Round 5: Europchess 2 goes to the top!
On Sunday 4 December 2011, Europchess 1 drew against Leuven 1 after a hard fought battle. Europchess 2 won convincingly against CREC 5, whereas Europchess 3 had to give in against CREC 8 with a small margin.
Europchess 1 started well with a win by Eduardo Semanat Planas with Black on board 8. His opponent Boris Bucht (1852) played a harmless closed opening with White, which allowed Black to equalise early on. After a number of exchanges, an endgame with a White bishop vs. a Black knight with pawns on both wings was reached. Eduardo’s opponent overestimated his chances and suddenly Eduardo’s king side pawns proved to be more dangerous than White’s queen side pawns. 1-0!
Thomas Wiley followed on board one with a win against Maurice Peek (2404). Tom gained space in the opening with the White pieces, whereas Black tried to undermine his centre. Tom kept the position under control and suddenly pocketed the full point after a blunder from his opponent. 2-0! Then events turned against us. First, on board two Carl Buhr with Black came under heavy attack from Steven Geirnaert (2364). White overlooked an important defensive resource and was actually a piece down (which should have given Black at least a draw and probably more) but in approaching time trouble Carl didn’t find his way through a labyrinth of lines and allowed White to mount an insurmountable mating attack: 2-1. Second, Matija Suskovic had to give up against Roel Goossens (2153) on board 4 with Black. Matija stook solid after the opening, but had allowed himself to losen his kingside a bit. In the time-trouble battle, White could make use of this weakness and won the full point: 2-2. Finally, Jenö Czuzcai on board 6 lost on time against Eddy van Espen (2140). Jenö had a firm grip on the centre with Black, and his position looked promising. However, after some simplifications, White got better chances on the queenside with a more flexible knight vs. Jenö’s bishop. White then opened up the position and gained material, and when Black missed his last chance to play for a perpetural check, his flag fell on move 40: 2-3.
On board 5, Frank Hoffmeister could equalise the match standing with White against Carlos Oliva Olave (2141). After a calm opening Frank exercised pressure against a backward pawn in Black’s camp. Black tried to organize counter-play on the a-file, but this could not prevent the loss of a pawn. In the rook ending, Frank’s more active rook plus the extra pawn guaranteed the technical win: 3-3. Jozsef Barta on board 7 outplayed Chris van Hul (2079) in the opening with White and was no less than three pawns up. He then simplified the position, but when he wanted to exchanged another pair of pieces, a tactical trick almost cost him the game. Jozsef then safriced his queen (!) in exchange of a dangerous past pawn on f7 and a mating threat with his remaining rook. When the dust settled, it appears the Black had no better than a perpetual check: 3,5-3,5.
Hence, eyes turned again towards Georgi Tomov as the last player in the room. Georgi had started a king’s attack against Geert Leunis (2269) on board 3 by bringing his rook a1 to g4 (!). As suspected, the rook ended up being sacrificed, but Georgi’s attack did not yield mate. Both players survived a highly complicated middlegame and put their chances on an ending with a rook, knight and pawn (Black) against Georgi with 4 pawns and a knight. Georgi found a number of amazing resources and finally secured the draw. With this well-deserved 4-4, Europchess 1 is now in the middle of the table in Division 2B on rank 6.
Europchess 2 was more succesful against CREC 5. On board 3, Luis Parreira dominated with White Hubert Brogniez (1412) early on. He pocketed a pawn already in the opening and kept it all the way long to a won ending: 1-0.
Similarly, Kristian Pade Frederiksen had not problem in winning the game with Black against Gauvian Brognize (1249). Kristian won material in the middlegame rather easily and brought the full point home: 2-0. On the first board, Jozsef Molnar played against Fabrice Grobelny (1940). In a closed position, chances first looked very equal, but then Jozsef won a pawn and later on the entire game: 3-0. Finally, on board 2, John Riksten should have won against Lucien Kaczmarczyk (1853). John won a pawn in the opening and later on also the exchange. Unfortunately, he then threw away the full point when overlooking a mating threat. Nevertheless, with the 3:1 win Europchess has now moved to the first rank in Division 4 D!
En revanche, playing against CREC 8, Europchess 3 had to give in. Serge Le Gal on board 2 started a combination against Cedric Magnifico (1583) with Black. Unfortunately, White had strong countermove which had escaped Serge’s attention. With a piece down, he had to resign: 0-1. On board 3, Luis Busquets Perez pressured with White Regis Buyens (1549), but Black defended cleverly. The two opponents then entered into a rook ending, which ended in a draw: 0,5 – 1,5. On board 4, Bruno Gatta defended with Black against Christian Artisien. Bruno achieved an advantage in the middlegame, but then lost an important pawn on the queen side. In the ending, his blockade against the two passed pawns did not hold, which cost him the point: 0,5-2,5.
In this situation, Mattias Johansson on board 1 won the point of honour with White against Marc Keiser (1754). Mattias’ king position did not look very solid and Black tried to direct his pieces against him. His power play brought him a pawn. However, Mattias defended with care and later on won the pawn back. Surprisingly, his opponent then turned the game into an ending, which was won for White due to a outsed passed pawn: 1,5-2,5. Europchess 3 is now 5th in Division 5L.