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Senior Teams: the 50+ final rounds

For more information about chess for over-50s, please see our Seniors calendar, Seniors news, and our Seniors introduction page.


Greetings from Krakow, Poland, where the World Senior Team Championships have just ended.

This page is exclusively about the final two rounds of the 50+ championship.

A separate page covers the showdown in the 65+ championship.


Round 8 (played on Wednesday 10th)

The top match results were as follows. If you want more detail please go to chess-results (linked from the main Krakow page).

USA 4 Israel Rishon Lezion 0; Slovakia 2 Iceland 2 (all games won by White); Italy 3 England-2 1; England-1 3.5 Germany-1 0.5; USA Too 3 Lubeck 1; Canada 2.5 Brazil 1.5; Oslo 3 Scotland 1.

In other matches, Ireland beat South Africa and Guernsey beat the Luxemburg club but England-4 lost heavily to Poland Caissa.

The headline point from these results was that the USA were now hot favourites to win the gold medals. They had 14 MP out of a possible 16.

Italy were in sole second place on 13MP and silver was now within their grasp, with an outside chance of gold.

Iceland and England-1 were tied for third on 12, and either could win bronze, with Slovakia having an outside chance if they were to beat America and have other last round results go their way.

Amazingly, all the round 8 matches involving the women's teams were 2-2 draws including England-3 v England Women and Wales v USA Women.

The upshot was that in the hotly-contested rivalry for the women's medals, Estonia led on tiebreak from England (both on 8MP) with USA and Lithuania Women one match point behind. They were all paired against male teams in the last round so even the women from Hungary and Germany (6MP) knew they had an outside chance of bronze.


What happened in round 9 today

The top round 9 matches in the 50+ ended rather as expected. Slovakia were unable to upset the USA: the top three games were drawn and Igor Novikov won with Black for the Americans on board 4.

Italy also did not let silver slip from their grasp. Fabrizio Bellia won with Black on board 3 in 80 moves for them against Canada; the other three games were earlier drawn.

The biggest open question was the battle for bronze. England-1, playing Israel Rishon Lezion, drew the top two boards (Michael Adams and John Emms) but Glenn Flear and Keith ArRkell both won.

Iceland, on the other hand, finished 2-2 against the American second team. Helgi Olafsson went wro ng early with White in a sharp struggle against leonid Sokolin. Johann Hjartarson won for them on board 2 but the other games were drawn and they had to settle for fourth place.

We wrote last night that it would be very wrong to assume the men's teams would win the critical last-round matches to decide the female medals. We rightly said that throughout this tournament all the female teams, especially the top four, have shown great ability and determination. They have proved that they are able to score points off all but the very top contenders for the main prizes.

Nevertheless the order of the medals was ultimately decided by a double blunder by a male German player. On board 3 in the match Estonia Women v Germany-1, Black was comfortably winning throughout until move 59 when an endgame error resulted in a drawn rook ending arising. Two moves later the German left his rook en prise so the Estonians won 2.5-1.5 instead of losing by that margin. The beneficiary of the blunder even won the board prize thanks to this.

In the match England Women v Poland Caissa, Susan Lalic tried to win until five hours and move 70 but the match ended 2-2 while Ireland v USA Women was decided by the absence through illness of an Irish player, the other games being drawn. The result of all this was that the other women's matches became irrelevant. Estonia took gold instead of bronze, the USA finished second and England third.

In other matches, England-2 beat Oslo 4-0, England-3 lost to Lubeck, England-4 drew with Hungary Women, USA 5 Brothers beat Wales, SCotland beat Lithuania Women, Germany Women beat Guernsey and South Africa beat the local Malopolska team.


Awards for individual performances

The prizes for best result on each board were decided on TPR (highest Elo performance) which always means they go to players from the most successful teams that meet the strongest opponents. We think there should be awards for outstanding results by players on mid-table teams.

Anyway, the board 1 prize went to Michael Adams of England (6.5/8), board 2 to Michele Godena of Italy (6/8), board 3 to Margeir Petursson of Iceland (6/8), board 4 to Igor Novikov of USA (7/9) and board 5 to Throstur Thorhallsson of Iceland (6.5/8).

We commend some other high scorers. On top board: Martin Mrva of Slovakia 7.5/9 and Lima Darcy of Brazil 7/9. On board 2: Stephen Dishman of England-2 7/9. On board 3: Mark Ginsburg of USA Too also 7/9. Several players scored 6/9.

The women's prize winners were Estonian on the top three boards: Monika Tsiganova, Regina Narva and Tatyana Fomina. WGM Sheila Jackson on board 4 and WFM Petra Fink-Nunn as reserve , both on the England team, won those awards.


The reports on rounds 1-6 and round 7 are unchanged from before.


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