What happens when a player is “on fire”?
This phenomenon is observed in chess tournaments from time to time when a player exhibits much higher performance than his rating would predict. In such cases, it seems that all of the elements – good form, luck, and the opponents’ underestimation – come together to create something extraordinary!
The most recent example of this phenomenon was observed in International Master Abdulla Gadimbayli’s games at the European Individual Championship. He delivered a remarkable 2717 performance, winning him 9th place and a ticket to the World Cup. I don’t recall any 2451 IM making the top 10 in the recent history of this championship.
However, the tournament could have gone south very quickly for Gadimbayli…he obtained a winning position against GM Santos Ruiz Miguel in the second round but made 2-3 bad moves. Fortunately for him, his opponent did not spot a somewhat simple winning move. Gadimbayli went on and won the game.
Also, a very curious situation occurred in his game against a grandmaster. Gadimbayli claimed that he offered a draw in an equal position, but his opponent looked down on Gadimbayli’s ability and declined, saying that only he himself could offer a draw. Gadimbayli went on and won that game too!
In addition to all of these factors, he was in great shape overall, especially when it came to dynamic positions.
This leads us to the Game of the Week…
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Please note that Game of the Week will cover games played from Saturday to Saturday of each week, and any games played on Sunday will go to the next week. See you next Sunday!
GM Vasif Durarbayli
GM Ulvi Bajarani
Edited by Della Almind