European Senior Team Championship 2013


July 20th-28th


15th European Senior Team Championship being held in Dresden   Official Website  

Wales finish 40th 



Round 9 : 

Brandenburg   2 ½ - 1 ½   Wales
Wuttke, Hans   ½ - ½   Jones, Iolo C
Walter, Günter    1-0    Miles, Richard
Grottke, Hans-Joachim, Dr.   ½ - ½   Van Kemenade, Rudy
Urban, Hans-Rainer   ½ - ½   Waterfield, John W


Final reports from Rudy van Kemenade 


It has been extremely hot ,with temperatures close to the 40 degree mark. Hotel is air conditioned, but it still keeps being hot.


We faced a strong Brandenburg side, who earlier had been playing around in the top matches.
Iolo defended with a Tarrasch setup against a Catalan, came under pressure but survived into early equality,and a draw inevitable.
Rudy played an archaic pawn sacrifice in the Petroff (not to Iolo's taste), which gained an awful amount of time. Missing a more incisive line, Bl went an exchange down, but with the Wh pawn structure in a mess, opposite colour Bs, and a N dancing in & out, Wh decided to return the exchane just to get rid of it. The R & opp B position was soon accepted as drawn.
John W vigorously attacked in a 4 Ns, dropped an f2 pawn to his higher graded opponent, but again the presence of opposite Bs lead to the draw.
Richard, in the meantime, had achieved a promising position against an Old Indian,but then closed off the Q side. Missing opening the K side with an h4, he gave the Bl pieces too much space, and Bl won a piece. However Wh had counterplay so the piece was returned, when Richard missed the most precise way to continue. Hence no draw, and a narrow loss.
At no 40, just below our 36, but match points were equal to some of those above us. The team faced White Russia(Belarus) who finished second, the Deutschland Frauen, 2nd in the women's teams, and Italy who came 4th.
England 1  10th 12 match points
England2   32nd  9
Wales        40th  9
England 3   50th  8
Scotland     53rd  7
Iolo  + 5 -3      2288 rating
JohnT  2-5       1986
Richard 2-5      1896
Rudy     4-3      2159
John W  5-2      2114



Round 8 : Wales (36) v Scotland  (43)


Wales 2½ - 1½   Scotland
Jones,Iolo C ½ - ½   Giulian,Philip M
Thornton,John D ½ - ½        Bhopal,Raj
Miles,Richard ½ - ½   Marks,Ian A
Van Kemenade,Rudy 1 - 0   Dawson,Alastair


Celtic encounter


The team discovered yesterday that they share a name in common. We have the two Johns, then Richard's second name is John, Rudy's 3rd name is equivalent to John;while Iolo's last is son of John. 


Onto the Scottish encounter. When Iolo &Philip Giulian last played it was in the Novi Sad Olympiad of 1978. (Stangely enough the databases also contain a game played by a Brian Jones with identical moves to those played by Iolo.) That encounter was from a Q's Gambit, this one from a QP game- both rapidly landed up in a drawn position.


Richard faced a modern type Queens Indian with an early Ba6. Despite getting some space advantage and pressure against a d6 pawn, piece exchanges left little to play for, and Richard offered the draw, seeing that Rudy was about to win.


In that game an English opening where Adrian Dawson misplaced some pieces on the K side, so offered a Q side pawn for some activity there. Bl countered with a central push, and was able to beat back an attempt at a sudden K side ambush ( though Bl might have played a more accurate move order). As it was Bl went heavily ahead on material, and the counter attack was shown to be an illusion.


That left John T desperately clinging on for a draw to save the match against Raj Bhopal, who years ago was for a short time a member of the Abergavenny club.


John had the same position on the board as Giulian after Wh's 3rd move, but chose instead to go in for a Dutch Stonewall. Then  Bl missed a N g5 move threatening to remove the vital e6 pawn, so John gave up an exchange instead.


Wh must have missed several opportunities to activate his Rs, thus allowing John ,despite a B hemmed in on the wh squares by its 7 pawns, to keep them out. Although Wh sacrificed a couple of pawns, neither side were able to make any further progress, so a draw.


And another Wales win.



Round 7:  FB Niedersachsen (49) v Wales (36)


FB Niedersachsen  1-3   Wales 
 Niebuhr,Gerd 0-1    Jones,Iolo C
 Jürgens,Peter ½ - ½    Thornton,John D
 Hellwege,Werner ½ - ½    Miles,Richard
 Fritsch,Jürgen,Dr.  0-1       Waterfield,John W


Since Rudy has a day off, he will be giving John T's sectional report a try.


3 times lucky ?


This will now be the 3rd consecutive year that Wales plays FreiBaueren Niedersachsen. The last is clearly Lower Saxony, where they are based.


The other part of the name can be translated as either Free Peasants or Farmers, but also as Passed Pawns. 


After 3/4 of an hour play, it looks quite promising.


Iolo played the Bogoindian Bb4, and swapped Bs, now has a range of central options with pawns on e6,d6 &c6.


John T has play against a backward e pawn arising from his opponents French Winawer. 


Richard's play is the more intriguing. A Kings Indian with Wh playing an early Be3, allowed the start of a circular N's tour by Richard, Ng4-h6-f7-h8, clearly aiming for g6 & f4. Wh does have some counterplay on the wh squares. 


John W got a comfortable edge against the Prussian 3 Ns line (1.e4,e5 2.Nf3,Nc6 3.Nc3, Bc5 when after 4.Nxe5 Bl ventured Bxf2 ch. Wh now has a centre,&  pressure on the f file where Bl will be left with doubled f pawns shortly.
3 times, next stage
Its all happening very fast. After a futher hour...
And John W has won quickly in 18 moves. The lost pawn on f6 made Bl eager to reclaim it with a Nxd4, but after Bxd4 Bl could not retake with the Q because of Bxh7ch winning her.So with a piece down & weakened K side ,1-0.
John T tried to activate a B onto the e5 squarewith Bh4-g3, but Bl had Nf5 in first. So after Bg5 return they settled for a GM style draw.
Iolo chose a e5 setup, inflicted doubled f pawns, and put a N into f4. Wh has a Bon c4, an advanced pawn on d6, but that looks lost to me with both sides having a R. 
Richard's N  returned to f7 eventually , thus never got to f4;where Richard decided instead to sacrifice an exchange for unclear play. Not to sure about his prospects, though he is also likely to gain the Wh P stranded on d6.
Stage 3
We have a result. Iolo forced a swap of b pawns, after which the outside c pawn was unstoppable, except at a cost.
This left Richard battling on. He had good compensation for the exchange, but it finally got down to R vs N on move 64. Teetering the edge of the board, the faithful Bl N worked heroically for almost another 30 moves, to defend its K, and held the draw.
3-1 to Wales. 



Round 6:  Wales (36)  v Deutschland Frauebn (47)


Wales 1½ - 2½   Deutschland Frauen
Jones,Iolo C 1-0   Beltz, Martina
Thornton,John D 0-1   Burchardt,Brigitte
Van Kemenade,Rudy 0-1    Jeske, Kirsten
Waterfield,John W ½ - ½   Nobis,Martina


The one that got away.


First to finish again was Rudy,who had built up  a strong attack on the g file against Kirsten's King's Indian. However Wh could have played an early a3 preventing an isolated Bl pawn from going there. Then, just as Wh tried to win by winning a pinned N, a switch to threaten a  the back rank  mate meant that Wh had to give up his Q for R & N, and, like yesterday's game, the Q soon triumphed.


Thus Bl got a double gift, as yesterday she became a grandmother.


(It took the team quite a while to find out where there was a sequence that won for Wh instead)


John T faced on bd 2, their highest graded player (2200). Playing his favourite French , the Bl pieces somehow never got quite enough activity.An early h6 had weaked g6, and Wh lined up with Q & B along the diagonal. An attempt at covering this with Ne4 walked into a powerful exchange sacrifice. The game ended quickly when a d5 pawn move opened up lines to g7 for the other B.


 Iolo won in his usual endgame style. Getting  Bl into a Pirc position from the initial d4,Nf6, he opened the d file, got a N to d6 to gain the pair of B's, kept Bl occupied with R s threatening to penetrate, kept a B aiming at f7, and finally forced  a passed a pawn, whose march up to the queening square could not be prevented.


John W was this time the last to finish. Playing a g6 Sicilian, he allowed the Maroczy Bind , but got strong counterplay on the Bl squares. Eventually tactics won him  an exchange for B & p. However, the B was able to protect a vital pawn on b3, and despite John trying his best to double Rs on the 7th, her R was able to keep checking the K ,to force a draw by repetition.


So in the end a 1.5 to 2.5 loss.



Round 5:   Norway  2  (50)  v  Wales  (36)


Norway 2     Wales
Taksrud, Vidar 1 - 0     Thornton, John D
Sollid, Stone ½ - ½   Miles, Richard
Johnsen, Oystein 0 - 1   Van Kemenade, Rudy
Theting, Helge E 0 - 1   Waterfield, John W


Wales won their first match, and go on to play Deutschland Frauen next. 


First off the mark was John W. Wh against a Modern set up, its likely that Bl mixed up two systems-playing an early N b6 with a6 rather than a c6. As it was John avoided 0-0-0 and pushed with e5 in the centre. An attempt at Q side play by Bl proved a disaster because of Wh coming in to the Wh squares &winning the Q because of Bl's underdevelopment. It was all over in 18 moves. 


Rudy's game lasted a bit longer, 25 moves; and also because his opponent, Oystein Johnsen, got down to his fial minute (against Rudy's customary 1 hour & 18 mins left).In a complex King's Indian, Wh seemed to eager to attack, rather than safeguard his position with a preliminary Kb1. Rudy won a pawn,returned it to get R on a1 & Q on a2,and by then there were suddenly too many Bl pieces aimed at the Wh K. 


Richard got a good central grip against Stein Sollid's Q's Indian, allowed a passed pawn on c4 (blockadable) in order to fish for K side attacking chances with a pawn advance on the K side, or maybe even an attack down the a file. Except that his opponent kept things solid, and actually both sides almost simultaneously offered the draw.This ensured a match win for Wales. 


Because John T's position ,if anything, looked superior for him. Since his opponent appeared to play almost any kind of opening, what resulted was a Tarrasch Defence to the Q's gambit. John obtained a passed p on d4, which needed a Q to restrain it. As Bl built  up gradually for an overwhelming K side advance, Wh turned it into a tactical confusion. There may well have possibilities for John that an hour or so of complex analysis afterwards failed to uncover.Short of time John won an exchange, but it seemed to leave his Rs passive,and shortly afterwards he got mated. It took a while to establish that a seemingly better R move to cover the K would also have lost. As so often, being better most of the game is no guarantee of final victory.



Round 4:   BSW/DBAG 3, Germany (53) v Wales (36)  


Wales 2 - 2    BSW/DBAG 3
Jones, Iolo C ½ - ½    Welz, Peter
Miles, Richard 0-1    Strauss, Peter
Van Kemenade, Rudy 1-0    Fitzke, Ulrich
Waterfield, John W ½ - ½    Kaiser, Horst


team  Iolo, Richard, Rudy, John


Guest writer John Thornton: 


Quite a relief for me - for the first time for several days, I can actually get up at 9am, Iolo having given me the day off while everyone else is playing against BSW/DBAG3 seeded a bit below us at 53 and one of 5 teams representing German railways.


I get down in time for the 9:30 start and take a few photos – and then enjoy an unhurried breakfast. 


By the time I get back:  Iolo despite being White seems to have rather less space than his FM opponent who has played a Classical Dutch.  The opponent on board 2 seems to have tried to repeat the opening from Richard’s Rd 1 loss, but Richard looks to have reached a position I think he will be a bit happier with. Rudy has got a Bb5 Sicilian which looks OK and John W has some form of a Sicilian Accelerated Fianchetto.


I had intended spending the day investigating some of Dresden’s treasures, but the heatwave puts me off for now, and after processing the photos, and settling my hotel bill, I get back to find things going quite well.  Iolo is by now a P up in a R and P ending; Richard a P down around move 20 for what looks like a lot of compensation – I marginally prefer his opponent who turns down a draw offer; by contrast, Rudy typically is well past the first time control by now and has Q for R and N with some extra Ps as well – fingers crossed that should be 1-0; JW is well into an approximately level middlegame with just Q and minor pieces.


My attention is attracted to other matches where this round England 1 and 2 have had the misfortune to be paired together.  After slugging it out very competitively, it is England 2 who prevail, 2½ - 1½.  A similar same country pairing in the top match has seeds 2 and 5 Russia and St Petersburg playing each other.  For those old enough to remember the strong players of yesteryear Vasiukov is playing Faibisovic on top board, and Vasiukov finishes nicely for Russia to come out on top 3-1.


Meanwhile, in our match John W finishes first.  A neat tactic switches the advantage from John to his opponent and John offers a draw before his opponent has time to realise this.  Rudy completes the expected win bemoaning that winning the Q has prolonged the game considerably.  Richard’s position backfires tactically on him and his worry in post-game analysis is that he hasn’t yet found a good way to play against the White system which has scored 2-0 against him.  Iolo can’t make the extra P count and his game is eventually drawn.  So we arguably had the better of a final 2-2 score.


For the others it’s an afternoon into the Saxon countryside, while I contemplate playing on board 1 tomorrow.


iolo     richard     rudy     johnw
Iolo - Board 1   Richard - Board 2   Rudy - Board 3   John W - Board 4


The Saxon Switzerland (Supplement by Rudy) 


A trip out into the hills was on offer as a tour from the hotel, and almost all the team, with Lizzie who has accompanied John W on this tournament.


The bus trip took an hour to get there passing some very interesting villages, including the fortress of Konigstein, crossing briefly into the Czech Republic, the old Bohemia area. Right on top of 600 metres up, a lovely breeze amonst the thick forests. At one part of the descent the views are reminiscent of Devil's Bridge near Aberystwyth, but then the surrounding rock formations are fantastic.Then there have gradually been bridges and pathways built,so one can look down from the highest lookout post at the Elbe river winding its way some 2-300 metres directly below.And in the distance see some of the villages we passed through to get there.


There was time for Beer & Ice Cream before headed back a different route, going past the large domains with their extensive vineyards that lie on the east of Dresden close to the Elbe. The Guide managed to continue most of the time with information about the area and its past in German & English, with occassional forays into Russian.


A most interesting visit, well worth looking up on the internet.



Round 3: Wales v Stortebeker, Germany


Wales 3½ - ½    Stortebeker
Jones, Iolo C 1 - 0    Schneider, Miloca
Thornton, John D 1 - 0    Johannsen, Ingbert
Miles, Richard
½ - ½    Mewes, Hans-Dieter
Waterfield, John W ½ - ½    Buck, Klaus-Michael


The Expected and the Unexpected


The Italians hoped to continue their UK tour and did so. Playing Scotland in Rd1, Wales in Rd2, they then got England 1 in Rd3. (and managed to win that encounter).

Wales expected to win in their first match against a lower graded team (Stoertebeker from Germany, no 62 ) and did so. 3.5-0.5.


The unexpected was that Iolo was the first to clock up a win, and that also in 25 moves! (Iolo confirms this a rare occurrence on both counts).From a Catalan, Iolo got a space advantage, and seized his chance with a Ng5 mate threat that won Miloca Schneider's d pawn. The extra  pawn advanced ,creating confusion amongst her pieces,and a final pin on the e file won Iolo a piece for no compensation.


Next win was from John W on bd4. Facing a Orang-Utang Opening by Klaus-Michel Buck, the solid King's Indian set up allowed Bl to expand in the centre. The decisive moment came when John played his Q to h4,as if focussed on a K side attack, however the real intent was to remove an a4 pawn,with a b5 pawn next. After a bit more play,John forced the exchange of Qs, leaving Bl two connected passed pawns up on the Q side.


John T employed his favourite French defence to which Ingbert Johannsen replied with the drawish Exchange variation. Except that the Wh pieces somehow failed to reach active squares,while the Bl pieces were far more flexible.An incautious
Re1 to contest the only open file, then allowed John to win an exchange with a Nf4ch discovery. Swapping Qs, gaining an extra pawn on the Q side and pushing a b pawn to coronation were then all part of an almost inevitable process (although Wh very nearly got his N trapped as well). 
Richard obtained a promising Q's Gambit Exchange line against Hans-Dieter Mewes, with Ks castled on opposite sides. Wh tried to open up the K side quickly, but Bl kept on exchange off pieces, and threatened to cone down a now open e file ,which lead to the exchange of all the heavy artillery. Richard tried with a belated minority attack on the Q side to create some chances, but with just a N each in support of the Ks there was no way for Richard to get in amongst the remaining Bl pawns.So drawn.
All team members headed for Dresden town centre, John W in search of a computer lead, the rest possibly for beer. But we settled in the end for a view of the Frauen Kirche, recently rebuilt after the Second World War, a promenade walk overlooking the Elbe, and contented with several helpings of ice cream. 



Round 2:  Italy (8)   v   Wales (36)


Italy 3-1   Wales
Tatai, Stefano 1-0   Jones, Iolo C
Mariotti, Sergio 1-0   Thornton, John D
Micheli, Carlo ½ - ½   Van Kemenade, Rudy
Valenti, Giuseppe ½ - ½   Waterfield, John W


The Italian Question


Strangely enough, the Italian team appears to have 6 players. So their numbers 2 & 3, who hadn't played yesterday against Scotland, provided a stronger team for them.

Rudy's game was first to finish, nothing unusual there. In a sharp English vs King's Indian set up,his FM opponent Carlo Micheli kept his K in the middle to probe down the KR file with an advanced pawn. Bl opened up the centre, but had to take care of his own K in the process. Then when Wh grabbed a b7 P with a N instead of 0-0. Rudy seized his chance with an exchange sacrifice to keep the Wh K pinned down in the centre. And Wh was relieved to be able to have a repetition of position available.


John T on board 2 found himself up against a GM, Sergio Mariotti, and looked fine initially against a King's Indian Yugoslav with the Bl  N on a5. Except that a3 as played to win it merely weakened his own Q side & the Bl pieces got very active,especially with a cunning Qb8-a7 sequence where she looked straight at the Wh K. Bl won a pawn, though Wh could have resisted longer with a Kh1 move. Instead an advanced e Pawn was deadly, and the GM finished off neatly with a Q sacrifice to force a winning R vs B endgame.


On board 4 John W joined the team for his first game.In a complex manoevreing c3 line of the Sicilian, John kept up the pressure against his FM opponent Giuseppe Valenti. Allowing his K side pawns to be doubled for the moment,Wh had his eye on the b7 pawn which fell victim to a B in the end. However,despite 
his best efforts, the presence of opposite colour Bs ,even with a R each, John was unable to break through, so drawn.
Iolo faced IM Stefano Tatai (higher rated even than Mariotti) and having his second Bl on the trot, wheeled out his trusty Old Indian Defence. Wh was more cautious at first than in yesterday's game of Iolo, who took the opportunity of starting a K side atack. However this lead to some exchanges, and Wh was then able to plant an annoying R on the 7th, tying down the Bl pieces in defence of the d6 pawn. Despite ingenious wriggling for some 60 moves, in the end Iolo was unable to prevent the Wh K from penetrating to win the vital pawn on g6, releasing the Wh  h pawn to march to h8.
It being hot in Dresden as well, a trio of team members wearing protective hats ventured out in search of beer, but in the end decided that Ice cream (Gelato) was more appropriate. It is worth going to Dresden for the ice cream.



Round 1:   Byelorussia (1)  v  Wales (36) 


Byelorussia 3 ½ - ½   Wales
Dydyshko, Viacheslav ½ - ½   Jones, Iolo C
Kupreichik, Victor D 1-0   Thornton, John D
Mochalov, Evgeny V. 1-0   Miles, Richard
Veremeichik, Vladimir 1-0   Van Kemenade, Rudy




Once more into Dresden for a Welsh Seniors team, this time in summer rather than the severe snows the previous time. And yet there there were still innumerable delays on the 19th of July. Rudy only just caught the connection by rail at Frankfurt, arriving 25 mins later than scheduled, arriving at th Hotel at 1/4 to 11. But the main contingent of Iolo, John Thornton & Richard had to endure a 2.5 hour wait at Bristol airport,managing the last train flrom Berlin, to get in just before midnight. Our reserve, or Erzatzspieler in German, John Waterfield, had a delayed departure due to involvement in the South Wales International, & arrived on time the next day.

Then the Captains meeting at 10, the draw delayed, came out after 1 pm, with the opening ceremony scheduled at 2-00 pm. Some lovely violin & piano accompanyment, with the national flags carried in; the Welsh dragon, last in alphabetical order,carried in by the smallest of the children.
And yes, as luck would have it we are on the top match, vs Belarus, no 36 vs no 1.
And its only then we find our opponents ,who field their strongest team against us.
Predictably,almost, Wales loses. John T had a good position against Kupreichik, tried an exchange sac, but it soon ran out of steam. Richard was uncomfortable in a Kings Indian with an early Qc2 & Rd1,and couldnt get sufficient counterplay, so decided to call it a day. Rudy had chances from a Moscow var of the Sicilian, tried to get Q side pressure, lured pieces to the K side, but the pawn sac to get play proved to be insufficient.
The great delay was Iolo's. Playing against Didyshko, the highest GM in the tournament, his doughty OLD Indian Defence ended up with him wriggling for 45 moves,before losing an outside a pawn. What followed was another 40 moves of Sitzfleich(look it up!) where Iolo. a pawn down, used all his ingenuity to hold the game, despite a promisingN sac by his opponent. Almost the last game to finish & well worth waiting for.
And tomorrow we have an upfloat to no 8, Italy. We'll wait & see what happens.