Jim Wadsworth wrote:
Matthew lost, finally.......
To put some of this into context, with the aid of their various laptops and engines, the boys have looked at both this game (where the Ukrainian IM was 2430 rated) and that with Matthews round 1 opponent (Israeli 2450). Their conclusions are that in both games Matthew made no material mistakes but his opponents simply made perfect move selections throughout.
We were chatting over breakfast this morning and consensus is that the opposition at this event is the most consistently high standard that any of them have faced - maybe in some cases they have faced (even) stronger opponents at other competitions, but in those other competitions they have generally also had some easier games against weaker players from whom they can harvest points. There have been no soft games here.
As a minimum this week will have served as very good preparation for Adam and Matthew who next weekend head off to Denmark to play at the Politiken (now renamed Xtracon), and for Pavel and Akito who are Bournemouth-bound for the British. Over and above that, they all felt they have learnt something; and the three of them who will be eligible again next year (Adam being the exception as he is now 18) all say they'd want to play in the same competition in 2017.
So whilst we are disappointed to be nearer the bottom of the table than the top, and for three of them to be losing rating points, it has been a very positive experience. There have been some close calls - we probably should have won the match against Turkey B, and if I had had more of a crystal ball at a key moment, we would have drawn against Ukraine yesterday.
And don't forget that with todays game to go, Akito is in with a shout at taking home not just 40+ ratings points but also the board 4 gold medal - go Akito!