As a chess parent I know 1st hand the pain and elation that comes with following our children’s games. I remember one of my son’s first tournaments at the age of 6. It was the UK chess challenge and the players were all busy with their games in the tournament hall. Peaking through the curtains to see whether you could see the board or better still the body language of your child was a common past time especially amongst less experienced parents. Were our kids strutting confidently like peacocks around the board excited by an imminent win or they blubbering, their lower lip wobbling, close to tears, their dreams of victory (and let’s face it yours) about to be snatched away. Watching your child on a live board I have found is actual physical torture. First of all you are immensely proud that your child is doing well enough to appear on a live board but when your child starts playing that pride totally disappears. What follows is a feeling of sheer terror. Please don’t make a mistake! Why did he move there when he should have moved there! Why is he moving so quickly! Why is he taking so long over a move that seems so simple! Computers have added another dimension because they make you an instant Grandmaster. How could your child move Nf3 when that move registers 0.5 on the parent panic scale when Qb3 registers a more comforting 1.5. Let me tell you that following the plus and minus scores is like watching a terrifying horror movie enfold through your fingers that you can’t bear to watch but strangely can’t tear yourself away from. That is why I feel for the Sheikh family today who were watching their daughter Anum. They have had this experience twice in a row now. Yesterday with a swell of pride as she produced a beautiful winning game and today when she was caught out in the opening and couldn’t recover thereafter. Unlucky Anum , you have done yourself great credit during the tournament and despite our nerves we look forward to seeing you on the live boards again soon.
Ilya Misyura had a great win today taking his tournament score to 5.5. He has put back to back wins together in rounds 8 and 9 and today beat his first over 2000 rated opponent of the tournament as black by beating a Brazilian candidate master no less. A result which I am sure was his most satisfying so far. Keep going Ilya, we will be following your results with interest, and cheering the wins.
Aditya Munshi also won today and he is up to a 50% score of 4.5 now. Aditya won’t let me show a game unless he is totally happy with it. He is a perfectionist and I hope he plays a game like this so I can review it with all the readers before the tournament finishes. There is no doubt we will be in for a treat. Aditya is showing good form now and this is a promising sign for the 2 games to come.
George Clarkson and Keerthana Easwar also won their games today. It is such a pleasure to see these U8’s when they are analysing their games especially after they win. They don’t care that their play was not perfect or that their opponents made it easy or hung pieces. They just like taking pieces and pawns, as many as possible please! Why mate your opponent when you can enjoy taking off all the pieces from the board first. A bit like hungry lion cubs playing with their prey before tearing it apart.
Bobby Akeya Price won also today as white against his Armenian opponent; this was a dangerous player not to be taken lightly. He had beaten 2 players over a 2000 rating in rounds 3 and 4. Bobby had only 2 minutes remaining on the clock with about 15 moves to make before time control. Bobby saw his time trouble and offered a draw but was turned down. A few moves later when his opponent’s position had worsened the draw offer was reciprocated, but this time it was Bobby that rejected. At this point the pressure and clock watching took its toll and black blundered a piece which led to a resignation. Well done Bobby. 2 more wins please and you’ll be going home with 6 points and a pleasing tournament result and performance rating.
After well played games in the previous 2 rounds Christopher Tombolis and Nilomi Desai both came undone in similar lines of the same opening. Both games were particularly sharp and required perfect play as white to maintain the advantage. Keep fighting guys, don’t be discouraged-You are both playing great chess and look forward to reviewing your games in round 10 and 11.
Joe Birks drew his game as black today against his Libyan opponent. He was up a pawn but ultimately couldn’t convert the advantage. Come on Joe 2 more big pushes to take home 2 big wins for England.
An overall score of 5.5 out of 9 today and a good day for our team. Round 10 coming soon.
— Glafcos Tombolis, Head of the English Delegation