European Team Championships: England Report, Rd 8

European Team Championships: England Report, Rd 8

 Both English teams had won in Round 7 and this  meant they both had to play higher seeded teams.

 The Men faced 11th seeds Georgia, who had them comfortably outrated on boards 2-4.

 This meant that Micky was under pressure to deliver something on top board, although Black against Baadur Jobava (2644) could not be described as an easy game! Adams equalised early on in a Ruy Lopez and the position became messy. Micky used his experience to outplay his opponent and eventually they ended up in an oppositite coloured Bishop ending. Micky had an extra 2 pawns but it wasn't trivial because White had central connected passed pawns and a more active King. After repeating moves at one stage Adams found the path to victory and scored a vital win for the team.

 Gawain Jones had a surprisingly comfortable day in the office against Tamaz Gelashvili (2623). Gawain played the Grand Prix Attack, an opening that he an expert in. This can hardly have come as a surpirse to Gelashvili so I have to wonder what he did in his preparation. Gawain won a pawn easily in the opening and sailed to vicory with a trademark Kingside assault.

 On board 3 Mark Hebden got into hot water early on against Levan Pantsulai (2617). Levan played a quiet fianchetto agianst Mark's King's Indian and looked to be heading for a slight advantage until Mark tried to mix things up. This back-fired and left Mark struggling. Despite some inventive tricks and traps Levan confidentally saw home the win.

 Stuart Conquest against Merab Gagunashvili (2584) was a tight game. Merab played the Sicilian and Stuart managed to keep a slight edge. It always looked like Stuart had the draw in hand, but he was unable to find anything more.

 An excellent 2.5-1.5 win for the English who are playing some good chess!

 If it was a good day for the Men it was a superb day for the women. They faced 17th seeds Lithuania, and beat them 3-1.

 Jovanka Houska managed to equalise from the opening against Viktorija Cmilyte (2464). Jovanka then kept up the pressure throughout the middlegame, slowly increasing her advantage until finally she got her reward. A careless move from Cmilyte leading up to the time control left Jovanka to clean up in a rook&pawn ending.

 On board 2 Dagne Ciuksyte had the White pieces against Delamante Daulyte (2222). After gaining a slight edge in a mainline Ruy Lopez Dagne went about outplaying her opponent. After getting a knight to the strong d5 outpost Dagne won the exchange. The full point soon followed.

 Ingrid Lauterbach had a tough game on board 3, Black against Salomeja Zaksaite (2228).  Salomeja kept control from the opening and Ingrid found it hard to create active chances. The pressure eventually told and Ingrid lost a piece and the game.

 On board 4 Sabrina Chevannes achieved the advantage from the opening against Dalva Batyte (2198). At one point it looked like Dalva had equalised but then she made a couple of mistakes and faced a Kingside assault. Sabrina found a nice trick to win material and converted with ease.

 An excellent day for both teams, who will face strong opposition in round 9.

 I will try to get an annotated game or two from this round in a later report.

 

 

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