Report for Cardiff by Stuart Hutchings
Spot the man from Cardiff (answer at the foot of the page)
4 : 2
Ѕ - Ѕ
Ѕ - Ѕ
1 - 0
Ѕ - Ѕ
Ѕ - Ѕ
1 - 0
During Friday evening we became aware that our taxi to the airport on Sunday was scheduled to pick us up at 04:00. This completely negated the booking of a reasonably timed flight from Munich at 15:20, as we would have to wait at the airport for some 9 or 10 hours. Bill, Hugh and I went as a deputation to make our dissatisaction known, but all that was offered to us instead was 08:00. So we had to make our own arrangements (thanks to our excellent Hotel Manageress Isabella) and managed to get a full refund for the return trip. Reasonably satisfactory in the end, but it took up a lot of the morning and we ended financially worse off.
That was followed by an interesting incident at the start of Charles' game. Charles, who was Black, had not arrived, so his opponent started B's clock. Thinking that the rules had not changed that much since I last played, I pressed B's clock and suggested W make a move before he pressed his clock. W then said that he would like to see how old his opponent was (!), as he may play a different first move accordingly (I'll leave you to work out what is suitable for what age !). The arbiter intervened but couldn't understand what was being said in English, so called in the Chief Arbiter, who told W to make his move. As an alternative apparently, W could have written his first move on his scoresheet and pressed the clock (supposedly to stop the 1st move being transmitted back to the absent player, whatever benefit that may be ?), but would be obliged to play that move, which was not his reason for not playing his first move .....
A Nimzo-Indian Qc2, which after 20 moves or so, reached a position of 2R+B+6 pawns against Charles 2R+N+6p. W proved the power of the bishop to improve his position, but Charles defended very imaginatively, but still had to sacrifice his N to remain in the game. A position was reached with Charles having R+4p versus R+B+2p with all the pawns on the kingside, where Charles created a strong defensive setup. W tried to make progress for some while, but as he moved his K up the board, Charles was able to start pushing his passed h pawn. A tense siuation arose where B's counterplay became very dangerous, and b sacrificed his rook for W's bishop, but W just managed to hang on with R against 2 pawns on the 6th. This went to about 90 moves and was the last game to finish in Open. A good 'back to the wall' effort by Charles.
James' game started strangely when after 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 to avoid the possible Torre Attack, B came up with 2...h6 (?!). James developed a space advantage but missed just one opportunity to be well on top, and his opponent defended well thereafter, with James eventually conceding the draw with R+3p each, all on the kingside.
Tim defended a Ruy Lopez Worrall, and tried to free his position with an imaginative Nd7-c5 (en prsie to a pawn on d4), but his opponent sacrifced the exchange with dxc5 Bxa1 (R), and got a lot of pressure for his material deficit. Tim gave back the exchange to ease his position, but at the cost of a pawn, and W after a series of 10 moves with his Q, managed to win 2 more pawns, leaving W with 4 connected passed on the kingside, against B's sole 'a' pawn. W then gave up one of his N's to reach N+4 pawns (e - h) against B+N, but the pawns triumphed easily.
John played the exchange variation against the King's Indian, but achieved little or no advantage. Later in a R+B+pawns ending, W blundered a pawn, but B had no alternative but to repeat, rather than exchange rooks, as W's K would have been too strong in a bishop+pawns ending.
In a French MacCutcheon, W played 5.exd5 Qxd5 instead of the usual 5.e5, with Alan setting up an even position before W played the over-ambitious d5. A position was later reached with Alan having 2Rs+B+pawns against 2Rs+N+pawns, and tried to make progress but W defended accurately to achieve the draw.
John's game transposed to a Pirc 'Chinese Attack' (so named after a low ranking Chinaman beat GM Donner) and achieved a big space advantage by advancing all his kingside pawns. B sensibly castled queenside, and later the position suddenly exploded into a flurry of tactics. John held his own in this, but later, with both sides running short of time, made a few slips including allowing a final N fork of K+Q.
It's getting late as we've been to the Closing Ceremony - John's laptop clock is 2 hours behind - so I'll come back with a final report when I'm back in Cardiff. Suffice to say for now that Nidum (53) lost 2Ѕ - 3Ѕ to Butrinti (55), so the final positions at the 'wrong' end were:
53rd Cardiff - 3 points
54th Monte Carlo, Nidum - 2 points
56th Galway - 0 points
Captain, Cardiff Chess team
Answer: Hugh Price (man standing towards the top right of the picture)