One of my oldest chess friends chided me over my overlong quiet hither at the BCM Blog, thence I idea I would write something of my Tuesday trip to the U.K. vs China represent at St George's Hall, Liverpool.
First of all, I was impressed past times how tardily as well as convenient it is to larn to Liverpool past times develop as well as and thence abide by the venue. 2½ hours straight from Euston to Liverpool Lime Street, as well as and thence you lot cross the route ... as well as you lot are at the venue. Couldn't live on simpler. The develop ran to timetable. And, thankfully, the Northern business of the clandestine was unaffected past times the metro strike thence that piece of job of the journeying worked similar a dream too.
At 2 o'clock nosotros had the opening ceremony, which was a really informal affair inwards which the Lord Mayor of Liverpool was presented to the 2 teams. The local press lensman dragooned all the players into seat either side of a long tabular array at which the Lord Mayor (who had plainly been promoted to board ane for the UK) faced China's youngest (and already most famous) player, 13-year-old daughter prodigy Hou Yifan. Then of course of report the photographers urged the Lord Mayor to construct a move, which he promptly did - 1 h5. Yes, he had the dark pieces as well as made the offset move. If Hou Yifan was surprised past times this remarkable TN, she didn't present it but continued to smiling sweetly. In fact, later on farther languageless gesturing from the assembled press corps, she was persuaded to go on this chessboard travesty alongside a white move. I idea this demonstrated considerable sang froid as well as flexibility of heed on her part. The abundant prove that she had travelled halfway circular the planet to live on confronted past times people who appeared non to convey the slightest clue every bit to how to play chess did non faze her ane iota.
We as well as thence moved to the speeches, alongside the Lord Mayor (Councillor Paul Clark), organiser David Robertson, ECF primary executive Martin Regan, U.K. captain Jon Speelman as well as the Chinese caput of delegation (whose mention I did non catch) all speaking. Jon Speelman told us that he had arrived on the sun expecting to live on represent commentator but, inwards the absence of a room suitable for commentary, he had instead been appointed the U.K. skipper. This reminded me of the frequent occasions on which I convey turned upward to diverse chess competitions thinking but to spectate as well as and thence beingness induced to stand upward inwards for a missing player, or by as well as large assist out inwards some administrative capacity. Of course, GM Speelman is a kindly as well as solicitous individual as well as it was adept to consider him busily ministering to his charges, whilst also finding some fourth dimension to explicate to us less gifted occupants of the dorsum room what was actually happening on the boards.
The opening ceremony as well as photo-shoot dragged on rather and, at its close, the Chinese squad begged go out to pose the start fourth dimension dorsum past times one-half an hour: a perfectly reasonable asking which was agreed to past times the organisers, though it may convey nonplussed the spider web audience somewhat every bit they settled downwards to watch.
St George's Concert Hall is a splendid venue for a prestige lawsuit such every bit this, as well as the organisers had set on supplementary lighting thence that nosotros were bathed inwards lite (it was noticeable that pro photographers dispensed alongside their flash guns when taking pictures - a really adept sign). One awkwardness was the lack of room on the stage. Though it accommodated the 8 boards of the represent perfectly easily, the infinite required for the Open meant that a few boards from the Open were placed at the dorsum of the phase which left insufficient room for the represent players to movement about. I wasn't acquaint for rounds 2 as well as 3 but I imagine this has since been sorted out.
But I'll cutting curt whatever quibbling well-nigh the arrangements as well as tike niggles well-nigh the set-up - none of it matters inwards the full general system of things as well as what volition live on remembered inwards the years to come upward volition live on the chess. And the chess has been excellent. The represent has lived upward to its advanced publicity. The offset 2 rounds were a wake-up telephone band for the British squad, alongside the Chinese squad playing a construct of feisty, fighting chess which rocked them dorsum on their heels. To live on fair, the British in all probability knew what they were inwards for as well as saw themselves every bit underdogs earlier the start - though the Chinese claimed this condition for themselves. Anyway, circular 3 came every bit a welcome shot inwards the arm for British chess. Mickey Adams played like... Mickey Adams. He is the stone around which British chess is currently founded as well as ane gets the impression that his team-mates derive inspiration from his calm countenance gazing impassively at the board every bit he gradually throttles the life out of his opponents. Nigel Short has been having a bad trot latterly but he was dorsum to playing a existent opening today as well as the juices seemed to live on flowing again. Bu Xiangzhi tried to loosen his suitcase past times stirring upward a large mess but Short is perfectly at domicile inwards a tactical quagmire as well as emerged alongside the point.
Not everything went swimmingly for the Brits. Jonathan Rowson was upward against the most Adams-like fellow member of the Chinese team, Wang Yue, as well as on the incorrect cease of a grind. Nick Pert became the offset British histrion to abide by out why the Chinese had brought along the shy, sweet-faced footling daughter alongside the pilus grips. It is even thence difficult to believe that this 13-year-old moppet (who looks to a greater extent than similar well-nigh 8) packs a 2500-rated punch but the baby-faced assassinator gave piteous Nick a bloody olfactory organ inwards this encounter. Hou loves ya, baby.
ECF selectors, delight note: England could convey the makings of an Olympiad squad if Adams as well as Short manage 2/2 as well as Jones as well as Howell tin as well as thence fleck inwards alongside 1½/2 every bit happened today. Nice going, against opposition of 2681, 2685, 2624 as well as 2649. Jones as well as Howell both had long as well as bruising encounters but both came through pretty well. This is all fantabulous squad chess experience.
The women's represent thence far is directly +2 inwards favour of the British women, alongside both wins coming from the Arakhamia-Shen Yang mini-match. Ketevan seems to convey also much sense for her 18-year-old opponent, despite a slightly lower rating. Ding Yixin is both younger as well as lower rated than her teammate but is proving a tougher nut to crack. The British squad may live on relying on its apparent superiority inwards this element of the overall represent to larn a result.
All hugely enjoyable: the represent isn't over yet, as well as already I desire to consider some other one. We've had 24 games of which xiv produced decisive results, as well as most of the draws convey been mighty battles too. All credit to David Robertson as well as his squad for setting upward the represent as well as chasing later on the money, to the Chinese squad for beingness a actually classy squad of chess fighters, as well as to the British squad for rising to the challenge. More! Sumber http://johnchess.blogspot.com/