Belgian League – Round 6

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Round 6: Excellent start in 2012 for all three teams!

In Round 6, all three teams delivered an excellent start for 2012. E 1 won in Eisden with 4,5-3,5 and is now third in Division 2B. With a safe 3-1 win over Dworp 2, E 2 prevailed over one of its three main competitors and is leading in Division 4 D with a two point margin. Putting up a heroic fight against Division leader Wavre 4 Europchess 3 saved a 2-2. The team is thus on a well-deserved middle rank in Division 5 L.

The first team travelled to Maasmechelen to play in a private side room of a billiard pub. As their 6th board did not show up, Jenö Czuczai won by forfeit. In a spirit of sportsmanship the default had been communicated to us beforehand on Sunday morning, but Jenö nevertheless showed up to secure the point under all eventualities. With this comfortable lead, Georgi Tomov on board 3 accepted a draw offer from Jost Heltzel (2225) after the exchange of queens and two minor pieces in a calm position, bringing us to 1,5-0,5. On board 8, Eduardo Semanat Planas first played 15 moves with Black against Gerard Bischoff (1966) before it was noticed by the team captain that Eduardo should have the White pieces. It was then agreed to stop the clock and change the colours. In the 2nd attempt with White Eduardo then gave backward pawn on d3 but repulsed Black’s Queen with a number of tempo moves which allowed his pieces to become much more active. He first won back the pawn and then gradually pocketed more material to arrive at a basic ending with a net piece up. Eduardo converted this into a won pawn ending with accurate play, further improving our lead (2,5-0,5). On board 2, Tom Wiley played White against Tom Bus (2237). Black chose a side line which allowed Tom to build a strong pawn centre. After some complications an uneven position was reached where Tom had a rook and two pawns vs. two minor Black pieces with some more material on both sides. Although the post mortem analysis showed that White might have had some chances to press on with a King manoeuvre to the Queen side, the draw by repetition of moves looked like a fair result also in the light of the team’s performance (3-1). Playing black on board 5, Frank Hoffmeister equalised easily in the opening against Ynze Mengering (2129). However, he then came into the defensive when White managed to blockade his central pawns. In the ten moves before time control Frank could free himself with accurate play. As the ending with a rook, two minor pieces and four pawns each did not allow either player to press for a win, a draw was agreed slightly thereafter (3,5-1,5). In this situation, Jozsef Barta clinched the match points with a winning a rook ending on board 7 against Ed Vos (2003) with his extra pawn on the c-file. Jozsef had won this pawn for nothing in the opening with Black, but White was able to block it effectively. So Jozsef took a risk in opening up the king side, which looked risky for both sides. After the time control, however, Jozsef transformed the game into the said rook ending where Black’s superiority became apparent (4,5-1,5). Sadly though, the two remaining games ended in defeat. Matija Suskovic on board 4 had to give in against Jozef Simenon (2205) with White under very unfortunate circumstances. Matija had dominated the game since the opening, where Black weakened the f5 square with no compensation. His opponent then sacrificed a piece to get play against Matija’s king, but this did not yield anything. Only in Black’s time trouble suddenly Black got some play because of a White oversight. When the Black queen and the rook entered White’s position the game got difficult to hold (4,5-2,5). On board 1, Timothy Binham got into a slightly inferior queen and rook endgame with Black against Patrick Driessens (2311) which looked defendable. However, once the queens were off the board, White was able to activate his extra-pawn, forcing Tim to resign (4,5-3,5).

The trophy of the day went to the second team. Playing in a noisy and cold café in Halle, our team mates nevertheless kept cool and outplayed the majority of their opponents convincingly. Pierre Fogel on board two with White won rather easily against Louis van Duuren (1859). Pierre simply collected some material after a better opening and secured the full point early on. En revanche, on board one, Pere Moles had a hard time defending with Black against Serge Vanderwaeren (2194). Pere got into a worse position when his opponent could establish a strong knight on d5 and create a passed pawn on the queenside. As the latter was unstoppable, he had to give in (1-1). However, John Riksten showed no mercy with Patrick Debast (1789). After exchange of queens John got the better game on the queenside, supported by a strong fianchettoed bishop. His power play gained him first the exchange and later on the full point (2-1). Finally, Kristian Pade Frederiksen completed the victory after the time control. Kristian took a risk in the opening by giving the exchange for attacking chances. His opponent Eric Cornelis (1746) returned the exchange in order to ease the tension, but lost two pawns in zeitnot. Despite bishops of opposite colours, Kristian then overwhelmed him as he could again attack with the queen (3-1).

The third team faced with division leader Wavre 4 a quite homogeneous team, rated from 1743 to 1833. On the first board, Mattias Johansson played with Black against Eric Chasseur (1813). After the opening, White had an isolani and more space for his pieces. White then decided to exchange the isolani for Black’s e-pawn which gave Black a slight advantage. The game came to sudden end when White took a pawn that allowed Black to fork the White queen. As Whie did not have any other choice than being mated or losing the Queen he resigned (1-0). At 3rd board, Gunnar Holm-Jacobsen started with a quite open Giucco-Piano with Black against Alain Tossens (1766). He lost a pawn after some exchange of pieces, but then replied aggressively with his two knights. This could have recovered the lost pawn, but he went for doubling White’s pawns instead. Unfortunately, after some moves, his opponent gained a second pawn, managed his material advantage quite well and finally won (1-1). Our two other boards played calm openings with White. At the 4th board, Bruno Gatta had an equal game against Georges Benoit (1744), and after a few exchange of pieces an unclear position arose. Bruno had good perspectives and finally won the exchange. Unfortunately, the opponent got two linked and passed pawns at the queenside just afterwards. After some resistance, Bruno lost the game (1-2). In the last game at the 2nd board, Vladymyr Dedobbeleer managed to create some threats on the pawns defending the king of Gerard Hulet (1798). Vladymyr also placed his knight at a good strategic place in the middle of the board and opened the f-file for his rook. The opponent reacted on the queenside and more or less equalized. Whites proposed the draw at the 32nd move, which was logically refuted since Blacks had 4 linked pawns, while Whites’ pawns were split. But in zeitnot, Black lost a pawn at the 36th move and proposed the draw in their turn, which was also logically refused as well. The game ended with the two bishops and 4 pawns against 3, one of them being already passed and well protected by the bishops. After a forced exchange of bishops, Vladymyr kept his pawn advantage and decided the game with his much more advanced King (2-2).

Europchess 3

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