Round 2: England vs Turkey ‘Turkuaz’
1. James HOLLAND 2204 1-0 Fatma Ayca DURMAZ 1816
2. Craig WHITFIELD 2010 1-0 Busra SOYDA 1747
3. Henrik STEPANYAN 1956 1-0 Aleyna YIGIT 1729
4. Peter BATCHELOR 0-1 Nisan ULUSOY 1646
This was obviously going to be an easier match on paper, but the Turkish girls team had taken a point off a strong Czech Republic side in the previous round, and from past experiences the Turkish teams are always well dangerous and well prepared.
Peter played down a main line Caro-Kann, and through a sequence of good moves obtained an advantage. However, he overpressed, and allowed a dangerous passed pawn which eventually decided the game in white’s favour.
James played what seemed like a very smooth game. He sacrificed a pawn in a Sicilian Najdorf, leading to some pressure which black was unable to extract herself from. A nice tactical shot at the end brought home the point. It can be found below.
Craig was out next, again playing a nice game against a grand prix attack. He closed the kingside and started counterplay on the queenside, which white was unable to cope with.
Henrik finished things off with a funny looking English, which I never got even close to understanding. He sank a bishop deep into his opponent’s position on d6, and after cementing it there in a strange middlegame opened up lines to effectively attack the black king and win.
Round 3: England vs Syria
1. James HOLLAND 0.5-0.5 Ismael KHABBOUR
2. Craig WHITFIELD 2010 0.5-0.5 K.A. Adm CHEKH 1891
3. Henrik STEPANYAN 1956 0-1 Basher IYTI 2225
4. Peter BATCHELOR 0.5-0.5 FM Wade AL-TARBOUSH 2251
The second of the rounds for the day, and a funny looking board order from Syria, but a match we really should have won based on situation in the games. James got a large advantage against his opponents Taimanov Sicilian, and missed a couple of clear wins before his opponent sacrificed his queen to obtain a fortress like position which James was unable to break down.
Craig played a premature central break (also in a Taimanov Sicilian) and missed a strong attacking idea on the the kingside. However his opponent let him off the hook, and through a series of excellent moves Craig turned the game to his advantage. In the final position Craig was better, but couldn’t see a way to take advantage of this and the players agreed a draw.
Peter played a superb game to neutralise his FM opponents attacking chances. Peter grabbed a pawn before playing like Fritz to get a really good position. However his opponent always had some chances, and eventually managed to force a perpetual check with both kings wide open.
Henrik played a good game, where he was always slightly better. His higher rated player however refused to take a repetition, and Henrik went into a king, bishop and pawn ending. Tragically, one move before the end Henrik went astray missing an intermediate check which cost him the game.
So the first double round day is over, and another is just around the corner (tomorrow!) The players didn’t seem too tired however, and were in good spirits, spending most of the evening playing blitz and exchange with the Scottish team who are also here.