The rusty winger Peter Doggers surely wouldn’t like me calling the beautiful game “soccer” so we’ll stick to football because it’s played with the feet (unlike American Football which has very little to do with feet).
Well…basically more or less (The trademark Ivan Sokolov opening of a story) we played the 3rd annual Football match yesterday. Icelandic participants and tournament staff play against a team of foreign guests.
The match was played in the Fifan football arena:
We used a full field 11-on-11 traditonally but with chess players not generally being perhaps in world class physical shape (with very notable exceptions!!) this time it was 12-vs-12.
The Rest of the World team (ROW) fielded some GM’s such as Sebastien Mazé, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Bartosz Socko and Alexander Ipatov too name a few. The ROW team had some very impressive guys going forward but their defence was found to be lacking in the same quality.
The Icelandic team, featuring mostly young players rated around 1900 but also soon-to-be GM Hjörvar Steinn Grétarsson raced off to an early lead with goals from Hardarson, Andrason before (tournament website director/best game prize committee/commentator/drinking companion/entering games extraordinare/fixing computers for competitors) FM Ingvar Johannesson scored a brilliant goal to make it 3-0 for the home team.
At this point some further players arrived late and FM Johannesson decided to switch allegiance (I was already wearing a nice French national team shirt which I had to hide in a stupid west plus I am from the Vestman Islands known for having French and Turkish blood in it’s heritage) and join the ROW team. The ROW defence was also bolstered by the arrival of arbiter Pall Sigurdsson.
After this change the ROW started to dominate the game. Pall cleaned up at the back, on the wings we had brilliant runs by Mazé and Ipatov. The midfield saw great runs from Van Heerzeile, Axel Smith and great control by Bartosz Socko.
After pulling one back through IM Hambleton the ROW team produced the goal of the match. After Sigurdsson cleaned up at the back he found Johannesson in the midfield who ran it forward and found Maze up front. From there Mazé and Ipatov produced brilliant teamwork resulting in Ipatov finding Mazé in the box after a one-two to make it 3-2.
The Icelandic team was starting to panic and their early form had faded and resulted in verbal jabs between defender Kristján “Kiddi Vídeó” Elíasson and Jón “Fist Pump” Jónsson.
However at this point the ROW team got a bit overzealous and their already dodgy defence started to leak in goals since too many players were going forward leaving very few players behind. The result of this was a final result of 6-2 for Iceland but late in the game things were very exciting when it was only a difference of one goal.
Best tackle: Stephen Jablon for his somewhat aggressive tackle on IM Grétarsson.
The Ronaldo award: IM Hjörvar Steinn Grétarsson for his repeated dives.
Best goal: ROW after great teamwork by GM’s Mazé and GM Ipatov.
Most rusty winger: Peter Doggers – Apparently 364 days since his last football game!
Loudest players: A tie between Kristján Örn Elíasson and Jón Gunnar Jónsson.
Save of the match. Frank Drill somehow dived and diverted a shot that seemed to be heading straight into the corner.