World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

National developments, strategies and ideas.
John Higgs
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 am

World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by John Higgs » Tue Oct 18, 2016 10:10 am

The World Cadets Chess Championship 2016 starts tomorrow and runs to Sunday 30th October. It is an 11 round event for U8s, U10s & U12s. The location is Batumi in Georgia.

The event website is http://www.e2e4.ge

The chess-results link for results and pairings:

http://www.chess-results.com/tnr238132. ... =30&wi=984

Meet England's team here:

http://englishchess.org.uk/Juniors/worl ... hips-2016/

Good luck to our 9 players supported by two very experienced coaches.

Latest news, photographs etc can be seen via the twitter feed : @ECFJuniors2016

No twitter account? You can follow the twitter feed via this link https://mobile.twitter.com/ECFJuniors2016
"I'm not the one who got it wrong. I'm the only one who got it right". Carrie Mathison.

John Higgs
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 am

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by John Higgs » Wed Oct 19, 2016 11:42 am

The first round draw is up:

http://www.chess-results.com/tnr238132. ... =30&wi=984

Nilomi Desai (U12 girls) is on a live board:

http://www.e2e4.ge/public_html/u12/tfd.htm
"I'm not the one who got it wrong. I'm the only one who got it right". Carrie Mathison.

John Higgs
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 am

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by John Higgs » Thu Oct 20, 2016 5:13 am

Day 1 report by Glafcos Tombolis, Head of Delegation:

There are 11 rounds of chess to be played with our England team aged 8 to 12, pitting themselves against the best in the world in their age categories. 66 countries are participating, with around 700 juniors involved. 41 of the participants are rated over 2000. This is surely the ultimate test of skill, mental strength and stamina for our talented juniors.

There were tiring journeys for all the day before the first round so a good night’s sleep was in order. Following a hearty breakfast and coaching in the morning there was really no time for preparation as the pairings list came out late. All of the team were playing much higher rated opponents apart from Anum Sheikh and Ilya Misyura but the energy and team spirit has been good and we were all going into round 1 with high hopes.

The first out were Joe Birks and Keerthana Easwar, some of our youngest and most talented juniors. 2 losses but Joe’s game was a thrilling encounter. A well founded Greek gift following a Grand-prix attack left him well on top, but these great players just don’t lie down and a rush of blood left Joe open to attack and ultimately he couldn’t hold onto the win. Most definitely a lesson learnt, watch out for Joe in the rounds to come, I have a feeling we will be featuring his games.

Nilomi Desai was the only one of our team on a live board but ultimately came undone by some sterling tactical play by her opponent, who was rated over 2000, in a Kings Indian. Nilomi put up some stubborn defence to her credit but ultimately was unable to turn things around.

Ilya Misyura emerged all smiles with a crushing victory over his lower rated opponent. Ilya is an experienced and talented international who knows never to take his opponent for granted and I’m sure was happy and relieved to put this one to bed. Keep going Ilya-looking forward to featuring his games also.

Aditya Munshi, Bobby Akeya Price and George Clarkson had long and hard fought games against much higher rated opponents but ultimately lost.

In summary, there will be some individuals who will be disappointed with their 1st round results despite the rating disparity but objectively a promising start for the England team which will hopefully be reflected in the results to come over the coming days.
"I'm not the one who got it wrong. I'm the only one who got it right". Carrie Mathison.

Peter Turner
Posts: 393
Joined: Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:57 pm

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by Peter Turner » Thu Oct 20, 2016 6:59 am

Very informative report from the Head of Delegation, much appreciated. Best wishes to all the players and supporters.

John Higgs
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 am

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by John Higgs » Fri Oct 21, 2016 8:55 am

Round 2 report by Glafcos Tombolis, Head of Delegation:

After most of the results went in favour of our higher rated opponents yesterday we were looking for a reversal of fortunes today and indeed there was an improvement across the board.

With many of our players looking for their first win the danger was in over pressing and letting nervous tension influence our play. I think this factor may have influenced one or two of the results today. On the whole the older players dealt with this quite well and played to their potential. I think with this kind of pressure experience counts for a lot.

We were all a bit more relaxed before the start today having become accustomed to our routine and all the juniors were focussed on maximising their results. The pairings came out too late last night to allow any sane person to prepare properly so most of this was done early in the morning and during the coaching sessions. By 3pm we were ready for action and confident.

Bobby Akeya Price came out with a win as Black taking advantage of a horrible blunder by his opponent. Having said that, Bobby is not only very talented but also extremely solid. There was no way he was going to throw this match away and he finished the game off in nice style. 39…Rxf4 40. Rxf4 Bg5 41.Ke3 e5 42.Ke4 Bxf4.

Aditya Munshi was also playing a lower rated opponent as Black. I know Aditya was particularly keen to convert the point, which he did. He wanted to make sure of this and described his style today as safe, a plan that ultimately bore fruit. After winning the exchange he went on to overwhelm his opponent. Once he gets on a roll, watch out, you don’t want to be in his way.

Well done to Nilomi Desai who won her game after about 4hrs 30mins of play. It’s the hard fought victories that are the sweetest. Losses for Keerthana Easwar , Joe Birks and Anum Sheikh today but after analysis with their coaches came the realisation that it’s just a question of fine tuning. Ilya Misyura drew as white against his higher rated opponent. A good result to be sure against an opponent rated 2093. Ilya is on 1.5 out of 2 and going strong.

Christopher Tombolis also drew today as black against his Ukranian higher rated opponent. He was a pawn up but his opponent had the active pieces. Analysis showed that an attempt to win could have meant losing the game and the position was not easy to play. Christopher took another perpetual by 3 fold repetition. A practical decision and a solid start with 2 draws.

I have of course left the best to last. The game featuring George Clarkson. If you are looking for high level chess with the computer analysis swaying between 0 and 0 then turn away now. If you are looking for an immoveable object meeting an unstoppable force then find some Grandmaster games online. However if you want high level entertainment and a lot of fun, well-watch this. The game is a real mixture and shows signs of audacious talent and great play, followed by terrific blunders and the cheapo which finished the game was the icing on the cake. Well done George, you’ll play a lot better and lose games but sometimes it’s just better to be lucky.

An overall score for our team of 5 out of 9 today was a positive result. Its early days but the tournament is taking shape and we are all still in the mix. Good luck to everyone tomorrow.
"I'm not the one who got it wrong. I'm the only one who got it right". Carrie Mathison.

John Higgs
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 am

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by John Higgs » Sat Oct 22, 2016 8:30 am

Round 3 report by Glafcos Tombolis, Head of Delegation:

Round 3 produced a mixed bag of results. As in round 1 most of our players were playing higher rated opponents. Out-rated but never outclassed. Everybody was playing to win though and in the English camp we fear no one. Perhaps the execution of our play left a little to be desired today though with some of the team playing a little fast. However with a little more self discipline this should be something that we can rectify.

It was really good to see Joe get his first point on the board and produce the kind of chess that we know he can. His morning preparation really paid off. His French led to an early attack that won some pawns and then a knight. The continuous pressure was too much for his opponent and the exchange of queens reinforced the advantage and led to Joe queening his b-file pawn and finishing with mate in the corner. Joe was as pleased as punch and will sleep well tonight with that winning feeling.

Our very own Candidate master, Anum Sheikh (ECF Player of the Year) also enjoyed success today. She went a pawn up in the opening and after swapping off the rooks and Queens, Anum was left with the bishop pair against a bishop and Knight with her extra pawn. This was by no means a guaranteed win and the end game could have ended in a draw but her opponent ultimately blundered allowing Anum to enjoy her second victory of the tournament. Well worth playing through the game. Could you have won this endgame with best play? Clearly not flustered by her defeat yesterday, this girl showed her metal today and brought home the win.

After yesterdays drama there was a quick draw for George Clarkson. I didn’t catch this game but I’m quite grateful as I don’t think my heart could take it. We’ll catch up with George in later rounds when I’ve calmed down a bit. There were draws for Bobby Akeya-Price and Ilya Misyura against higher rated opponents, so congratulations to them. Bobby’s draw took place after 20 moves each and about 3 hours of play. Apparently the position was so blocked it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for Bobby to make any progress.

There were defeats for Christopher Tombolis, Keerthana Easwar, Nilomi Desai and Aditya Munshi. Christopher’s game was a sad Benko tale of coming out well in the opening, but playing too fast and falling headlong into a well seen tactic by his opponent. I have promised Christopher that I would paint my toenails pink if he wins his next 8 games, though I am sure that playing for England is motivation enough. I will only start getting worried if he wins 6 in a row.

Nilomi and Aditya emerged glum from their games after 5 hrs of play. How cruel chess can be and what admiration we should all have for these amazing young players who suffer this glorious torture.

Please could everyone at home keep their fingers crossed for young Keerthana Easwar. This girl could beat most of us at chess in her sleep so it is not for feeling sorry for her but because throughout she has retained the most positive attitude, with a smile on her face. Surely it is time now for the chess Gods to smile back. Go for it Keerthana!
"I'm not the one who got it wrong. I'm the only one who got it right". Carrie Mathison.

LawrenceCooper
Posts: 5327
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 8:13 am

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by LawrenceCooper » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:51 am

John Higgs wrote: Please could everyone at home keep their fingers crossed for young Keerthana Easwar. This girl could beat most of us at chess in her sleep so it is not for feeling sorry for her but because throughout she has retained the most positive attitude, with a smile on her face. Surely it is time now for the chess Gods to smile back. Go for it Keerthana!
She won in round four :D

John Higgs
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 am

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by John Higgs » Sun Oct 23, 2016 6:38 pm

Round 4 report by Glafcos Tombolis, Head of Delegation:

So today we were keeping our fingers crossed for Keerthana Easwar and I am sad to say that you will have to wait until the end of this report to find out how she did.

As the results came in it looked like it was going to be a good day for England, indeed it crossed my mind at one point that we might achieve a clean sweep as the first few results were victories. Ever the optimist. Unfortunately as time drifted on, reality hit home and the realisation that our opponents are just very good chess players also.

Joe Birks had his second win and it looks like he is on a roll now. I am making a habit of interviewing the players after the game and I heard from various people that Joe played an excellent game. It turns out his opponent missed a trap in the opening but after manoeuvring his pieces to the king side Joe sacked his bishop and finished the game with a beautiful combination. Stellar chess by this player who is finally showing his true colours.

Aditya Munshi won convincingly and was a little perturbed that his lower rated opponent didn’t resign earlier having been a couple of pieces up. This was until our coach pointed out that if his opponent was happy to put himself through this pain and discomfort Aditya should just enjoy it. This was a convincing win having gone a pawn up in the opening. In his efforts to win the pawn back his opponent ended up losing a piece and the game was effectively over. Aditya is now on a respectable 50% score and hopefully will move from strength to strength.

Nilomi Desai also won her game having come out of the opening with better piece activity and eventually beating her opponent. Anum Sheikh can’t seem to lose at the moment and showed solid end game technique to take the win to take her to 3 out of 4. She is leading the way in terms of results for our England team. She will face a sterner test in the next round.

Bobby Akeya-Price, Ilya Misyura , Christopher Tombolis and George Clarkson all lost to their higher rated opponents. However the application was much better today since more time was taken over their moves, so hopefully better results to come over the next 7 games. As disappointed as I was to hear that my son had lost his game I could not be prouder of the effort he put in today. In the end he lost a game which could have gone either way when he played 39. … Ke7 after missing the tactical shot that ensued. Christopher’s idea being that if his opponent played Rc7 on move 40 he would play Kd6, winning the exchange.

Finally the great news is that is that Keerthana won her game. Having been present for the analysis I can tell you it was certainly an exciting affair. Both players had their chances but thankfully Keerthana came through in the end.

An overall score of 5 out of 9 today and high hopes for tomorrow. Good luck to all of us and thanks for everyone’s support back home.
"I'm not the one who got it wrong. I'm the only one who got it right". Carrie Mathison.

John Higgs
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 am

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by John Higgs » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:10 am

Round 5 report by Glafcos Tombolis, Head of Delegation:

There are no easy points at the World Cadets. Every point is celebrated between the kids and the parents alike. We WhatsApp each other when a result comes through and congratulations that are messaged are sincere and heartfelt. Many of these kids are rivals at home but truly all that is forgotten here. There is a real unity amongst the team. I don’t know if this has an influence on results but I’m sure it helps to know that your team mates have your back. We are so busy during the day and have had little chance to mix with any other teams. The prestigious surroundings, various nations and high quality chess add a gravitas to the tournament. Our two coaches, IM Andrew Martin and GM Glenn Flear do everything they can to maximise results. Credit should go to them but we also have 9 very hard working kids here and so every success should be celebrated.

Round 5 started with a bang when Keerthana Easwar, who I am renaming the smiling assassin, emerged early having killed off her opponent in 19 moves. Aggressive, decisive, a brilliancy, queen mate on a1. See the game; this is the kind of chess we’ve been waiting for from Keerthana. She just needed to get warmed up by the looks of it.

George Clarkson produced a dominating performance today in a Scotch gambit. In total control the whole game. He just poured on the pressure until his opponent cracked. A very different win from his featured game in the earlier round. He gave his opponent no opportunities and though his opponent played well and the computer has the position near even for some time, George was the player turning the screw.

Christopher Tombolis and Nilomi Desai also won today. Christophers performance was similar to George’s in many ways. Always in control, and in a better position and just a matter of waiting for the house of cards to fall apart. Christopher finished off the game nicely to take his first win. Nilomi is on 3 points now having beaten an opponent almost 300 rating points higher than her. She is going strong and I will be featuring one of her games soon.

My game of the day is Bobby Akeya Price’s who was White against his Czech opponent rated just under 200 points higher. His victory takes him to 2.5 points. Bobby simply out thought and out played his opponent in a complicated tactical battle. Having navigated 2 connected passed pawns through treacherous waters Bobby was good enough take the point.

Anum Sheikh and Aditya Munshi suffered defeats today in long contests where they were just positionally worse against their higher rated opponents. Our great champions are just too good to be down for long. We are pulling for them to spring back in round 6.

Joe Birks drew his game today as white. Having gone up a pawn in the opening with no compensation for Black, Joe’s plan should have been to keep things simple and swap everything off. Instead the game turned into a slow manoeuvring affair with material staying on the board. After playing f4 Joe’s King safety was compromised enough to give black compensation and the second player won their pawn back. In the end a draw was the right result in the ensuing rook, Bishop and pawn endgame.

Ilya Misyura also drew his game today, taking him to 2.5 points. I know he was not happy with his result and wanted more from this round but there is surely more to come from Ilya who on paper is our strongest player. So 6 out of 9 for the England team today. Our best result of the tournament so far!

A rest day will follow on Tuesday and then 5 more rounds after.
"I'm not the one who got it wrong. I'm the only one who got it right". Carrie Mathison.

John Higgs
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 am

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by John Higgs » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:42 am

Today is a rest day. Round 7 resumes tomorrow.
"I'm not the one who got it wrong. I'm the only one who got it right". Carrie Mathison.

John Higgs
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 am

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by John Higgs » Tue Oct 25, 2016 10:51 pm

Round 6 report by Glafcos Tombolis, Head of Delegation:

It will be a rest day after round 6 so all our players were keen to finish this half of the tournament on a high. Obviously our team were focussed on their own games but no one could ignore the match between 2 of our own under 12’s, Bobby Akeya-Price and Ilya Misyura. It’s a shame when this happens. We don’t really want to come to these International tournaments to play each other but lady luck pays no heed to such things and so the match is on.

I would like to have made this a featured game but have decided against it out of respect to the 2 players. It is sufficient to say that this was a 4 hour titanic tussle between 2 great players. The pressure of playing your compatriot could have caused either one of the players to fold but to their credit this was a tight and well fought match. Ilya was white and came out on top this time having gone into a King and pawn endgame a pawn up. Ilya goes into the second half of the tournament as our leading U12 on 3.5 points.

Aditya Munshi is having a tough tournament so far. One over 2000 rated player after another. There is just quality throughout this field. You know, our players don’t mind playing these opponents. They are not daunted by this challenge. It’s a chance to improve your chess and it’s a chance to gain some rating points. But it doesn’t make things any easier and if things don’t go your way with the margins so tight it can be difficult. Aditya again put up a big fight. Things were “Even Steven” for most of the game but unfortunately he came undone in an endgame. The rest day will give Aditya a chance to lick his wounds and come back strong in round 7.

It is very much the same story for Christopher Tombolis. After a victory in round 5 hopes were high. Christopher has a 1560 FIDE rating but his ECF is 150, so whilst he is under rated on FIDE so are his opponents. Rumour has it that many of the USA players who have a rating of 1700-1800 are more like 2000 standard. Christopher came out of the opening against his American opponent and entered the middle game fairly level after some early sparring but went for a tactic that just wasn’t there. Remember your Zwischenzug’s Christopher and I’ll remember how to spell it!

Joe Birks was black today against his higher rated opponent and though he wouldn’t want me making excuses for him the two things that I have found that influence a juniors play are lack of sleep and having a cold. Unfortunately Joe developed the latter and this can’t have helped his chances. The rest day will come just at the right time for Joe and I know he will come out fighting in round 7.

And so to one of our featured games involving George Clarkson as Black. George emerged from the playing hall victorious and I listened with interest as he analysed his match with coach IM Andrew Martin. I only caught the analysis of the second half of the game but George ended with a Bishop against a Rook with an extra pawn. Not an easy end game by any means. With best play is the position winning? Well your guess is as good as mine. Mind you as a non-chess player your guess would probably be better than mine.

According to Andrew though the position was not easy and it may have been losing. When asked whether he had considered playing for a draw, George’s reply was “I didn’t want to draw I wanted to win”. When Andrew responded- “well you wouldn’t feel that way if you lost, George’s reply I found interesting and surprising- “I don’t care about losing, I just want to win”-or words to those effect.

Perhaps this is the way an 8 yr old thinks, as yet relatively untouched by the pain of defeat but it made me think of the poem by Rudyard Kipling-“IF” which had been on my mind having read it to my own son before the start of the competition, and two lines in particular.

“If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster……….. And treat those two impostors just the same;”

The truth is with best play George could have lost the game but he went for it, induced a mistake from his opponent and won the game. You could say his opponent fell for a trick but a different perspective is that this was good match play. In both cases he has reserved this kind of approach late in the game when pressure is at its greatest and this kind of play has now won 2 matches. There is no doubt that as time goes on George will need to find more refined ways to trick his opponents but for the time being at least in seems to be working.

Nilomi and Keerthana unfortunately lost today but I’m sure the rest day will allow them to refocus and battle back in the 5 games to come.
Anum, begged me not to feature her game, even though she won, because her opponent didn’t take advantage of a mistake that could have lost her the game. I pointed out to Anum that she didn’t have to be perfect to win, she just had to be better than her opponent. Anum’s attitude though shows the quality of these individuals and the perfection that they strive for. Sorry Anum, too late your Dad emailed me the game.

3 out of 9 for England today and a well deserved rest day. Battle will be rejoined on Wednesday 26th October in round 7.
"I'm not the one who got it wrong. I'm the only one who got it right". Carrie Mathison.

John Higgs
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 am

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by John Higgs » Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:58 am

Round 7 report by Glafcos Tombolis, Head of Delegation:

Midmorning on the rest day in a rather wet Batumi and 4 of the children decided to enter the World junior puzzle solving competition. The remainder was spent in varying ways by different families- relaxing, going to the local Dolphinarium, and seeing Batumi by cable car. A dozen of us decided to go to lunch which ended up being a very drawn out affair and we returned to the hotel at about 6pm. The service was so slow and we were so hungry we were close to offering the kitchen staff help with cooking the food. Nevertheless the company was good so the time flew by.

The puzzle solving aside, casual chess playing amongst the kids is discouraged. A time to replenish whatever magic that makes them as good as they are. So whilst they were up in their rooms relaxing, 4 of us parents decided to face off against each in the lobby at 10 minute Blitz, thankfully without the kids screaming over our shoulders with whatever perfect move they would make. Congratulations to Nazarullah Sheikh who without doubt is the best of us. Clearly being a fan of chess though is not enough to make you any good at it because I lost all 3 of my games, but you could probably tell that from my slightly dodgy analysis over the last 6 rounds.

Anyway batteries recharged, here comes round 7 in the competition that really counts. On the whole a good round and spoilt for choice for winning England games to talk about.

Joe Birks was back with a clear nose and a bang and his best game of the tournament according to Andrew Martin. Decisive, a pawn up and in control according to the coach. Apparently, there are only 2 adjectives Joe prefers to use when he defeats opponents-pulverise and crushing. Joe was White against his 1318 FIDE rated Thai opponent and in the nicest possible way did both of these things. One of the goals for both George Clarkson and Joe in this tournament is to get a FIDE rating. With the success they have achieved I don’t think this will be an issue for either of them. George lost his game today after missing a pawn fork and losing a piece but showed his sense of humour at dinner when his Dad presented him with a fork just to see if he recognised one when he saw it. Sorry George, this is Dad humour –you’re just going to have to get used to it. Both Joe and George are on 3.5 points and doing well.

Ilya Misyura and Keerthana Easwar lost today. I didn’t see Keerthana’s analysis but was lucky enough to see Ilya’s analysis with Glenn Flear. Ilya had memorised every move of his 40ish move game (Please don’t correct me Ilya- I just remember it was roughly my age). That’s 80 moves for anyone who has trouble with Maths. Anyway, very impressive. As for the game- a slight inaccuracy against his higher rated opponent and a misplaced queen allowed his opponent to get in the attack first and it soon became impossible for Ilya to find any refutation.

Bobby Akeya Price and Christopher Tombolis were both white today against their respective Kazak and Georgian opponents. Both had an edge but things got complicated, as they tend to do in chess, and in the end a draw was the right result for both of them.

At last Nilomi gets a featured game, not for lack of winning. She is now on 4 points. She quite simply outplayed her Israeli opponent today who was over 300 rating points higher than her and a Women’s Candidate master. Well done Nilomi, for what it’s worth coming from a much weaker chess player, I think you created a work of art on the board today. Nilomi co-ordinated her pieces into perfect positions to eventually produce a material advantage.

So that leaves Aditya Munshi and Anum Sheikh who both had splendid victories today. Both were black and both won on time. Aditya’s position was totally winning and his time management was spot on today giving himself more than enough time to think in the end game and maintain the pressure. Aditya moves to 3 points and is after a 50% score or greater.

Anum’s final position was highly complex with a traffic jam of pieces on the g and h file, however she knew the opening better than her opponent and spent far less time making her moves. Anum moves to 5 points, only 1.5 points behind the leader. Is it too early to hope for an English U10 girl’s champion? Well there’s no law against hoping or dreaming.

Anum Sheikh has just been announced as THE WORLD CHESS PUZZLE SOLVING CUP U10 GIRLS CHAMPION. Clearly a rest day well spent. A tremendous achievement. Well-done from all of us.

5 out of 9 for the England team today. The next 4 days will tell us how well we have paced ourselves in this marathon event.
"I'm not the one who got it wrong. I'm the only one who got it right". Carrie Mathison.

Nick Grey
Posts: 1583
Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2011 12:16 am

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by Nick Grey » Thu Oct 27, 2016 11:11 pm

John & Glafcos - really enjoying these reports. Best wishes.

John Higgs
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 am

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by John Higgs » Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:31 am

Round 8 report by Glafcos Tombolis, Head of Delegation:

As I sit writing this game 8 report having just watched 2 players at the pinnacle of the sport, Magnus Carlsen and Hikaru Nakamura battle it out online in a blitz contest, I wonder how many of the youngsters here in Batumi will be the professionals of tomorrow. I reckon it would be a safe bet to say that at least 20 of the current crop of under 12’s here today will be competing at the highest level. That’s what our England team is facing. They are facing the best in the world. They are facing kids who are prioritising chess tuition over other academic study even at this stage in their young careers. When you see the disbelief in our coaches faces in post match analysis following the realisation that the opponent has prepared a line 20 moves or more deep in an U8 match! Only then do you appreciate the challenge facing our youngsters and how well they have and are acquitting themselves.

Anyway it probably sounds as if I’m preparing the way for perhaps not such a hot round for England. Well our U8’s did not have good results today. Keerthana Easwar, Joe Birks and George Clarkson lost their games. Though I was not privy today for in depth analysis I got the impression they had their chances. I wonder if tiredness is beginning to take its toll especially in the younger age group, who are not used to such consistently strong opposition. Perhaps it’s a little early to tell. At this level accuracy and consistency are so important and as the tournament nears the end more mistakes will be made. The positive is that it is the same for everyone and I am sure there will be more glorious victories for our U8’s in the last 3 games.

Bobby Akeya-Price came close to holding a rook and pawn endgame against his higher rated opponent from France but it was Au Revoir I’m afraid and Bobby succumbed to some stubborn French Resistance. I could tell from his analysis session afterwards Bobby is remaining positive, looking fresh and is thinking clearly so I am sure there will be some good results to come.

After a really great result yesterday it was important that Nilomi consolidated and she did emerging with a solid draw. She faced a storm of pawns coming at her on her castled kingside but dealt with the situation admirably. I am not sure how her opponent didn’t find her way to mate but Nilomi found a way to defend the position. There is something very satisfying when you see your opponent’s best efforts frustrated and then either working your way to equality as in this case, or even better turning the game on its head. Nilomi is on 4.5 points and on course for a more than respectable result in this tournament

Aditya Munshi had a draw against his Georgian opponent as Black. I know his expectations of himself are high and he wanted the win. If effort and desire were the only measuring sticks Aditya would be on top every time. If he can relax in the next 3 rounds I know he will allow his best chess to come through and then heaven help his adversary. Go for it Aditya we’re keeping our fingers crossed for you!

Ilya had a solid win against his opponent and is looking good on 4.5 points. A tough round to come against an over 2000 rated opponent as black but I feel that Ilya is capable of the win and he must be hopeful and confident of success in round 9.

Christopher Tombolis played the same Czech opponent as Black today that Bobby beat in round 5 as white. Christopher won in 16 moves today after inducing a resignation from his opponent. The method of dispatch was not without risk though after veering from the mainline on move 10 with Qb6. His opponent left his pawn “En Prise” probably thinking that Christopher’s queen was trapped if taken. This was never actually the case but in fact the pawn was poison but only because with best play black ends up a pawn down with no real compensation about 10 moves later. In the game, after Christopher took the pawn white tried too hard to win blacks queen and then just blundered by losing his knight. A fter a promising start and then set backs in rounds 3 and 4, Christopher’s tournament is getting back on track. He needs to be tough in round 9; make himself hard to beat and do all he can to put back to back wins together.

Finally our girls under 10 star Anum Sheikh had done well enough to be on a live board, meaning a nervous watch for her Mum and Dad and all the rest of her fans. Her opponent played a variation of the Scotch. Anum was well prepared though until her opponent played 7…NF6. At this point it is likely both players were out of book. The game continued in the balance for some time but Anum made a breakthrough by forcing a structural weakness on the queenside doubling up black’s pawns. After swapping of queens she was able to exploit her positional advantage superbly giving her opponent no chance in the endgame and showing excellent technique. Even though Black had the Bishop pair Anum’s play allowed no time for her opponent to use this to her advantage. This was by far Anum’s best game and if she can retain this level of quality she will be there or thereabouts come Sunday and the final round. Anum is bound to be on a live board for round 9 and we will be watching every move with trepidation.

An overall score of 4 out of 9 today for our team and we are all looking forward to more good chess again tomorrow.
"I'm not the one who got it wrong. I'm the only one who got it right". Carrie Mathison.

John Higgs
Posts: 385
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2013 7:54 am

Re: World Cadets Chess Championships 2016

Post by John Higgs » Sat Oct 29, 2016 6:55 am

Round 9 report by Glafcos Tombolis, Head of Delegation:

As a chess parent I know first hand the pain and elation that comes with following our children’s games. I remember one of my son’s first tournaments at the age of 6. It was the UK chess challenge and the players were all busy with their games in the tournament hall. Peaking through the curtains to see whether you could see the board or better still the body language of your child was a common past time especially amongst less experienced parents. Were our kids strutting confidently like peacocks around the board excited by an imminent win or they blubbering, their lower lip wobbling, close to tears, their dreams of victory (and let’s face it yours) about to be snatched away.

Watching your child on a live board I have found is actual physical torture. First of all you are immensely proud that your child is doing well enough to appear on a live board but when your child starts playing that pride totally disappears. What follows is a feeling of sheer terror. Please don’t make a mistake! Why did he move there when he should have moved there! Why is he moving so quickly! Why is he taking so long over a move that seems so simple! Computers have added another dimension because they make you an instant Grandmaster. How could your child move Nf3 when that move registers 0.5 on the parent panic scale when Qb3 registers a more comforting 1.5. Let me tell you that following the plus and minus scores is like watching a terrifying horror movie enfold through your fingers that you can’t bear to watch but strangely can’t tear yourself away from.

That is why I feel for the Sheikh family today who were watching their daughter Anum. They have had this experience twice in a row now. Yesterday with a swell of pride as she produced a beautiful winning game and today when she was caught out in the opening and couldn’t recover thereafter. Unlucky Anum , you have done yourself great credit during the tournament and despite our nerves we look forward to seeing you on the live boards again soon.

Ilya Misyura had a great win today taking his tournament score to 5.5. He has put back to back wins together in rounds 8 and 9 and today beat his first over 2000 rated opponent of the tournament as black by beating a Brazilian CM no less. A result which I am sure was his most satisfying so far. Keep going Ilya, we will be following your results with interest, and cheering the wins.

Aditya Munshi also won today and he is up to a 50% score of 4.5 now. Aditya won’t let me show a game unless he is totally happy with it. He is a perfectionist and I hope he plays a game like this so I can review it with all the readers before the tournament finishes. There is no doubt we will be in for a treat. Aditya is showing good form now and this is a promising sign for the 2 games to come.

George Clarkson and Keerthana Easwar also won their games today. It is such a pleasure to see these U8’s when they are analysing their games especially after they win. They don’t care that their play was not perfect or that their opponents made it easy or hung pieces. They just like taking pieces and pawns, as many as possible please! Why mate your opponent when you can enjoy taking off all the pieces from the board first.

Bobby Akeya-Price won also today as white against his Armenian opponent; this was a dangerous player not to be taken lightly. He had beaten 2 players over a 2000 rating in rounds 3 and 4. Bobby had only 2 minutes remaining on the clock with about 15 moves to make before time control. Bobby saw his time trouble and offered a draw but was turned down. A few moves later when his opponent’s position had worsened the draw offer was reciprocated, but this time it was Bobby that rejected. At this point the pressure and clock watching took its toll and black blundered a piece which led to a resignation. Well done Bobby. Two more wins please and you’ll be going home with 6 points and a pleasing tournament result and performance rating.

After well played games in the previous 2 rounds Christopher Tombolis and Nilomi Desai both came undone in similar lines of the same opening. Both games were particularly sharp and required perfect play as white to maintain the advantage. Keep fighting guys, don’t be discouraged -you are both playing great chess and look forward to reviewing your games in round 10 and 11.

Joe Birks drew his game as black today against his Libyan opponent. He was up a pawn but ultimately couldn’t convert the advantage. Come on Joe two more big pushes to take home 2 big wins for England.

An overall score of 5.5 out of 9 today and a good day for our team. Round 10 coming soon.
"I'm not the one who got it wrong. I'm the only one who got it right". Carrie Mathison.

Post Reply