Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Olympiad Day 5

The PNG machine gains momentum, with our first win of the tournament, over the British Virgin Islands. For experienced Olympiad watchers, the British Virgins are much tougher than the American Virgins, so it was a good victory for us.
Our board 1 match ended in a draw on move 20 after the arbiter seemed to not mind an early repetition. On board 3 Rupert Jones hacked his opponent with a closed Sicilian, while Criag Skehan managed to avoid a number of tricks but eventually collapsed and lost 'dismally' (His words not mine).
On board 2 I was paired with the legendary Bill Hook, who played his first Olympiad back in 1968 (when I was 2 years old). Indeed his legend grows with every Olympiad as photographers buzzed around the board, taking photos before the game begin.
After a quick start to the game I came up with an idea that at first I didn't think worked, but after I played it, looked better and better. I was helped by the fact that Bill went into a big think on move which enabled me to check that the tactics worked. I emerged a pawn up and then won a second and third pawn while Bill went looking for tricks. The game ended in a king chase and he resigned just before mate.
It was a narrow win (2.5-1.5) but a win nonetheless. Of course this means we will slingshoted up the table, and be paired with some team who are looking for a face they don't like.

Hook, Bill (IVB) - Press, Shaun (PNG)
2008 Olympiad - Dresden
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. Qb3 dxc4 6. Qxc4 O-O
7. e4 a6 8. Be2 b5 9. Qb3 Bb7 10. e5 Nd5 11. O-O Nxc3 12. bxc3 Bd5
13. c4 bxc4 14. Bxc4 Bxf3 15. gxf3 Qxd4 16. Bb2 Qb6 17. Qa3 e6
18. Bc3 Nd7 19. f4 Qc6 20. Rfd1 Nxe5 21. Bxe5 Bxe5 22. fxe5 Qxc4
23. Rac1 Qg4+ 24. Kf1 Qe4 25. Qa5 Qh1+ 26. Ke2 Qxh2 27. Rxc7 Qh5+
28. f3 Rab8 29. Rc5 Rb2+ 30. Ke3 Qg5+ 31. Ke4 Re2+ 32. Kd3 Qe3+
33. Kc4 Rc2+ 0-1

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