by Trefor Thynne

Hello Devon chess friends!

A quick update on the progress of this wonderful chess festival in Germany where I am playing board 3 for England 3 in the 65+ section ( the other section is 50+ - age not grade!!).

In all there are 128 teams of four or five players. Teams are evenly split between national sides and club or regional teams. England has nine teams in the two sections including a Women's team ( strong!). Yesterday I watched England 1 beat the USA in the 50+ - a terrific climax with a big crowd around the board.
The mixture of club and national teams gives rise to some extraordinary pairings e.g Mongolia V Vienna or Blue Wonder Dresden v Sweden North. There is one American team consisting of four brothers! It would be perfectly possible to enter a Devon team in Crete next year!!

The majority of the players are rated 1900 + and about half are 2000 plus with plenty of GM, IM, FM players. A sample of famous names: Hort, Yusupov, Sveshnikov, Balashov, Vaganian.

So far I am unbeaten with draws against Saxony-Anhalt (Germany), SK 1968 (Denmark), Mongolia women ( an extraordinary line up of elderly ladies but good chess players - mine knew the Sveshnikov variation of the Sicilian perfectly!) Yesterday i had an exciting win against Peter Bevan of Wales whom I mated just before my time ran out. Today I have a potentially easier opponent from a local club side but am taking nothing for granted.

Some Devon connections: Keith Arkell is playing for England 1 (50+) and Stephen  Homer is board 3 for England 3 in the same section.

Michael Marshall who lived in Devon and played for the county last season ( and briefly represented Newton Abbot) is back in Denmark and here playing for his club team.

Charlie Howard will remember Joachim Reinhart who is from Dresden and who played (as I did) in that memorable Totnes v Dresden cafe match about 10 years ago.

Weather and hotel are excellent. Have not yet done the excursions as I did them last time (though I had to make an unexpected visit to the hospital in Dresden as I had an eye problem needing immediate attention - OK now).