England’s achievement in finishing second in the World Team Championship is even more impressive when one considers that most members of the team suffered from various degrees of illness during the tournament. In the match against Iran the first reserve, Jonathan Speelman, played on board 4 instead of Gawain Jones who was too ill to play. What is less well known is that Speelman himself was also unwell but he played because he was less unwell than Jones. The fact that the veteran Speelman was playing at all is a reflection on the difficulty the England captain Malcolm Pein had in raising a team at such short notice as he explained in his interview. Michael Adams’ disappointing tournament is partly attributable to his not feeling 100% but he did manage to win a crucial game in the Iran match after Speelman’s early defeat. His opponent was Parham Maghsoodloo, winner of the World Junior Championship last year and featured on this site (click here). From 1-0 down, England fought back to win 3-1 which provided the springboard for their late surge to silver. Malcolm Pein described this as ‘a great win’. See what you think.
World Team Championship 2019