Belgian League – Round 10

Round 10: Europchess 2 wins Division 4 D!

In round 10 of 18 March 2012, Europchess 2 crowned its excellent performance this saison with a 3,5-0,5 win against Excelsior 1, thus winning Division 4 D before the final round. Europchess 1 took two matchpoints from Boitsfort 1 with a nice 5-3 win, but Europchess 3 had to give in with 0,5-3,5 against Boitsfort 4.

In Division 2 B, Boitsfort put together the strongest team they had with an average of roughly 2200 ELO. However, this did not help as Europchess 1 was equally well composed. On board 7, Pierre Fogel had Black against Michel Merten (2138). He courageously took White’s d pawn in the opening, which his opponent had offered for quick development. Pierre then consolidated his material advantage in a complicated middlegame, where he could dilute all potential tactical tricks. In the ending he was then an exchange up and pocketed the full point after roughly 3 hours of play: 0-1 for Europchess. The score was then equalised as Tim Binham had to give up on board 1 with Black against Bruno Carlier (2380). Tim played an unusual opening move, leading to a roughly unbalanced situation. However, White preserved the healthier pawn structure, which later on proved decisive for the full pawn. On boards 5 and 6 Frank Hoffmeister and Jenö Czuzcai then added two draws to the score. Frank had equalised with Black against Eric van Uytven (2170) in the opening and tried to play for the full point with active piece play. His opponent came down to 3 minutes for 12 moves, but managed to swap off almost all material. In the ensuing ending with opposite-coloured bishops and rooks, a draw was agreed. Jenö won some space against Pascal Lallemand (2162) in the opening and tried to open up the king’s side for an attack. He managed to win a pawn, but in zeitnot an unfortunate knight manouvre allowed Black to get the draw. With this 2-2, the situtation looked however, already quite promising on the remaining boards. Playing White against Thierry van Houtte (2249), Tom faced an unusual opening choice. Black gave a pawn for some positional compensation, but later on misplayed the game. Tom was thus able to plant his bishop on f6, and Black had to exchange bishops and queens to survive. This however, put Tom’s extra pawn on f6, and after a series of accurate moves in the ending, Tom brought home the full point. Attention then switched to Georgi on board 4, trying to win against Mourad de Villers (2199) in a bishop ending, where Black’s king was somewhat displaced on a5. With a nice manouvre Georgi created a passed pawn on the f-file, and when Black tried to catch him with his bishop, Georgi had a nice surprise check in reserve which led to the promotion of the pawn. Being 4-2 in the lead, we thus just needed a draw out of the remaining two games. On board 8, Svetlozar Andreev had played rather calmly in the opening, giving Denis-Emmanuale Philippe (2114) with Black easy equality. However, during the middlegame he improved the situation, and when the ending was reached White was suddenly slightly better. Svetlozar broke into the kingside and created a dangerous passed pawn on h5. However, Black countered on the queenside, and all of a sudden there was a race of free pawns and both players promoted a new queen. However, Black had another free pawn left, and when he managed to swap the queens, the knight ending looked lost for White. Indeed Svetlozar could not prevent the queening of this remaining trump, but the opponent only had 1 minute left on the clock and he did not find a way forward against the White’s king who was fervently protected by the remaining knight. When Black played an illegal move, some irritation arose and the players then agreed to a draw. This left Carl Buhr’s game against Bruno Lacroix (2224). Here, Carl had an advantage in a double-bishop ending due to advanced free pawn on a4. However, White defended well and when Carl decided to swap one pair of bishops, the ensuing single bishop ending proved to be drawn through a repetition of moves. With this 5-3 victory, Europchess moved to 5th rank in Division 2 B.

Tim & Tom

Carl & Georgi

Frank & Jenö

Pierre & Svetlozar

The real winners of the day were the team mates of Europchess 2, though. Playing in Ganshoren against Excelsior 1, they scored a convincing 3,5-0,5 to move up to 3rd division. On the second board, Luis Parreira won by forfeit, setting already the scene. Kristian Pade Frederiksen on board 3 delivered another win against Jacques Fontain (1508), when he could take advantage of a number of weaknesses in the White position. Mattias Johannson on board 4 also win easily against Nica Radu-Catalin (1397) with White. He controlled the centre and started a pawn’s roll which cost Black some material and later on the game. In this situation, it was less important that John Riksten conceded half a point against Luc Lambert (1864) on board 1. John’s position had equalised easily in a tame opening with Black, but later on got into a  critical position. He could, however, weaken White’s king position and get counterplay. Finally, a nice drawing combination lead to the sharing of the point. Europchess 2 has thus defended 1st rank in Division 4 B, and thanks to 3 points advantage over the next team, its promotion to the third Division is secured already one round in advance.

In contrast, the third team had a difficult task against a strongly composed Boitsfort 4. Vladymyr Dedobbeleer on board 2 with White got into trouble in the opening against Alain Silovy (1828). When he tried to save a pawn, he lost his queen and had to give up early on. On board 3, Benjamin Musall had an equal position with Black against Bernard Lacrosse (1792), but then weakened his e6 pawn with an advance of his f-pawn. White could capitalise on this with first winning the backward pawn and then a full piece. On board 1, José Maria Ramos Florido saved a draw against Albert Frank (1911). He stood a bit passively after the opening and was worse on the clock. However, he recovered and in the ending he was already better. However, given his shortage in time he agreed to a draw, thus pocketing the half point of honour, as Bruno Gatta on board 4 lost after the time control against Christophe Cottenier (1710). Bruno had played a nice middle game and won the exchange. However, in the ending, Black’s bishop and two pawns proved to be stronger so that the finally lost the game. Europchess 3 remains on 5th rank in Division 5 L.

José-Maria & Vladymyr

Benjamin & Bruno

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