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Senior Teams: the 65+ final showdown

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 (50+ and 65+) have just ended.

This new page is exclusively about the final two rounds of the 65+ championship.

A separate page covers the showdown in the 50+ championship.


Round 8 (played on Wednesday 10th)

England-1 beat England-2 by 3-1. Israel-1 beat Germany Eppingen 4-0. Strasbourg beat Zaehringen Reloaded, Italy beat England-3, Slovakia beat Denmark and Ireland-1 drew with Finland.

In other matches, Scotland beat New Zealand and Wales drew with Israel-2. Latvia Women lost to Sweden while USA Women beat Ireland-2 (rather a shocker) and Poland Women drew 2-2 with Ireland-3.

The consequence of these results was that the identity of the three teams which would win the medals was already known on Wednesday night - but the colour of them was decided in round 9.

England-1 at this point led with 14 match points while Strasbourg and Israel-1 had 13. No other team had more than 10.

The round 8 women's results meant that Poland Women were now only 2MP behind the Latvians though the latter would probably win gold on tiebreak if necessary.


What happened in round 9 today

The top round 9 match England-1 v Finland was decided quite brutally. On top board, IM Timothy Binham really lost the match in the opening when he unwisely chose the Jaenisch (Schliemann) 3...f5 line against the Spanish but John Nunn had expected this and selected one of the most critical replies. Binham's 11...Nb8? (instead of 11...Nd4) was already condemned in a book on the variation some years ago. After White's 15th move he had to resign.

The Finns had rested their veteran board 2, GM Westerinen after his loss in round 8 to Irish FM Andrew Smith. Their reserve drew on board 4 but the games on boards 2 and 3 were won by England. Tony Kosten was really in devastating form on board 2 for them in this event, making up for the understandable rustiness of Jonathan Mestel on 3 who we may see again in future, he says. It is also noteworthy that FM Terry Chapman had the second best result of the reserve players.

In the second match, between Italy and the Strasbourg club, all four games were drawn. This opened the door for the Israelis to take silver. In their match against German team Zaehringen Reloaded, Israel lost board 4 but won on the top two boards.

Latvia Women made sure of their gold medals by drawing with Scotland; Ireland-2 helped them out (should that have been necessary) by winning 3-1 against Poland Women. USA Women also lost and took bronze.

Eppingen (with GM Lothar Vogt) finished best of the German clubs after drawing with Slovakia, who ended in sixth in both tournaments.

This is one sign that the tournaments this year were exceptionally competitive because the Slovaks have often won medals in the past in one age group or the other. The organisers said that 32 grandmasters competed this year, a record for senior team events, they said.

Other matches did not affect awards but the main results likely to interest our readers were as follows: Ireland-1 lost to England-2, England-3 beat Denmark SK2024, Wales beat Northern Germany and Ireland-3 beat New Zealand. England-4 had the bye.

The excellent tournament of England-3 should not be overlooked. Seeded 29th (because one of the team had no FIDE rating), this team of four players finished ninth in the final standings.


Awards for individual performances

As with our remarks on the awards in the 50+, if you want to win a board prize you had better be on one of the strongest teams so that your team-mates help you meet high-rated opponents. If you have an outstanding score but team mates do not do as well, you may score a high percentage but your tournament performance rating will suffer.

The prizes for best result on the boards in order went to England's John Nunn (6.5/9) and Tony Kosten (7/9), Avidor Bykhovsky of Israel-1 (7/9), Louis Roos of Strasbourg (7/9), and on the reserve board (where fewer games are required) Ivano Ceschia of Italy who won all his five games.

Missing out on medals but still doing very well were Wieslaw Janocha, the top board of Lower Silesia (6.5/8), Alexander Mikhalevski on board 2 for Israel (6.5/9), Jan Rooze on board 2 for Belgium (7/9) and Nikolai Legky on board 3 for Strasbourg (6/9).

The women's top four board prizees all went to the Latvians, but there was a touch of absurdity to the award of the substitute's best performance prize to an American who made one draw in four games. The Poles did not have a fifth player and the Latvian sub played just one game which she lost.

A nice touch at the closing ceremony, though, was that they made awards made to the two oldest competitors: 87-year-old Elizabeth Shaughnessy of USA (a former olympiad player for Ireland) and to 86-year-old Tony Booth of New Zealand.


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

Back to our start page on Krakow