Barclays International Round 1+2

Hello from Rome! As I type this we’ve played two rounds and about to head off for round three. The internet a bit slow so not sure if I’ll be able to post before the game but I’ll try. The weather here is very hot but the organisers have done their best with fans everywhere keeping the venue to a moderate heat.

I arrived on Sunday in time for a shower, some lunch and a quick nap before the first round. It’s a very strong tournament with good depth and the tournament was hard from the onset. I faced WIM Vezna Rozic from Slovenia. After quite a good opening I quickly achieved a winning position after about 22 moves. However she tenaciously defended sacrificing the exchange and I couldn’t decide between the different winning paths. I chose to grab some more pawns but her passed d pawn became very strong and the position returned to about level. Luckily after the time control I settled down, found a way to sacrifice my rook for a couple pawns leaving me with rook and five pawns against rook, bishop and one when my pawns proved too strong.

Round Two I faced a young Italian prospect in IM Niccolo Ronchetti. He has been playing well recently with many GM scalps so I knew the game would be tough, especially with Black. I played 1.e4 e5 but got my move order a little muddled at around move 18 (theory is long these days!) and unfortunately found myself in a completely lost position. I struggled on in a double rook endgame two pawns down. Double rook endings have a reputation as being drawish but this was simply too much and after another very long game I went down.

Quick trivia question: How many moves have I played in my last three standard chess games? Answer in the next update!

I’m sharing a room here with Irish IM Sam Collins who I’ve known for ages. It was his birthday yesterday and the organisers gave him Black against the second seed as a present but unfortunately his game went on a very similar path to mine. Following the game we took the metro to try and find a good restaurant (the area around the hotel and venue is pretty dead). He had been given some directions to a good couple restaurants but the first was closed and the second had disappeared but we found a decent one and had a nice meal with rather too much food!

We then decided to grab a beer or two before returning to the hotel. There was a bar next to where we ate that had 12 beers on tap. Sounded great! I ordered an Erdinger and that was when the problems started. It took the barman about 30minutes to pour, a warning that the barrel needed replacing that I should have heeded. After drinking it I quickly felt pretty ill and my stomach confirmed that consuming the drink was foolhardy…

Today I’m paired with a second female player – pretty rare in chess tournaments. I’m playing WGM Adriana Nikolova from Bulgaria. Wish me luck! The link to live games is: which will hopefully work, otherwise pairings and results are at:

10 Responses to “Barclays International Round 1+2”

  1. Barone (Italy)
    September 7, 2011 at 3:55 pm #

    Official site:

    (multiple!) Live boards, round 3:

    (in this last link/url, where you read “/turno5/” you can simply change the number in order to see the other rounds)

    Unfortunately it seems the site’s people decided against showing Gawain Jones’ games, but you can see Collins live today.
    An interesting feature, available only after reducing the number of displayed boards to ONE by clicking on the games’ list appearing in tyhe upper right corner of the page (go ther with your pionter to make it slide towards the centre of the screen), is the possibility to go on “anlaysis mode” and tweak around some moves in the live positions.

  2. Barone (Italy)
    September 7, 2011 at 4:01 pm #

    The site I reported above shows the first 8 boards: Jones’s tournament is not going that good, and that’s why his games are not visible there (I noticed in my comment I wrote his games were chosen not to be transmitted, and it might be misinterpreted: sorry).

  3. Barone (Italy)
    September 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm #


    Maybe the first comment I posted was automatically skipped because of the link?
    Here it is without the usual “h t t p” at the beginning: it’s the same address as signaled by Jones himself in this post.
    But he missed the “webboard.swf” part at the end.

  4. Barone (Italy)
    September 7, 2011 at 4:17 pm #

    Sorry for the big mess I made of your blog, GM Jones.

    The second comment I wrote was displayed immediately, when the first was still not visible…

    (BTW, obviously the link I signaled is for round 5, not 3: IT-turno = EN-round)

    • Sue
      September 7, 2011 at 9:44 pm #

      Thanks for your hints – could you clarify the website? I probably approved the second comment without seeing the first so I do apologize.
      Gawain as you can see from the next update has won his last game which hopefully means he’ll be back on the live boards. I did make him have a month long holiday which was great for me to spend time with him but obviously chess is something you need to constantly be doing.Perhaps similar to sports?
      Thank you for reading the website! Maybe one day he’ll post in some italian..

  5. Barone (from Italy)
    September 11, 2011 at 8:46 pm #

    Here’s the url for round 8, wich seems to include GM Jones’ game (against Berczes David 2557):

    As you can see, the only changing part of the e-address, each round, is “/turno8/” (for round 8: it was “/turno5/” for round 5 and so on).
    When you open the page you see the live games of the players who occupy the most significative positions for the tournament outcome. If you click on one board, that one becomes as big as the right half or the screen, and you can also click on the “analysis mode” button in order to try out some continuation of you own from the positition displayed (or, going back some moves with the left arrow button, some continuation that was not chosen by the players).

    This same page can be reached by the official tournament webpage at:
    (Circolo = Club; Scacchi = Chess; Civitavecchia = an italian town’s name)
    On the lower right corner of this page you’ll see “LIVE GAMES ROUND 1” and “ROUND 2” … “ROUND 9”. Which hyperlink to the first url i signaled in this comment.

    I hope my “inglese” was understandeble this time. Sorry for the previous caotic attempts, and thank you for the nice blog!

  6. Barone (from Italy)
    September 11, 2011 at 8:51 pm #

    Again, I added some mistakes in the post.
    Namely I wrote Civitavecchia instead of Vitinia as the name of the Chess Club which website hosts the tournament live transmission…
    I should stop posting comments after dinner: half my brain goes to bed early these days!

    • Sue
      September 17, 2011 at 4:49 pm #

      Thanks for your help and comments. I hope you enjoyed watching the tournament and I’ll try to let everyone know when I’m playing a tournament where there’s live relay – normally the relay fails in the first few rounds of tournaments as they have teething problems.
      Provo a scrivere in italiano presto 🙂

  7. Barone (Italy)
    September 19, 2011 at 5:55 pm #

    That would be nice.
    Google translator is not bad, if you need help: it usually translates 3-4 words long typical sentences and expressions properly, too. It messes up sasson genitive (I mean, it understands it even worse than what I do!), and sometimes it get confused with nominative/accusative attribution when you try translating complete sentences.
    Usually I try a translation myself (usually to English or French) and I see what the site gives back in my language (Italian)…
    But the very best feature, for me, is the possibility to copy and paste textes in Russian, in Cirillic alphabet, and obtaining some interpretable text in English or even in Italian: very useful if you want to understand some of the best Chess sites and forums and if you like updates on Kasparov’s last articles on Russian government!

    (I have some connection problems: this might be a repeat of the previous message, with a minor correction, or both my attempts will never go beyond my modem: worse than a message in a bottle? Technology is the future, or at least it’s not the present!)

    • Sue
      September 19, 2011 at 6:29 pm #

      I just deleted the first one as it was just a double. Google translate is better than its predecessors I think but still does some strange translations. Anyhow that’s the lazy option when I always need to practice my Italian 🙂 I use chrome so it automatically offers me the possibility of a translation into English of any foreign website

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