Thursday, 25 April 2019

Medals Galore! - Day 9 at the World Seniors

And one of them is even coming home to Kenilworth! Regrettably not with me; and regrettably not from FIDE, but you can't have everything. But Andy did indeed win a gold medal through his sterling contribution to the England 3 team, who annexed the Stewart Reuben created prize for the British Isles team finishing the most places above its seeding position. And if you don't believe me...…

Andy (left) looking rather sheepish as Stewart Reuben tells the mystified audience that he has won his own competition!

Triumph! The England 3 65+ team out-perform 11 others to win a very small cup. (Andy's Gold Medal probably available for viewing by prior arrangement and subject to security checks.)
Apologies for the rather poor quality of the photos of this momentous event but (a) I have a very cheap phone and (b) I was a long way from the stage!

Andy's team secured this esoteric cup by winning their final match 3-1 against Wales, with yet another excellent win for Andy over ex-Welsh champion, FM Iolo Jones (who I should have beaten earlier in the event).

Neither I nor my team could manage a final round victory, but I and we did the next best thing by drawing against number 9 seeds Austria, who out-graded us on every board - just the 230 in my case! - and who had beaten England 1 a few rounds before. I drew against FM Adolf Herzog. He started with a blitzkrieg attack that suggested he was going for total war and not intending to take any prisoners. However, I successfully withstood the onslaught and then threatened to open up a second front. However, I then switched back to the kingside for a final push for victory, but Black took advantage of my extreme time shortage to construct a bunker-like defence which I could not invade. Still, I was happy with my 2199 TPR and a 15 point rating gain.

But all this is by way of a prelude to the main news of the day, which was the silver medals won by the England 1 team - in the real competition, not a Mickey Mouse Cup. A 3-1 triumph in the last round over the all-IM team of St Petersburg put them just one point behind perennial winners Russia, and ahead of France and Israel on tie break.

The silver medal winning England team - (l to r) Dignitary; IM Robert Bellin; IM Nigel Povah (captain); Ian Snape; and FM Tony Stebbings (Board 5 John Quinn absent)
That's quite enough for today, but when I am back home tomorrow (or soon after) I will provide a wrap-up of other news. And I have plenty of photos left! Like this one, which is specially provided for our Classicist/Greek Specialist, Mike Donnelly.

The acropolis at Rhodes - not quite up to Athens standards! Still, it will be nice when it's finished!

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