Welsh Chess Union

European Team Championships 2009

The official website for chess in Wales

 

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This event was held in Sad Novi in Serbia this year.  There were 38 teams in the Open section and Wales was ranked 35th seed.  Wales were unable to field a ladies team.

The Welsh team were Richard Jones, Ioan Rees, Richard Dineley , Tim Kett  and Alan Bennett.

Their captain was Glyn Sinnett.  

 

Thursday, 22 October 2009

 

Round 1  Wales v Netherlands (15th seeds)


Bd 1. FM Richard Jones (2321) - GM Jan Smeets (2642)        0-1
Bd 2. FM Ioan Rees (2336)     - GM Daniel Stellwagen (2630) 0-1
Bd 3. Richard Dineley (2270)  - GM Erwin L'ami (2606)       0-1
Bd 4. Tim Kett (2238)         - GM Jan Werle (2563)         0-1

 

Games here    

 

Richard J explored the Ruy Lopez and looked fine from the opening, but missed a tactic on the c2 square, which lost a piece.

 

Ioan tried the French Rubensein, and his position quickly went downhill, finishing with Nxf7 !

 

Richard D played the Breyer system of the Ruy Lopez, and was fine until he blundered the exchange to a simple tactic.

 

Tim played the QGD Tartakower, but was outplayed in the Q and R ending, dropping a rook.

 

To follow all the live games, visit www.eurons2009.com

Have managed to find a good connection in the hotel, and will give updates round by round - providing my bout of flu doesn't put me totally out of action. Today, we face stronger opposition - 4th seeded Bulgaria, who yesterday surprising lost to Italy.

My bout of flu has confined me to bed, so Tim has stepped in for the day as acting captain.

 

Glyn Sinnett

Captain

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Friday, 23rd October 2009

 

Round 2  Wales v Bulgaria (4th seeds)


Bd1 FM Jones Richard S (2321) - GM Cheparinov Ivan (2667)      0-1
Bd2 FM Rees Ioan (2336)       - GM Delchev Aleksander (2635)   0-1
Bd3 Dineley Richard (2270)    - GM Iotov Valentin (2578)    1/2 - 1/2
Bd4 Bennett Alan (2108)       - GM Bojkov Dejan (2528)         1-0

 

Games

 

Welsh team on left, nearest is Richard J, Ioan, Richard D & Alan

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Saturday, 24th October 2009

 

Round 3  Luxembourg (36th seed) v  Wales


Bd1. IM Berend Fred (2371)   - FM Jones Richard(2321)   1-0
Bd2. Jeitz Christian(2253)   - FM Rees Ioan (2336)     1/2-1/2
Bd3. Serban Vlad(2206)       - Kett Tim (2238)         1/2-1/2

Bd4. FM Mossong Hubert(2179) - Bennett Alan (2108)      0-1

 

Games

 

A disappointing result beforehand, but towards the end of the match we were lucky to bail out with a draw.

 

Glyn Sinnett

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Sunday 25th October 2009

 

Round 4  Wales  v Slovenia (16th seed)

Bd1. Ioan Rees (2336)       - GM Alexander Beliavsky (2656) 0-1
Bd2. Richard Dineley (2270) - GM Luka Lenic (2575)          0-1
Bd3. Tim Kett (2238)        - GM Jure Borisek (2575)        0-1
Bd4. Alan Bennett (2108)    - IM Matej Sebenik (2489)       0-1

 

Games

 

Ioan Rees on top board today
 

We got the dreaded upfloat !! to meet the 16th seeded Slovenians - only Ioan looked comfortable, until he went astray before the time control.

Tomorrow in rd5 - we meet our Celtic counterparts, Scotland, who are stopping in the same hotel !!

 

Glyn Sinnett

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Monday 26th October 2009

 

Round 5  Scotland v Wales
 

Bd1. FM Graham Morrison (2353) -  FM Richard Jones (2321)    0-1
Bd2. IM Andrew Muir (2327)     -  FM Ioan Rees (2336)     1/2 - 1/2
Bd3. Alan Tate (2175)          -  Richard Dineley (2270)  1/2 - 1/2
Bd4. James Stevenson (2089)    -  Tim Kett (2238)         1/2 - 1/2

 

Games

 

 Bd1. Graham Morrison v Richard Jones

 

Report from Tim Kett

 

We celebrated long into the night last night toasting the two Richards who had brought us victory over our biggest rivals here in Serbia.

 

Richard J always looked confident after Morrison's somewhat bizarre Kg1-g2-g3 manoeuvre in the Kings Indian (cue lots of jokes in the bar about former Scottish Kings leading their troops into battle). He kept some tension on both sides of the board and used the Q-side distraction to break through with doubled rooks on f3. Hopefully this will get his head back together for the rest of the tournament after the unfortunate loss of his computer to a spilt bottle of beer a couple of days ago.

 

Ioan's game was, as usual, full of some heavyweight modern theory as he grabbed a pawn but then had to avoid a perpetual attack on his queen. Unfortunately Mr Muir was up to the task though.

 

My game was also a short draw after my early attacking intent with g4-g5 started to look like fizzling out into what could have been a worse ending. Very wimpy though - I promise a bit more action in the last few rounds !

 

But that all set the stage for the heroic rearguard action of the tournament so far as Richard D battled away for 87 moves to save a slightly worse endgame against a tenacious and determined opponent. Just when all finally seemed completely lost he conjured a miraculous stalemate with just K&P vs K,B&P. This was in fact the last game of the whole round to finish so there were quite a few spectators crowded round. The gasps of admiration and chattered explanation from many other (non-Welsh) chess fans were clearly audible as everyone gradually realised what was going on.

 

Tim Kett

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Tuesday 27th October 2009

 

Round 6   Wales v Montenegro (26th seed)

 

Bd 1. FM Richard Jones (2321) - GM Nikola Djukic (2503)    1-0     

Bd 2. Richard Dineley (2270)  - GM Milan Drasko (2527)     0-1

Bd 3. Tim Kett (2238)         - GM Dragan Kosic (2495)   1/2-1/2

Bd 4. Alan Bennett (2108)     - IM Blazo Kakezic (2459)  1/2-1/2

 

Games

 

Report from Tim Kett

 

Following yesterdays tense and not entirely convincing win over Scotland, a really well-deserved good result for the boys today.

Outgraded by around 200 points a board we held Montenegro to a draw with a comprehensive win for Richard J on board 1 on the White side of a Taimanov Sicilian and two lots of stubborn resistance lower down.

Richard J's really got going now with two good wins in a row and hopefully he can build on this and produce some more fireworks in the closing stages.

Richard D got slowly ground down by some really consummate positional technique, after his long struggle yesterday it was the last thing he needed to face such an examination.

On the bottom two boards it wasn't pretty and there wasn't much get excited about apart from the results but Alan and I hung in there for dour draws in contrasting styles.

I enhanced my reputation for mastery of rook & pawn endings (!) by eventually forcing a slightly worse one down to K v K while Alan successfully blockaded his opponents Bishop pair with his own more passive but defensively effective B & N. Alan's tournament performance continues to hover around the 2500 mark ...

sensational - and just a pity he can't now play enough games to qualify for a norm !

 

Tim Kett

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Wednesday 28th October 2009

 

Round 7   Former Yug Rep of Macedonia (27th seed) v Wales

 

Bd 1. GM Georgiev Vladimir (2537) -  FM Jones Richard (2321)  1-0

Bd 2. GM Mitkov Nikola (2525)     -  FM Rees Ioan (2336)      1-0

Bd 3. GM Nedev Trajko (2511)      -  Kett Tim (2238)        1/2-1/2

Bd 4. IM Pancevski Filip (2432)   -  Bennett Alan (2108)      1-0

 

Games

 

Report from Tim Kett

 

Richard never really got his KID going and was fairly comprehensively beaten.

Ioan had the position at move 18 on his computer in the morning. It was still fine for White at move 39 but sadly he blundered a piece on the last move of the time-control.

I had another long game, finally persuading my opponent to settle for a draw in a Q&P ending on move 67. In the time-scramble 39....e3 would have given me good winning chances but I can't claim to have considered it.

Alan had his first bad game of the tournament, settling too early for a worse ending and then allowing Bxc3 fatally weakening his pawns and leaving a poor B against an excellent N.

Iceland tomorrow which means that amazingly we still haven't played the bottom team, Monaco. And if our secret plan for beating Iceland comes off then we won't play them at all - which would be a huge achievement in itself.

 

Tim Kett

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Thursday 29th October 2009

 

Round 8   Iceland (33rd seed) v Wales

 

Bd1. IM Gunnarsson Jon Viktor (2462) - FM Jones Richard(2321)  0 - 1
Bd2. IM Arngrimsson Dagur (2396)     - FM Rees Ioan (2336)     0 - 1
Bd3. IM Thorfinnsson Bjorn (2395)    - Dineley Richard (2270)  ½ - ½

Bd4. IM Thorfinnsson Bragi (2360)    - Bennett Alan (2108)     ½ - ½

 

Games

 

 

Report from Tim Kett
Never mind "getting warmed up" today Wales were seriously hot ! Just got back from caning Iceland 3-1 and they were lucky to get 1 !!

Richard J's opponent reacted fairly passively to the KID and so our man just took over the initiative and advanced his K-side pawns. The Icelander panicked and tried to stop the flow by sac'ing a piece. He might have thought this would mean he would be attacking from now but Richard just kept on coming at him and smashed through on the K-side.

Ioan just played a beautifully controlled positional win on the White side of a Slav. Confidently rejecting the IM's early draw offer he pressed forward slowly but surely in the centre slowly squeezing the life out of Black's position. An exchange sac brought some temporary activity but not for long as Ioan just got his rooks coordinating neatly for a mating finish.

Richard D had a short but interesting game where White thought for ages in the opening about "winning" a pawn Richard was always happy to gambit. As soon as he got it though, rather than try to consolidate he launched an immediate attack on Richards king, leaving his own exposed to an easy perpetual in return. Richard should really have played on for a winning ending but with everything else going so well was happy to play it safe.

So thats the match won already, now for a bonus could Alan continue his fairytale and even go for an IM Norm ? Well, it didn't start too well and with a serious misjudgement (Bxb5 ?) his king was soon on the run. What followed though was a cool (if comical) escape from having castled queenside all the way back to a totally normal looking position on g1 !! After that he was at least equal but then tried a faulty combination (with the same errant Bishop ! - Bxf7+ ??) and should have been lost but in the time scramble he kept his cool and his opponent fell for one more trick allowing perpetual check. What a game ! I think he's still shaking now ....

So here we are on 6 points (or 3 out of 8 in old money). Its already Wales's best ever performace by a distance at the European Championship and (1) with a round to spare and (2) without having played the bottom seeded team (Monaco). The mood in the camp is ecstatic of course and we'll up for even more tomorrow.

Tim Kett

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Friday 30th October 2009

 

Round 9 - Wales v Belgium (34th seed)

 

1. FM Jones Richard 2321   -  FM Hautot Stephane 2420       0-1

2. FM Rees Ioan 2336       -  IM Saiboulatov Daniyal 2395   0-1

3. Dineley Richard 2270    -  FM Docx Stefan 2384           0-1

4. Bennett Alan 2108       -  IM Polaczek Richard 2381        0-1

 

Games

 

 

Final Report from Tim Kett

 

You're gonna look at the score and think we got mashed up by a superior team today and you'd just be so..... wrong. We had 4 perefectly good positions and just blundered them all away.

 

Richard J played a brilliant Welsh Attack against the Najdorf, sac'ed on e6 and was almost home and dry before missing one tactic and the Belgian scrambled away with his extra material.

 

Ioan outplayed his opponent with Black, won a pawn and got to an ending which was technically difficult to win but unfortunately tried so hard that when things went slightly wrong he lost the plot and failed to even draw it.

Richard D also reached an ending with a material advantage (2R's & 4 vs R, B & 5) before falling for the most transparent cheapo imaginable

 

Alan I suppose, was only better on the computer as his opponent made a speculative exchange sac to generate play in an other evenish position. Unfortunately the rapid change of scene succeeded psychologically straightaway as Alan transposed two moves and left his queen en prise.

 

What an utter disaster, and a really sad end to what has been an excellent campaign. Still, I'm determined to end on a positive note .... we would have played Monaco in the next round of course, so that would've been 4/10 .... plus we should've won this match so .... when I get back and people say how did you do I 'm gonna casually say "oh, about halfway". Two more years of hard work and that's where we'll be next time.

 

Final, final note: the finish of the whole tournament was very dramatic as the whole thing came down to Gashimov (Azerbaijan) needing to beat Stellwagen (Netherlands) to win their match and finish just ahead of Russia. By move 70 it had come down to R+P vs R+P with both players at 30 seconds per move to finish the game. It should have been drawn but the Dutchman finally cracked and within seconds of his resignation the Azeri was literally at the bottom of a football-style celebration as his team-mates, managers and national officials swamped the board hugging and kissing him and eachother. Can't quite make my mind up whether I like such unrestrained emotion in chess or not - but to have that passion for chess in Wales might not be a bad thing !

 

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European Team Championships 2009 Blog

 

Official Site

 

Final standings at the end of the tournament


Open Section
1st Azerbaijan
2nd Russia
3rd Ukraine


Women's Section
1st Russia
2nd Georgia
3rd Ukraine

Wales were ranked 35th team and finished 35th