Round 4

Our reward for beating Niederrohrdorf was a draw against a really strong Dutch team. I was acutally playing an FM De Haan who has played in the Munster League for Cork, he is a friend of Henk De Jonge, I followed our former clubmate Gawain Jones recommendation for white in his new Grand Prix book, Eric then surprised me with a move thats not even mentioned in the notes to Jones- Sarkar but looks very logical. In fact I had to give up the two bishops and play against them with two knights but I had a good position but of course blew it and ended up losing, in the end missing a simple combination and facing a mate in one I resigned. My opponent bought me a beer and analysing the game afterwards with his teammates was interesting, I missed a very strong move in e5 at one point and then I think he would have been in serious trouble but to be honest I am not playing so well and one has an almost fatalistic outlook at this stage. note: Actually having analysed this with Petr Neuman its not so good for White even after e5 because he can play Qb6 and Bc6 if white takes on d7. Good spot by Petr! I had a narrow escape after this as during a drunken discussion on what ‘a winning advantage’ means I challenged John Joyce to play for 50 euro the black side after e5 and I would play the white side. Luckily for me he also thought White had a good position and declined to take me up!
Tony got absolutely mullered on board 4 in an Open sicilian, in fairness his opponent was a really strong player, definitely better than his rating I think. The game was over quite quickly. John Joyce had said that someone was going to get trounced in an open Sicilian (only he didnt put it quite so politely! but this is a family site) and John thought it would be himself as he had experienced this a couple of times in Italy. Unfortunately it happened to be Tony.  This is why I dont play the Open Sicilian in events such as this. It requires too much theoretical knowledge to play it at this level (Tony compared it to walking a tightrope, having to find only moves all the time and I think thats a good analogy) and I dont have the time or inclination to do this.

John Joyce suffered his first loss in a game in which he played a slightly unusual line against the Scotch (Bb4+, followed after c3 by Ng4 and Qh4) not sure how sound it was and he seemed to be struggling for much of the game. There was one point when I felt he should have chucked a couple of pawns at his opponent and at least went down in flames or possibly confuse the issue a bit but John felt there was nothing there.
Jan lost on the white side of a Zurich Nimzo. He played a line I had been looking at the other day with Petr Neuman and Petr assured me it was not the best line for White but it is one of the main lines and Jan got a great position. Winning a pawn and looking to be completely winning he then played a couple of very strange moves (a4 and a5) and his opponent got back into it big time and eventually won. The phrase ‘fiddling while Rome burns’ went through my head when going through the game afterward. John cracked eventually on board 5 in his first match against their captain. He seemed to have a slightly dodgy position for much of the game and was in time trouble also. Petr saved our blushes with a win on board 1 so we avoided the dreaded whitewash. I didnt see much of the game so cant comment on it. Maybe I can post it when I get the chance.
After this game we went back to the Irish pub (‘just for one’) before we planned to get some food. This then turned into an absolutely marathon session. I got lost on the way home from the nightclub, quite an achievement when you consider I only needed to walk in a straight line for 500 meters to get to my apartment. I then ended up wandering around Ohrid for a couple of hours before a security guard in the hospital took pity on me and rang a cab to take me home. I think the other guys who were out that night were also suffering the next day!

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