Report by Rudy:

The first draw- the draw that didn’t slip away.

Richard was first to finish. Facing a Closed Sicilan setup, Wh seemed unsure of how to continue, with a slightly misplaced Nf4 move. Exchanges left Wh with some Q side space, but that would need to be abandoned in order to get any K side attack, while Bl meanwhile could get pressure against the Wh centre. A draw was a reasonable result.

Colin got an excellent position, offering a B on g5, when Bl went h6 with h4, an offer Bl could scarcely accept.Perhaps it should have been left there a little longer, though Colin got in a g4 move (opposite side castling in an Old Indian defence). Unfortunately Wh played g5 too soon (Rdg1!) letting a B into g4, and losing a pawn. In the end Bl won by threatening to triple on the d file and mating the K standing on c1.

John (perhaps heeding some observations made in Mihalchishin’s talks) played a Botvinnik English. Some very complicated manoeuvres ensued, with plenty of alternative opportunities for both sides (which kept them happy for an hour or two in analysis afterwards).The exchange of all minor pieces led to a position where Bl had a little more play, perhaps,with just heavy artillery left, any form of mobilization can be spotted well in advance. Drawn.

Iolo’s opponent Alexander (Lex) Jongsma is a known 1.Nc3 specialist but chose instead to prepare a lesser known line against Iolo’s trusty Petroff. Wh got a good game, with Bl’s pieces a little passively placed. However, when he tried to storm the Bl position with an f5, it was slightly overpressing, and Bl won a pawn and an exchange. Not the end of the road, because Wh held two dominating Bs vs R&N. But Bl untangled and got rid of one of the the Bs and was about to win the other (with the K to follow, when Wh decided to call it a day. (Rudy ,who was watching, saw a mate in two for Bl that both players, down to a few minutes missed. But then kibitzers always know better, don’t they?). A tough fighting game.

Netherlands VAS 2 Wales 2

In these days of intertextuality and hyperlinks, the official tournament website (listed on the Welsh Chess Union website) now contains a link to these comments that are to appear on the Welsh site. Byd bach (small world) as they say in Wales.

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