Round 1

Time to bash some belgians!

Well as it turned out we werent playing the Belgians but the Lithuanians from Vilnius. We lost the match on a scoreline of 4.5 to 1.5 although the match was closer than the scoreline suggests. They rested their board 1 (Kveinys)  and his replacement Zagorskis beat Petr on board one, Jan had a really complicated game on board 2 on the white side of a nimzo indian. He seemed to be winning at one point but the game eventually ended in a draw with rook, knight and h pawn against rook and three pawns. John Joyce played a nice game on board 3 against IM Bandza. It looked like John just outplayed him on the black side of a stonewall (see below for the game) but just failed to find a killer punch and the game ended in a draw. I lost against Novikov after a marathon game that lasted over 6 hours, more than 100 moves and was the last in the whole competition to finish. It was definitely a case of throwing away a half point as I was at least equal for much of the game. Tony lost on board 5, after going astray in a game where he had a very comfortable probably slightly better position from the opening. Nick played very solidly on board 6 against their only non FIDE rated player and got a deserved draw.  Today we are playing the local lads from Skopje.

A. Bandza IM – John Joyce (European Club Cup 2009) 1.Nf3 f5 2.d4 Nf6 3.g3 e6 4. Bg2 d5 5. c4 c6 6. 0-0 Bd6 7. b3 Qe7 8. Bb2 0-0 9.Nbd2 b6 10. Qc2 Bb7 11. Rac1 Nbd7 12. Rfd1 Ne4 13. e3 Rac8 14. Ne5 Ne5 15. de Bb4 16. Nf3 bc 17. bc c5 18. Ne1 Be1 19. Re1 Ng5 20. Qe2 Bg2 21. Kg2 Rfd8 22. Red1 Qb7+ 23. f3 a6 24. Rd8 Rd8 25. Rd1 Rd1 26.Qd1 Nf7 27. a4 Qc6 28. h4 b5 29. cb ab 30. Qb3 b4 31. Qc4 g5 32. e4 fe 33. fe Qa4 34. Qc5 b3 35. Kf3 Qd7 36. Kd2 Qb7 37. Kd3 gh 38. gh Qd7+ 39. Ke2 Qd8 40 Qg1+ Kh8 41. Qg3 Qb6 42. Qf4 .5-.5

Lake Ohrid

Lake Ohrid with early Christian ruins in foreground

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