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