The Hivechess "Candidates Tournament" is here! - My gameplay and analysis

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The Hive Chess Tournament is back and this time things will be a little bit different. Instead of playing the swiss and arenas tournaments this time we will have "The Candidates Tournament". I find it quite interesting because in this kind of championship we will have the opportunity to see more rivalry on the board. And the fact that 13 hivers are participating in the tournament makes this contest even more exclusive. Everyone has the opportunity to play with the "candidates". The tournament will be shorter but the level is quite strong in my opinion.

Another thing I think is that every Friday we will play a reduced number of games and this means "quality before quantity". It is also more appropriate to share all the games played as there will only be 4 of them. So, besides the video where you can see my reactions during the games I will share the analysis of each of them!

So let's get straight to the point: I played 4 games achieving 2.5 points (two wins, one loss and one draw). In this first phase I didn't want to play my traditional repertoire because being a tournament with few players the possibility of falling into the opponent's preparations are higher so in my games you will see quite sidelines and perhaps with the white pieces I didn't look for much activity at least in the opening.

My games

Here is the timeline to see all 4 games :

@vjap55 vs @stayoutoftherz (02:07)
@vjap55 vs @deadleaf (12:47)
@samostically vs @vjap55 (22:48)
@vjap55 vs @sawko (33:35)

@vjap55 vs @stayoutoftherz

In the first round I faced @stayoutoftherz. As I say I didn't do much in the opening but things got pretty interesting in the middle game when the tactics woke up.

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My pieces are not placed in the best way. I wanted to develop a somewhat unconventional idea by developing my bishop on the b2 square but Black with good criteria castled in the queen side and my idea ceased to make sense. Likewise my knight on h4 is not in its best square and taking on g6 would be its only reasonable destination which would open up the h-file and Black would have interesting options.

The thing is that my forces did not make so much sense after playing a not very theoretical opening. However, at this point I got a challenge to my opponent since this "pawn sacrifice" can give me interesting chances since opening the "b" file might cause the black king to suffer. However this was pure speculation, Black can take b4 with the bishop and everything would be under control because my pieces would be out of sync.

For some reason Black did not capture on b4 and this brought serious consequences because now the pawn can advance and achieve the so-called break which seriously weakened Black's king and subsequently the game was won by me.

@vjap55 vs @deadleaf


This may be the game I am least proud of lol. As in the previous game I played a rather passive strategy in the opening and Black had no problem to equalize. The game ended in a draw quickly after a fast simplification.

@samostically vs @vjap55


To get out of the routine in my game against Samo I decided to use my secret weapon xd the Sicilian defense which I haven't used in official competitions for a while. We played an alapin in which I achieved a quite comfortable position and the main strategy was the fight against White's isolated pawn on "d4".

But after a big blunder by white I ended up winning a piece and the resulting position was totally calm so I should not have had any problem in winning that game.

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For some weird reason I ended up losing despite having a decisive advantage, maybe the time pressure or not seeking to neutralize the activity of the pieces I do not know. This defeat was very painful but I decided to go ahead and keep my composure because in the next round I had to face the favorite player of the league.

@vjap55 vs @sawko


This game was chaos. This opening I think we played it 122334543345454 times hahaha. And the worst of all is that I didn't remember exactly the best continuation of it. Indeed, I made a mistake in the middle game and almost lost a piece. However after a few spins I managed to have a great activity on the black king.

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The game could have ended here but sawko decided to extend the game a little longer as his fighting spirit is great. After my defeat in the third game I was able to get up and defeat the strongest player which gave me great encouragement.


The tournament has just begun and we will see how everything develops in the coming weeks. This Friday the action continues and I hope to be better prepared for the next games.

Let me know what you think about this games and feel free to share your own analysis as well. See you in the next time!

  • The video uses music licensed as CC BY 3.0 by Infraction - No Copyright Music
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    Good games @vjap55. I was suprised too, I didn't expect you to play that line. I lost a piece carelessly. I wanted to resign, I didn't because of the time. I got extremely lucky.

    Thanks for covering the games. See you next time.

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    There's a saying that I always remember "The game is not over until it's over " so yeah you did it right till the end 👍

    !PIZZA

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    It was really insightful to hear your thought process, especially regarding our game and how I play :). Good job!

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    I'll try to play something more interesting next time ;) the caro-kan is really solid. Thank you. Btw where are you from?

    !PIZZA

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