2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

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Nigel Short
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by Nigel Short » Wed Mar 04, 2015 8:38 pm

I failed to mention that Jon Speelman also won a bronze on board 3, as did Terry Chapman as reserve. Terry, however, would be the first to admit that his result was misleading: many teams did not bring a reserve and of those that did, a significant number failed to play the requisite 5 games to qualify for eligibility for a medal.

Nick Grey
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by Nick Grey » Wed Mar 04, 2015 10:00 pm

Congratulations to all England & Scotland players & supporters.

MartinCarpenter
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by MartinCarpenter » Thu Mar 05, 2015 10:56 am

That does seem like a very fine haul of individual medals :)

Keith Arkell
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by Keith Arkell » Thu Mar 05, 2015 6:39 pm

And I got 9/9 in the blitz ( and won outright the rapidplay last year with 4.5/5).

Doesn't come even remotely close to relieving the pain of letting the side down this year though. It turns out, in retrospect, that had I even drawn my games v Slovakia ( v a 2352 IM) and Germany ( v a 2420 GM) we would have won gold on tie-break. And I could have done that easily had I set out to do so :(

To give a flavour of the overall strength of the thing, we played 8 individual games against GMs. Nigel scored win,draw draw; I scored win loss draw; John Nunn scored draw, draw and John Speelman had one draw. My team mates were, however, far more ruthless than me at putting away the none-GM opposition, and richly deserved their individual prizes.

Nigel Short
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by Nigel Short » Thu Mar 05, 2015 9:43 pm

Keith Arkell wrote: It turns out, in retrospect, that had I even drawn my games v Slovakia ( v a 2352 IM) and Germany ( v a 2420 GM) we would have won gold on tie-break. And I could have done that easily had I set out to do so :(
That is not true. Even then we would "only" have finished on 15 match points and Slovakia on 16. They played well and deserved their victory.

Keith Arkell
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by Keith Arkell » Fri Mar 06, 2015 12:51 am

They certainly did play well, and indeed fully deserved their victory They didn't lose a single game - that's 36 games unbeaten.

So did you though, with an approx 2760 performance, and John and Jon played some excellent chess, with them both more or less maintaining their ratings.

I'd forgotten about our drawn match with Thüringen, but I guess if we'd still been on for gold at that point then Terry would have been dragging the indisposed Jon to the match.

I also missed out one of our GM opponents, because I worked it out before seeing the last round pairings. In fact Nigel played 4 GMs, winning twice and drawing twice (as well as winning the other 4 games). Just to show that I can count after all, that makes 10 GM opponents for us altogether, from the 36 games, to give some idea of the level of opposition we faced.

Tim Harding
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by Tim Harding » Fri Mar 06, 2015 11:50 am

Keith Arkell wrote: (Slovakia) certainly did play well, and indeed fully deserved their victory They didn't lose a single game - that's 36 games unbeaten.
Clearly they did, but they also employed some curious team tactics, which paid off. Their "rope-a-dope" strategy against the two teams higher rated than them, i.e. agreeing quick draws with White in all four games, had the effect of "narrowing the front" - instead of playing four critical games in each match, they only had to play two, so reducing the risk.

Of course this only works if the players on Black are in form and willing to take the responsibility, and it paid off against England-1. Petran played a defence that took Keith out of his normal style of play and probably this too was pre-planned?

Then in the German match their tactic should have failed because of the extraordinarily blunderful game Tischbierek-Timoscenko. A huge amount rested on that game because had Tischbierek not wasted so many opportunities, England-1 could have retaken the lead by beating Germany.

Should we perhaps have been playing for slow grinding wins with Black instead of agreeing draws in the key matches? A lot of games in last year's Individual Seniors seemed to go to the players who could maintain their concentration longest - or maybe that was less true in the 50+ section.

Anyway the team can be proud of what they achieved, and hope to win next year, maybe with a different approach to matches against the main rivals?

And who will play on the 60+ team in the Europeans at Vienna?
Tim Harding
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Author of 'Joseph Henry Blackburne: A Chess Biography' and 'Eminent Victorian Chess Players'
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Stewart Reuben
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by Stewart Reuben » Sat Mar 07, 2015 4:13 am

Tim Harding >And who will play on the 60+ team in the Europeans at Vienna?<
8 English players have so far said their participation was likely and 3 that it was possible. We cannot raise a tem that could be contenders. Virtually all eligible top level players have retired.

Keith Arkell
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by Keith Arkell » Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:08 pm

Tim Harding wrote:
Keith Arkell wrote: (Slovakia) certainly did play well, and indeed fully deserved their victory They didn't lose a single game - that's 36 games unbeaten.
Clearly they did, but they also employed some curious team tactics, which paid off. Their "rope-a-dope" strategy against the two teams higher rated than them, i.e. agreeing quick draws with White in all four games, had the effect of "narrowing the front" - instead of playing four critical games in each match, they only had to play two, so reducing the risk.

Of course this only works if the players on Black are in form and willing to take the responsibility, and it paid off against England-1. Petran played a defence that took Keith out of his normal style of play and probably this too was pre-planned?

Then in the German match their tactic should have failed because of the extraordinarily blunderful game Tischbierek-Timoscenko. A huge amount rested on that game because had Tischbierek not wasted so many opportunities, England-1 could have retaken the lead by beating Germany.

Should we perhaps have been playing for slow grinding wins with Black instead of agreeing draws in the key matches? A lot of games in last year's Individual Seniors seemed to go to the players who could maintain their concentration longest - or maybe that was less true in the 50+ section.

Anyway the team can be proud of what they achieved, and hope to win next year, maybe with a different approach to matches against the main rivals?
The only part of this which it is appropriate for me to respond to is this bit: ''Petran played a defence that took Keith out of his normal style of play and probably this too was pre-planned?''

I achieved a near winning position early in the game, and if I had played that game at anything like the level I have played at for the last 18 months I would have quickly and confidently played Nd2 in reply to ...Kxf7. After that move my opponent is on the ropes, eg ...e4 loses outright to the sac Nxe4!

I can no more explain my poor form than, eg a top golfer can explain why he failed to make the cut in some major tournament. It just happens occasionally.

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Christopher Kreuzer
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by Christopher Kreuzer » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:48 am

I went and found the game on chessdom (all the live board games are still there):

http://www.chessdom.com/3rd-fide-world- ... ship-live/

The game Keith is referring to is this one:



I presume that 12.Nd2 exd4 also loses to something starting with 13.Qh5+?

Roger de Coverly
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by Roger de Coverly » Sun Mar 08, 2015 9:05 am

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
I presume that 12.Nd2 exd4 also loses to something starting with 13.Qh5+?
Even if it doesn't, the threats down the dark square diagonal can be countered with Rb1 if necessary. You could also consider an exchange sacrifice on a1.

NickFaulks
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by NickFaulks » Sun Mar 08, 2015 11:45 am

This is going in a bad direction. Everyone - including, inevitably, Keith himself - is taking the view that that an explanation of what went wrong must focus on why our fourth board played below his normal standard. That is wrong, it was a team competion and the team didn't get the job done.

Our top board made a huge TPR and gained rating points, hooray, but in the only two games which actually mattered he drew with lower rated opposition. In the first there was no play, I still cannot find the second. This is not intended as a criticism, I'm just pointing out that if the best way to prepare to win next time is by pointing fingers ( which it may not be ) then nobody is out of range.

Chris Rice
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by Chris Rice » Sun Mar 08, 2015 12:03 pm

NickFaulks wrote:This is going in a bad direction. Everyone - including, inevitably, Keith himself - is taking the view that that an explanation of what went wrong must focus on why our fourth board played below his normal standard. That is wrong, it was a team competion and the team didn't get the job done.

Our top board made a huge TPR and gained rating points, hooray, but in the only two games which actually mattered he drew with lower rated opposition. In the first there was no play, I still cannot find the second. This is not intended as a criticism, I'm just pointing out that if the best way to prepare to win next time is by pointing fingers ( which it may not be ) then nobody is out of range.
I tend to agree. Keith is beating himself up a lot over this but its not his fault and he's certainly not let anyone down. In the three crucial matches Slovakia, Germany and Thüringen we out rated the opponents on 11/12 boards but only took 5/12 so it can't be just down to him can it?

Tim Harding
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by Tim Harding » Sun Mar 08, 2015 4:48 pm

Chris Rice wrote:
NickFaulks wrote:This is going in a bad direction. Everyone - including, inevitably, Keith himself - is taking the view that that an explanation of what went wrong must focus on why our fourth board played below his normal standard. That is wrong, it was a team competition and the team didn't get the job done...
I tend to agree. Keith is beating himself up a lot over this but its not his fault and he's certainly not let anyone down. In the three crucial matches Slovakia, Germany and Thüringen we out rated the opponents on 11/12 boards but only took 5/12 so it can't be just down to him can it?
Perhaps I didn't express myself clearly enough. I was NEITHER criticising Keith for his play in any particular game NOR any other individual on the team, with all of whom I believe (hope) I am (still) on friendly terms.

What I was trying to point out was that Slovakia had clearly worked out a match strategy against the two teams higher rated than them (England-1 and Germany) which, on the day against England paid off, so they repeated it against Germany, again successfully (though only because of Tischbierek's blunders).
Given that John Nunn was unwell, a more sensible counter-strategy for England-1 might have been to decide in advance that John should agree a draw unless he obtained a significant opening advantage, but that the two players with Black should grind on even if their positions were += after 20 moves. On the principle that the longer the game continued the more their advantage in skill and experience (and also relative youth?) should tell.

But in saying this I am not saying Nigel and Jon shouldn't have agreed draws. I just feel that a lesson has been learned about how critical matches in future senior team tournaments should be approached before the games begin.

Of course it's true that the English team couldn't have known before play started what the Slovak plan was. The Germans (who, in a subsequent round, had a less significant rating advantage) could have expected it to be used against them also, but fell into the same trap and in the end were lucky to draw their match (Timoscenko missing a mate in two after being lost for ages).

I hope this disappointment won't discourage the players concerned from trying again next year, though it may be a few years before a suitable squad is eligible to win the European teams if that stays as 60+.

Also note that in the Europeans, a women's team 50+ can be entered.

Finally, some effort is being made to raise an Irish 60+ team for Vienna. We have three players provisionally so far. Anyone eligible who is interested please contact me by private message (including lower-rated players who might be willing to come along as reserve and just play a few games).
Tim Harding
Historian and Kibitzer

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

MartinCarpenter
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Re: 2015 World Senior Team Ch 24 Feb-4 Mar

Post by MartinCarpenter » Sun Mar 08, 2015 5:06 pm

The illness really musn't have helped. Very unlucky really.

Also, I think the expected result over four boards was only about +1 to start with? I'm sure we've all lost much more secure matches than that in our time! These things happen.

As for the match vs Slovakia, I wouldn't be at all surprised if what happened wasn't optimal strategy from both teams. The Slovaks were probably mainly trying to survive vs Keith, get out for 2-2, then get lucky somewhere else/with the tie breaks.

As for the English players, well trying to grind with black vs an only mildly weaker player who's playing sensibly/solidly is definitely not a risk free exercise. Much easier to get chances if they try and beat you of course. Probably thought they were making 2-2 pretty secure too of course.

Also just quite hard to make yourself play for a win with black in a teams match. A lower level of course but I've certainly had it drummed into me that a draw with black is never a bad result in a teams match.

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