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Josh Blogs From Moscow: Part II Print E-mail
By IM Josh Friedel   
February 19, 2008
Josh Friedel at the Aeroflot Open. Photo Gerald Morton
Well folks, I write to you on a sad day from the Aeroflot Open (February 13-22) in Moscow. At least for the US squad.  David and I lost in the A2 section, while Iryna Zenyuk and Alex Cherniack lost in the B section.  Oh, and Fabiano Caruana lost in the A section, though technically his federation is Italian.  Quite sad.  That leaves me with 3, David and Alex with 2, and Ira with 2.5.  Not amazing performances from anyone, but not terrible.  Ira is doing reasonably well, as she has played up every round.  Alex was doing fantastic, but lost his last three.  David has been topsy-turvy as is his custom, losing the first two, then winning two, then losing today.

I thought I was playing fairly well up until today. I pushed as Black in round one but was unable to win. I won a smooth game in round two and in round three somehow pulled out a win from a dead even ending.  All my opponents in rounds 1-3 were in the 2375-2400 range. 



In round four, I drew a crazy game against GM Georgi Kacheishvili, a somewhat familiar opponent as he plays in the US sometimes, and we’ve met twice already with one win for each.


 This time we drew an amazingly complex game, where first I was close to winning, and then he was on top, but eventually it petered out to a draw.

  Today I lost as black against tough Russian GM Evgeny Vorobiov. 


It was a somewhat unusual Queen’s Indian, and right when I thought I was sort of OK I blundered a queen for rook and piece outright.  Then I got some counterplay, only to blunder it away later.   

The conditions at Aeroflot are quite different than those at the Moscow Open.   The hotel is much more upscale and bigger, and there are numerous options for food, at least five inside the hotel and many more close by, plus several shops.  At the Moscow Open there was a market, one restaurant at the hotel, and that was pretty much it.  It is hard to believe it is even the same city.

  Coat checking isn’t as insistent here, however.  Though whenever I eat with Ms. Zenyuk, she asks if I’d survive without my coat throughout the meal.  I have to get her to stop reading these things.   Hopefully this one will be boring enough.  In any case, I’d say this site is quite a bit better, though the tournaments are both quite strong.  It is a different experience playing only people within 100 points or so of your rating all tournament, as usually those are the people you never play.  I like it personally, as I feel the games are closer, though it’d be nice to get the crack at the occasional 2600.  Anyway it just passed 1:30 AM here, so I should probably get some rest. I hope the news in my next report will be better!