Belgian league – round 10

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Europchess 1 moves up to the second Division!

With a convincing 5.5-0.5 against the closest rival MSV 1, Europchess crowned a strong year. Before the closing round 11, it is already certain that we move up to Division 2! With a good 2-2 against the leader of Division 4 D, Leuven 3, Europchess 2 keeps a slim chance not to be relegated. Europchess 3 beat CREC 5 with 3-1, thereby safeguarding a comfortable middleground in Division 4 G.

On board 1 for E1, Timothy Binham provided for the right direction against Chris Lanckriet (2054) with White in a non-classifiable opening. While Black left his king uncastled, Tim first weakened the opponents’s kingside and then started an attack on the queenside. When he then pocketed an extra-pawn with a nice combination, his opponent resigned in a hopeless position after only roughly 20 moves.

On board 4, Frank Hoffmeister played a Gruenfeld set-up with Black against Patrick van Damme (1768). White accepted an isolated d-pawn, but did not get sufficient active play in compensation. After an inaccurate exchange of rooks over the c-file Frank’s pieces could attack White’s weaknesses, which won him an exchange, a pawn and the game.

Shortly thereafter, Mattija Suskovic won with Black on board 6 against Hendrik de Wit (1599). Mattija kept the two bishops after the opening and exercised some pressure against White’s kingside. White exchanged some pieces in a quest for relief in an endgame, but Mattija’s rook was much more active which caused surrender. 3-0 after 3 hours!

Jenö Czuczai had an interesting game with White against Herrera Reinaldo Romero (1600). After the exchange of queens Jenö pressured on the queenside whereas his opponent tried to play in the centre. In the unusual situation of a white passed pawn on c6 and a black passed pawn on c4, Jenö’s pawn was more dangerous in tandem with the two rooks still on the board. Black had to give a full rook to avoid the c6-pawn queening, and thus lost the game shortly before the time control. 4-0!

On board 2, Tom Wiley outplayed Mike Verkimpe (1970) with Black. White lost a lot of time in another unconventional opening only to arrive with a cramped position, in which his own knight was immobile on b1, whereas Tom’s bishop on d4 and a rook on e2 controlled much of the board. In a hopeless position between mate or losing against Tom’s passed pawns on the kingside, White shortened his suffering by giving up. 5-0!

This left Georgi Tomov on board 3 with White against Jakob Buysse (1922). Georgi got a much better position after the opening, but gave Black counterchances when he took a somewhat poisoned pawn. This allowed Black to win the exchange and get the upper hand after opening the f-file for his two rooks. Georgi put his hopes to his remaining passed e-pawn, which eventually managed to get to e7, protected by White’s bishop. In this situation, Black chose to give back the exchange for the pawn and a draw was agreed. With 5.5-0.5 Europchess demonstrated firmly its leadership in Division 3D and deservedly moves up to Division 2 next year.

Europchess 1

Europchess 2 put up a hard fight against the leader of Division 4D, Leuven 3. On board 1, József Barta took risks against the Sicilian defence of Jan Londers (1858) by advancing on the queenside. However, the ensuing complications were not entirely in his favour, and the players arrived at an ending of rook and knight vs. rook and bishop, where Black was a pawn up. After a few inaccurate moves from Black, József managed to save the game to a draw.

Pere Moles Palleja played Black against Stijn van Noten (1832). White commanded more space and with a typical pseudo-sacrifice on d5, he managed to improve the grip on Pere’s position. Pere bravely tried to create counter-chances but had to give up when White defended with care.

On board 4, Milán Pein played his beloved Budapest Gambit against Bart Persoons (1737). White was able to inflict a weak pawn on d6, but Milán posted an untouchable knight on c4, defending d6 very safely. Also the queens and one rook each neutralised each other, so that the game ended in a deserved draw.

In this situation, Kristian Pade Frederiksen kept iron nerves against Ivan Ischukov (1758) on board 3. Kristian had won two pieces for a rook against the Gruenfeld Defence in a largely theoretical line. However, the conversion into the full point needed a lot of accurate play against the resourceful resistance of Black. Finally, after the time control, Kristian’s material advantage was decisive, so that at least one match point was secured with the 2-2. This leaves Europchess with still a tiny chance to survive in Division 4, if the last round is won against FCH Zottegem and the direct competitor Anderlecht loses.

Europchess 2

Europchess 3 sent CREC 5 home with a clear 3-1 victory. On board 1, József Molnár played with the d4-isolani against Bernard Leloutre (1879). József started an attack and won piece with a combination, after which the game was won.

Playing with Black on board 2 against Cedric Magnifico (1587), José Maria Ramos Florido tried to build up an attack against the English set-up. Before time control, the situation got complicated, and White gave a pawn to win an exchange. However, José Maria saved the draw through counter-attacks against White’s weakened King position.

On board 3, another d4-isolani position secured a win for Luis Parreira against Christian Artisien (1551). Being very short on time, Black yielded a piece on move 39, and then Luis brought home the game without any further complications.

Finally, on board 4, Luis Perez Busquets got a better position in a Sicilian Dragon against Vincenco Soretti (1517). A dream triple free pawns (f,e,d) seemed to guarantee an easy win, but White also had two connected passed pawns (b,c). Unfortunately, Luis overestimated his active King position and lost one of the three pawns. After a number of simplifications the game finally ended in a draw. 3-1 for Europchess 3!

Europchess 3

Pere and József playing board 2 and 1 in team 2

József secures a draw on board 1

Mattija is winning

Tim is cool as always

Tom is taking a closer look at the position

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