Updates from Albania

Steve has commented against his original post but I thought I it deserved a post of its own and Richard has sent me a game so I’ve added that too.

Update 1 – Round 1 we got hammered 5.5-0.5 by the German team of GMs, Jon Nelson getting our sole half though Andy should have drawn with his 2658 opponent and I with my 2496. Both got ground down in endings though. Round 2 we beat a decent Kosovan team 4-2. I managed to dish out a good hammering to my opponent, rated 1822 but only 16 yrs old so ratings can be deceptive.  Then Albania started to get interesting as a whole bunch of players, myself included, went down with food poisoning  so I get rested for rd 3.

Update 2 – so, yes, the hotel does a large buffet for brekkie, lunch and dinner but on Monday night players started falling ill after dinner. The hotel insist it is ‘a local virus’ the players beg to differ. There were several defaults and late team changes but, luckily, we managed a full match against a team of Swedish GM/IM/FM. We gave it a good go but went down 2-4. Andy’s GM opponent left a mate in 2 on from a good position….. nice to know GMs can do it too !

Update 3 – various players continue to fall ill and, interesting Albania part 2 – Andy got attacked by a bunch of wild dogs whilst walking home from a beach bar last night ! Only a few mild scratches though.  Anyway, round 4 we beat a Belgian team 4-2. I struggled off my death bed to beat another 16 yr old and Andy won again. On 3/4 losing only to a 2658 he could have a GM norm punt if the form continues. I started to feel worse again during the day so will rest myself again in rd 5 when we take on a team from Hungary.

3 Replies to “Updates from Albania”

  1. 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.

  2. Enjoying the updates, Steve! Hope you’re well on the mend now, the food poisoning doesn’t sound fun…

  3. Latest – round 5 and a match against a strong Hungarian team. Early disaster as one of my players gets defaulted after 25 minutes for wearing his smart watch ! His own fault as we were warned many times though one wonders why they bother metal detecting us on the way into the playing area if one can stroll in wearing a smart watch. Anyway, we gave it a good whirl again but went down 1.5-4.5. Andy drew with a 2425 IM and Dave somehow drew with a GM after blundering his e pawn after 11 moves ! They clearly need their captain back to guide them so I’m playing against a Norwegian team we outrate by a fair bit, so a good chance to get back to 50%. I do keep asking if anyone has any decent games for me to send but nothing forthcoming so far. My opponent doesn’t appear to exist on any database so a day off the prep today … may even go for a swim

Comments are closed.