Rudy reports from the European Senior Team Championships, where he is representing Wales:

In the European Seniors Team event, Wales faced a strong Finland side, who were able field two GMs and two middle 2200 players. The GMs duly struck. Iolo Jones faced Rantanen , who bit by bit increased his space advantage. At the end material was still level, but a Black pawn on g2 was too powerful. John Thornton faced Heikki Westerinen, who played a passive White opening, seemingly running scared of any violent counterplay that John might unleash. However an ever so slight imprecision meant the White pieces successfully overran the Black king. Richard Miles faced a tough 2200 + player (FM Harri Hurme), and got strange variations against the Swedish version of the Tarrasch defence. The opponent got an extra pawn on the queenside in a rook and bishop ending, Richard pushed through in the centre, eventually going a pawn up. However he was unable to hold it and the rook and pawn ending was drawn. Rudy faced a double fianchetto against the King’s Indian, and turned it into something resembling a Leningrad Dutch, with a knight well placed on f7 to hold up any central advances. When his opponent grabbed an a-pawn it took his away from the fray, and a series of tactics in the centre meant that White was happy to accept the draw, especially since he was running short of time. A 3-1 loss in a seeded Swiss where we are lying no 22 out of 37, is a decent result. Most of the other lower rated teams went down 3½-½ or even 4-0.

It’s quite a superb hotel, but few other local facilities, though there is a pebbly beach.



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