– from our man in Frydek Mistek, Peter Purland
On April 3rd, 16 players met Victor at Heathrow whilst a further 4 met Glynis and Peter at Manchester. We all met up at Prague Airport then got the bendy bus to Dejvika where we boarded the tube to Muzeum and a further one to Hlavni Nadrazi where we booked for our main line train. The three of us and many of the players had a meal en route and arrived at Ostrava within two minutes of time. We had a comfortable change then got the branch line to Frydek arriving dead on time where Vashek was waiting to meet us. We transferred to Hotel Centrum and, after dinner had a meeting then unpacked and turned in.
Wednesday was our free day and we made good use of it. Our first step was Anselm Mine at Landek which is under new ownership and has been much improved. We had a tour of both the surface and underground before lunch then had a play at the mammoth site. Next stop was Ostrava Town Hall where we went up the tower and took in the panorama of the city. We then had 100 minutes in the newest shopping mall before heading to the swimming pool. We were 30 minutes early so played soccer first then went in the pool where many played with the ball and others had a sauna or played in the whirlpool. We returned to the Centrum for dinner then the players joined Glynis and Victor for a walk in to Mistek whilst I booked us in for the tournament and got the tickets for the train.
Thursday we were at breakfast at 0800 and at the hall by 0845. This was the first two rounds of the competition and we are playing to a time limit of 90 minutes plus 30 seconds. This gives plenty of time for a well thought out game. There are over 300 players in the 6 sections representing 11 countries and after a mercifully short opening ceremony we started.
We had one player in the FIDE rated (Beskydy) Tournament and he was unlucky enough to have his opponent not arrive in the morning. However he made up for this with an excellent fighting draw against a 2100+ player in the afternoon. The U15s had a steady start scoring 6 (out of 12) in the morning but gained a creditable 8.5 in the afternoon. Only Pavan Murali was on 2\2. The U12s however stole the show with 7 (out of 7) in the morning and 4 in the afternoon when we had two inter squad pairings. Our only loss was to the top seed. Jake Liang, Theo Slade, Brian Tarhon and Aditya Yanamandra were al on 2\2. I had spent the date chatting to Karel Jubala, Karel Holusa and various other friends from abroad. This was coupled with going over quite a few games. We then returned home. ate, had our meeting and had a pairs Blitz competition run by Victor and Glynis in the evening.
Friday we were at the National House by 0845 and this was another two round day with the U12s playing steadily scoring 4 points in each round to remain just ahead of their target whilst the U15s recovered from a poor morning (5 points) to reach their target of 6.5 in the afternoon. There were some dogged performances especially from the U15s in the afternoon and Victor is happy with the way things are going. Meanwhile in the Beskydy event Matthew met an old friend of ours Taddeus who has joined in with us for the last 6 years but his friendliness only showed itself in the post match analysis. In the afternoon, however, Matthew played an FM and gained his first titled scalp. The evening was split 50\50 with half going to the local Aquapark with Peter and the others playing exchange with Victor and Glynis. A good time was had by all, and two future trips were also arranged during the day.
As usual we were at the National House by 0845 and there was only one round today except for Matthew and he scored an excellent 1.5 to gain even more rating points. The U15s got 6.5 points whilst the U12s scored 4 for the fourth time in a row. Various of the players got good positions but were unable to convert them in to the extra half point. The afternoon was given over to social events and 16 of our players were lucky enough to be picked for one of the simultaneous displays. These were timed and even though our wins were on time a win against a gm is a win! Kumar Dixit beat Edouard Andreev (Ukraine) whilst Rohan Bansal beat Oleg Ivanov (Russia), Draws were gained by Theo Slade (Andreev), Alex Kitshoff and Aloysius Lip (Ivanov) and Romasn Mitra against Vlastimil Hort (Czech Republic). This was more than I could do as I lost to him in an evening event.
There were other activities which, although mostly for younger players, our lads entered in to the spirit of things and took part. We then watched the local talent show which did, perhaps, have too much audio this year. In the past it has been very visual. In the evening Victor and Glynis ran a consultation event whilst I took part in a simul and social event at the National House. Surprisingly we were at the National House by 0845. There were two rounds and these could prove vital for potential prize winners. We were very proud of the effort put in by the group and this was reflected in a good all round performance. The results are shown below but for the first time for many years we are in with a chance of first prize in three sections (the girls prizes at U12 are separate). Obviously this depends on some good results tomorrow but the players are certainly “up for it”. In the evening we played Millionaire but did not have time for the tie break. The winners will be announced tomorrow. One winner from yesterday was Simon Leung who won a draw for a football.
Monday 9th April We were at the National House for 0745!! And for the final round we had 4 players on stage and 14 flags which is a record. We gained all our targets and, when the dust had settled we had three prize winners; Andrew Horton 3rd U15s, Eva Ressel 3rd in U 12 girls and Theo Slade 4th in U12s. There were only 5 prizes this year (less sponsorship) so we missed out on one more. After the prize giving we had the play off of millionaire and this was won by Theo and Harry.
We then moved to the Town Square where we had our Town Trail. This was won by Aloysius and Leo with a really good score of 17. Then it was on to the bowling where, again, a good time was had by all. The winners here were Toby Harris (older) and Harry Grieve (U12s). We then returned to the hotel where packing loomed and we spent the evening on that chore. On the final day we caught the 0827 train to Ostrava and, tired nit happy, retraced our steps back to England.
Beskydy Tournament:- Matthew Payne 5
Under 15s:- Rohan Bansal 4, Paul Calderon 4.5, Alexei Davis 5.5, Kumar Dixit 4.5, Toby Harris 3, Andrew Horton 6, Shyam Kalairajah 5, Alex Kitshoff 2.5, Simon Leung 3.5, Roman Mitra 5.5, Pavan Murali 4, Leo Tsoi 5
Under 12s:- Harry Grieve 5, Jake Liang 5.5, Aloysius Lip 6, Eva Ressel 5, Theo Slade 6, Brian Tarhon 5.5, Aditya Yanamandra 3.5
Players – Rohan Bansal, Paul Calderon, Alexei Davis, Kumar Dixit, Harry Grieve, Toby Harris, Andrew Horton, Shyam Kalairajah, Alex Kitshoff, Simon Leung, Jake Liang, Aloysius Lip, Roman Mitra, Pavan Murali, Matthew Payne, Eva Ressel, Theodore Slade, Brian Tarhon, Leo Tsoi, Aditya Yanamandra
Coaches – Victor Cross, Glynis Purland, Peter Purland