ESCC: Team Spirit at the European Schools Chess Championships

First of all my apologies for the delayed posting after round 5. That is because it was my turn on Saturday to compile the main report for the whole team, and then Sunday was a very busy rest day for me as well as the players!

Kavala

One of the good things about playing as part of a team is that you can rejoice in other team members’ successes even when you don’t do so well yourself. That was certainly the case for Zoe after round 5.

While Zoe’s opponent had not played as strongly as her WFM title would have suggested, Zoe over-pushed for a win and in doing so got into a difficult position. Her announcement after the game that she blundered a rook was a little misleading, since the loss of the rook simply led to a quick death rather than a torturous one.

Marianne had not been looking at all well at lunch time, but at dinner was back to her normal bright self. The transformation that a good, and well deserved, win can make! Zoe was able to rejoice in Marianne’s victory as well.

It wasn’t so easy for Elizaveta to celebrate the point from her game for England, though, because she was up against one of the other England juniors, Carmel Barwick, and the manner of her loss was very disheartening. Everybody was getting tired after round 5, looking forward to the rest day. This showed in some of the games, including Liza’s where she mistakenly lifted up the wrong piece. That led to the loss of her queen in an otherwise won position.

The round 6 draw includes Zoe versus Marianne, which is not such a happy event for either of them. Drawing lines were considered, but instead they will grit their teeth, play their best and hopefully enjoy the analysis together after the match, whatever the result.

Andrew is an ECF-accredited chess coach and very active in coaching juniors in the Oxfordshire area on a professional basis. He attends Cumnor Chess Club when he gets a chance to take a break from coaching on Thursday nights. One of the books he recommends to his students is ‘How to Beat Your Dad at Chess’ but his own children are definitely beyond the point of needing such a reference!

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