I was asked to write an article about the Deskohrani tournament. The tour, despite the very strong cast, ended up with great success for me, the bronze medal. Here is my look-back at this year’s Deskohraní, but do not expect any big game analyses, because I've already forgotten most of them.
Like every year, there was a gomoku tour within the board games festival Deskohraní. This year, the main tournament and even the blitz was exceptional in terms of number of players, foreign people and also our young hopes.
Nobody wants to get up early in the morning during the weekend, so we were waiting for them to open the door of the main building, only to find out that we need to register in the other building, where we had to take care about registration by ourselves anyway. So we were starting the tournament late, as always.
On Saturday, we were supposed to play 3 rounds of the main tournament and in the afternoon, there was a blitz. My journey started with the game against Filip “Kolgar” Brukner. I opened my corner, in hope of I can overplay my opponent. Players from the high school tournaments show great progress, and therefore I play against them with more and more respect. Luckily, in the end, Filip let me overtook the space of the board and I won the game. Still, I can imagine an easier opponent at the beginning, and by then I knew, that I’ll need to use my brain to get some points this weekend. Yep, right after the first round, I started to realize that I should have been analysing and spending more time with preparation. Right after, in the next round Igor “Iec” Eged pointed out my deficiencies in the classic. In spite of Iec’s praise of my swap2 of his scheme (“scattered rice” – as I like to call it, but I don’t like to play it), he managed to win the game. Third round I was playing against Adéla “Raptor” Krylová, known for her slow, thoughtful play, and I was surprised that I was the one in time deficit. However, after scrambling with Iec, I went back to my winning strike and finished the Saturday part (for me) with a surprising result of 2 points out of 3.
As for the blitz tournament, the attendance was even higher, 28 players. The transition from 40 to 5-minutes games seemed like playing 1-minutes on web, in which I don’t really shine, so my games were based on intuition. Obtaining the title of the best female player and placing top 12 was definitely a nice surprise. For my entire Saturday performance, however, I owe big thanks to Tereza “Teri8” Hackerová for the Brufen-aid and also to the pizza delivery guy who left us the whole pack of napkins, which greatly served as tissues. At the same time, I apologize if I infected someone with a cold. We ended the Saturday evening with the General Assembly.
I began Sunday with a game against Petr “Čerok” Žižka. The “scattered rice” waited for me on the board again. The question wasn’t about which colour I’d choose, but where to put my swap2. Fortunately, the stones have been placed quite far apart, so I placed the additional 2 stones in the central long-pro open (Štěpán “Peroxid” Tesařík certainly has great memories of this opening) and, as it is my custom, I began to block as white. In the end, Čerok didn’t defend my potential VCF, played his own VCF threat and I was happy that I didn’t miscounted it and there was no cut and therefore I won the game. Next on the list was Lukasz “Usiek” Majksner, I opened with my corner again (the opening I’m playing almost every time since I came up with it, indeed, I could find some different open by now). However, the opponent, for no reason whatsoever, overlooked my simple win and the game ended in just 14 moves. The Sunday part was again accompanied by Terka’s Brufen's aid and regular blowing nose trips in the corridor because I didn’t want to disturb other players in their thinking.
I could have fulfilled my draw limit (at least one per tournament) in the following game against Mikhail “Loiso” Kozhin but I missed my chance when I didn’t offer it in the drawish position and let Misha to get the valuable point. My number of points and not playing with players from top of the table (Pavel "Kedlub" Laube and Martin "Martez" Muzika) predetermined a small chance to get more points in last two rounds. In the seventh round I really had the honour to open to Kedlub. The “killer”, “shifted Paaja” (© Gregi) corner proved to be successful in the previous rounds, so there was no reason to change this habit. Right in the beginning of the game, Kedlub began to play offensive moves in the space, so I had to come up with some attack as well, so that I would not lose it immediately. My plan was using the gradual threats to defend the opponent's attack and prolonging the game. However, the original purpose of the defence moves changed to winning ones. Getting the next point in the collection meant a split 2nd place before the last round.
My last opponent was Lukáš “Boneslash” Souček, according to swiss pairing. The win would have secured one of us 2nd place, but the draw could mean a drop to the centre of the standings. The game really looked drawish, because neither of us wanted to lose it and lose the podium. During our game, Peroxid won against Martez (who already secured his first place) which ensured him the 2nd place. The potential adepts for the 3rd place lost their games, and therefore the final draw with Boneslash has secured me a bronze placement as well as fulfilling my draw reputation.
Finally, I would like to thank to all the players who came to play and I hope we will meet in similar numbers in the other tournaments. At the same time, I would also recommend to all newcomers not to take too much of an example from me (you should really practise gomoku). However, as you could have read in this article, I’m a living proof of if you attend tournaments, you would gather experience and eventually you can acquire a nice placement!