game against JärvSK 2 on February 4 and make a dramatic last minute surge to win the group and qualify to Division 2.

Man of the match award goes to Reijo Rautio, for literally pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Having gone two pawns down fairly early in the game, it was a long uphill grind for the veteran. But he did not give up. He fought on, against all odds, for the team's cause. And in the end, his strength in the face of adversity paid off, as his opponent wavered and wobbled, and finally toppled after tasting the might of Reijo's gritty defense. This turn around led to our team's turn around and helped us win a tough match!

Timo was also predictably cool and seemed to win his game relatively effortlessly. Mikko had a tough match against 2000+ Jan. And Arto deserves a lot of credit for his performance this season, showing a lot of patience and calmness in his decision making.

I was quite pleased with my own game too. I did not know anything about Kaspar Kool before the game started, but I could see that he was a pretty tough player, albeit a touch passive. When faced with such an opponent, it's important to be patient, and not look to deal the killer blow too soon as it could easily backfire. This was my best game of the season.

Players have a tendency to follow up on a bad move, with an even worse move. It's very important in chess to learn to take a deep breath and re-assess the situation calmly when your opponent has made a move that you did not expect. You have to remember to let go off your previous plans and re-evaluate the position to formulate a new plan.

In my game, it's clear that Kaspar didn't expect me to play 35. Ng3, a move which won me at least one pawn. But it was not the end of the world. He should have taken some time to regain his composure and reconsider his options. Instead he went down desperation road in an attempt to blaze past through the uncomfortable emotions that arise in such situations. A grittier, calmer defense would have tested me more.

Current Group Standings:

3. Divisioona lohko 4
HyvSK       4 3 0 1  12 – 5   6
VihdSK      4 3 0 1  12 – 5   6
LauttSK 2   4 3 0 1  10 – 5   6
MatSK 5     4 2 0 2   6 – 9   4
KUSK        4 1 0 3   7 – 12  2
JärvSK 2    4 0 0 4   3 – 14  0

We really do have a realistic outside chance of qualifying! We are currently tied for top spot with two other teams (both of whom are slightly ahead on tie breaks). However, with us facing the group's worst team JärvSK 2, there is a good chance of making a 5–0 win, which would make us serious contenders to qualify.

I would say HyvSK is the favorite to qualify, but anything can happen in a pressure match!

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