“Ymosodiad Dewr; Amddyffyniad Sicr”

Ukraine v Wales 2008

Last year a party of school pupils from Kiev in the Ukraine visited Wales to play against a Welsh Junior team and against Monmouth School. For the return visit, given that the Ukraine is a formidable chess playing nation, the Welsh Chess Union opted to take over the Under 14 national team.

The Welsh party was met at Kiev Airport by International  Master, Peter Marusenko, a regular competitor in the South Wales International tournament and taken by coach to a formal reception by chess officials and local trade union leaders and then plunged into an individual quickplay tournament which was won at a canter by two local 16 year olds.

After a day-trip on the Dnieper River, it was down to serious business again. The WCU had provided a team of 8 players. Sixteen English youngsters had also been invited and the expectation had been that the Ukrainians would provide two teams of eight. In the event, they turned up with two teams of twelve! Swift negotiations saw four English players transferred to Wales. The Anglo-Welsh combination took on the stronger of the Ukranian sides,, with the 16 year old Ukranian winners of the quick play on their top boards. They duly won again, but the remaining points were shared and the final score was a close 7 – 5 in favour of Ukraine. Welsh youngsters, Alex Bullen, Alex Freeland and Sam Pritchard each won their games and Ramsay Piper and Rachel Cass from the English side, contributed two more points.

An 8 board “friendly” between Wales and an Anglo-Ukranian team ended with a comprehensive victory for Wales. Megan Owen and David Menon held their own on the top boards, drawing with Adam Burroughs and Jamie Horton. Alex Bullen lost out to Ramsay Piper, but Wales took the next four boards with Alex Freeland, Sam Pritchard, Oliver Manley and Arthur Fearnell winning against Rachel Cass, Dima Chobich, Ivan Pelipenko and Andrei Potapentio. On bottom board George Davies drew with Vika Kozlov.