Wales has broken the logjam with a win after 3 drawn matches. Norway left out their top player, but perhaps this was compensated for by the strength of their two bottom players. Although officially listed as 1600, they are at the moment ungraded, but actually both have part-ratings in the bag from a previous Senior event, and should both be in the high 2000s in the next grading list. Rudy played one of these and got a clear advantage on the Black side of a King’s Indian, but a breakthrough somehow eluded him(and the rest of the team on looking at the game afterwards). On checking the database, Rudy had the exact same position only last year at the Senior team event in Dresden, and played a far better continuation, which led to a win there. A draw occurred here by repetition. Bob got an excellent position against the Alekhine Defence, sacrificing a pawn on e6 to jam in the Black pieces. He castled long, opened up the h file, and launched a fierce kingside attack. However he then missed several excellent chances, won an exchange but his opponent’s two bishops and central pawns were enough, so a draw was agreed. Iolo employed his usual Old Indian, and established a central wedge. When that was loosened, there were too many weaknesses left in the White position, which led to a loss of pawns, the exchange, and finally another bishop as well. John got an excellent position against a French Winawer with an early b6 . The black-square weaknesses, coupled with White’s spatial advantage, meant that John was able to put his pieces into position to demolish the Black kingside. Faced with a number of different mating possibilities, Black resigned. Score, back to 3-1 to Wales.

We end with Finland 2, having started with Finland 1.

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