After yesterday’s great success, the toughest draw we could possibly get. The board 1 will probably be the great Victor Korchnoi, who is now 77. Will Richard be able to notch up Wales’s 1st win against him after previous losses by myself, John Cooper and a previous draw by Richard.
Their non-playing captain is GM Artur Yussupow, formerly of Russia, now living in Germany.
Jones Richard S
? - ?
? - ?
1 - 0
Gallagher Joseph G
? - ?
An unlucky end to an epic struggle
What an absolutely wonderful match, with Wales at one stage on course for a stunning 3 – 1 win, with Richard and Alan better, and Ioan and Tim holding their own. If this had happened, it may well have been Wales’ 1st ever win against a team comprising 4 GMs, but alas it was not to be. The players gave their all, with all 4 games going into the 2nd session, so in order they finished:
Richard (B) played his favourite KID even though Korchnoi loves to play against it. In a Classical variation where a lot of moves were played quickly, Richard played an enterprising exchange sac, where he ended up with the 2 bishops and a passed pawn on e3. Korchnoi played like the wily old fox I know he is, and kept good white square control, but Richard relentlessly pressed on. Even though the Queens came off, Richard’s R + N + 5 proved at least a match for his opponent’s 2R +4, but Korchnoi was in the end able to force a perpetual. Richard has been playing some breathtaking chess the last 3 rounds.
Ioan’s (W) opponent played a QGD Cambridge Springs, where W ended up with the better development but had an isolated ‘c’ pawn. Ioan built up a promising position on the k-side, but B was able to exchange a few pieces, including the Q, to reach an ending where he had the 2 bishops and a better pawn structure. However W comfortably held the game which was agreed drawn with just a minor piece and 2 pawns each on the k-side.
Alan’s (W) original opening play resulted in a position with 3 fianchettoed bishops and no pawns occupying the centre. A number of pieces were later exchanged but B was down to increments only on the clock by move 30, and Alan took advantage of this to net 3 pawns just before/after the time control. B did well to generate some play around W’s K, but Alan had a couple of good opportunities to consolidate. As it went he would still have won the B + 5 versus R + 2 if he played his K to f1 rather than f3. Alan kept trying for the win eventually getting down to B + 2 versus R, but B was able to give up his R for 1 pawn, with his K about to force the win of the other.
Tim’s (B) game was a Sicilian Bb5 x c6, where W seemed happy to play rather routine moves, and B got a comfortable position. The 2 players continued to manoeuvre with Tim getting slightly the upper hand. W managed to reduce the position to a complicated R + N + 5 ending, in which he turned down a draw because he could see at this stage that this would not be enough for his team to win/draw the match. This turned into a R and pawn ending with W having an extra pawn but B had considerable compensation in a distant passed ‘h’ pawn , and a very tense ending ensued with both players running low on time. W was forced to give up his rook for the ‘h’ pawn, but he alone had winning chances with connected c/d/e pawns against the lone rook (no other pawns). Tim defended extremely well despite down to 30 second increment only moves, but W’s pawns prevailed. Immediately after the game Korchnoi showed Tim that he could have drawn with Rd2 one move earlier, in fact if W tries too hard to win he may well lose. A tragic blow for Tim, who had played a very good game.
Blackburn Suzie G
Ramirez M Eugenia
? - ?
1 - 0
0 - 1
Van Kemenade Julie
1 - 0
The women (77) played Bolivia (72) and, as the men did yesterday, the Ladies also won 2.5 – 1.5, an excellent result. Individual results in board order were a draw for Suzy, a win for Olivia, a loss for Julie W, and a win for Julie v K. All are contributing to a good team effort, with Julie van Kemenade performing really well in her 1st Olympiad. More in due course from Susan Owens.
Captain, Wales Men