Olympiad Round 2
Both the Men's and Ladies teams played Portugal today, but after yesterday's highs, it was back down to earth particularly for the men's team.
The accelerated Swiss proved too much for the organisers, who had to re-draw round 2, only making the pairings available an hour late. As a result of this, the round also started an hour late (16:00 instead of 15:00).
The team were certainly 'up for it' after their performance in round 1, but it turned out to be a very one-sided affair against a team of solid 2400s. The games themselves should be available at some point on the website, so I will just provide a review of how the match panned out in the order in which the games finished.
Ioan's (W) game was a Maroczy Bind, in which, for reasons best known to himself, Black just kept exchanging pieces, so much sothat the game could have been agreed drawn at move 15, but with a 'no draws until after move 30' in this Olympiad, the players kept going until then and promptly shook hands for the draw. A good result for Ioan, but I know he would have preferred an opponent prepared to make more effort.
Alan's (W) game transposed into a Sicilian Rauser, but without W playing f3 or f4. B seemed to miss or underestimate a Nxe4 tactic, but instead just carried out with his q-side push, which proved far more dangerous than Alan's attempts in the centre, where his pieces were rather short of space. Once the centre cleared, B's initiative increased and Alan decided to go for broke by sacrificing 2 pawns, but B held it together in a Q + 2R position.
Jon's (B) game was a slow paced English Nimzo, where W obtained the 2 bishops, and although B had a solid position, he lacked counterplay. W built a a threatening position on the kingside and centre and converted this into a comfortable win.
Richard (B) equalised easily against a King's Indian attack against his Sicilian, but when the centre opened up, B was left with an isolated d pawn, and 2 bishops, but these proved inferior to W's 2 knights. W then won a pawn and broke through neatly.
Unfortunately, I can only briefly comment on the Ladies match as:
1. We still haven't been given final team lists.
2. No mobile phones are allowed in the hall, there we cannot keep in contact once some people have left the playing hall.
2. We are using 3 locations, our hotel, the playing hall, and the City Hall, the latter being where we all have our evening meal. They are each about 20 minutes walk apart along the 'sides of a triangle' and we don't all necessarily all meet up in the evening.
Therefore, the last we saw of the Ladies match, they had put up a valiant effort, only to lose 1 - 3, with Suzy's game lasting a long while. The results were Suzy lost on 1, Olivia drew on 2, Julie Wilson lost on 3, and Julie Van Kemenade drew on 4, with both losses being very hard fought, Suzy being very unlucky to lose in the end.