3rd World Senior Team Championship Dresden

3/22/2015 – With 87 teams this Championship broke all records. Over 400 players traveled to the German city, that had been fire-bombed exactly 70 years ago. The participated in two sections, one for veterans over fifty and one for 65+. Third seed Slovakia took the title, while top seeds England and Germany finished third and second respectively. We have some impressions and one nicely annotated game.

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The 3rd Senior Team Chess Championship took place from 24 February to 4 March 2015 in Dresden, Germany, breaking all records for this kind of event. After the First World Championship in 2004, on the Isle of Man (12 teams) the FIDE Congress 2013 decided to stage three test events with the new age structure (50+ , 65+ , 50+ female) would take place in Vilnius (2014) and in Dresden (2015 and 2016). Based on the number of participants in Vilnius 2014 (28 teams) and the last European Team Championship of Seniors in Dresden in 2012 (72 teams), the organizing committee anticipated between 65 and 75 teams for 2015.

The 2015 Dresden Championship saw 45 teams in the 50+ section and 42 in the over-65 tournament, making for a total of 87 teams, the furthest travelling, at 12,000 km, coming from Argentina. The top teams were England I (Elo average 2570), Germany I (average 2482) and Slovakia (average 2462). There were few reports on the event, so we quote the indestructible Leonard Barden, who summarized the course it took in his Guardian chess column:

This week England came to the world over-50 senior team championship in Dresden with a top-seeded squad rated 90 points or more ahead of their rivals. Three of them – Nigel Short, John Nunn and Jonathan Speelman – had played in 1986 at the Dubai Olympiad, when England missed gold by just half a point after their Soviet rivals allegedly cheated by giving advice during play to England’s Spanish opponents in a key match.

The fourth GM at Dresden, Keith Arkell, is reigning European senior champion, while the reserve Terry Chapman had been a Speelman rival in his teens, had given up the game to make his fortune in the dotcom boom, and now sponsors the team.

Many over-50 ex-Soviet grandmasters have since emigrated, so Russia only fielded a team – which won easily – in the over-65 section, headed by two veteran GMs with links to Bobby Fischer. So the over-50 world title should have been a pushover for England, but they lost 1½-2½ to their only two serious rivals, Slovakia and Germany, when the normally dependable Arkell made errors in both key matches. There was a similar denouement in the 2014 championship at Vilnius against Lithuania.

Over-50 World Team Championship

Over-65 World Team Championship

# Team Elo
Points
Board
1. Slovakia  
17:1
27½
1. Lubomir Ftacnik 2545
7½:1½
37.25
2. Igor Stohl 2493
6:3
30.25
3. Gennadij Timoscenko 2457
7½:1½
33
4. Dr. Peter Petran 2352
6½:2½
28.75
2. Germany  
15:3
26
1. Uwe Bönsch 2541
4:1
17
2. Klaus Bischoff 2495
6:3
26.25
3. Karsten Volke 2470
7:2
32
4. Raj Tischbierek 2420
6½:2½
31
5. Gernot Gauglitz 2393
2½:1½
13.75
3. England 1  
13:5
26
1. Nigel D Short 2664
7:1
35.75
2. John D M Nunn 2601
6½:1½
31
3. Jon S Speelman 2506
5½:1½
28
4. Keith C Arkell 2510
4½:3½
22
5. Terry Chapman 2262
2½:2½
12½
4. Thüringen  
13:5
22½
2. Thomas Casper 2387
4:5
20½
3. Bernd Vökler 2335
6:3
29.75
4. Thomas Pähtz 2365
6½:2½
28.25
5. J. Brüggemann 2304
6:3
28½
5. Em. Lasker Ges.  
12:6
21½
1. Jakob Meister 2478
5:4
18
2. H-U. Gruenberg 2375
6:3
26.75
3. Wolfgang Uhlmann 2326
1:2
4. Lutz Espig 2294
3½:4½
18.25
5. Dr. Gerhard Köhler 2120
6:1
30½
6. SC Forchheim  
12:6
21
1. Manfred Heidrich 2336
6:3
25½
2. Berthold Bartsch 2319
1:3
3. Hans Niedermaier 2269
3:4
12
4. Dieter Seyb 2258
6½:1½
26.25
5. Karl-H. Kannenberg 2204
4½:3½
20
7. Scotland 1  
11:7
21
1. Colin A McNab 2432
5½:3½
27
2. Stephen R Mannion 2345
5:4
27.25
3. Roderick M McKay 2348
4:5
21
4. Douglas M Bryson 2351
6½:2½
31.75
8. England 2  
11:7
21
1. Glenn Flear 2463
6:3
31
2. H James Plaskett 2445
7½:1½
32½
3. Shawn Tavares 2140
2½:6½
12.25
4. Chris Fegan 2081
5:4
23.75
9. Belgium 1  
11:7
20½
1. Marc Geenen 2231
4½:4½
23.75
2. Philippe Kerkhof 2169
5:4
16
3. Thierry Van Houtte 2133
5:4
19.25
4. Aragones-Melhem  
6:3
23½
10. Austria 2  
11:7
23
1. Adolf Denk 2265
5½:3½
24½
2. Michael Ernst 2185
6½:2½
24
3. Friedrich Wöber 2169
5½:3½
20.25
4. Robert Gattermayer 2009
5½:3½
17
# Team Elo
Points
Board
1. Russia  
18:0
30
1. Evgeni Vasiukov 2426
4½:1½
23
2. Yuri Balashov 2432
6:1
30½
3. Vladimir Zhelnin 2465
7:1
30½
4. Nikolai Pushkov 2299
6½:1½
35
5. Nikolai Mishuchkov 2306
6:1
28.75
2. Kaissa Deut.  
13:5
22½
1. Jefim Rotstein 2371
4:5
18
2. Boris Khanukov 2318
7:2
30
3. Sergej Salov 2222
6½:2½
31½
4. Boris Gruzmann 2210
5:4
22½
3. Germany  
13:5
22½
1. Klaus Klundt 2293
5:4
26.25
2. Dr. Bernd Baum 2300
7:2
33.25
3. Jürgen Haakert 2355
5:4
26
4. Christian Clemens 2285
5½:3½
24½
4. Finland  
13:5
23
1. Heikki Westerinen 2304
6:3
28½
2. Ilkka Kanko 2199
3½:5½
17
3. Harri Hurme 2162
7:2
35½
4. Kaj Kivipelto 2114
6½:2½
26½
5. Austria  
12:6
21
1. Georg Danner 2339
8:1
36½
2. Horst Watzka 2254
3½:4½
17.25
3. Josef Ager 2109
4½:4½
23.25
4. Hans Singer 2190
4½:4½
19½
5. Konstantinos Pitzl 2012
0½:0½
6. Moldova  
12:6
21
1. Boris Nevednichy 2128
5½:3½
25.25
2. Victor Romcovici 2108
6:3
25½
3. Victor Socolov 1753
1½:1½
3.75
4. Albert Scovitin  
5:4
20.25
5. Viktor Gyrlea 2410
3:3
11½
7. Sweden 1  
12:6
20
1. Bengt Hammar 2180
4:4
16.25
2. Göran Andersson 2159
4½:2½
16½
3. Ulf Nyberg 2140
5:2
25½
4. Nils-Ake Malmdin 2116
3½:3½
16½
5. Ingvar Carlsson 2097
3:4
16
8. Switzerland  
12:6
21
1. D.Vucenovic 2219
5:4
24.75
2. Edwin Bhend 2180
4½:2½
21.75
3. Peter Hohler 2141
4½:2½
19.75
4. Siegfried Reiss 2115
4:3
18½
5. Hans-Jörg Illi 2068
3:3
13.75
9. Berliner SV  
11:7
20
1. Peter Rahls 2227
1½:4½
6.25
2. Reinhard Postler 2250
3:5
13
3. W.Thormann 2237
6:3
29
4. Norbert Sprotte 2211
3:2
14½
5. Friedrich Baumbach 2182
6½:1½
30
10. SV Dresden-L.  
11:7
21
1. Günter Weidlich 2207
5:4
22.25
2. Hans Bodach 2220
4:5
20
3. Erwin Böhm 2183
5½:3½
22.75
4. Joachim Knaak 2179
6½:2½
22

Full tables of all 87 teams can be found here, and all pairings and results here. We hand over for a special report by GM James Plaskett, who played for England 2 and came very close to getting the gold medal for his performance at the Championship. He was narrowly beaten to it by John Nunn playing for England 1.

No Country For Old Men

By James Plaskett

From February 24th to March 4th 2015 the World Senior Teams Championships took place at the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Dresden, Germany. On February 15th I felt compelled to contribute to a thread at the Daily Mail Online on the 70th anniversary of the fire bombing of Dresden. In my opinion it was a war crime, and I did not salute the erection of a commemorative statue in London to "Bomber" Harris. Not everyone agreed. And then, curiously enough, just a few days after I found myself visiting the very place.

Much of the infrastructure of the beautiful city centre has been restored and it is now home to 500,000 people.
Scroll to the right to see the full panorama image from Wikipedia.

Some grumbling and disquiet was expressed amongst us mature GMs at the rounds starting at 9:30 a.m. every day. That appeared to have been framed around the desires of some of the aging band of competitors to fit sight-seeing in with the play. We'd have preferred more time to munch, browse and ruminate through breakfast.

Lubomir Ftacnik, Slovakia, vs Nigel Short, England One, in round four: draw

Slovakia, led by Ftacnik, Stohl and Timoschenko, emerged the victors. Personally, I was very disappointed to have outplayed Stohl but then let slip a massive structural endgame superiority. It was a situation where his utterly mangled pawns left Igor facing what he had supposed, rationally, was going to be an unpleasant if tenable afternoon.

Terry Chapman with John Nunn and Nigel Short [Photo Dagobert Kohlmeyer

England One, with GMs Short, Nunn, Speelman and Arkell were favourites, but Keith's form did not quite match his excellent previous performance in Senior events. A blitz tournament for teams of two was announced quite early on, but they altered the starting time, once again taking into account the vagaries of the older players, from five to four p.m., so I had to spectate and watch a visiting, sprightly Matthew Sadler partner Arkell to the top prize.

James Plaskett and Glenn Flear, Board two and one for England 2

In my opinion the following was one of the most interesting and, particularly from a psychological viewpoint, instructive games of the whole event. Comments are by me and Bernd Voekler.

[Event "SenWM "] [Site "Dresden"] [Date "2015.03.03"] [Round "?"] [White "Nunn, John"] [Black "Voekler, Bernd"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B90"] [PlyCount "128"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [EventCountry "GER"] [SourceDate "2003.06.08"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Be3 {Still a Nunn specialty, even after he and it spent a decade in mothballs.} e5 7. Nb3 Be7 8. f3 Be6 9. Qd2 O-O 10. O-O-O a5 $5 {Not the way they did things in my day at all! We all jabbed with our b-pawns.} 11. a4 Nc6 12. g4 Nb4 {The newly created lodge.} 13. g5 Nh5 {Black´s generation of counterchances is now based on advancing his f-pawn. This leads to extremely sharp play.} 14. Kb1 Rc8 15. Rg1 ({On} 15. h4 f5) 15... f5 $6 (15... Qc7 16. Qf2 Nf4 17. Bxf4 exf4 18. Nd4) ({On } 15... g6 16. Bb5 f5 17. Qf2) 16. Bh3 ({A key parting of the ways. But White could probably have got more by continuing his attack by moving the g-pawn, e. g.} 16. gxf6 Nxf6 $4 (16... Rxf6 17. Bg5 Rxf3 18. Bxe7 Qxe7 19. Qxd6 Qxd6 20. Rxd6 Rcf8 $16) 17. Nc5 $18) (16. g6 fxe4 (16... hxg6 17. Rxg6 Rf6 18. Rg1) 17. gxh7+ Kxh7 18. fxe4 Nf4 19. Be2 d5 20. exd5 Bf5 21. Bxf4 Bxc2+ 22. Qxc2+ Nxc2 23. Bd3+ Kh8 24. Bxe5 Na3+ 25. bxa3 Bf6 26. Bxf6 {1-0 (48) Zhigalko,S (2680) -Nedilko,V (2413) Aix-les-Bains 2011 CBM 142B [Marchand,A/Primel,D]}) 16... Qe8 $1 17. exf5 ({Or} 17. Nxa5 Rxc3 18. Qxc3 Qxa4 19. Nc4 Qa2+ 20. Kc1 Qxc4 21. Qxc4 Bxc4 22. exf5 Ra8 $15) 17... Rxf5 $1 18. Nxa5 {Winning what should, actually, have proved an important pawn. But, for a while anyway, the knight lands on a remote square.} Qf7 19. Nb3 ({On} 19. Nxb7 d5 20. Bxf5 Qxf5 {and White would have then nothing better than the dreadful} 21. Bc5 Rxc5 22. Nxc5 Bxc5 23. Rge1 d4 24. Ne4 Be7) 19... g6 (19... d5 $5) 20. Bxf5 Bxf5 21. Ne4 Nxc2 {With a couple of bishops, mobile centre and pieces on the most threatening of squares Black has more than adequate compensation for his material investment and has whipped up a ferocious initiative.} 22. Na5 {What else?} d5 ({Another and far simpler win was just by} 22... Nxe3 23. Qxe3 d5 $19 24. Rgf1 {[Picture of postgame analysis]} Ra8 25. Nxb7 dxe4 26. fxe4 Rxa4) 23. Qxd5 Be6 (23... Nxe3 24. Qxf7+ Kxf7 25. Rc1 Ra8 26. Nxb7 Rxa4 {left White on the ropes.}) 24. Qxb7 Ba2+ $2 ({He could here have put him away with} 24... Nxe3 25. Rc1 Ba2+ 26. Ka1 Nc2+ 27. Rxc2 Rxc2 28. Nc6 Bf8 29. Qxf7+ Bxf7 30. Nxe5 $19) 25. Kc1 Qf8 26. Bd2 ({On} 26. Nc3 Nxe3 27. Nc6 Rxc6 28. Qxc6 Nxd1 29. Nxa2 Qf4+ 30. Kxd1 Qd4+ 31. Kc2 Qf2+ $11 {would have won.}) 26... Nd4+ 27. Bc3 Nf4 {Moving kingward. But Nunn finds almost the only moves and it looks as if now the victory is no longer in the position.} (27... Bb4) (27... Rxc3+ $2 28. Nxc3 ( 28. bxc3 Ba3+ 29. Kd2 Qf4+ 30. Ke1 Qe3+ 31. Kf1 Qe2#) 28... Qf4+ 29. Rd2 Nxf3 30. Qc8+ Kf7 31. Rgg2 Nxd2 32. Rxd2 Bxg5 33. Qd7+ Kg8 34. Nxa2) 28. Nf6+ Bxf6 29. gxf6 Bd5 ({On} 29... Rb8 30. Qe7 (30. Qc7 Nfe2+ 31. Kd2 Nxg1 32. Bxd4 Nxf3+ ) (30. Qg7+ Qxg7 31. fxg7 Nfe2+ 32. Kd2 Nxg1) 30... Nfe2+ 31. Kd2 Nxg1 32. Qxf8+ Kxf8 33. f4 $15 {with a bit of a mess.}) 30. Qg7+ {The anticipated bailout.} Qxg7 31. fxg7 Nfe2+ 32. Kb1 {Away from the knight forks.} Nxg1 33. Rxg1 Ne2 34. Re1 Nxc3+ 35. bxc3 Rc5 {The smoke has cleared and we're in an ending. He could just have snaffled the c-pawn, but, short of time, trapping the knight proved the more tempting.} 36. Kb2 Rxa5 37. Rxe5 Kxg7 $2 (37... Rc5 {was far better when after} 38. f4 (38. a5 Rxa5 (38... Rb5+ 39. Ka3 Bc4 40. Rxb5 Bxb5)) (38. c4 Rxc4 39. Rxd5 Rxa4) 38... Kxg7 39. c4 Rxc4 40. Rxd5 Rxa4 { holds. Nunn now revivifies his winning chances.}) 38. Ka3 $1 Kf6 39. f4 Rc5 40. c4 Rxc4 41. Rxd5 Rxf4 42. a5 {Play enters an almost critically balanced rook ending. As so very often in such cases, the result will hinge on just one move. } Ke6 {Hereabouts, much to the amusement of Short, Black offered a draw. Turned out that he needed just two draws from the last two games to complete his IM title. The following day he got the second from me. But low expectations bring low results, and that was one of the principle reasons for the injustice inflicted on the openly ambitious [Major Charles Ingram]. Fear of winning may exert even more influence over a man than the more obvious fear of loss. Voekler could and should have beaten Nunn.} 43. Rd2 Ke5 (43... Ke7 $5) 44. Rd7 Rh4 45. Rd2 Rf4 46. Kb3 Rf8 47. Kc4 Ra8 48. Kb5 h5 49. a6 g5 50. Kb6 g4 51. Kb7 Rxa6 52. Kxa6 {Neither myself nor the players spotted the only winning way here. It was Speelman who demonstrated in the post mortem how to do it.} h4 53. Kb5 $2 {Throwing away the win.} ({He had to play} 53. Ra2 $1 Kf4 54. Ra3 $1 g3 (54... h3 55. Rg3) 55. Ra4+ $1 Kf3 (55... Kf5 56. h3) 56. Rxh4 g2 57. Rh3+ $1 Kf2 58. Rg3 {A manouevre with which I believe myself to have been unfamiliar. I could find nothing in Dvoretsky's Endgame Manual on it. The ending did remind me of that which arose from a game of Sveshnikov´s from 1979 - an Alekhine Defence - which I recalled from an old Informator. But I have been unable to trace it.}) (53. Rd3 {would have also won.}) 53... Ke4 54. Kc4 Kf3 55. Rd4 h3 $1 {The key difference and the only way!} 56. Rd3+ Kg2 57. Rd2+ Kf3 58. Kd4 g3 59. Rd3+ Kg2 60. hxg3 h2 61. Rd1 Kxg3 62. Ke3 Kg2 63. Rd2+ Kg3 64. Rxh2 Kxh2 {Some inaccuracies. But, for all those, still a fine struggle over the whole board.} 1/2-1/2

Black is winning! Bernd Voekler ananyses the line 23.Qxe3 d5 24.Rgf1 in the notes above.
Watching the postmortem: former World Championship candidate Jon Speelman.

We are glad to reconnect with an old friend, GM Jim Plaskett, who lives in Spain and has been engaged in many other interesting areas of endeavour that have nothing to do with chess. In fact we can feel a special portrait report coming soon.


Topics Dresden, Seniors
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