Final round and summary
Yesterday’s final round started at 1pm so coaching and preparation started early. Results were again mixed with the team scoring 11½ points which included 11 draws! Special mention must go to Navi who scored her fifth win in a row.
Looking at our results overall some of our players have had excellent tournaments; Alex Golding scored 6½ points (as an U11) in the U12 to finish 9th, Haolin and Navi both scored 6 in the U8’s and finished 14th and 13th respectively. However, for some the performances have been slightly disappointing and the tournament challenging. Not an excuse but the strength of the opposition should not be underestimated with the “tail” consisting of the local unrated or lowly rated Georgians many of whom have been capable of scoring 4-5 points in most sections. All players will now come home having learnt more about themselves and their chess and hopefully identified the areas for development and improvement.
The new K factor of 40 for juniors is obviously going to make junior ratings very volatile. Our top player rating wise was James Moreby who gained 158.6 rating points while others have lost over 100 points.
The tournament was excellently run with no problems and the Sheraton Hotel proved a very good playing venue. Our hotel, the Intourist was good and the Georgian red wine excellent!
What of Batumi? After the last ECF junior trip here some 4 years ago both Head of Delegation, Jim Wadsworth, and Coach, Andrew Martin left the City vowing never to return. They both returned on this trip and have been pleasantly surprised at the progress that has been made.
It’s an interesting place and with snow capped mountains visible from the beaches, many Western Hotels now on the seafront and numerous casinos. The influence of the old communist era are still evident with blocks of tatty flats a few streets from the sea front, staff unable to smile and an abundance of police and leather clad heavies on street corners. However, the area is progressing.
Finally a big thanks to Jim Wadsworth for organising the trip and for selecting the best vintages in the hotels “wine cellar”, he really did do an excellent job, and to all the coaches and players for their hard work and sustained efforts.
I leave you with this famous quote from Winston Churchill.
“Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts”