Guernsey Chess Club and Federation Reports
Report from European Small Nations Championships in the Faroe Islands 15 - 21 August 2011.
Faroes Isles – Islands of the Sheep.
The Guernsey team was in Board order, Fred Hamperl, Peter Rowe, Peter Kirby, Andy Hale, & David Smith.
Guernsey Team (Andy Hale missing).
This was a team all-play-all and the other 9 competing countries were the hosts Faroe Isles, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta & Jersey. Guernsey were seeded 10th out of 10 teams, so it was going to be a tough competition.
2nd prize for the longest journey to the Faroes, goes to Peter Rowe, who flew Guernsey to Gatwick to Copenhagen to Iceland to Faroes (4 flights). The flight to Iceland was unscheduled as the Faroes airport was closed due to fog. However 1st prize goes to Fred for driving from Guernsey, with a 28 hour ferry crossing from Denmark.
Ali with the Guernsey car that had travelled so far.
The accommodation was in rented houses in Klaksvik
Constructed of corrugated iron on a concrete base.
On the morning of the 1st round we were told that the venue had changed to the Hotel Nord in Vidareidi (see picture below). Subsequently we used the upstairs of the scout hut in Klaksvik for one round, followed by Klaksvik High School which was the best venue used. In the scout hut, Fred was too tall to sit with comfort at his board because his head was in the eaves. Maccapani, the Board 2 from opponents San Marino did not want to change boards and tried to pretend he was taller than Fred by standing on tippy toes! The scout hut also had only 1 toilet for 40 players.
We were based in Klaksvik and to reach the Hotel Nord we had a 20 minute drive, part of which was through 2 unlit single track tunnels with passing places both 1 ½ miles long.
Round 1 Guernsey vs Liechtenstein ( a creditable 2-2 draw). Andy Hale was the Guernsey hero with a win on Board 3 in a very complicated game, supported by draws from Hamperl and Rowe on Boards 1 and 2.
In between the chess there was of course a chance to enjoy the amazing Faroes Islands Landscape and do some sightseeing.
View of the islands of Fugloy and Svinoy from Vidoy.
Sculpture in the centre of Klaksvik.
Church in Vidareidi.
Villingadalsfjall (844m). On the other side of this mountain are the highest sea cliffs in the world.
Another view of Villingadalsfjall.
David with his new friend.
Mallinsfjall (751m). This was the view from the playing room at the Hotel Nord. If you didn’t like your position at the board at least you could admire the view.
Day trip to the capital Torshavn
Fred, Peter, Linda, and Ali. The ladies were looking forward to the shopping in the capital but they were to be disappointed as they weren’t many shops and they were expensive as almost all goods are imported from Denmark. Indeed there appeared to be only 3 local products, fish, Faroese knitwear and beer.
After a promising start, after 8 rounds we found ourselves in last position, but we were only ½ point behind Jersey and San Marino. The last round was the important match against Jersey. So a team win in this round was imperative, and this is how the match developed.
Board 2 – Chris Tandy vs Peter Rowe. Although White won a pawn in the early middlegame, this quicky liquidated down to a drawn rook endgame. Draw.
Guernsey 0.5 Jersey 0.5
Board 1 – Fred Hamperl vs Tito Kahn . The Jerseyman played a Petroff, and a complicated game ensued. However, in a time scramble Kahn lost a piece and then his queen on consecutive moves. Win for Guernsey.
Guernsey 1.5 Jersey 0.5
Board 3 – Peter Kirby vs Graham Mooney. Black played passively in the opening and was under positional pressure for most of the middlegame. Black made a speculative exchange sacrifice and the position was complicated. Both players were feeling the pressure as the match hung in the balance and there were anxious looks to predict the result of Board 4. White picked his way through the complications to win.
Guernsey 2.5 Jersey 0.5
Board 4 – Louis Jouault vs Andy Hale. Black sacrificed a pawn in the opening and gave White tripled pawns. The position quickly simplified into an opposite coloured bishop endgame with White still a pawn up, which he eventually converted into a win.
Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, President of FIDE watching Louis vs Andy.
Final Score Guernsey 2.5 Jersey 1.5
Jersey were gracious in defeat, and Guernsey finished 8th as San Marino lost 3-1 to Cyprus.
We had a few celebratory drinks in the evening, and then we were up at 5 a.m. for the flight from Vagar to Stansted. Jersey were on the same flight and had stayed up all night.
Written by Peter Kirby, September 2011.