Rounds 10 and 11 will be important games to determine points, performance rating and bragging rights in our England team. Some of our players already have very decent scores and will be looking to squeeze out anything they can from the last 2 games to further enhance them. Others will have a target in mind with which they will go home happy or ultimately dissatisfied if it is not reached. I think it is natural to have unrealistic expectations at the start of a tournament. You see the ratings of players on paper but you can’t feel how good they are until you play them. To dream of what could be though is surely the 1ststep in making it happen and hope springs eternal. Nevertheless at this stage in the game we know where we are whether we are happy or not we should be ready to grab whatever more we can, and so to round 10.
Aditya Munshi was playing a higher rated Azerbaijan opponent as black. White took the initiative early on in the game and as a result Aditya was always on the back foot. White moved very fast in the game finding strong aggressive play move after move and Aditya was ultimately unable to defend and find sufficient counter play and resigned the game. Aditya is White next round and will be facing an apparently weaker opponent and surely will back himself for a respectable 50% score after the next round.
Anum Sheikh also lost today. She didn’t come out of the opening quite how she would have liked and though the game was close for some time, perhaps today her opponent understood the position a little more than Anum and ultimately a couple if misplaced moves made all the difference. Our Women’s candidate Master is on 6 points and will be striving to make it 7 tomorrow.
Our U8’s Joe Birks and Keerthana Easwar also lost today. These “Young Guns “of our team have given everything and this tournament will be fantastic for their chess development. They know now what it takes to play chess at the highest level in the world and will be stronger players domestically and internationally as a result. One more round to go. Put everything into the last game guys! Let’s finish with a winning feeling.
Bobby Akeya Price drew today as black against an opponent that his compatriot Christopher Tombolis drew with in round 2. In a positional game where both players were manoeuvring their pieces in an attempt to gain an advantage Bobby managed to get an edge a pawn up with Bobby’s Knight against his opponent’s bishop. Analysis showed that the final position may have been winning but it certainly wasn’t easy. Bobby will go into the final round with high hopes of achieving a 50% score. He will have the white pieces but this won’t be easy as he is playing a 1969 rated Canadian player. Bobby has to come out well in the opening to give himself a chance in game 11.
Ilya Misyura achieved a commendable draw today as white against his higher rated Bulgarian opponent. Ilya is on 6 points and will have an equally tough task in round 11 as black. However Ilya has beaten higher rated, over 2000 rated opponents in this competition before and will be preparing himself for a tough encounter that I believe he can win. Go for it Ilya, let’s make it lucky 7!
And so to the winners in round 10. George Clarkson produced what I feel was one of his best games of the tournament as Black in the Grunfeld. His opponent diverged from theory on move 14 by playing e5 when d5 was the move, opening up George’s white square bishop. George increased his advantage until he played 23…Rd5 which allowed white back into the game. In actuality George had the edge throughout the game and was the better player. George’s Czech opponent had his chances to emerge with equality on move 42 but this would have surely been a travesty and perhaps the pressure that George was able to maintain throughout meant his opponent was unable to find this sequence of moves. A good win and the crowds are baying for more of the same George; it would be a shame to let them down!
Nilomi Desai produced an excellent performance today against her Serbian opponent. A controlled game of chess where with the black pieces she was able to gain equality early, ramp up the pressure and outplay her opponent. Apparently Nilomi gets nervous during her games, but she doesn’t let her opponents know and it doesn’t affect her play. Nilomi made this complicated game look easy today. One more win will take her to 6.5. In round 11 she has the white pieces against an over 2000 rated Fide Master. I feel if Nilomi can believe she can win she has every chance as she is capable of consistently excellent play. The bigger they are the harder they fall Nilomi. Give it your best in round 11!
Christopher Tombolis produced the kind of performance today that I know he is capable of. Christopher has just been playing too fast in his games and as a result has missed combinations or tactics that have led to losing positions for him. Moving slower or indeed moving faster is easier said than done. Today Christopher’s time management was excellent. He made consistently good moves throughout and on move 23.b4 his opponent made a mistake and then blundered on move 27. Bd2 was played allowing his Knight to get trapped with the subsequent move. One more game to go for my son and one more win will give him a 50% score. Christopher plays a beatable opponent tomorrow with the white pieces and though this player from Japan has a higher rating his performance rating in the tournament has been lower than Christopher’s. I will be living every minute with my son tomorrow, and as I write this report he is snoring away behind me, hopefully getting a good night’s sleep.
4 out of 9 for England today and we will all be keeping our fingers crossed to have a winning end to the tournament for all the England team.
— Glafcos Tombolis, Head of the English Delegation