Rudy van Kemenade is currently representing Wales in the European Senior Team Championship in Slovenia, where the team also includes another friend from the Dyfed League, Iolo Jones. Here is Rudy’s report on Round 1:

A good day for Wales. Due to some last minute adjustments our seeding was increased by one, so we were drawn against number five seeds Austria 1 instead of the expected Switzerland (with Korchnoy on Board 1). So each was facing an opponent at least 200 to almost 300 points ahead.

Rudy was the first to score. Playing a Dutch reversed (and why not?) his opponent’s pieces started drifting towards the K side, and the Wh pieces stated heading towards the K, with the added problem for the Austrian defence of being an hour behind in time.

Resisting several times the chance to play Nxf7, Wh chose to sacrifice the enemy pieces instead (as recommended by Tartakover). Bl resigned when his K got driven into the centre with at least loss of Q to start with.

John Thornton on Board 2 got a good position from a Botvinnik English, and gradually increased the pressure. However some exchanges followed and his higher rated opponent was pleased to be able repeat moves, otherwise he would be far worse.

Meanwhile Iolo was defending his favourite Old Indian against Georg Danner,IM. Wh got some space, but Iolo grabbed and held a pawn,albeit with Wh having some compensating pressure. With time running out rapidly , Wh was happy to accept the offered draw.

That left Richard Miles. From a promising King’s Indian for Bl, Wh as usual held more space, but conceded 2 Bs vs 2 Ns. As the other games had now finished, the Austrian player required a win to draw the match overall.With a 30-second increment per move the game could carry on a long time and it did, till 5 past 7, the last game to finish. Wh managed a swap of one N for B, leaving Richard with a baddish bl B and a c7 pawn to defend. After many twists and turns, finally Richard managed to activate first R and then B, losing pawns. but winning them back again, until the last one was exchanged, leaving R&B vs R& N. It’s actually more difficult to play a successful defence, than following through with a winning attack.

And so Wales became the only lower ranked team to win a match in the first round.

Rudy van Kemenade – Peter Roth 1-0



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