World Senior Individuals, Bled, November 2018

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Tim Harding
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Re: World Senior Individuals, Bled, November 2018

Post by Tim Harding » Sun Dec 02, 2018 11:09 am

Dinah Norman's performance was indeed excellent, especially the way she defeated the defending champion,WGM Tamar Khmiadashvili, in round 1 from a position where she was a pawn down. Dinah says she may play the Open next time.

Her husband Ken, Ivan, Terry, Ian and some others can also be very pleased with their performances.

Terry's game as Black with 2482-rated French GM Eric Prie was very interesting although unfortunately there was just one move in the middle where he could probably have forced a winning position.

Also noteworthy is that the unrated David Bray, from Leicester I believe, began with 3/4. After a bad patch, perhaps unused to such a long event, he finished on 50 per cent and an Rp of 2121.
In the 50+ Hassan Erdogan, also unrated, had an Rp of 1818 for his 3.5; I think he's been out of chess for a long time but he was in a class I taught at Catford Grammar School over 40 years ago.

Although this is the ENGLISH chess forum, two outstanding Scottish performances deserve to be noted.

IM Craig Pritchett won 9th prize in the 65+ with 7.5/11. He always does pretty well but this may have been his highest placing yet and like all of us he is not getting any younger.

GM Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, playing the Seniors for the first time I think, was joint leader in the OPEN 50+ after the first week with 5/6.
She then had two tough pairings: GM Bagaturov (who finished second) and Keith Arkell (ninth), after which she scored 2.5 from the last three games to finish eighth with 7.5. She might have made it 3/3 but in round 10 she was paired with her husband Jonathan (short draw).

The venue and organisation were excellent. Most people would probably be happy to go back in two or three years.
I hope to get a report up at www.chessmail.com by Tuesday.
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

Craig Pritchett
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Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:54 pm

Re: World Senior Individuals, Bled, November 2018

Post by Craig Pritchett » Tue Dec 04, 2018 10:27 am

Thanks, Tim, for the wider 'British' plug. Keti's result was especially good at her first 50+ entry. For the record, this wasn't my 'best' result in these events although I don't keep (close) track of these things. The vagaries of the pairings in such large Swiss events mean that I only gained a relatively small number of rating points so my 9th place on 7.5/11 isn't all that great and a lower TPR than I made at this year's British Championship (not in the seniors, I might add).

To my surprise, I just checked world seniors 2016 Marienbad, where I apparently finished 7th on 8/11. At Bled, I'd hoped to get 8 points, as I said to one or two, I thought 'for the first time' … you are clearly dead right that none of us is actually getting any younger!!

But to the doubters about the potential strength of these senior events, all should be aware that Jansa and Balashov's outstanding 9.5/11 scores at Bled represent TPRs that are both comfortably in excess of 2600. Jansa deservedly won on tie-break, fittingly defeating the defending champion, Sveshnikov, and many times earlier world champion, Anatoly Vaisser, en route.

The latter win in the final round reached a fantastical endgame N+P v N that was an epic battle fit to win any great event … do check it out! Jansa told me at the prize-giving that he'd had earlier experience of such an endgame in an old game against Jan Smejkal. Jansa's modest with it. He played the whole tournament with the burning energy of his youth. Inspirational!

Tim Harding
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Joined: Sat Oct 23, 2010 8:46 pm
Location: Dublin, Ireland
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Re: World Senior Individuals, Bled, November 2018

Post by Tim Harding » Wed Dec 05, 2018 1:32 pm

My report is now available at http://www.chessmail.com/seniors/Bled2018-report.html

It includes comments on the crucial Vaisser-Jansa game which I was watching live and checked with a tablebase afterwards. Jansa actually went astray at one point but Vaisser returned the favour. He was visibly annoyed with Vaisser's little distracting j'adoubes and mannerisms in the closing stages.



Last year Jansa had blundered against Sveshnikov and "only" won bronze as a result, so a worthy winner this time.

I had forgotten Craig's 8pts in 2016 but he didn't do so badly this time, drawing a crucial game with bronze medallist Rashkovsky.

NOTE: radical changes were announced at Bled to next year's programme of FIDE Senior events.
This probably deserves a new thread but here are the links to my news and calendar pages:

http://www.chessmail.com/seniors/Seniors-news.html

http://www.chessmail.com/seniors/Seniors-calendar.html
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

Author of 'British Chess Literature to 1914', Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography', and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
http://www.chessmail.com

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