Report from the European Seniors in Dresden by Paul Kendall

I have just returned from Dresden where I took part in the European Senior (ie over-60) Team Championship. This was a massive tournament with 78 teams of four players each round (most had a squad of 5). The tournament had nine rounds and was won by the Russians who mustered five strong grandmasters (Tseshkovsky, Vasiukov, Pushkov, Petrushin, Chernikov – average grade 2479). Switzerland came second, led by Victor Korchnoi on top board.

In the lower reaches of the tournament England had two teams, and I was Board 1 for the second of these. In the first round we played Scotland 1 and lost 4-0, and I lost to IM and chess writer Craig Pritchett. In later rounds we found our own level (it was run on Swiss tournament lines) and had some good matches, finally finishing 61st which matched our overall rating. However, this position was largely due to my own performance as I finished with 5 points from 7 games played; the highest score by an English player of either squad, and probably the only one to improve his (international) rating. Perhaps remarkably I won my last four games, all with Black and all Sicilian defences.

Those who have been members of the Club for a few years will remember Michael Macdonald-Ross. Mac was also playing at Dresden, as Board 2 for England first team. Hampered by a bad cold Mac had a number of quick draws, but did win a nice game on one of the two occasions when he played Board 1.