My last blog entry ended with Wales women beating Malta 4-0 and then facing Italy in round 5.
Well, the match vs Italy was very exciting. They outrated us by about an average of 350 points a board so it was always going to be tough. Still, after 3 hours not only were all 4 games going but we were winning in two, clearly better in one and slightly better on the remaining game. Fast-forward an hour and I was signing the team sheet - we had been beaten 3.5-0.5!
What this shows is just how tough it is to beat higher rated players, they don't give up in bad positions and constantly make it tough for a player to win. Below I'll give a position from one of the games and set it as a puzzle - Black is an IM, would you have been able to find it?
Instead an immediate Bd6 was played and most of the advantage was lost. Still, even getting a half against Italy was a decent result but we couldn't help feeling a bit disappointed.
A good time for the rest day to come and with the rest day comes the traditional pre-rest day event - The Bermuda Party!
The Bermuda party is like any other party really except it's got the strongest collection of top chess players you're likely to see in one place! Also, and very unusually for a chess event, there are pretty much equal numbers of men and women in attendance.
The entry is free to women and 20 Turkish Lira (about $10) for men, but the men get tokens for two free drinks (within reason). Of course there's always a lot of dancing - and I can't say there's a correlation between ELO rating and dancing ability - but I was mainly there to catch up with some friends that I hadn't seen in a while.
The bar had kindly agreed to reduce it's (previously prohibitive) drinks prices to ensure a good time was had by all - at least until the bars shut at about 4am. Some hardy souls then carried on to various after parties but I headed home with my group back to the hotel. My night was fairly free from incident - unless you count a problem with a bathroom lock back at my hotel (the lock had to be removed to let me out)!
Ok, the next blog post it will be back to some more chess, see you then.