Round 2: Waleb 1-3 Finland.
After the bye we had been expecting a very tough opponent but the arbiter Dirk de Ridder had worked out a way of ‘tweaking’ the draw after a similar experience at the club championship in Cyprus. As a result we played the middle-ranking Finns rather than a real ‘top-dog’. (He probably thought he was doing us a favour here whereas actually to play the Russians or similar would have been a good compensation !).
Anyway, in the end a respectable result was achieved and we all felt a decent start had been made. Neither of the top two boards were a wipe-out by any means and John showed both technique and great resourcefulness to hold an ending 2 pawns down:
M.Maki-Uuro (IM 2409) vs J.Trevelyan
1.d4 d6 2. Nf3 Nd7 3. g3 e5 4. Bg2 Ngf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Nbd2 O-O 7. dxe5 Nxe5 8.Nxe5 dxe5 9. Nc4 Qxd1 10. Rxd1 Nd7 11. Bxb7 Bxb7 12. Rxd7 Rad8 13. Rxd8 Rxd8 14. Be3 Bf6 15. Bxa7 Ba6 16. b3 Ra8 17. Bc5 Bxc4 18. bxc4 Ra4 19. Be3 Kf8 20.a3 Ke8 21. c5 Kd7 22. Rd1+ Kc6 23. Rb1 Be7 24. Rb8 f5 25. Re8 Bf6 26. Rh8 h6 27. Bxh6 Kxc5 28. Rf8 Kd5 29. h4 Rxa3 30. Bg5 Bxg5 31. hxg5 Rc3 32. Rxf5
32...Ke6 33. Rf8 Rxc2 34. g6 Rxe2 35. Rf7 Rc2 36. Rxg7 Kf6 37. Rg8 Rc1+ 38. Kg2 e4 39.Re8 Rc4 40. Rg8 Rc1 41. g4 Rc3 42. g7 Kf7 43. Re8 Kxg7 44. Rxe4 Kf6 45. f3 Rc1 46. Kg3 c5 47. Re8 c4 48. Rc8 c3 49. f4 c2 50. Rc6+ Ke7 51. Kg2 Kd7 52. Rc3 Ke6 53. Re3+ Kf6 54. Rc3 Ke6 55. g5 Kf5 56. Rc8 Ra1 57. Rxc2 Kxf4 58. g6 Ra6 59. g7 Rg6+ 1/2-1/2
After an error at the end of the opening stage I grovelled as best I could through a slightly worse middlegame to reach the following position:
T.Kett vs M.Karttunen (IM 2379)
After much probing and to-and-fro manoeuvring s my Q-side has finally been overrun and I’m about to be dealt some vicious blows along the third rank. Its time to abandon any defensive ideas and throw everything into all-out counter-attack. Amazingly, if rather luckily, it works.
47. Rxe3 dxe3 48. e5 dxe5 ? 49. fxg6 Qxf1+ 50. Bxf1 e2+ ? 51. Kg2 exf1=Q+ 52. Kxf1 fxg6 53. Qe6 Rf3+ 54. Ke2 Rf5 55. Qe7+ 1/2-1/2
48 … Qxe5 is the only clear improvement for Black as after 49.fg Rxd3 50 gf+ Kh7 51 f8(Q) Black has various ways to win. I think though that once he saw the …Qxf1+ followed by e2+ idea he got a bit fixated on it and with time running out just couldn’t make himself analyse anything else.
50 …. e1(Q) is also a better chance although White may still be able to draw by perpetual check after 51gf+ with bishop on f1 eventually being able to support the Q with control of b5 and a6 if Black runs to that side.
51 At the end it may look like White even has what winning chances remain but provided Black keeps his rooks connected on the 7th or 8th rank he can keep the d-pawn at bay.