European Team Championships: England Rd. 4 Report

European Team Championships: England Rd. 4 Report

| 3 | Chess Event Coverage

 It has been suggested to me that I should continue my reporting on England's progress under the section of 'news' rather than as a blog update. I shall therefore aim to do this, and then do a summary on my blog with a link to the news section. For earlier reports/annotated games see my blog at:

 Ok, onto the report! England's Men were facing a tricky match against Sweden. I feel they were rather unlucky to get held to a 2-2 draw.

 Michael Adams recorded his first win of the event with White against Emmanuel Berg. The opening was a topical French Tarrasch line that I had in fact played myself against Berg in September (that game ended in a draw, though I had the worse of it). Mickey came up with an idea that I've not seen before and I shall analyse this game in full in my next update.

 On board two Gawain Jones held a draw against Evgenij Agrest, 2541. Agrest is more normally found at the 2600 mark so this was a very pleasing result for Gawain with his 3rd Black pieces in 4 days! Gawain played a typical King's Indian setup against the 1.Nf3 English and swapped pieces off quickly. The game ended peacefully on my 24.

 Nick Pert had a disappointing day on board 3 against Slavko Civak (2569). He played an interesting pawn sac. against the modern and was offered a draw, which he declined. Nick built up a strong position but then drifted somewhat during the mutual time-trouble preceding move 40. He then found himself having to defend a difficult position with his time running out and eventually went down in a rook+pawn ending.

 Mark Hebden has been ultra-realiable in this event so far, despite being given the Black pieces every round! In round four he faced Pontus Carlsson (2481). I played Pontus earlier this year, and he was only an IM then so I congratulate him on achieving the GM title. Pontus played the mainline Ruy Lopez and Mark showed his knowledge of the opening well, surprising Pontus with an interesting pawn sac. Carlsson quickly gave the pawn back and as the game became very unclear became very short of time. He found his way through the complications and the game burnt out to a drawn ending. Mark is still England's top scorer with 3/4 with Michael & Gawain on 2.5.

  Meanwhile the women continued their recovery with an excellent 2.5-1.5 win over the higher-rated Israel team. Jovanka Houska was put under some pressure as Black in the Bishop's Opening. In a tough manouvring game Masha Klinova (2326) kept a small edge throughout but was unable to break through Jovanka's solid position.

  On board 2 Dagne Ciuksyte got off the mark with a draw as White in a Philidors against Angela Borsuk (2301). The assessment of the game was never clear in a topsy-turvy encounter. At one stage Dagne was the exchange down for two dangerous looking central pawns but Angela was able to sac back the exchange into a dead drawn ending.

 Ingrid Lauterbach pulled off an upset on board 3, beating Bella Igla (2291) with Black. Ingla had most of the early pressure but could not find a way to break Ingrid's defences. Eventually Ingla sacked a pawn to complicate matters but Ingrid defended stoutly and steered the game into a winning Queen+pawn ending. Her technique did not let her down.

 Sabrina Chevannes managed to hold a draw on board 4 against Bela Atlinov (2170). Although she seemed to be doing fine from the opening Sabrina drifted in the middlegame and found herself a pawn down. She fought hard and reached a Queen+pawn ending and then, strangely, Atlinov decided to repeat moves and agree a draw. I am not sure what happened, as it seems to me that she still had definate winning chances. Perhaps she was short of time, tired, or simply forgot/miscounted the repetitions!

 The Men have now won 2, drawn 1, lost 1. They have 10.5/16 game points.

 The Women have won 2, lost 2. They have 5.5/16 game points.

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