Last weekend I was in Norway, playing rounds 4-6 in the Norwegian Leauge. Before the weekend started we, Kristiansund, were in shared lead with Oslo SS, the top seeds. As our teams were to meet in Saturday round, this was the main focus of the weekend.
First we had a match on the Friday against Porsgrunn, which we won rather convincingly. As for myself, I won a pretty decent game against IM Espen Lie. His brother - GM Kjetil Lie - drew on the first board with Axel Smith.
The match against Oslo SS turned out to be as exciting as was expected from a final. At first it looked pretty bad for us, when the semi-retired GM Einar Gausel got a very promising position with white on 3rd board, against our FM Brede Kvisvik. At about the same time Kristian, the great talent of our team, misplayed a complicated Benoni and seemed to be losing. Thanks to an uncommon subline of the Queensgambit (yes, there are still possibilities to fight there!) I managed to get a promising position against GM Leif Erlend Johannessen, whom by the way also is my teammate in LASK. His position was still very solid, but it was clear that this board was the one we had best chances to win. Last board was, as espected from Edwin David, a total mess.
Things turned out pretty differently, though. Brede confidently held his position against Gausel, and Øyvind Lundeby's game on board 5 looked drawish. IM Axel Smith struggled in a very difficult position against GM Hammer and eventually lost. In time trouble I had a slight advantage but blundered a piece after playing too quick. The ending with Rook and Bishop against Rook and 2 pawns was fortunately still a draw, even though it requiered some accurate defense. Edwin's game was eventually drawn so it looked pretty dire for us. Then the amazing thing happened - Kristian fought well and in mutual timetrouble managed to swindle a win! Me and Øyvind then safely held our positions and a 3-3 result felt like a great success!
Sunday's match against SOSS should normally be an easy win for us, especially with such a great result the day before. As ususal in those cases there's always the danger of underestimation. Of course we were aware of this amd told eachother to be as serious as the day before. However, SOSS played a good match which ended 3-3 after me and Axel winning on the top boards, while our two last boards lost.
KRISTIANSUND CHESS CLUB
The chessclub in Kristiansund was throughout the history a place were a few people met, played some chess, and not much else. A few years ago they got a new chairman - Aage Sivertsen - who thought that it happened too little. He started by creating a lot of interest in chess by going out in the schools teaching the game. Then IM Axel Smith got hired as a trainer. With a few others they built up impressive activity in the club and in the schools. Along with this came an investment in the elite, and so in the season 2009/2010 they played in the top divison for the first time. This was the time when I got drawn to the club. We didn't do very well, partly because of me being out of shape, and dropped down to 2nd division again. We won the qualification during that year and for the season 2011/2012 the goal is to win the leauge!