After yesterday’s somewhat fortuitous victory, we must try and cash in with another one today to put us further up the table and give us a 50% score. It’s a 10:00 a.m. start so it will be interesting to see whether there are any late arrivals who will be automatically defaulted.
Jones Richard S
? - ?
1 - 0
1 - 0
0 - 1
As perhaps anticipated, there were a number of default casualties, I saw at least two 4 – 0 (one of them, the Gabon team all arrived about 5 minutes, and a mighty row ensued), one on 2 boards, and quite a few on 1 board, the most notable default being GM Tkachiev of France playing on table 6.
A summary of our match, in the order the games finished:
Alan (B) played his favourite Dutch, but in the middlegame his opponent won B + N for R. The game meandered on but as more pieces came off it was clear that as soon as Alan’s attacking gestures subsided and the B + N + Q re-grouped with B’s king helpless.
Richard (W) met a Caro Kann Nxf6, exf6, and soon reached a Q + R + B ending in which W is effectively a pawn up on the q-side, whilst B’s on the king-side is doubled. Richard eventually got this down to a Q + P ending with a passed d pawn which reached the 7th, but B was able to draw by perpetual.
Tim (W) in a Dragon, reached a position where the Q’s came off, and the B position looked solid. W’s e5 was double-edged as it left this pawn weak, but B allowed W to double rooks on the 7th, whilst grabbing q-side pawns himself. B may well have been able to force a draw, but as it went he had to give up a whole rook and resigned a few moves later.
Ioan (B) reached easy equality in a KIA against their in form player (previously had scored 7.5/9). Ioan later sacrificed a piece to get at B’s K but with best play this may have only led to a draw by perpetual or an ending where he could get 3 pawns for a bishop with chances for both sides.
That would have been a tricky choice in view of the state of the match (a draw would make it 2 – 2, play on could result in any of 3 results), but his opponent played differently and Ioan quickly won a Q + P ending.
This pushed us up to joint 64th, but actually 81st on tie-break. This is an excellent result scoring 50% (5 wins, 1 draw, 5 losses) and finishing well above our 98th seeding. Well played all 5 of the squad.
At the top end it finished Armenia, Israel, USA, respectively seeded 9, 8, 10, with hot favourites Russia 5th.
New Zealand (NZL)
Blackburn Suzie G
0 - 1
0 - 1
Owens Megan R
0 - 1
Van Kemenade Julie
Smith Vivian J
? - ?
In the Ladies, Wales lost 0.5 – 3.5 to a team seeded just one above them New Zealand (76), to finish with a 3rd heavy loss, but having played very well before that. Their final position was joint 78 – 87, finishing 79 on tie-break, so more or less to form. Probably more from Susan in due course.
At the top end it finished Georgia, Ukraine, USA, respectively seeded 4, 2, 7, with highly fancied Russia 4th and China 8th.
Maybe a summary after I get back to Wales tomorrow, but for now it’s goodbye from me, well done to both the teams, I enjoyed the company of everyone and I hope you enjoyed the reports.
Captain, Wales Men
Black against 19th ranked team Greece. This was a challenge on paper but with nothing to lose there was great team spirit with only Suzy having a few doubts about playing their top player rated 2446 !
Both Suzy and Olivia were overpowered after 3 hours, Julie W battled for a further hour, and Meg last to finish with another loss but at least she felt she had the advantage in the opening !
Not the colour or the team we were expecting - Black against England ! Come all this way and have opponents you could face in Sunningdale : / Again another tough match but with more expectations than the previous round of getting some points.
Everyone tried hard, and we should have stole a point on board 3 but the match ended 3 1/2 - 1/2.
Final round, White against New Zealand. The team knew they had to win to improve their starting rank, and although outgraded on every board there was optimism.
Unfortunately the result was disappointing for Suzy , Julie W & Meg, but Julie V showed her worth when playing on at 2 pawns down she got a draw after her opponent was in time trouble. We lost this final match 1/2 to 3 1/2.
This resulted in our final team rank position of 79th. We won 4 matches, had 1 draw and lost 6. We ended very close to where we started (77th) so the ladies should be proud of all their efforts.
A huge thank you to Stuart and the mens team for helping me and supporting my ladies to achieve this.
Georgia won the ladies section followed by Ukraine and USA.
Ladies Team Captain