Sunday, 16 November 2008

Olympiad Day 3

After yesterday's debacle it was quite an effort to front up to today's game. Not helping is the fact I've had a sore throat/cold since about day 2 of my holiday. And despite resisting the temptation to 'Keith Moon' my hotel room, I still didn't get much sleep ('slept like a baby' as the old joke goes, 'cried for 2 hours, slept for 2 hours, etc').
So PNG fronted up against the AHO's (Dutch Antillies), who have always been a challenging team for us. Their board 1 was an IM, and the rest of the team was in the 2100-2200 range.
Once again the games followed the usual script. Stuart Fancy continued his plan of playing Black in every game by opening 1.a3 for the second day in a row. I actually had to find an answer to 1.Nh3 (The Amar Opening) and didn't do a good job of it. Rupert Jones played a solid Lopez, while Craig Skehan misplayed a Italian Opening and was in trouble from the start. Craig resigned after about 2 hours, while Rupert Jones's game ended in a 9 fold repetition. Despite the position being repeated around move 24 the players decided to remove the arbiters from the equation by happily repeating until move 30 had been reached. Attempts by the arbiter to intervene were unsuccesful as neither player attempted to claim the draw prior to the allowed move.
My opponent also fell foul of this regulation where he attempted to offer me a draw on move 21, when the position was starting to turn against him. I informed him that such an offer was not allowed and we continued. By the time we reached move 30 I was completely winning so no further offer was forthcoming.
Stuart Fancy gave up a piece for 2 pawns but it was insufficient compensation and despite defending for 4 hours was unable to hold. So we are still to record a match win but 1.5-2.5 was an OK score for us.
For those following the fortunes of the Australian Open team, they managed to score their first win, a 4-0 victory over the British Virgin Islands. The fact that this match took place on Board 53 resulted in some cruel teasing by the 'minnow' teams.

No comments: