Report from Rudy:

Another might have been.

Iolo took a deserved rest day, so it was the lower four boards battling it out.

On top board John got his usual Dutch Stonewall, and came under a bit of pressure after Qs were exchanged, but then further exchanges eased his position, and a draw resulted against a higher rated opponent.

Something similar happened on board two. Richard was happy to face a Chigorin defence, since he had been helping Colin prepare for that eventuality in an earlier round.However in the 3.cxd4 line Bl declined to go down the sharpest route with a Bxf3. The resulting position , with just 2 R’s and some pawns left nothing much to play for.Drawn.

Colin had another go with a King’s Indian attack, but was a little slow in mobilizing his K side for attack, allowing his higher rated opponent to unravel and threaten to infiltrate. A desperation sacrifice by Colin failed to avert the end.

The might-have-been was Rudy’s game. Alastair White as White had focussed on a 4NCL game where Rudy had played an inferior d3 (albeit via a Petroff rather than as here, a Bishops opening.) A near cousin of the Max Lange arose when Rudy played dxc3 instead, where Bl was minus a d pawn, but Wh minus a g7 pawn.In order to shake off the attack Rudy returned the pawn, ranging two Bs and two Rs against the Wh K side. When Wh held on, Bl took a pawn on b2 creating a passed c4 pawn, Wh then doubled R’s on the 7th,Bl gave up an exchange to keep two Bs vs R & N plus running Q side pawns. With Bl missing several winning chances, fatally the Wh K got to b6, where both the Bl Q side pawns went before a mate on move 50, giving White’s first win & Bl’s first loss.

So, Scotland 1: 3 Wales: 1 (but…)

The delay in writing a report was that four of the team went on a trip further up in the hills to an old monastery and other buildings in Olimje, via a couple of trains that ran along the road (rather like the one at Mumbles). The Slovenian hills are unlike the Welsh ones, more circularities around circularities, with houses and churches perched high up at or near the tops. Almost everywhere there are planted vines, and we can vouch for the excellent quality of Slovenian wines. The weather has been kind as well.

Alastair White – Rudy van Kemenade 1-0

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