Steve Ledger has been adding comments to his original post but, given his success, I thought it might be worth reproducing them into a single post.
Very well done Steve!
Last 2 rounds and we were brought back down to earth with a bump as we were soundly beaten, not wholy unexpectedly, by Russia and then by the Czech team. Andy excelled himself on board 1 by drawing with GM Gleizerov, as we lost 0.5-3.5 to Russia, then dishing out quite a pasting to GM Pavel Blatny, as we lost 1-3 to Czech, which will tell you that the rest of us couldn’t manage even 1/2 a point between us in the last 2 rounds. Blatny was a pretty well known 2600+ name in the past so it was a mighty fine win. One thing one notices at seniors events, ourselves included, is just how much higher most players ratings used to be ! Anyway, basically we were 5th seeds and finished 5th= having beaten the 4 lower rated teams we played and lost to the 4 higher rated teams we played with one bye. To my great surprise, and my team’s / brothers amusement, I won the bronze medal for board 5 / reserve board rating performance, a fact I shall be mentioning to them once or even twice in the future I would imagine. A reasonably enjoyable seniors debut in a pleasant, if remote, location though a bit disappointing that the odd number of teams coupled with our additional player, as mentioned in earlier reports, meant we only played 6 or 7 games each having been there for 11 nights. I see I wasn’t missed for the Corden Cup !
Our decent form continues as we won for the 3rd time in a row beating Germany women 3-1. Andy Lewis won with a fairly smooth effort, I won a messy game where my opponent invited me to Chuck my K side pawns at her then managed to consolidate before a few inaccurate moves allowed me to sweep in and mate her. Jon Nelson took a 3 fold repetition, in a much better position, to secure the match. Dave had blundered a pawn away early in the game but managed to battle back before forcing a drawn K&P ending. We now find ourselves playing Russia, with 4 2500+ GMs, on board 1 in the penultimate round. I am resting for this one.
Round 6 and a match v an on form Ireland team. Andy played a very nice game, thematically sacrificing a pawn and sweeping into his opponents position. Andy Lewis had a game of fluctuating fortunes, 4 draw offers I’m told, which duly ended as a draw. Dave won an ending which must have been drawing at some point. My own game also fluctuated quite a bit before I took a 3 fold repetition with a minute for 6 moves and to win us the match though was a bit perturbed to see Fritz had me +4.5. So a 3-1 victory. The draw is getting hard to do now with 13 teams for a 9 rd Swiss. We expected to be playing top seeds Russia but instead have Germany women who we outrate a fair bit though Andy is resting today. If we can win we might even be in a medal position ….. then we can play Russia
A day off and a visit to the (plentiful) bars of Mali Losinj seems to have done us some good as we’ve roared back up the table. Sunday saw us with a fairly comfortable 4-0 win over a heavily outrated England 2nd team. Andy had to work for his point and Dave recovered from a bit of an iffy middle game. Next up Ireland.
Bit of a poor showing yesterday as we lost 1-3 to Austria who were rated about the same as us. Dave and Jon took solid draws on 3 and 4 but Andy Lewis grabbed too hot a pawn and got smashed on 2, Andy then managed to mess up a good position, went all in with an attack against the king but lost when he didn’t manage to break thru. Guess they struggle without their guiding light of a captain ….. we now have the bye today so will explore the nearby town of Mali Losinj …. or more likely the bars of said town !
Round 2 and the 2nd seeds Croatia 1 resplendent with 4 GMs and we were pretty soundly tonked to be honest. Andrew Lewis blundered a piece after about 15 moves. I was outprepared then outplayed then properly stuffed by a very nice, if relatively forced, mating combination (see chess24 etc if really keen). Andy was doing perfectly OK for most of the game but an inaccuracy let his 2570 opponent sweep in. Jon Nelson managed to keep a certain respectability to the score line by drawing though may have been winning at some point(s). Austria up next, a tightly matched affair with me rested today.
A late withdrawal before the event and Petra Nunn falling over on some rocks, breaking several ribs, an hour or two after we arrived means we have 14 players in total so my England 1 50+ team now has 5 of us to rotate around the 4 board matches. Mildly annoying, as there are 13 teams for 9 rounds so we’ll likely get the bye at some point, but FM AndrewLewis strengthens us at least.
A pretty much as expected start to our seniors debut. We beat a pretty outrated Spain team in round 1 though not as straightforwardly as it should have been. Jon Nelson won fairly easily in a nice little game, Dave then overpressed and managed to lose, Andy didn’t have it all his own way but eventually the 300 pt ratings advantage came home to roost. This left captain me to bring home the bacon though I tried my best to mess up from a clear exchange up. A messy ending with passed pawns all over the shop, one of which I managed to force home first. The games are live on chess 24 and elsewhere.
Rd 1 – England 3-1 Spain
Rd 2 – England 0.5-3.5 Croatia 1
Rd 3 – England v Austria
I shall be off to Losinj in Croatia for the European Seniors Team Championships from 18th to 27th September.
Seems a bit weird that when I joined Bedford Chess Club I was 12 and now I’m off to play in a Seniors event (!) but it’s the only way I’ll ever get to play for the England 1st team at anything 😊-