Istanbul Olympiad 2012, update!

Time for an update from Istanbul. We arrived on Monday, the day before the first round and settled into our hotel. It's quite nice, with a swimming pool and air-conditioned rooms - the only downside is we're about 5km from the playing venue so we have to bus to and from the playing area each day.

Still, on to the chess. As I mentioned in my previous blog I'm here captaining the Welsh Women's Team at the Olympiad. In the first round we were handed a tough pairing against the Czech Republic. We were heavily outrated on all boards but we put up a good fight, especially on board 3 where Lynda Roberts looked to be doing well for some time. Unfortunately we didn't manage to get anything out of the match and lost 4-0. 

It's very common at these events to 'yo-yo' between stronger and weaker teams and indeed that is what happened in round two as we faced Kenya. We were strong favourites although the match remained unclear for a long time but we ran out winners, 3.5-0.5. It was definitely a good feeling to have the first win! Olivia Smith won a nice game on top board, here's the finish to the game.

Round 3 again saw us facing a higher ranked team, Iceland. We felt we had a chance in this match as we had chances on all boards at some points and in the end the final score of 3-1 to Iceland slightly flattered them. 

Round 4 was a chance to make amends against Malta. We started as favourites but it was clear that it was going to be tough. We had a great start though as Alyssa Wang was quickly winning on board 4, almost in a (lucky) piece of preparation. She finished the game off in style - never allowing her opponent back into the game. Perhaps inspired by the quick victory the team rallied to win the match 4-0!

Today we face a very tough team - Italy (in fact I better finish writing this and head off to help them prepare)! It's the rest day tomorrow so I will try and give more of an impression from the Olympiad then. Below is a team photo, l-r: Sandra Blackburn, Alyssa Wang, Lynda Roberts, Olivia Smith, Suzy Blackburn and me!

In the meantime it's worth seeing that in the Men's section the top 4 seeds are leading the event. Also England are having a great tournament, with 3 wins and one draw (vs France).

To see all the Welsh Women's match results visit:

For information and live games check out the official website:


  • 3 years ago


    At least I noticed, lovinfeelin :)

    Great achievement indeed. They beat England!

  • 3 years ago


    Nobody seem to notice what the Philippine team is doing in Istanbul. They are definitely the overachievers of the olympiad!!!!!!

  • 3 years ago


    Istanbul what a great placeto be i imagine 

    Best of luck in the games 

  • 3 years ago


    You don't post videos anymore? Maybe you'll post one about "your" Olympiad?

    Nice execution. That would have been nice to have it as a training exercize.

    Thanks for the article.

  • 3 years ago


    good luck fo the next tournament.... suresh...

  • 3 years ago


    good luck for the rest of the tournament. :)

  • 3 years ago


    Nice checkmate! Good luck for the rest of the Olympiad.

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