Report for Cardiff by Stuart Hutchings
3 : 3
Ѕ - Ѕ
0 - 1
Ѕ - Ѕ
0 - 1
1 - 0
1 - 0
On paper this was a match we should have won, but there was no doubt that all their players were stronger than their ratings e.g. their board 1 had drawn with 2 GMs in the previous rounds. And as it turned out, with just one game left to finish, it was a match we should have lost.
John Fletcher dropped out unwell after I had handed in teamsheet (John instead of Bill being the only change), but I was able, courtesy of John's car, to rush back and change the team within the 30 minute window.
It was a really fluctuating struggle with most results possible on boards 2, 3 and 5, which we will need to analyse in detail before reaching a definitive conclusion. In order of finishing, Bill lost (0 - 1 to Pristina), Charles drew (0Ѕ - 1Ѕ), Alan lost, but he was probably winning at one stage, then missed a stone cold draw (0Ѕ - 2Ѕ), John won (1Ѕ - 2Ѕ), which left us needing to win both games to win the match.
James had been better for a long time, and was pressing with his extra pawn in a Q+R+B against Q+R+N (4 v 3 pawns) position, but Tim (who had probably been winning), was now down to a B+P against N+P ending. His opponent won the pawn and was trying to pressurise Tim who was now playing 30 second moves, but Tim held firm for the draw (2 - 3).
Meanwhile, James had broken through (with queens coming off at the same time) to get connected passed d and e pawns, only for his opponent to sacrifice his N for both these pawns to reach a clearly drawn position with R+B+'b'pawn against R+'b' and 'c' pawns. However, James' opponent blundered terribly to allow a temporary winning sacrifice. In the position W: Kb4, Rh6, Bd3, pc3, B: Kb6, Rc5, pb5, pc6, black played Rd5(?? - re5 or g5 draws easily) allowing Rxc6+ (1 - 0, in view of Kxc6, Be4 Kd6, Bxd5 Kxb5, Kxb5 and wins).
So the end result was 3 - 3.
Unfortunately Nidum went down again, this time 2-4 to Aarhus, with Richard Jones and Robert Moore drawing, and Robert Saunders chalking up their 1st individual win.
Regards, Stuart Hutchings
Captain, Cardiff Chess team