In round 8 at home, Europchess 2 scored an important 3.5-0.5 win against Anderlecht 3, thus gaining two important match points against relegation in Division 4 D. Europchess 1 kept the lead in Division 3 D with a somewhat lucky 3.5-2.5 against Jean Jaurès 2. The leader of Division 4 G, Landen 1 won 3-1 against Europchess 3.
On board 6, József Molnár played a Sveshnikov Sicilian with Black against Noel Vanlooy (1806). Joszef got a slight advantage in a complicated middlegame which he could have played on, but lost the point due to an unfortunate ring of his GSM.
Timothy Binham on board 1 equalised for the team with a nice attacking game with White against Gert Van Rij (2043). Making use of his superior development and the uncastled Black king, Tim’s piece sacrifice proved to be sound, forcing Black’s resignation.
On board 3, Frank Hoffmeister played with White a Maroczy system against Philippe Bekaert (1999) and got a superior position on the queenside. His pressure should have yielded a win on move 30, but he overlooked a nice combination in time trouble. Rather, his opponent cashed in a pawn with a tactical trick and the tables turned. On move 40, however, Black lost the extra pawn and offered a draw. As the rook ending was probably better for Black Frank happily accepted.
Tom played with Black on board 2 against Henrik Westerweele (2009). Tom got an advantage on the board and on the clock in a position with Kings on opposite wings. In the ensuing timetrouble, Tom unfortunately missed a mating combination and had to settle for a draw.
With a 2-2, the match thus entered its decisive phase in the game between Matija Suskovic and John Gomers (1889) on board 5. Matija’s Catalan-like opening did not yield much for White, as Black’s position had no weakness. Just when Black tried to seize an advantage with pushing his pawns on the queenside he committed a blunder, which allowed Matija to pocket the point.
This was a very important win, as József Barta on board 4 was facing troubles with Black against André Galle (1991). After a slow orthodox Queen’s gambit and a lot of manouvering Jozsef got a somewhat passive position with Black. In a situation where White could have launched a probably decisive attack on the king side against Jozséf’s king he accepted the draw offer. This gave us the necessary half-point to win the match with 3,5-2,5.
EUROPCHESS 1 – Jean Jaurès 2 3.5 – 2.5
En revanche, Europchess 2 scored a very convincing win against Anderlecht 3. On board 2, Eduardo Semanat Planas took the risk to play with Black against Dinko Giadrosic (1850) the latter’s pet variation. Eduardo took the two pawns, found a strong novelty (Na6!) and obstructed any significant counterplay. White’s attempt to seize the initiative for even more material was refuted by Eduardo whose king remained very safe in the centre. He thus took the full point after 2 hours of play.
Luis Busquets Perez on board 3 played a French advance variation against Manuel Rando (1626). The players exchanged the heavy pieces over the c-file and agreed to a draw a blocked equal ending, where Black’s bishop pair was meaningless.
On board 4, Fabrice Roblet (1613) with the White pieces set up a stonewall formation against Mattias Johansson. Mattias won material early in the game. However, White had good chances to block the position as the only minor pieces left were opposite-coloured bishops. Mattias therefore started a mate attack that White did not manage to fend off.
Pere played with white against Campeert (1963) a fluid flank opening and got a slight advantage in a Grünfeld-like structure. Pere played in a solid way avoiding risks and progressively dominated black’s position while trying to avoid any counterattack. With a temporary pawn sacrifice, Pere exchanged queens and got a clear advantage in the ending, based also in tactical motifs. Black tried to organize a apparently dangerous counterattack, but Pere had foreseen a blow that refuted it leaving black at least with two pawns down and a white protected passed pawn in sixth row. Black therefore resigned.
EUROPCHESS 2 – Anderlecht 3 3.5 – 0.5
Playing against the strong team of Landen 1, currently on first rank in Division 4 G, Europchess 3 soon got into trouble when Serge Le Gal committed an opening mistake with Black against Erik Tutenel (1850) and had to give up after losing his queen.
On board 3, Kristian Pade Frederiksen got a nice position with White against Michel Vandecan (1853). White refused a draw offer at move 24 but two moves later made a howler that could have cost the game. Immediately thereafter, in time trouble, another blunder cost Kristian the exchange, but due to his superior position White still exerted pressure and netted two pawns, when Black opened up the position. The game was equal again and the players agreed a draw.
Luis Parreira on board 2 played with Black against Stéphane Carcan (2018). White chose a reversed Grünfeld set-up pressuring Luis’ pawns on d5 and c6. Luis had to accept an isolated pawn on c6 and played for compensation through active piece play. However, White cleverly exchanged Luis most dynamic pieces. He thus entered into a rook ending with a pawn up, which was eventually won.
Finally, on board 1 José María Ramos Florido played White and drew his game against Francis Wislez (2030) after an interesting turn of events. After the opening, José María had a connected passed pawn on the c-file, whereas Black implanted his connected passed pawn on d3. In the complicated middle game, José María was able to eliminate all threats against his king and entered into a rook ending with a free-pawn on a6. He traded this one against another pawn on the kingside, cutting off Black’s king from the promotion square. Although the final position looked promising for José María, it finally ended with a draw after almost 6 hours of play.
EUROPCHESS 3 – Landen 1 1 – 3