Welsh Womens Team in the World Chess Olympiad 2012

 Istanbul chess olympiad

September 9th

Final Ranking Women:  
Position    127 teams
1st Russia
2nd China
3rd Ukraine
46th England
80th Ireland
82nd Wales (starting rank 86th)
83rd Scotland

 

Welsh Women Individual Results 

 

Report from Ed Wang:

 

CLOSING COMMENTS

Overall, the Welsh Women’s team finished on 10 points with 4 wins and 2 draws and were positioned 82nd, 4 places higher than our initial seeding. Everyone was really pleased with this, though we were disappointed to be pipped in the last few rounds by the Irish! All the team played highly competitive chess and gave some of the stronger sides they played real scares. Congratulations must go to Lynda for the award of her WCM title. My general impression was a fantastic team spirit within the Women’s team, with every player supporting each other and keen to play whenever it was required of them. There was also a lot of fun as well as hard work. From my own point of view, I felt Alyssa gained a huge amount of experience on many levels, from chess related things like learning how to prepare for games at this level and a deeper understanding of chess itself, to more social aspects of letting one’s hair down in the evenings! Huge thanks to all the women in the team for being so welcoming and supportive towards Alyssa in her first Olympiad. Finally, I would also like to highlight in words Tom’s massive contribution as coach and team captain. Apart from his undoubted expertise in preparing the team for high-level chess, he has been good-humoured throughout and has found the most original ways of keeping up morale and finding carrots to inspire more effort and concentration! Those will be kept a secret unless Tom wants to reveal them himself… J. On that note, I’ll sign off from a very enjoyable fortnight in Istanbul. 

 


 

Round 11: All Pairings   Women

 

Women: 

Bo. 86   Wales (WLS) Rtg 2 - 2 74   Syria (SYR) Rtg
41.1 WFM Smith, Olivia 2022 1/2-1/2 Mir Mahmoud, Afamia 1970
41.2 WFM Blackburn, Susan 1967 1/2-1/2 Al-Jilda, Fatma 1847
41.3 Roberts, Lynda 1914 1 - 0 Farha, Doha 0
41.4 Wang, Alyssa 1541 0 - 1 Stef, Shirin 1942

 

Report from Ed Wang:

 

DAY 13

Our final round opponents were Syria, a team that had beaten us 2 years earlier at the same stage in Russia. Tom brought Alyssa back into the team for Sandra to face them. It was interesting that the Syrian team had played their board 1 and 5 throughout, just resting one of their middle boards, and the final round proved no exception – perhaps tactics are played even beyond the actual chess games! Alyssa played against the Queen’s Bishop Opening with the London System and although she faced an opponent 400 grading points higher than hers, she came out of the opening a bishop to 2 pawns up. However, Alyssa chose further material rather than blocking her opponent’s castling options, which resulted in a tough battle against an active knight and queen that eventually proved too much. Lynda opted for a Closed Sicilian against a Korchnoi Defense, then launching a powerful kingside attack that won 2 pawns. She eventually generated connected passed f and g pawns that induced a resignation. Liv played the French Variation of the Sicilian. Her opponent managed to get some momentum on the queenside winning a pawn and generating a passed c pawn. However, Liv played a precise rook and pawn endgame and the match was drawn. Suzy opted for the Horwitz Defense, pushing her f-c pawns onto the 4th rank and attacking down the queenside. However, while Suzy broke through on the a file, her opponent claimed the b file and with 2 rooks and a minor piece each, a draw was also agreed. The result was a step forward from last time, but just short of the desired win!

 

WALES 2 – SYRIA 2

liv suszy
Olivia - Bd 1 Suzy - Bd 2 (from the Official site)

 


  

September 8th ~ Rest Day

Carpets

Carpets

Ceramics

Ceramics

Scarves

Scarves

JonScarfVendor

Jon Blackburn and the store owner

 

Report from Ed Wang:

 

DAY 12

This was the 2nd rest day, though it did feel oddly placed considering only 1 round of chess was left. While the official Turkish party had been cancelled, an unofficial Irish party did take place, but this again had minimal impact on breakfast attendance this morning. The whole Women’s team and Tim gathered at 9:30 for a trip to the Grand Bazaar. I was left a tiny bit frustrated when I boarded the tram. Istanbul is a major migration hotspot for birds of prey in August/September and having seen nothing obvious in the sky for the last 12 days, I noticed my first ‘kettle’ (birds of prey circling and rising on heat thermals). I just managed to identify one of the 7 in the kettle as a Lesser Spotted Eagle (seriously, that is its name!) before being swept away on the tram. I had to console myself with some determined haggling at the Bazaar. On arrival, Liz and Suzy were immediately accosted by a perfume-selling merchant and split off to find some scarves. Alyssa and I were aiming for trinkets as presents, while Lynda was looking for tiles. My favourite vendor quip was “cheaper than Asda!” though on a previous day, one had pointed to the floor behind Suzy and when she looked had said “It’s my broken heart!”. After a few hours, we all managed to obtain our wares before returning to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon. The rooftop pool was being cleaned, so swimmers ended up in the indoor one, while some of the men played table tennis. The evening was dedicated to preparation for the last round, which unlike all the previous ones, was going to be a morning match (to make way for the closing ceremony in the evening). Pairings had to be entered by the team captains by 8:00 pm, allowing a few hours of coaching before retiring for an early night in preparation for one last effort.

 



September 7th

 

Round 10: All Pairings   Women

 

Women:  

Bo. 41   Moldova (MDA) Rtg 4 - 0 86   Wales (WLS) Rtg
30.1 IM Petrenko, Svetlana 2199 1 - 0 WFM Smith, Olivia 2022
30.2 WFM Baciu, Diana 2186 1 - 0 WFM Blackburn, Susan 1967
30.3 WGM Smokina, Karolina 2156 1 - 0 Roberts, Lynda 1914
30.4 WGM Partac, Elena 2102 1 - 0 Blackburn, Sandra 0

 

Report from Ed Wang:

 

DAY 11

The fine win in round 9 had the usual effect on the pairing, although I was surprised to find a team as strong as Moldova (41st seeds) in amongst the teams with 9 points at this late stage in the tournament. It could be considered an unlucky draw, but it also meant Suzy was granted one of her wishes – a shot at a 2100 level opponent; the Moldovans fielded an IM, WFM and 2 WGMs with FIDE grades all between 2100 and 2200. Tom decided to rest Alyssa and bring Sandra back into the team. Again, the Welsh team fought hard, but were gradually worn down by strong opposition. Sandra played the Nimzovich Variation of the Torre Attack, losing a pawn early in the opening. Under increasing time pressure, Sandra miscalculated some attacking tactics and ended up a piece down. Lynda opted for a Dutch Defense against an English that developed into a solid even middlegame. However, her opponent gained control of the f file down which she exerted considerable pressure. Lynda defended well and repelled the initial attack, but eventually dropped her g pawn, conversion of which cost Lynda her rook. Liv described her game as a ‘slow and painful death’. Playing the Russian 3 Knights Variation of the Petroff, Liv’s match moved to an opposite-coloured bishop and rook endgame, but her opponent gradually took advantage of Liv’s isolated pawns, eventually picking them off. Suzy played the longest, starting with the Colle System and deliberately gambitting a pawn to get strong play on the queenside. Unfortunately, even though Suzy exerted a lot of pressure, her opponent defended expertly, holding the pawn advantage into a won endgame.

 

MOLDOVA 4 – WALES 0

 

Much more sobering than the result was the cancellation of the Turkish party in the evening out of respect for 25 Turkish soldiers who were killed today in an accident in Afyonkarahisar, Western Turkey. Our condolences to their families and friends.

 

Welsh Games:  ( use pull-down arrow to select player )

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September 6th

 

Round 9: All Pairings    Women

 

Livegames  -1pm GMT 

 

Women:

Bo. 88   United Arab Emirates (UAE) Rtg 1 - 3 86   Wales (WLS) Rtg
39.1 WIM Mohamed, Noura 1931 0 - 1 WFM Smith, Olivia 2022
39.2 WIM Alzarooni, Khuloud Eisa 1876 0 - 1 WFM Blackburn, Susan 1967
39.3 WFM Al-Ali, Amna Nuaman 1829 1/2-1/2 Roberts, Lynda 1914
39.4 WFM Bukhashem, Fayeqa 1762 1/2-1/2 Wang, Alyssa 1541

  

Report from Ed Wang:

 

DAY 10

We continued to be paired against the teams seeded very close to us, in this case the United Arab Emirates. Tom brought Lynda back into the team for Sandra to face UAE, who fielded 2 WIMs and 2 WFMs. Preparation was made slightly more difficult as it was quite hard to find recent games for our opponents. Suzy was the first to finish, playing a Colle System and cleverly engineering a passed d pawn on the 6th that translated to a passed c pawn on the 7th. Her opponent resigned when Suzy moved her queen to d8. Lynda opened with a Hyperaccelerated Dragon. In a big central swap-off of pieces, her opponent failed to exert pressure on a pinned bishop and the game moved to a drawn bishop and pawn endgame. Alyssa experienced her first 5+ hour match of the tournament. Playing the Zukertort Variation of the Queen’s Pawn Opening, Alyssa lost an exchange, but her opponent opted to give it back to remove an entrenched central knight. Although initially a pawn down, Alyssa played a precise rook and pawn endgame to draw the match. Liv’s game lasted even longer than Alyssa’s as she countered her opponent’s d4 opening with a King’s Indian. Liv wore down her opponent on the queenside, eventually generating connected passed c and d pawns. Queening her c pawn induced a resignation. Another great effort from the team.

 

UAE 1 – WALES 3

 

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September 5th

 

Round 8: All Pairings      Women 

 

Women:

Bo. 86   Wales (WLS) Rtg 1 - 3 90   Puerto Rico (PUR) Rtg
34.1 WFM Smith, Olivia 2022 0 - 1 WFM Vazquez Maccarini, Danitza 1916
34.2 WFM Blackburn, Susan 1967 1/2-1/2 WFM Comas Colon, Rinelly 1810
34.3 Wang, Alyssa 1541 0 - 1 WFM Alvarez, Orta Jo Ann 1753
34.4 Blackburn, Sandra 0 1/2-1/2 WFM Vega Jimenez, Keyshla 1654

 

Report from Ed Wang:

 

DAY 9

Another Central American team today, but stronger than yesterday’s – Puerto Rico. Tom decided to give Lynda a rest, so Alyssa and Sandra got the chance to play together for the first time. My attempts to watch the games, however, were scuppered again, this time because all the free Wifi connections at the EXPO centre weren’t working. Having distracted myself by chatting with the English International Director, Loz Cooper and then with very light teenage reading (“I am Number 4”) for 3 and a half hours, Alyssa emerged. Unfortunately, it was a negative highlight of how fine the line is between winning and losing at this level. Alyssa had played the Four Pawns attack and had developed a promising active position, but at a critical point allowed her opponent several tempi from which the tables were turned and the game lost. Liv was met with the French Variation of the Sicilian, which developed into a very open queenside game. She then attempted a bishop sacrifice to create a passed e pawn, but her opponent found a tempo move to repel the attack leaving Liv a piece down. Sandra played a Sicilian Dragon and having countered some aggressive play, faced a passed a pawn, but her opponent could not find a way through the blockade and a draw was agreed. Suzy played the Agincourt, Kurajica Defense against an English opening. In another game played mainly down the queenside, Suzy lost an isolated b pawn but swapped down to a queen and 5 vs queen and 4 pawn endgame but with greater activity for her own queen. In the end, her opponent could not make headway and also agreed a draw.

 

WALES 1 – PUERTO RICO 3

 

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September 4th

  

Round  7: All Pairings   Women

 

Women: 

Bo. 111   Nicaragua Rtg 0 - 4 86   Wales Rtg
41.1 WFM Madrigal, Ana Daniela 2026 0 - 1 WFM Smith, Olivia 2022
41.2 Leon Sandoval, Johan 0 0 - 1 WFM Blackburn, Susan 1967
41.3 Mendieta Rodriguez, Tamara 0 0 - 1 Roberts, Lynda 1914
41.4 Galan, Daniela 0 0 - 1 Blackburn, Sandra 0

 

Report from Ed Wang:

  

DAY 8

  

Round 7 and we were paired against Nicaragua, one of the under-rated (at least with regards to FIDE grades) Central American countries who have performed considerably better than their initial seeding. Sandra was brought back into the team to replace Alyssa following her good form in round 5. Alyssa and I spent the morning at the bazaars with Tim, who was also given a rest, but we returned to the hotel for the afternoon to see off the team and watch their games online. As the tournament has developed, the paired teams have become increasingly well-matched, with the games lasting longer and longer. These matches were now regularly exceeding 4 hours and as much about stamina as good chess play. Liv’s opponent seemed well-prepared, playing almost at blitz speed for the first 20 or so moves against a Pseudo-King’s Indian Variation. Liv, however, secured a strong outpost for her knight on c5 and then caught her opponent with some tactical play as she attacked down the queenside. Suzy played a Torre Attack managing to force her h pawn into a passed position on the 6th rank. Under this pressure, her opponent lost on time. Lynda opted for the Chigorin Variation against her opponent’s Closed Sicilian. Lynda was always on the front foot, shifting the game into a bishop versus knight endgame where after created 4 isolated pawns, she won one and saw out the match after her opponent swapped off the last minor pieces. Sandra played the Colle System, doubling her opponent’s e pawn following an f pawn push. Clever tactical play won a pawn but she faced a difficult rook and pawn endgame. Her opponent’s doubled pawns became a significant disadvantage when rooks were swapped off and Sandra won through. A great effort by the team to record a 2nd 4-0 win in the competition.

 

 

NICARAGUA 0 – WALES 4 

 

Welsh Games:  ( use pull-down arrow to select player )

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AlyTimGrandBazaar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alyssa and Tim

Outside The Grand Bazaar

Spices

 

Spices

Gold

Gold

 

Lamps

Lamps


 

September 3rd

  

Round  6: All Pairings     Women

 

Women: 

Bo. 86   Wales Rtg 2  - 2 78   Uruguay Rtg
45.1 WFM Smith, Olivia 2022 0 - 1 WIM Colombo, Camila 2095
45.2 WFM Blackburn, Susan 1967 1 - 0 Silva, Natalia 1918
45.3 Roberts, Lynda 1914 0 - 1 De Leon, Patricia 1841
45.4 Wang, Alyssa 1541 1 - 0 Costa, Anaclara 1673

  

Report from Ed Wang: 


DAY 7

Back to chess after the rest day and the routine of breakfast, preparation, coaching, lunch, match, dinner, team meeting, sleep. Today we were paired against Uruguay, a team ranked just above us at 78th. Tom brought Alyssa back into the team for Sandra as she had had, in effect, a double rest day having not played in round 5. To get her energy levels up, I persuaded Alyssa to jump (although it turned out to be more like fall) into the cold rooftop pool in the morning – it seemed to have the right bracing effect! The FIDE ratings of the teams predicted a closely fought match and so it turned out, with the quickest game lasting over 3 and a half hours. Observing the matches online was made considerably more nerve-wracking when Lynda’s clock failed and its reconnection resulted in multiple random moves being ‘played’ electronically on the other boards. This included Alyssa taking a protected pawn with her queen and losing it, and Suzy’s opponent advancing her e pawn when it was pinned by a bishop to her queen but Suzy then not taking it – fantasy suicide chess! In the actual games, Lynda played the Bird’s Opening developing a solid stone wall formation, but before she could see through her kingside attack, her opponent found some strong central pushes to break through in the middle. Alyssa opened with the 3 Knights Variation of the Slav defense. She then won the a pawn and generated a passed b pawn with good tactical play. The pawn became unstoppable later in the game. Suzy countered a Bird’s Opening and king’s bishop fianchetto by playing h5, h4, h3 on moves 2-4! She then outplayed her opponent in a knight and 2 rooks endgame. Liv played the Two Knights Variation of the French and split open her opponent’s kingside defenses with an h pawn charge. However, a winning combination didn’t materialise and in the ensuing swap off, Liv dropped her g pawn and lost a close bishop and rook endgame.

 

WALES 2 – URUGUAY 2

 

Welsh Games:  ( use pull-down arrow to select player )

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AlyLynda
Alyssa and Lynda

 



September 2nd - Free Day 

  

After Round 5 both teams have won 2 matches, and the Womens team are in rank 88th position. Lots more points to be fought for, as the teams will get more evenly matched.  

Thank you for the donations towards the Welsh Olympiad teams - they are very much appreciated as these events are expensive, but they give so much valuable experience for the players and give us a lot of enjoyment to folllow.

 

Report from Ed Wang:

 

DAY 6

A well-deserved rest day, especially after the exhausting games in round 5 and the Bermuda party in the evening. When Alyssa and I went down in the morning, there looked like an inverse correlation between attending the Bermuda party and appearing for breakfast, but looks can be deceiving! Much of the Women’s team were very active – Jon and Sandra have been having early breakfasts before anyone else all week and this was no exception; Liv and Suzy had also been to breakfast and then made a dash for the Spice Bazaar and some sightseeing; Lynda and ourselves opted for the 2-hour Bosphorus cruise that took in many of the sites of interest from the water, including the Blue Mosque, Ayasofya, the Topkapi Palace and the Maiden’s Tower. Istanbul was considerably less busy on a Sunday, though our plans to visit the Grand Bazaar in the afternoon to watch Alyssa bartering (she was dying to have a go having been missing arguing with her sister!) were scuppered by the discovery that it’s shut on Sundays. I was content just having seen some Yelkouan Shearwaters (an endangered species of seabird). It did come to light that Tom had spent 3 hours locked in his own bathroom through no fault of his own, but victim of a dubious Turkish lock that had clicked shut by itself – the hotel staff had to remove the offending lock altogether to release him! The afternoon was spent relaxing: reading, shopping or swimming. In the evening, we all went tenpin bowling and were joined by Tim, the only bloke from the Men’s team game enough to take on the women. He did win the final round but was pushed all the way by Liv!

 

WoodenHouse

Wooden House

BosphorusBridge

LookingGood

Olivia helps Alyssa make a 'Daly' dive !

Bosphorus Bridge

 


  

September 1st

 

Round  5: All Pairings     Women

 

Livegames  -1pm GMT  

 

Women: 

Bo. 31   Italy Rtg 3 1/2-1/2 86   Wales Rtg
28.1 IM Sedina, Elena 2338 1/2 - 1/2 WFM Smith, Olivia 2022
28.2 IM Zimina, Olga 2327 1 - 0 WFM Blackburn, Susan 1967
28.3 WIM Brunello, Marina 2239 1 - 0 Roberts, Lynda 1914
28.4 WFM De Rosa, Mariagrazia 2087 1 - 0 Blackburn, Sandra 0

 

Report from Ed Wang:

 

DAY 5

The convincing win in round 4 meant tough opposition in round 5 – Italy. The 35th seeds boasted two IMs, a WIM and a WFM in their team, but their strength on paper could not have predicted the closeness of the match that followed. For 3 hours, the Welsh team outplayed their illustrious opponents. Sandra opened with a Spielman-Indian and then won a piece for 2 pawns. Lynda played the Sveshnikov variation of the Sicilian and was very much in control of the centre heavily restricting the movement of her opponent’s queen on an open board. Suzy played the Colle System and pressed her IM opponent first on the kingside and then forced her c pawn to an advanced passed position. Liv opted for a Gubinsky-Melts Centre Counter before pushing on the f file. However, as time controls approached, our 3 lower boards were unlucky to be outcalculated in these very closely fought matches. In the end, Liv never gave her opponent an opportunity to break through and they eventually agreed a draw.   

 

ITALY 3.5 – WALES 0.5

 

Welsh Games:  ( use pull-down arrow to select player )

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Sofya

Alyssa in front of Blue Mosque ~ Sofya

 


  

August 31st

 

Round 4:  All Pairings -  Women 

 

Livegames  -1pm GMT (click on top board and the it will go to the live-boards, use pull down team list to select Wales - top open and down the list, women)

 

Womens Pairings: 

Bo. 114   Malta Rtg 0 - 4 86   Wales Rtg
44.1 c WFM Caruana Pulpan, Oana 1821 0 - 1 WFM Smith, Olivia 2022
44.2 g Psaila, Uranchimeg 0 0 - 1 WFM Blackburn, Susan 1967
44.3 c Klotz, Jutta 0 0 - 1 Roberts, Lynda 1914
44.4 g Farrugia, Jamie 0 0 - 1 Wang, Alyssa 1541

 

Report from Ed Wang:  

DAY 4

Malta were the opponents in round 4 seeded lower than Wales but higher than Kenya (our round 2 competition). Tom has been working incredibly hard to prepare the team both mentally and with openings, and today for Alyssa, the game progressed almost exactly as planned. Playing white with a symmetrical variation of queen’s pawn opening, Alyssa was up several pieces quickly before comfortably seeing out the game. Lynda played the Dutch Defense against an English winning a piece for 2 pawns before defending solidly and mating her opponent along the g file. Suzy opened with the London system, blocking up the centre before attacking down the queenside and winning several pawns. A careful defense against her opponent’s active queen then allowed her to force the pawn advantage through. Liv played the Przepiorka Variation developing a powerful kingside attack that also won 2 pawns. In an attempt to get some counterplay, her opponent succumbed to a back rank mate.

 

MALTA 0 – WALES 4

 

Welsh Games:  ( use pull-down arrow to select player )

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fair1

The Pirate ride at the fair !


 

August 30th

 

Round  3:  All Pairings -  Women 

 

Livegames  -1pm GMT (click on top board and the it will go to the live-boards, use pull down team list to select Wales - top open and down the list, women)

  

Womens Pairings:   

Bo. 86   Wales Rtg 1 - 3 62   Iceland Rtg
36.1 c WFM Smith, Olivia 2022 0 - 1 WGM Ptacnikova, Lenka 2281
36.2 g WFM Blackburn, Susan 1967 0 - 1 Thorsteinsdottir, Hallgerdur H 1957
36.3 c Roberts, Lynda 1914 1 - 0 Johannsdottir, Johanna B 1886
36.4 g Wang, Alyssa 1541 0 - 1 Kristinardottir, Elsa M 1737

 

Report from Ed Wang:

 

DAY 3

Round 3 and this time, the Women’s team were paired with Iceland, seeded slightly higher than Wales. On board 4, Alyssa misplayed her opening Caro-Kann, losing a pawn early on. Alyssa fought valiantly but good tactical play (plus a deluge of sweet wrappers!) from her opponent meant she was always on the back foot, eventually losing a rook and pawn endgame when she let her rook become too passive. Lynda played against the Korchnoi variation of the Sicilian winning her opponent’s b pawn. With her opponent’s pieces on the queenside, Lynda then generated a rolling kingside attack that led to a forced mate. Suzy played a solid French opening on black, before opening up and attacking down the f file. However, with both players in time trouble, Suzy emerged second best from a highly complicated tactical position. Liv played against the Rossolimo Variation of the Sicilian, but was eventually overcome by her Czech-born WGM opponent through a minority queenside attack and use of an active bishop pair.

 

WALES 1 – ICELAND 3

 

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August 29th

 

Round  2:  All Pairings -  Women

 

Livegames  -1pm GMT (click on top board and the it will go to the live-boards, use pull down team list to select Wales - top open and down the list, women)

 

Womens Pairing: 

 

Bo. 86   Wales Rtg 3.5  -  0.5 124   Kenya Rtg
58.1 c WFM Smith, Olivia 2022 1 - 0 WCM Wambugu, Jane 0
58.2 g WFM Blackburn, Susan 1967 1 - 0 Khimuli, Rehema 0
58.3 c Roberts, Lynda 1914 1 - 0 Asiema, Isabelle 0
58.4 g Blackburn, Sandra 0 1/2 - 1/2 Iyengar, Sharanya 0

 

Report from Ed Wang:

  

DAY 2

After the trials of round 1, we were paired against Kenya in round 2. Although an easier match was likely, the team were wary of underestimating this African side. Liv played a careful Reti before expanding out into a strong kingside attack that finished with an attractive knight sacrifice and forced 4-move mate. Suzy’s opponent played an English but lost a pawn on move 7. In attempting to win back the pawn, she lost on time. Lynda’s opponent played a solid Caro-Kann, which led to a rook and minor piece endgame. Lynda then created isolated doubled pawns on the f file and a queenside pawn majority that eventually overwhelmed her opponent’s remaining rook. Sandra played a Sicilian Moscow variation but was caught in the middle game by a fork that led to her dropping an exchange against her very gifted young opponent. However, determined play by Sandra led to a forced recovery of the exchange and a draw.

 

WALES 3.5 – KENYA 0.5

 

Welsh Games:  ( use pull-down arrow to select player )

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August 28th

 

Round 1:  All Pairings - Women

 

Livegames (click on top board and the it will go to the boards, use pull down list to select Wales - top open and down the list women, although Olivia's board is not showing anything)

  

Women:

Bo. 23   Czech Republic Rtg 4 - 0 86   Wales Rtg
21.1 c WGM Kulovana, Eva          2259 1 - 0 WFM Smith, Olivia 2022
21.2 g WGM Nemcova, Katerina 2276 1 - 0 WFM Blackburn, Susan 1967
21.3 c WIM Olsarova, Tereza 2241 1 - 0 Roberts, Lynda 1914
21.4 g WIM Olsarova, Karolina 2267 1 - 0 Wang, Alyssa 1541

   

Report and photos from Ed Wang:

 

The team arrived in Istanbul in dribs and drabs with those travelling from London (Liv, Suzy, Lynda and Tom) landing a few hours before those from Birmingham (Alyssa) and Manchester (Sandra). There was some disappointment that the hotel was around 5 miles from the venue, travel to which could take up to 45 minutes during rush hour. In its favour, however, was good varied food, local inexpensive shops, a close network of trams, trains and buses, and 2 swimming pools including a particularly cold but empty rooftop one (which the Welsh team claimed pretty quickly perhaps being more used to swimming in cold water!). This was more than at the venue-located WOW hotels where the English were staying! The rooms were also comfortable with efficient air-conditioning and at least in the lobby, internet access was relatively fast. Amongst the concrete jungle of Istanbul, the hotel also had its own irrigated, very green garden while there was a local park and funfair located nearby.

 

It was reassuring to find out that in the middle of the afternoon, the bus ride to the EXPO centre venue was only 15-20 minutes. The venue fitted very much into the built-up nature of the city, but was spacious with a large café for accompanying persons and non-playing players, although the cappuccino tasted more like hot chocolate than coffee. Security was high and mobile phones were not even allowed (never mind switched off) in the dedicated spectator area. On day 1, luckily, the organisers waived their zero tolerance approach to starting matches at 3 pm sharp. At that point in time about a hundred players were still queueing to get into the playing hall!

 

DAY 1

As often happens in the Olympiad, the Welsh Women’s Team’s seeding, high in the bottom half of the draw meant a tough round 1 match against the 23rd seeds, the Czech Republic. Facing a brace each of Women’s Grand and International Masters, the Welsh team fought hard with even the quickest match taking longer than 3 hours. On board 4, Alyssa was the first to succumb having played well in the opening against an unpredicted a6 variation of the Slav Defense, but was a move too slow to counter some strong pressing play from her opponent that eventually led to the loss of a minor piece for a pawn. Suzy on board 2 played a variation of the Colle system, bravely sacrificing a bishop for 2 pawns to generate a queenside pawn advantage, but could not withstand her opponent’s counterplay. Lynda on board 3 played a Sicilian Dragon and came out of the opening a pawn up, resisted a first phase of pressure but was caught by a second phase that resulted in the loss of an exchange. Liv on board 1 lasted the longest, opening with a Petroff before playing in excess of 5 hours but was eventually ground down by her GM opponent.

 

CZECH REPUBLIC 4 – WALES 0

 

 

  WomensTeam

  Sandra, Alyssa, Lynda,Olivia, Suzy - Captain Tom Rendle

 

HotelGreenPark

Hotel Green Park

 

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Good luck to the Olympiad chess teams.

  

Wales Open Team Rank    90th/150 teams

 

Wales Womens Team Rank    86th /128 teams

 

playing-hall     

Official site countdown - Playing Hall

 

Schedule: 

 28 August 2012  1. Round  (15.00)
 29 August 2012  2. Round  (15.00)
 30 August 2012  3. Round  (15.00)
 31 August 2012  4. Round  (15.00)
 1 September 2012  5. Round  (15.00)
 2 September 2012  Free Day  
 3 September 2012  6. Round  (15.00)
 4 September 2012  7. Round  (15.00)
 5 September 2012  8. Round  (15.00)
 6 September 2012  9. Round  (15.00)
 7 September 2012  10. Round  (15.00)
 8 September 2012  Free Day  
 9 September 2012  11. Round  (11.00)

 

File:HouyifanCorus2007.jpg

GM Hou Yifan

Women's World Champion