European Senior Team Chess Championships (ESTCC) 2024 – updated

Pictures by Luka Rifelj

Final Standings

1st England 1; 2nd   Hungary;   3rd  Italy. 
All on 14/18 match points but England had the much better tiebreak.
England 50+ 2 came 14th (seeded 8th) with 8 match points.
England 50+ 3 came 16th (seeded 13th) with 8 match points.
England Women; Winners of the 50+ Women’s title.

Board medals

  • Glenn Flear – Bronze with 4½/8
  • Keith Arkell – Gold with 6/7 and an impressive TPR of 2540.
  • Nigel Davies – Silver with 4/6
  • Stuart Conquest – Gold with 6½/8

Notable mentions for Phil Crocker who scored 5/8 on board 5 for England 2 and just missed out on the bronze board medal and Clive Frostick who scored a respectable 4/8 on top board for England 3 with a TPR of 2273 and gained 27 rating points.

1st England 1 17/18 match points; 2nd Slovakia 15/18; 3rd Slovenia 14/18.
England 65+ 2nd came 15th (seeded 13th) with 9 match points.
England 65+ 3rd came 18th (seeded 26th) with 9 match points

Board medals

  • John Nunn – Silver with 6/8
  • Peter Large – Silver with 5½/8
  • Chris Baker – Gold with 4½/6
  • Nigel Povah – Silver with 4/6

Notable mentions for Kevin Bowmer who scored 5½/9 on board 2 for England 2 and gained 27 rating points and Stewart Reuben, who despite being one of the oldest players in the tournament, scored a very impressive 6/7 on board 4 for England 3, gaining 41 rating points!

Thanks to the ECF (courtesy of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport) and the Chess Trust for their financial support, along with the generous donations from a number of the players to help make this all possible.  It would not have happened without their support!

The European Senior Team Championship is being held from May 6-16 in the beautiful Spa resort of Terme Catez, not far from the Croatian border.  England have seven teams comprising 33 players as follows:

50+ 1 – 1. John Emms; 2. Glenn Flear; 3. Keith Arkell; 4. Nigel Davies; 5. Stuart Conquest
50+ 2 – 1. Malcolm Pein;  2. Steve Dishman;  3. Chris Beaumont;  4. Chris Duncan;  5. Phil Crocker
50+ 3 – 1. Clive Frostick;  2. Bob Noyce; 3. Oliver Jackson;  4. John Guilfoyle
50+ Women – 1. Sheila Jackson;  2. Natasha Regan;  3. Petra Nunn;  4. Helen Frostick;  5. Susan Chadwick
65+ 1 – 1. John Nunn;   2. Tony Kosten;  3. Peter Large;  4. Chris Baker;  5. Nigel Povah
65+ 2 – 1. John Quinn;  2. Kevin Bowmer;  3. Peter N. Lee;  4. Geoff James  
65+ 3 – 1. Mick Stokes; 2. Ian Reynolds; 3. Dave Tucker; 4. Stewart Reuben; 5. Bob Kane

Round 1 Tuesday 7th May
England’s top teams got off to a good start with the 50+ 1st team beating Scotland 3½-½ and the 65+ 1st team beating Germany Women 4-0.  England 50+ Women had the misfortune to play the 50+ 2nd team and they lost 3-1, with Petra Nunn registering the full point, as Chris Beaumont defaulted, due to some major travel problems and the ridiculously short default time of only 15 minutes!  England 50+ 3 lost 4-0 to a strong Iceland team headed up by two GMs, whilst the 65+ 2nd team had a convincing 3½-½ victory over Sweden 3 and the 65+ 3rd team lost a close match by 2½-1½ to Germany-SC Kreuzberg.

Round 2 Wednesday 8th May
The 50+ 1st team (2nd seeds) lost a disappointing match by 2½-1½ against Montenegro (5th seeds), with both John Emms and Glenn Flear losing on the top two boards. Meanwhile the 50+ 2nd team lost by the same score against Iceland (3rd seeds), thanks to Phil Crocker scoring a good win on board 4. England 50+ Women lost 3-1 to England 50+ 3 with wins from Oliver Jackson and John Guilfoyle.  In the 65+ section England 1 beat Germany-SC Kreuzberg by 3-1 with wins from John Nunn and Chris Baker with the latter winning in a rook v knight endgame. The 65+ 2nd team lost 3½-½ to France who fielded 4 IMs, with Peter Lee obtaining the solitary draw. It is interesting to note that this was Peter’s Seniors debut and his first appearance for England after a gap of over 50 years, as he last represented England at the 1970 Olympiad! The 65+ 3rd team lost 3-1 to Switzerland-SG Riehen.

Round 3 Thursday 9th May
The 50+ 1st team bounced back to winning ways with a 3½-½ victory over Denmark, with Seniors’ newcomer Stuart Conquest scoring another win, to take his score to 2½ from 3.  England 50+ 3 lost by the same margin to 6th seeded Slovakia, with another Seniors newcomer, John Guilfoyle, getting a creditable draw with a 2190 IM.  Meanwhile England 50+ 2 drew 2-2 with Slovenia Kralj, with victories from Malcolm Pein and Chris Beaumont on the top two boards. Malcolm was making his first appearance in Seniors’ chess for some years, but Chris Beaumont was another newcomer. The 50+ Women had the bye, as there was an odd number of teams in the competition. The 65+ 1st team managed to beat Germany by 2½-1½, thanks to wins from Tony Kosten and Nigel Povah. It was their third German team in a row and this put them joint top of the standings with Slovakia on 6/6 match points.  The 65+ 2nd team beat France – Normandie by the same score, with Kevin Bowmer securing the solitary win.  The 65+ 3rd team drew 2-2 with Austria 2.

Round 4 Friday 10th May
The 50+ 1st team managed a 2½-1½ victory over 7th seeds Netherlands – LSG thanks to a win from Nigel Davies on bottom board. The 50+ 2nd team had another good win by 3-1 against Germany – SV Dinkslaken 1923 e.V. and the 50+ 3rd team beat Finland -Stadin Hemmot by 3½-½.  Sadly England 50+ Women lost 3-1 to Monaco.

The England 65+ 1st team won a crucial match by the tightest margin 2½-1½ against the reigning champions, Slovakia. This was an interesting encounter, as it involved the same 8 players as the corresponding fixture last year, with the players having the same colours. Peter Large was the hero of the day, winning on board 3 to achieve the reverse of his result last year and get sweet revenge!  England 65+ 2 drew 2-2 with Sweden 1 and the 65+ 3rd team beat Finland 4 by 3-1.

Standings after 4 rounds
England 50+ 1st team are joint 2nd with 6 match points behind leaders Iceland on 7 match points, whilst England 50+ 2 are 7th (versus their 8th seeding) with 5 match points. England 50+ 3 are 13th (their seeding) with 4 match points. England 50+ Women are 20th (versus their 18th seeding) with 1 match point.

England 65+ 1st team are sole leaders with 8 match points, pursued by top seeds Slovenia with 7 match points. England 65+ 2nd team are 13th (their seeding) with 5 match points and the 3rd team are 20th, with 3 match points and are ahead of their 26th seeding.

Round 5 Saturday 11th May
The 50+ 1st team beat Slovakia 1 by 3-1 thanks to wins from Glenn Flear and Stuart Conquest and this victory made them joint leaders with Italy. The 50+ 2nd team won by the same score against Austria 1 with Chis Beaumont and Phil Crocker delivering the wins. Meanwhile the 50+ 3rd team had a creditable 2-2 draw with Netherlands- LSG mainly thanks to Clive Frostick beating a 2427 IM on top board. The England Women continued to struggle, despite Natasha Regan arriving to strengthen the team, going down 3-1 to Czech Republic-KHK.

The 65+ 1st team had a splendid 2½-1½ victory over top seeds Slovenia. John Nunn had a comfortable draw with Black against GM Alexander Beliavsky and Tony Kosten got the advantage against GM Adrian Mikahlchishin but was unable to convert this, despite being on top for much of the game and this put pressure on their two lower boards. Peter Large, who stood slightly better, offered a draw when he could see that Chris Baker was going to win his game on board 4 after some lovely tactics by Chris, so this result ensured England were sole leaders with a lead of two match points. The 65+ 2nd team lost 3-1 to Germany and the 65+ 3rd team lost by the same score to France – Normandie.

Round 6 Sunday 12th May
The 50+ 1st team had a crunch match against their fellow joint leaders and top seeds, Italy, and they started well when Keith Arkell’s opponent blundered a key pawn and Keith was able to achieve a quick victory. In the other three games England were under some pressure, although John Emms gradually extricated himself to get a draw. However, both Glenn Flear and Stuart Conquest had very difficult positions and both were looking quite lost but they both kept fighting putting up some excellent rear-guard action and then fortune smiled on Stuart who found a clever resource to draw a king and pawn ending and then Glann managed to do the same in a rook and pawn ending, so England ended up winning by 2½-1½ to become sole leaders. The 50+ 2nd team had a very impressive 2-2 draw against 4th seeds Hungary, with all four games being drawn and they might’ve even won this match. Meanwhile the 50+ 3rd team beat Netherlands – Zuid Limburg by 2½-1½, thanks to the solitary win by Oliver Jackson on board 3. England Women secured their first point with a 2-2 draw with Liechtenstein, thanks to Seniors newcomer Susan Chadwick, securing her first win of the event.

The 65+ 1st team had a 2-2 draw with 4th seeds France, after Tony Kosten slipped up and lost, cancelling out John Nunn’s win on top board. However, as Slovenia 1 drew with Slovakia 1, England 1 retained its two match-point lead. The 65+ 2nd team beat Switzerland-SG Riehen by 2½-1½, thanks to a win from Peter Lee on board 3 and the 65+ 3rd team beat Scotland 2 by the same score, thanks to a win from Stewart Reuben on board 3.

For an excellent photo gallery from photographer Luka Rifelj click here

Round 7 Monday 13th May
The 50+ 1st team had a splendid 3-1 win against Iceland, courtesy of wins from Glenn Flear and Stuart Conquest and this consolidated their position as sole leaders with 12/14 match points. The 50+ 2nd team lost by the same score to top seeds Italy, with two creditable draws from Steve Dishman and Phil Crocker. The 50 + 3rd team lost by 2½-1½ to Germany -SV Dinkslaken 1923 e.V and England Women also lost by the same margin to Finland – Stadin Hemmot.

The 65+ 1st team bounced back with a 2½-1½ win against Finland 1, thanks to an impressive win from Peter Large who crushed GM Heikki Westerinen on board 3 and this meant they retained their lead with 13/14 match points. Meanwhile the 65+ 2nd team beat Austria 1 by 3-1, with wins from John Quinn and Kevin Bowmer on the top two boards. The 50+ 3rd team beat Germany Women by 2½-1½ with wins from Mick Stokes and Stewart Reuben, who is having a wonderful tournament with 4½/5.

Round 8 Tuesday 14th May
The 50+1st team lost by 2½-1½ to Hungary which meant they now shared the lead with Italy and Hungary but have the much better tiebreak going into the last round. The 50+ 2nd team lost 3-1 to Netherlands -LSG and the 50+ 3rd team went down by 2½-1½ to Denmark. England Women lost by 3½-½ to Slovenia – Kralj.

The 65+ 1st team beat Hungary 1 by 2½-1½, thanks to a nice win from Tony Kosten and this meant they retained their 2 match-point lead over second placed Slovakia with 15/16 match points. England 65+ 2 lost to Finland 1 by 2½-1½, whilst the 65+ 3rd team lost 3-1 to Austria 1.

Round 9 Wednesday 15th May
The 50+ 1st team beat the 50+ 2nd team by 3-1 thanks to wins from Stuart Conquest and Keith Arkell. The 50+ 3rd team had the bye in the final round and the 50+ Women’s team had an excellent 2-2 draw with Austria 1 who heavily out-rated them on every board, with Natasha Regan scoring an impressive win!  Thus the 50+ 1st team retain their European Seniors title for the third year in a row and the England Women’s team captured the Women’s title as the sole Women’s entrants in the event.

The 65+ 1st team beat Croatia – Seveste Agroproteinka +65 by 3-1, thus securing their first ever European Seniors 65+ title.  John Nunn won a stunning game on board one and Peter Large won a very nice game on board 3.  The 65+ 2nd team lost to Switzerland 1 by 3½-½ and the 65+ 3rd team beat Finland 2 by 3-1.