In round 9, Europchess 1 kept the lead in Division 3 D after a convincing 5-1 win in Bruges. The second team suffered a painful loss against Epicure 1 and will have to score in the two last rounds in order to avoid relegation in Division 4 D. Europchess 3 had no chance against division leader Ciney, but is in safe distance from relegation in Division 4 G.
The third team of KBSK did not have fun this Sunday. On board 4, Eduardo Semanat Planas gained control over the centre with White against Sander Rogier (1895). Eduardo pushed his pawn to e5 and disturbed the coordination of black pieces. With a nice combination he then won a full rook, after which the opponent could have resigned, but only did so one move before the mate. 1-0 after 2 hours.
Inspired by his neighbour, József Molnár also played cat and mouse with Rudi van Ooteghem (1884) on board 5. Playing with black against the Morra-gambit in the Sicilian Defence, József first destroyed White’s kingside pawn formation and then also won a full rook. His opponent’s long thought did not help him out of the situation and he resigned soon thereafter. 2-0.
On board 6 Luis Perreira displayed a strong attacking game against Robin de Voegelaere (1814). Having castling long side, his two bishops on d3 and d4 dominated the board. Black manoeuvred his queen offside to a4, which allowed Luis first to shatter Black’s pawns on the kingside and then start a decisive mating attack. 3-0 after three hours.
Frank Hoffmeister on board 2 played against the Dutch defence from Jo Devriend (1944). While Frank played theory until move 13, his opponent used a lot of his time, and then got in time trouble in a difficult middlegame, where Frank pressed on the queenside. When his advantage seemed to slip away his opponent took a poisoned pawn, whereupon Frank won first the exchange and then the game. 4-0.
In this situation József Barta’s loss on board 3 against Jean-Paul Lamproye (1914) could be taken lightly. József actually had put up pressure on the queenside, which looked quite compelling. However, his opponent sacrificed a piece against József’s king for three pawns which proved decisive later on.
On board 1, Georgi Tomov converted an equal position to a full point against Benny Todts (2085). His rook and king were better centralised, and Georgi started an attack against White’s queenside pawns. White did not find the best moves and had to resign against Georgi’s superior endgame skills. With this 5-1, Europchess is now 4 match points ahead of the closest rivals, which gives us a very comfortable situation for the last two rounds.
Europchess 2 was very unlucky against Epicure 1. Despite an early win from Serge Le Gal on board four against Francois Mertens (1703), the tables turned later on.
Kristian Pade Frederiksen had a clear strategic advantage against Herman Luc (1948), but overlooked a fork which cost him a full piece. Luckily, his opponent gave it back in zeitnot against two passed pawns, after which Kristian saved a draw.
On board 1, Edit had a difficult position in the Queen’s Indian against Philippe Guisset (1953). She fought hard to hold the position but was finally beaten in zeitnot.
Probably, the most unfortunate even occurred on board 3, where Mattias Johansson played against Bernard Sojka (1947). Mattias equalised easily with Black and a blocked position looked like a dead draw. However, White uncorked a little combination, which made Mattias resign. Europchess is now trailing at the end of Division 4D and needs a substantial push to keep the division in the last two rounds.
Playing in Ciney, Europchess 3 faced a Herculan task as the opponent had an average advantage of over 400 Elo points. Vladymyr Dedobbeleer, Milan Pein, Paris Sansoglou and Kalojan Hoffmeister fought for the honour, but had to incline against the leader of the division. However, this loss does not endanger the team which holds a solid middle-rank in Division 4G.