Karl Irwin was the first to succumb, resigning against Lucas Neirynck 6d, Belgium’s anchor man. Ian Davis followed suit shortly afterwards, describing his Board 4 game against Belgian captain Sven Cuyt as the worst he had ever played on Pandanet. Irish captain Philippe Renaut enjoyed a good game against Jan Ramon, pitching influence against territory, but when the score was totted up, Jan’s third-line moves had earned him victory by 5.5.
It was left to James Hutchinson to salvage Irish honour, which he did with aplomb, tightening his lead on the board until his opponent, Gabriel Mercier, had no recourse but resignation.
The single Board Point earned from James’s win leaves Ireland in ninth place, ahead of Lithuania who went down 0–4 against Turkey.
Ireland’s second round match is against Serbia, on Tuesday, 14th November, at 8pm Irish time.