Iran are World U16 Olympiad Champions 2016 by 1 match win (and 1.5 games) from Russia and Armenia Ireland,seeded 41, finish 37/54 just behind Scotland by 0.5 on game score. Jonathan Peoples top scores for Ireland with 4.5/7
Final Day Ireland 2.5 : 1.5 Poland II (Warmia - Mazury)
In our last round of WYCO 2016, we faced Poland 2. We were hoping to win and finish on a high note. I was first finished, and for a long while it looked as if I would lose after carelessly blundering a piece in a Benko Gambit, Kramnik/Volga variation. I then won back a pawn however, and then a rook after some attacking counterplay, securing an unlikely win so I could end on 4/7. Dean was next, drawing a highly interesting, dynamic game with Black in the Sicilian Grand Prix attack. He finishes on 2/7, having played some difficult opponents. Shane followed, unfortunately losing in the middlegame after some clever play from his in-form opponent. He finishes on 2.5/7. Diana was last and, in a Taimanov Sicilian, she won a bishop in the ending off her opponent in time trouble, continuing with mate. She finishes on 3.5/8. Overall, the team finishes in 38th out of 54 teams, 3 places above our seeding. We are all very happy. Our top scorer was Jonathan on 4.5/7. We all immensely enjoyed ourselves, and we'd like to thank those involved in making this trip not only happen, but for making it a success for us.
Day 7 Ireland 3.5 : 0.5 Slovakia LSS A
Round 8 saw Ireland take on one of the various Slovakian sides. We were hoping to win, in order to move further up in the rankings. Jonathan was first to win his game in a KID, Bayonet Attack. His opponent played reasonably well, up until the point when he made a few blunders, meaning that Jonathan could promote a pawn and win. I was next, in a QGD - like game, in where I was able to exploit my opponents weakly - defended pawns through the middle game and eventually form a mating net. Diana then followed, with her opponent scrambling a draw coming back from being much worse. Shane was last, and after gaining an advantage in a Sicilian Rossilimo , he formulated an attack which went into a much better endgame and a win. This secured a 3.5- 0.5 win, and a last round clash vs Poland
Day 6 PM Ireland 2.5 : 1.5 Cyprus
Round 7 was our match vs Cyprus. The games were all tight, and we had to dig deep and fight hard to come out with a 2.5 - 1.5 win. I was first to finish, with my opponent taking a lot more time than I did, to an extent where I made a kingside attack, and then won a queen. She shortly lost on time afterwards. Diana was next, getting a highly respectable draw vs a 2100 in a Taimanov Sicilian. Dean then drew in a Smith Morra , salvaging the ending a pawn down in an opposite colour bishops game. Jonathan was last, and after a small bit of pressure with Black in a Sicilian dragon, he managed to secure a draw for himself and win for the team. We play Slovakia LSS A tomorrow in round 8, and so we hope for the best as this incredible adventure nearly draws to a climax.
Day 6 AM Ireland 1.5 : 2.5 Scotland
Round 6 saw an intense derby of Ireland vs Scotland. With all to play for, we put in an extensive amount of prep, however we unfortunately lost. As previously mentioned, some of their team previously took part in the Glorney Gilbert competitions. Diana was first to finish on board one, after a tactical oversight saw her unfortunately drop a queen early on vs Murad Abdullah. Shane was next, and maybe after having a better game in the English Opening, his opponent Euan Gray played exceptionally well to draw and make it 1.5 - 0.5. Next up was Dean, who up against Declan Shafi saw him enter a QGD position where he was on the receiving end of a kingside attack, and then he unfortunately lost a queen, which resulted quickly in a loss and unfortunately the result that would see Scotland defeat us. Jonathan was last, in a Scotch game against Ben Volland, where a queen prevailed over two rooks for him, with his opponent also having a bad pawn structure. A 2.5-1.5 loss sees us play bottom of the table Cyprus, where a win should get us back on track to finish respectably.
Day 5 Rest Day
For the rest day, the Irish team decided that we would visit the Tatra mountains. There was some incredible scenery, and some highly enjoyable cable cars, as some of us got some cable cars up 2500m + high! Some of us got go karts and scooters down the hill from the halfway point on the way back. Most of us were on time with go carts, however there was a small 20 minute delay (note to self: dont ever take a scooter down a mountain). It was a highly enjoyable day, and we were all very happy after the visit.
Day 4 Ireland 1.5 : 2.5 China II
Round 5 saw us take on China 2, a team in where it was very apparent that they were playing some tactics in their lineup, seeing as their strongest rated player was on board 2. Dean's game was interesting, in a Sicilian, however unfortunately was first to go down, after dropping a pawn near the end of the game. Jonathan was next, however he won a very well played game, after blasting out 17 moves of prep. His game eventually went down to a 2 rooks vs Q endgame, and dealt with it very well to make it 1-1. I was next, and throughout the game I had an incredibly cramped position, which eventually went into an endgame in where my opponent passed a pawn, and promoted, which triggered resignation from me. Diana was last, and after winning an exchange, her opponent played exceptionally well to draw the game. A 2.5-1.5 loss is not what we wanted. We will visit the Tatra mountains on the rest day, and then we enter round 6; with a massive match vs Scotland. Some of their team include previous Glorney Gilbert members. We hope to win and then have a good chance for mid table going forward.
Day 3 Ireland 0:4 Bulgaria
Round 4 saw Ireland take on an exceptionally strong Bulgaria side with 2130+ players on board 2 3 and up. Shane played the English and got into a somewhat confusing game, perhaps worse though for him. Diana got into a Dutch stonewall as black against a strong WFM. Dean was sitting ok in a QGD. I was first to go down, after stupidly blundering a piece due to a double attack on move 14. Ironically, double attacks were what I studied before the game. I was not happy. Shane lost an exchange and then resigned in a R+2 pawns vs K+1 pawn. Diana followed shortly, then Dean. Not the best of hopes, losing 4-0 , however we hope to get back on track in Round 5 vs China II.
Day 2 PM Ireland 1:3 Slovenia
Diana scalps an FM to get off the mark joining the 4 boys on 1 win each.
Alex Goss writes "Round 3: Ireland vs Slovenia After a satisfying 4-0 victory earlier, the second half of today saw us take on an experienced Slovenia side with high ratings and good experience. Jonathan, this time on 4 got another Grunfeld, however this time it was a lot clearer. Shane was black in a pirc-modern like structure on 2, Dean had a Smith Morra, and Diana had white in a rossilimo sicilian, which transposed into a canal attack.
Shane was first to go down, after a tactical misjudgement. Jonathan was doing well, however unfortunately played an innacuracy which triggered more troubles, and then resignation. Dean followed shortly after, in an endgame. It wasn't to be another 4-0 loss however, because then after almost 4 hours of play, Diana won a very interesting game against FM Jakob Bratkovic.
We face Bulgaria tomorrow, another strong team, and so we will look forward to it. For those looking to watch live, games start at 1pm Irish time."
Day 2 AM Ireland 4:0 South Africa III
And so right to the other end of the draw. Ireland faced 54th (and bottom seeds) South Africa III, with Dean coming in for Diana to get his first game. With an average rating difference of more than 400, this was a good opportunity for the four Irish boys to get off the mark.
Alex Goss writes "We started off well. Jonathan had a complex but slightly favourable Grunfeld position. Shane was sitting comfortably in the Dutch defense, and I entered into a QGD position, in which I've experienced many a time. Dean had played the Danish gambit, and was doing well enough for the gambit pawn. As time went on however, most positions seemed equal, even after 3 hours. Finally, after 3.5 hours, Jonathan and Shane were the first to convert their games into wins. At that point, my opponent made a costly pawn blunder, followed by another, and mate then followed shortly, to make the score 3-0. Then, after 4 hours, Dean won his game, for Irelands first 4-0 victory of the tournament. We were all left with the impression that our opponents play a lot higher than their ratings. We hope to do well in our next round, which is yet to be drawn."
Day 1 Ireland 0:4 Austria
A very tough first assignment, out-rated by an average 500 points against the 14th seeds, Shane and Alex were first to succumb with Jonathan hanging in for while an exchange down. Diana put up the most resistance getting all her pieces on good squares. However a tactical oversight forced a Q for R+N exchange leading quickly to the loss of further material and the game.
Day 0 - Travel Day
The Irish party of 8 headed off in the morning from Dublin Airport and flew into Brataslava only to find the person assigned by the hosts to coordinate the bus transfer had no idea where the bus was or what time it would arrive. The opening ceremony was held at 8pm. The playing arena is lovely - big, cool and airy.
Ireland are ranked 41 in a field of 54 teams. There are plenty of teams near the middle of the rankings for Ireland to have a good go at, not least among them our old friends, the Scots who again field players well known to us from previous Glorney-Gilberts.