Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Europeans update

In the European Team Chess Championships in Warsaw, England are faring reasonably well in the Open section after an unexpected loss in Round 2 to Greece.   In Round 3 they drew with the top-seeded Russian team and then beat Montenegro in Round 4.   They now lie in equal 10th position (14th on tie-break), with five match points (two wins, one draw and one loss).

Star of the show so far has been Gawain Jones, with three wins and a draw.   Today they face Germany in Round 5.   You can view live games here from 14.00.

The women have had a disastrous start, losing all four matches 4 - 0.   Suffolk's Dagne Ciuksyte didn't play in the first three matches (was she late arriving?), but in Round 4, playing on Board 1, she had a commanding position (+8.51 on Houdini), but threw it all away with a succession of weak moves.   This was the position, with Dagne (Black) to play:

A piece up, with mating threats on h2, Dagne needed to play either 28... Rf8 or the subtle ... Rc4.   Both moves threaten mate.   But Dagne was concerned for her e6 knight and played ...Nf8?!.   After her opponent played the natural 29. Rc8, Dagne replied ... Qb5? instead of ... Qb6 and suddenly the evaluation is level.   Further errors led to her eventual resignation at move 37.

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