Round 2

This round we were playing a local team from Skopje. There are two teams from Skopje in this event and we were playing the weaker of the two. They were still very strong though, I was playing a 2380 on board 4. It didnt help that they changed their lineup at the last minute so the person I thought I was going to play wasnt actually the person that I ended up playing. Also Petr, Jan and myself got the colours mixed up so we ended up preparing for the wrong colour. It didnt matter so much to me as the guy I was playing had hardly any games on chessbase and the ones he had featured extremely bizarre openings so there wasn’t a whole lot I could do in any case. It was probably a different story for Jan and Petr though especially Petr who was expecting white against Chatalbashev (strong GM!) and ended up with black. The rest of the lads knew what colour they had and Tonys opponent walked straight into his preparation in the Sicilian dragon. Unfortunately what looked like a very good position for Tony went south as he failed to make the most of his initiative and ended up losing. On board 6 Nicks opponent went for a mad hack and Nick played solidly and sensibly, it looked to me just like he was completely winning (the exchange and a pawn up but facing an attack). I didnt analyse the game afterward so in fairness I am not 100 per cent sure but it looked very good for him. In the end he lost, I think time trouble may have been a factor. John Joyce again played very well against an experienced opponent who had got a good result in the last round. John played the Dutch for the second time in a row and his opponent played a sharp line but John nullified his play skillfully and got a deserved half point for the team. Jan also drew, in a game I did not see a whole lot of. I lost after playing too ambitiously according to my opponent. It seems just wrong to me to play for a half point from move 1 with white but maybe that is what you have to do when playing somebody this much stronger. So in the end we lost 5-1, Jan and John again getting results for us. At least we got a mention in the news, I came home from the pub in the early hours and turned on the tv to see some pictures of the event and hearing Irska and Ennis mentioned, probably because we were playing Skopje but because it was in Macedonian they could have been saying anything about us!

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