Browse the Site
01/07/22 - 03/07/22 (3 day event)
02/07/22 - 10/07/22 (9 day event)
10/07/22 (1 day event)
15/07/22 - 17/07/22 (3 day event)
31/07/22 (1 day event)
01/07/22 - 02/07/22 (2 day event)
18/07/22 - 21/07/22 (4 day event)
11/09/22 (1 day event)
World Senior Team 2022
WSTCC Scotland Round Reports
The World Senior Team Championship takes place in Acqui Terme, Italy 19-30, June 2022.
Our Polish opponents, seeded a lowly 20th from 23 teams, were riding high in 9th spot, so we knew we were in for a tough battle. I managed another win, though there were a few scary moments, while Jim couldn’t quite find a way through and drew.
That left Neil in a “playing for two results” rook and pawn endgame, and Alan a pawn down but with a seemingly unassailable position.
Alan’s opponent had to push for the win and may even have come close to overdoing it, though Alan (correctly, see round 3 for what can go wrong!) took the draw and the match win rather than taking chances.
Neil’s opponent defended stubbornly, but when you get down close to the increment after 5 hours play, strange things often happen. One false move and Neil’s pawn breakthrough worked and that was that – a 3-1 victory!
To show how narrow the field is, our opponents (who still had more game points than us) now get the bye while we get catapulted to board 4 against the all-GM Iceland team!
Our tour of fellow Celtic nations continued in round 6 with a match-up against Wales Silures and the by now traditional battle of needing to put some points on the board to ensure we didn’t hit the “bye” zone!
I managed to win reasonably convincingly with a nice bit of calculation and an amusing mating net, but Neil came unstuck against a very dangerous opponent.
With Alan drawing, it all came down to David’s game on board 4. Unfortunately, disaster (of sorts) struck when after doing all the hard work he fell for a cheapo that forced the draw, tying the match too.
The Still Active NL team from Netherlands sit across from us at breakfast, lunch and dinner every day, so our typical team discussion before the games had to be put on hold – Alan Scrimgour was quick to silence the loose lips among us who had forgotten about our culinary neighbours eavesdropping abilities!
It was Alan’s turn to sit out, and after both myself and David had turned in short and uneventful draws, it was left to Neil and Jim to do the hard work.
Unfortunately for us, Jim’s opponent played an excellent game and determined defence couldn’t hold, while Neil went astray in a wonderfully complex tactical position, although it did lead to an enjoyable group analysis session with the opposition afterwards.
Facing Ireland in what was possibly a must-win match to avoid the “bye” region of the tournament, we were met with a shock on arrival at the venue with news that their board 3 had come down with Covid.
What that meant for the rest of the team was unclear, but with no specific covid regulations in place (no masks, no testing, etc) basically an “honour” system” is in operation. There has been little in the way of hacking coughs and runny noses doing the rounds but who knows what the rest of the event will bring.
Anyway, a point up, we added to that with solid draws from Alan and David, leaving Neil to bring home the match against legendary Russian-born, Irish GM Alexander Baburin. That he did with an excellently played game and a timely draw offer from a position of strength.
On paper we should have won quite handily against Wales Cymru, one of two teams representing our southern Celtic cousins in the 50+ section. Of course, in reality things are often quite different and a 2-2 draw was a fair result given what happened on the boards.
Both David and Jim took draws while Alan played an excellent game (which will be annotated for the August issue of Scottish Chess magazine).
That left yours truly to seal match victory by simply shuffling the pieces around in a bishop ending, but I committed the cardinal sin of playing for 2 results while failing to appreciate a third result was also possible. My opponent grabbed his chance and suddenly we had only drawn the match. My bad, and time to sit out and contemplate my own idiocy the following day!
A tough match against a strong Hungary team and a disappointing though far from crushing 4-0 defeat, with Neil playing a mostly excellent game, but succumbing to relentless clock pressure from his GM opponent.
The rest of us failed to navigate the critical moment in our respective games and failed to recover from what was basically one mistake each. The Hungarians were very impressive in their approach, definitely something we can learn from.
Round 3 today sees us up against Wales Cymru, one of two Welsh sides in our section, while England 1 – featuring Mickey Adams and Nigel Short – take on Iceland 1.
Scotland got off to a winning start in the World Senior team Championships in Acqui Terme with a 3-1 opening victory over local team Italia Acqua Terme.
Though heavy rating favourites, we met with stiff and dogged resistance, having to eventually concede two draws but fine wins by Alan Scrimgour and Jim Stevenson carrying the day.
With live boards only covering the top two matches in each section, it’s going to be tough to bring you highlights of the action, but check out the links below for more details.
Andrew Burnett (C)