Rounds 10 and 11:
Alex’s GM bid had petered out by this stage as the team didn’t face opposition of high enough rating. The reason for the teams decline in form seems to be food poisoning so there isn’t much point commenting on these rounds.
Ireland 0.5 – 3.5 Turkmenistan:
Ireland lost to Australia 2.5 – 1.5. But its all about setting Alex up for a GM norm and he duly won his game. Tomorrow they are playing Turkmenistan who have a GM on board one only. Alex needs to play one GM out of his next 3 games and hold his Rp over 2600 (currently 2627).
We beat Botswana 3 – 1 and wisely dropped Alex who needs to play decent opposition to keep on track for a GM norm. Next is Australia: 1 GM + 3 IMs – decent enough
Ireland lost today 3.5 – 0.5 to the International Braille team – Alex getting the draw. This result was a bit of a travesty as they comfortably out-rated their opponents. Did the lads party hard on the day off? I know I would have!
Ireland lost to Israel 2.5 – 1.5. However it was a great Irish performance with Alex outplaying Rodshtein (2642) and beating him with black. Gavin fought back from a worse position to get a draw against Avrukh (2605). Another half point to tie the match was within reach as Ryan appears to have missed a perpetual beginning with 35. e6.
To give you an idea of how well the guys are performing here are the some rating performances: Alex Rp=2647, Gavin Rp=2568, Ryan Rp=2545
Ireland had a fantastic 3 – 1 win against a slightly stronger Venezuela.
It could have been better! Sam had a very solid position when he decided to sac a pawn and then a knight. There’s no obvious compensation even after black playing the obvious moves so he must have found a flaw in his intended moves after 14. Nxe6.
England – France finished 2 – 2:
We crushed a weak Algerian side 4-0 in round 3.
Scotland had a fantastic draw against Denmark. Also the English team looks world class for the first time in several Olympiads despite the absence of the “amateurs” McShane and Sadler. They beat a strong Cuban side (3-1) and in round 4 they play France.
Ireland played Azerbaijan in round 2, losing 3.5 – 0.5, after getting a walkover against Sierra Leone in round 1. The Azeris are a superpower of chess so fair dues to Ryan for drawing with Rauf Mamedov.