"It's a mixed year for me. It started off very strongly. In the first few months, I was putting up a good show and won the Asian Championship in May. I went on to win a gold medal in the Team event. Till May, I built up a kind of momentum but after that I witnessed a form slump which continued in the rest of the tournaments," said Negi.
"I had some decent showings after May but nothing to be proud of. I had one really bad event in China where I lost 17 points. I have been playing below par for the last few months. China was a big collapse and it wasn't expected of me. I want to end the year on a high with a strong showing in the AICF-AAI Cup," Negi said on the sidelines of a press conference to announce the Rs 12 lakh prize-money tournament, the strongest ever chess tournament in the country.
Negi, who won the individual title at the Asian Continental Chess Championship on May 13 in Vietnam, said he needed to be consistent and improve his ELO rating, which stands at 2638.
"I wanted to put more focus on my practical strength as I had been playing 10-15 games a month. It's a big setback for me that my ranking has taken a dip. After Asian championship, I was expected to maintain over 2650 without any problem. But, since then, I have been struggling to convert the start into winning positions especially with the lower-ranked players.
"Even the Olympiad was disappointing. I was getting good positions but was unable to win those. The pattern has continued after the Olympiad. I have understood one thing that I have to work on my conversion part. I don't have any issues with my confidence. It's just that I did not get time to look at my weaknesses which I was repeating quite often. Now I have more than a month's break to sort out few issues like where am I lacking and what was missing in my game," he added. More