Our seeding has been re-adjusted from 100 to 98, whilst today’s opponents have gone from 138 to 130, but having an unrated player in the top 4 in amongst 2200/2300s would automatically lower their seeding.
I am reluctant to rest our seemingly most in-form player, Ioan, today, but I need to even out the colour situation. This is a match we ought to win, but our opponents will not be underestimated.
Jones Richard S
? - ?
0 - 1
Blackburn Jonathan Lb
Butt Khalil Ur Rehman
0 - 1
0 - 1
A very disappointing result, in a match, which on another day, we might have won 4 – 0. Games in the order they finished are:
Tim (B)) in a Closed Ruy, d3, got a big centre, before W blundered a pawn. W had some compensation in that he had a number of pieces pointing at B’s kingside and B had no pieces defending it. Tim then unfortunately allowed a move after which he was forced to sacrifice his Q for 2 minor pieces, but the situation was hopeless.
Alan (B) in a Classical Dutch got in an early e5, and after W captured on f6, re-captured gxf6 and seemed to have a good position. W seemed to be weakening his k-side with h4 and Nh2, but got in f4 which effectively undermined B’s centre, and left B’s e pawn isolated. This pawn was later captured, and after a tactical melee with B short of time, his exposed king proved a decisive factor.
John (W) in a KID Saemisch sacrificed his ‘b’ pawn, and B had to make positional concessions to hold his q-side together. B managed to exchange Qs on c3, a pawn which subsequently proved decisive, although W’s R + N were better than B’s 2 bishops, Jon unfortunately lost the thread.
Richard (W) and his opponent rattled off more than 20 moves of Sicilian Sveshnikov theory, with Richard saying afterwards he was sure he had analysed this previously as winning, and sure enough we found the decisive moment (not to exchange Qs when he did) afterwards. As the game went Richard pressed hard a piece down with a big passed pawn on d7, but his opponent defended very accurately. Eventually Richard won his piece back but this only resulted in a R + N + 4 versus R + B + 4 with only a slight plus, which petered out into a draw.
Tomorrow is a free day, this is where I earn ‘my money’ in raising moral for the rest of the Olympiad.
Captain, Wales Men
Blackburn Suzie G
? - ?
0 - 1
Owens Megan R
1 - 0
Van Kemenade Julie
0 - 1
I apologise for not reporting earlier but access to a computer with working internet has been difficult.
I am very proud of the ladies team so far. Although we have only won 2 matches out of 5, the results don't accuratly reflect some of the individual battles that have gone on, and the time that has been invested in prep and at the board.
We had a confident start 4-0 against Barbados in Round 1 and then faced a tough match against Portuagal ranked 41 in Round 2. After losing to them 4-0 we somehow deserved to play an even higher rated team - Moldova ranked 32 in Round 3. In this match Suzy played some excellent chess to beat her first IM ! The rest of the team d?d not do so well but shared in Suzy's satisfaction and found her confidence and enthusiasm uplifting.
The team went in very positive to Round 4 against Iceland ranked 65, and although outgraded on every board they felt that there was a match point to be had. Unfortunately after some long battles they were all disappointed with their result.
Round 5 found us paired against Botswana ranked 100. This game was approached with confidence but respect and they went onto win the match 2 1/2 to 1 1/2. In this match Meg finished first and felt disappointed with her loss. She felt she could have got a draw in the end but played a wrong move along the line. Julie V was next to finish with a win, and although she did not credit this to her good play,it is still a well deserved victory nethertheless. Olivia and Suzy finished together with a win and draw respectively. Olivia took advantage of a mistake by her opponent in the opening, and Suzy felt she was lucky to draw after perhaps trying too hard to win in the first part of the game. They both deserve to enjoy themselves at the Bemuda Party tonight.
I'm the one looking forward to the rest day tomorrow as the whole expereince is quite intense as a manager not just Meg's mum' ! I have great respect for the commitment everyone gives to game and I hope they feel they have played to their best ability to keep on giving the best results for Wales.