My Road to IM: A GM Level Performance

Hi ChessKids! I'm back to share with you another successful tournament on my road to International Master. This time I traveled to Germany, to the famous football city of Dortmund. My performance was 2492, meaning I played just as well as a grandmaster in this tournament!

Game Recap

Round 1: FM Shreyas Royal (2353) vs. Manfred Harringer (2032)

It was the first round. I wanted to play solidly, and I got just that. We played the mainline Catalan where he got the bishop pair and I got a strong center. Eventually, I found a nice tactic to win a pawn. 

Can you find how white wins a pawn?

d5! followed by Nd4 wins the pawn.

He got some reasonable compensation, but soon after, I managed to convert it into a pleasing and flawless victory.

End of Round 1: 1/1


Round 2: Jean Louis Wichtrup (2153) vs. FM Shreyas Royal (2353)

In Round 2, I decided to switch from my QGD to the Nimzo Indian. He played a slightly unusual line and the game was relatively even. However, I slowly managed to outplay him and got an extra pawn. Once again, there was not much problem in converting it; the finish was pleasurable.

Can you find the winning series for black here?

Qg5+! Kh3 Qh5+! Kg2 Qg6+! Kh3 Rg1! and white resigns.

End of Round 2: 2/2


Round 3: FM Shreyas Royal (2353) vs. Jeremy Hommer (2090)

I was now playing an underrated teenager who performed very well. Once again, it was another solid Catalan. I was a pawn up in an equal middlegame with opposite-colored bishops. I used a Magnus-like squeezing technique and simplified it into a favorable endgame which I could convert easily. I was ecstatic after playing three very accurate games and being only one of three players with 3/3. Nevertheless, it would start to get more difficult from now.


End of Round 3: 3/3


Round 4: IM Julian Kramer (2460) vs. FM Shreyas Royal (2353)

In this round, I faced a strong German IM with a recent string of good results who had amassed many rating points. He played a very sharp line in the Italian, which he had prepared the whole morning. I was spending a lot of time on some unnecessary dynamic operations, which it turns out he had also prepared against.

Tip: A think over 20 mins is normally wrong; Long think, WRONG THINK!
Tip: No point in going for high-risk, low-reward situations.

Unfortunately, I committed both of the above mistakes and lost soon after. I was devastated that I played three brilliant games and then lost so brutally without being given a chance due to his detailed preparation, which only needed him to remember lines to beat me.

End Round 4: 3/4


Round 5: FM Shreyas Royal (2353) vs. Matthias Lohr (2156)

My opponent surprised me with a QGA. I played some good positional chess and achieved my strategic goals, which helped me win a pawn, but once again, not without compensation. I was getting a bit too relaxed and excited, and messed up my winning position.

Tip: Avoid getting too relaxed and excited when you are winning, and celebrate ONLY after the game is over.

Fortunately, my opponent was in severe time trouble and missed some very accurate moves, which led to his demise. I was now starting to feel positive again and gaining back some confidence.

Having a relaxing Indian dinner with my German club teammates helped a lot.

End of Round 5: 4/5

That concludes the first half of the tournament. Thanks for reading, ChessKids! Click here to find out how the rest of this tournament played out.