The latest from Steve in Albania…
Round 6 – We stormed back to 50% after crushing a, fairly outrated, Norwegian team 5-1. Yours truly won with a nice calm, patient, outplaying of my outrated opponent whilst brother Dave won a right mess of a game featuring multiple queens (hope this will appear on the site in due course ). Andy let a win slip through his grasp, against an FM rated similar to himself, to only draw, so likely needs to win for a GM norm in round 7. One of our players departed before round 7, so we are down to 6, for the last round, with fingers crossed that none of us go down with the mystery bug/food poisoning that continues to take it’s toll on various teams.
Round 7 – A rather nasty last round pairing against a Lithuanian team that heavily outrate us. Andy’s ‘norm shot’ is having to beat a 2586 GM with black. We gave it a good whirl but, ultimately, went down 2-4. Andy saved his worst for last and got outplayed pretty much from the start. I also lost on bd 6 when I got a bit impatient and launched a Q-side attack a bit prematurely, I thought an exchange sac might mix things up a little and give me chances but my opponent calmly took all my pawns then pieces and won. 4 creditable draws on bds 2-5 made the score respectable. So, when all is said and done, we beat 3 teams we outrated and lost to 4 teams that outrated us. Everyone contributed a few points here and there but Andy was the standout performer with 4/7 against a 2447 average. I chipped in 3/5 albeit against a much lower average (!).
So goodbye to the wild dogs, mysterious bugs/viruses and awful wifi connections of Albania it is.
A “fun” game from round 6: