Round 5

A day of high drama, we were drawn against another decent team, this time from Iceland. I woke up with a really bad hangover and also extremely tired having only had about 4 hours sleep. I met with Petr and Jan before looking at my prospective opponents games for all of 10 minutes on chessbase before deciding to play the Queens Gambit Accepted if I couldnt get out of playing in the first place that is, as was really sick. Petr gave me a tablet, some kind of Czech hangover cure (Pink Panther anybody!?!) but it didnt really do the trick. I managed some pizza and a fruit juice and then we got a taxi to the hotel. I think Jan was suffering a little bit aswell.
When we got to the hotel where the match is on just before 3pm, the first person I saw was John Joyce so I asked him where John Cassidy was as I really wanted to get out of playing if at all possible to be met with the rejoinder that John was in a taxi on the way to Skopje to get a flight to Frankfurt to get home as he was sick. Tony was accompanying him so we were down to 5 players. I thought John Joyce was messing at first as he had been down to have a rest day but quckly realised he was serious. To say I was surprised was an understatement but the main concern obviosuly was that John is ok.
After this its fair to say that the chess was a secondary aspect. Petr drew in about 10 moves with the white pieces, he said before the game he was aiming for an early draw. Jans opponent seemed to misplay the opening 1e4 e5 2Nf3 Nc6 3Bc4 Nf6 4Ng5 d5 5ed Na5 6Bb5+ Bd7 and now he played Be2 which I dont think can be good (Qe2 is normal) and in fact Jan got a reasonable position, apparently Rybka had him totally winning but he missed Bd7 at one point and ended up losing. After the game he was a bit annoyed and said he played terribly, I dont know if the drinking last night had an effect or not. John Joyce on board 3 had a reasonable position against Thorfinsson who turned down a draw at one point. John then blundered a pawn in what seemed a good position for him but even then he had definite chances to hold as there was opposite coloured bishops and his opponents king was a bit exposed. Time pressure was a factor though and in the end he wasn’t able to hold the position. I played the queens gambit accepted without really knowing the theory. I went into a position where I vaguely remembered a pawn sac line but I think I misplayed it and even though I thought I was getting some compensation, it was never enough. Petr Neuman was not impressed with the moves I played saying that the line was basically winning for white, I need to check it on chessbase! note: I have since checked this up in the books and its fair to say its garbage, the game went 1d4 d5 2c4 dc 3.e3 Nf6 (e3 is definitely not the most challenging and e5 or c5 would be better but I dont know the theory of that line at all). 4Bxc4 Bg4 5Nf3 e6 6Qb3 (this is the position I wanted, I knew I could sac the pawn on b7) …Bxf3 7gf Nbd7 (c5 immediately could be ok aswell) 8Nc3 (ok I didnt know what to do know and I played a howler of a move …c5?! 9d5 ed Nxd5 10. Bd6 and after white exchanges on f6 and chops on b7 black gets some compensation but not enough and I even didnt play so accurately after this, apparently Nb6 followed by c5 at an appropriate time gives Black a very good game according to Semkov) 
Nick got a result on board 5 in an interesting game where he had the black side of a french exchange. He played quite well and there was some interesting tactics before he sacced a knight and got a perpetual. So another 5-1 loss it was. We got white rose in the fifth round.


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