Europchess moves up to the 2nd division!

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Round 11 – final round: Europchess 1 moves to Division 2! (Europchess 3 stays in Division 4 and Europchess 2 is relegated to Division 5)

In the final round on 3 April, Europchess completed an overall successful year. With a clear 5-1 in Izegem, Europchess 1 marched through Division 3D, finishing on first place with 8 match points advance over MSV1 on second rank. The second team won in Zottegem with 3-1. Unfortunately, 7 match points in Division 4 D were not sufficient to avoid relegation. Europchess 3 maintained its place in Division 4 G with 10 matchpoints despite a 0.5-3.5 loss in Philippeville.

Europchess 1 played in Izegem against a team, which seemed to be more interested in the “Tour de Flandre” than in the match. Georgi declined a draw offer on move 1 (!), and Tim’s opponent arrived late. On board 5, Johann de Brouwere (1835) played a calm line with White against József Molnár‘s King’s Indian. József demonstrated once again his tactical dangerousness and won material with a nice combination in the early middlegame.

Tom Wiley on board 2 faced the Queen’s gambit accepted from Stefan Bruynooghe (2072) with a somewhat unusual development of Black’s bishop to d6. Tom opened up the centre and his superior development was converted into a decisive material advantage making use of a nice cross-pin.

On board 4, Frank Hoffmeister outplayed Johann VandenBusssche (1887) with White in a Catalan set-up. Frank dominated the dark squares, and when his rook entered the 7th rank, Black resigned.

Probably the most colourful game was played by Georgi Tomov on board 3 against Sebastian Ronse (1984). Against 1. f4, Georgi developed solidly and got a slightly more comfortable position. However, White then deployed a small tactics, after which Georgi gave his queen in exchange for a rook and a bishop and some counterplay. This decision seemed to pay off, when the opponent blundered another piece. However, Georgi then underestimated White’s passed d-pawn and in the ensuing complications in Zeitnot a draw was forced by a perpetual check.

Tim on the first board delivered another complicated game in a non-classifiable opening against Kurt Houthoofd (2110). He gained space early on, but the blocked position seemed to remain in balance. However, when a few files were opened, Tim’s pieces were clearly better placed and he could net a pawn. Shortly before the 40th move, tension rose in Tim’s zeitnot, but the position had enough resources to withstand some tactical threats. A few moves later, Tim consolidated and his opponent gave up before losing even more material.

Finally, on board 6, Luis Parreira tried to overcome Emile Boucquet (1619). After an interesting middlegame Luis converted the position into a rook ending with a free b-pawn and a few pawns left on the Kingside. While the position seemed promising, Black found a resource to convert into a rook vs. pawn ending, where his advanced f- and h-pawns secured a final draw.

Europchess 1

Europchess 2 drove to Zottegem to play the decisive match of the year. Eduardo Semanat Planas on board 1 won convincingly against Frank Roos (1835) with Black.

Equally, Mattias Johannson made the point against Gunter De Weird (1671). Mattias played an unusual Sicilian opening and took risks in order to win in the Zeitnot of his opponent. This strategy payed off, securing a 2-0.

This was complemented by two draws from Edit Köllő (against Filip van Driesche, 1717) and Serge Le Gal (against Eddy De Gendt, 1594). While half a point was thus missing to overcome Zottegem in the table, even a 3.5-0.5 win would not have been enough to keep the division, as Anderlecht 3 (with an average player’s strength of 2050!) won against KGSRL 8). With quite some bad luck, 7 match points did not prove to be sufficient to hold this Division for Europchess 2.

Europchess 2

Europchess 3 played in Philippville against a clear favourite. Gunnar Holm-Jacobssen played with White a Sicilian variation with 2. f4 against Luc Dembour (1725) on board 4. He was satisfied with the progress of the game as he gained more space on the kingside with a prospect for a dangerous attack. Unfortunately around move 20 he blundered a whole rook. He tried to trap the queen on a1 but in vain and soon he had to resign. 0-1.

Vladymyr Dedobbeller played the English opening against Alain Demeirleir (1795) on board 2. He quickly got an open game with the initiative thanks to a bishop and two knights well developed and threatening a sacrifice on h6. Black’s pieces were somehow locked up and he thus tried to force the exchange of queens to eliminate the threat and simplify the game, which he finally succeeded. After a series of exchange of minor pieces the position was still better for white but after Vladymyr missed a promising pawn push the position became equal and the players agreed to a draw. 0.5-1.5

On the first board, Luis Carlos Busquets Pérez with black faced François Dessome (2026). In an Indian opening a pretty closed position appeared on the board with Luis’s white squared bishop being badly imprisoned. Pressure from his opponent made the bishop become even worse with a closed pawn structure. With equal material but bishops of opposite colours white managed to break in black’s territory resulting in a position with zugzwang for black and Luis Carlos had to resign. 0.5-2.5.

Milan Pein was the last to finish in another effort with the Budapest gambit against Patrick Wautelet (1804). He prepared the (in)famous “crazy” rook lift but the attack was interrupted by white’s small combination which resulted in mass exchanges with black being and exchange down at the end.

After 16...Nf7 17. Qxf5 d5! 18. Qxd5 Rd8 19. Qh5 Qxe4 Black is more than OK. What happened in the game after Re6 was far less rosy...

Still the endgame with five pawns and bishop and rook against two bishops was not easy for white to win but after 6 hours of playing he finally broke through and Milan allowed him to give mate. 0.5-3.5. Europchess 3 finished the entire season with a good 7th rank in Division 4G.

Europchess 3

Europchess 3 in Philippeville

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