Istanbul Olympiad 2012, update!

Istanbul Olympiad 2012, update!

IM Trendle

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: