European Senior Teams 2018

Round 9
65+ Final Results
Russia – 18; Germany – 16; Sweden 1 – 12; Finland 1 – 11; Scotland – 9; Germany D-BAG – 9
Denmark – 9; Sweden 2 – 8; Finland 2 – 7; Finland Turku – 6; Sweden 3 – 5
Finland RM – 5  (RM means Royal Musketeers); Finland Karhut – 3

As there were only 15 teams in this event, there had to be a bye each round. It seems a great pity that Poland couldn’t raise a 65+ team. 5 of the teams were from Finland. Moreover, they had 2 teams in the 50+. Sweden had 3 teams. As there was no English entry to this event, I didn’t find time to give it much attention.

50+ Final Results
Italy – 18, 28/36 game points; Russia Women – 16, 26; Belgium – 13, 24
German Women – 11, 21; Wschowa – 10, 18.5; Walbrzych – 9, 15.5; Finland CC – 8, 19.5
England – 8, 18.5 (thus we came 8th – at the start of the event we were 6th)
Spain – 6, 15.5; Scotland – 5, 13.0; Finland Cove – 4, 9.0; Switzerland – 0, 7.5

I had my second consecutive disaster, this time against the German women. I blundered a piece, succumbing to a very neat combination. The other German women were prepared to offer draws once that happened. Andrew and Gareth both said they stood worse at that stage of the game. Roger certainly didn’t stand better.

Both Andrew Lewis and Gareth Jones won the Bronze medal for best Tournament Performance Rating – Andrew on board 1 and Gareth on the reserve board.

Next stop Radebeul, where we will probably be fielding 42 players in 9 teams.

— Stewart Reuben

Stewart is also a Councillor for the Rules Commission which held meetings alongside the European Senior Team Championship for a couple of days …

Left to right — Ashot Vardapetian (Chairman, Armenia); Franca Dapiran (Councillor, Italy); Martin Huba (on the far end of the table – he was a spy. Well actually, the ECU Representative at the event); Mehrdad Pahlevanzadeh (Councillor, Iran); Stewart; Tomek Delega (Secretary, Poland)


Round 8
Italy duly won 3.5-0.5 against Spain as did the Russian women against Walbrzych. So the Italians have 16 points and Russian Women 14. From the noise and alcohol consumption of their celebrations, it seems they think they have won the competition.

Scotland 2 – 2 England
Kevin Bowmer had a rather boring draw with Rosie Giulian, following his previous game with White for quite a long way. He felt he stood somewhat worse when Rosie offered a draw.
I made a grotesque blunder and lost a whole piece for nothing in an approximately equal position. Gareth Jones had a good win. Andrew Lewis tried for many, many moves to win a drawn rook and pawn endgame, where he stood very slightly better. Interestingly enough, he was under the impression that we had lost the match when he drew.

— Stewart Reuben


Round 7
Italy finally won a match 4-0 against the local team, Walbrzych. One of the disadvantages of  Swiss is that the leader may have to delve deeper and deeper into the pack.

England won 3.5 to 0.5 against Switzerland. They have lost all their matches, but put up considerable resistance. Roger Scowen drew quite rapidly on board 4. Kevin Bowmer won quite painlessly. I went quite mad and played a variation against the Benk Gambit that I have known yields nothing for 20 years. I then blundered and  my opponent pointed out after the game how he could have won a pawn. Then he went wrong and eventually lost.

Andrew Lewis had a very long game. It lasted over 80 moves and we were all delayed going to dinner for over an hour. He had a good knight against a bad bishop. I hadn’t understood his winning strategy, but it all came out right in the end.

PLACES AFTER SEVEN ROUNDS

1. Italy 14 – 21/28 game points
2. Russian Women 12 – 19
3. Belgium 9 – 18
4. German Women 8 – 16.5
5. England 7 – 15 – we were ranked 6 at the start
6. Walbrzych 7 – 12.5
7. Wsbawa 7 – 13.5
8. Finland CC 6 – 15
9. Spain 6 – 14
10. Scotland 5 10.5
11. Finland Cone 4 – 7.5
12. Switzerland 0 – 5.5

The ranking after match points is not game points, as shown here. It is Bucholz for which I have no regard.

— Stewart Reuben


Round 6
Italy beat the German Women 3-1 and now have 12 points from 6 matches. The Russian women are second with 10/12. Belgium and Walbrzych have 7/12. England are 8th with 5/12.
We played Finland Culture Chess (we speculated whether they were smitten with British pop culture, because of Culture Club)
Although I won in round 5, I decided to take a rest day, by agreement with the other team members. I’d had three very long games. Moreover there was a tour to a local castle in  the morning that I wanted to go on. That is the downside of playing in the afternoon. I was impressed by Andrew Lewis’s was spirit. Although he had lost in round 5, he very much wanted to play today.
Unfortunately disaster struck for three of our players. Kevin Bowmer secured a big plus with White. Indeed the computer said he was +7 at one point. But it was difficult and Black had queen and knight against queen and rook. That is often a difficult imbalance. He could later probably have taken a draw by perpetual check, but went on to lose. Next upi was Roger Scowen. He had bishop and two pawns for rook. His opponent thought Roger stood better, but we have our doubts. But then he lost to a simple combination. Gareth jones was last to finish and he also lost a difficult game.
The bright spot was Andrew Lewis. He again won. It seems that he and Gareth are both in danger of winning board prizes.   

— Stewart Reuben


Round 3
The match of the day in the 50+ was Russia Women v German Women. They are the only two women’s teams in this event. The Russians won 3-1 on board 1.
Finland Culture Chess lost 1-3 against the red-hot favourites to win, Italy.
On board 4 Spain lost 1.5-2.5 against England. Andrew Lewis, Kevin Bowmer and I all drew. Hero of the day was Gareth Jones who won a game that nearly gave me a heart attack. I tried to with rook against knight, the theory of which has been understood since the 11th Century. 

Round 4 
Italy beat Russian Women 2.5-1.5, more-or-less ending the fight for gold less than halfway through.
The local team Walbrzych, which I still haven’t learnt to pronounce, drew with us. Again Gareth was one of the heroes and again almost gave me a heart attack. I lost quite convincingly, Andrew Lewis again was the winner of The Game of the Day.

Round 5
Came the hour and came the man, I was the man. We played Italy. Andrew, Kevin and Gareth all lost. Andre took a long time, but the result was seldom in doubt. I played IM Fabio Bellia rated 2440 with White (I’m 2024) and offered an early draw, which was spurned. Very shortly afterwards I played badly and deservedly got a bad position. Eventually Fabio made a serious error and should have taken a draw by repetition. But you could see he intended to gamble and ended up a knight down for two pawn. I managed to convert this into a win in 80 moves. I am certainly getting my money’s worth regarding the time played. My administrative associate at these events, Roger Scowen, bought me a celebratory drink. 

— Stewart Reuben


Our only team at this event is playing in the 50+ section. Look at our list and you may spot the bottom four of the team are all 65+. However, the board 1 is a relative youngster, so there we are.
Andrew Lewis; Kevin Bowmer; Stewart Reuben; Roger Scowen; Gareth Jones

Round 1
We are seeded 6 of just 12 teams. This had the advantage that we met the bottom seed, Finland, in round 1. Roger was first to finish, having won a pawn with the Black pieces on move 7. I was next to finish with a very convincing victory. It took some time as I had to work out the ramifications of my combination. Kevin then agreed a fairly quick draw, and it was left to Andrew to grind out a relatively long endgame. So 3.5-0.5. These events are decided first on match points, so winning by a big margin is not so important. Still, we are placed 1-2= after 1 round. The red-hot favourites, Italy could only win 3-1.
There are 15 teams in the 65+ section. By comparison, England are sending 44 players in 9 teams to the World Senior Team Chess Championship. It is not too late to join in, yet very few non-European teams enter the WSTCC.  

Round 2
Somewhat surprisingly we found ourselves playing the number 2 seeds in Round 2. This was because our expected opponents, the third seeds, lost to the Polish team, so it was Russia Women with 3 WGMs and a WIM.
Roger, having won in round 1, was gung-ho to play round 2, so I stepped down. This was probably a mistake. Roger found himself swept aside. Gareth, making his debut for the team, gained a slight advantage, but then offered a draw, a bit overawed by the reputation of his opponent. Kevin, again, had the Black pieces, was reasonably satisfied with his opening, but then went downhill. His opponent played a neat combination at the end to queen a pawn. It was left to Andrew to make things more even. He had a hair-raising game and got very short of time, basically playing on the increment. He made a serious error, which the Russian WGM failed to capitalise on. It turns out he would still have had enough for a draw. Then he played a snazzy way to reach a winning endgame.
So we lost 1.5-2.5. Our game points are 5/8.

— Stewart Reuben