Friday, October 05, 2018

England's men finish fifth in world chess team championship

There is life in English chess after all. The Olympiad (the biennial world team competition) finished in Batumi, Georgia, today and the men's team finished fifth.

This is their best result since 1996. (The women's team finished 29th.)

Leonard Barden writes of the men's team in the Guardian:
The team, well captained by John Nunn, rode their luck at times and were blessed by favourable pairings but were also resilient, technically prepared in depth and professional in their match strategy. David Howell’s 7.5/10 on third board was the outstanding individual performance as the 27-year-old from Seaford advanced to 2699 on the live ratings. His only defeat was by the former world champion Vlad Kramnik. 
Michael Adams scored 6/10, Luke McShane 5.5/10, Gawain Jones 6.5/10, and Nick Pert 2/4. England won eight matches, drew 2-2 with France, and lost to Azerbaijan and Russia.
I remember Nick Pert playing for Oakham School against Market Harborough in the Leicestershire League, but the trouble is that this English men's team is growing older together . There are no hungry younger players pushing for a place in it.

For an explanation of why this is, read this Stephen Moss article.

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