I made my first visit to Macedonia for the European Club Cup , it was an interesting place to visit, but unfortunately SOCAR weren’t able to defend their title and we lost 3.5-2.5 to the other powerhouse team Siberia in round 5; which unsurprisingly proved decisive. Five wins and a last round draw in the other matches meant we finished second. I scored well personally, but had more lives than a cat, the good fortune began in my second game:
The next day I made a miracle save against Nakamura, and my position went from good to bad and back again before I finally won against Li Chao. My last two games were a bit more controlled, ironically I made a solid draw against Laznicka after the wild ups and downs of our World Cup match up. A last round win for me meant we tied the match with Mednyi Vsadnik, to take second overall.
I have had much more success with club teams than the national squad, and unfortunately the European Team only continued this trend. It’s been too long since the English team had a really good performance, and only a couple of wins at the end made our placing respectable here.
Personally, I played one good game against Aronian but the rest was uninspiring, I didn’t have a lot of luck in the last two games, but that only really balanced out the good fortune I had earlier on and my final 50% score was a fair reflection. On a more positive note it was good to be back in chess friendly Iceland, one classy touch was the original table and chairs from the Fischer – Spassky match displayed in the playing venue.