England’s over-50 chess team are the No1 seeds in the world senior chess championship which has its closing rounds in Crete this weekend. Yet their chances of gold are only slender after a 1-3 defeat by the No4 seeds, Armenia, a reversal which carries an uncomfortable echo of former times. A crucial battle will be in Saturday’s sixth round (of nine) when England, four match wins and a loss, play St Petersburg, who have beaten Armenia and won all their five matches. Back in the 1980s England were three times Chess Olympiad silver medallists behind the legendary Soviets led by Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov but it was the nearest miss, at Dubai 1986, which proved traumatic. Five rounds from the finish England were well ahead and a Guardian leader writer was already preparing editorial congratulations. Then …

Source: GameKnot online chess news