Interclubs 2012-2013 – Round 7

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Snow in Liège, Sun in Anderlecht

The four Europchess teams had mixed fortunes in Round 7 of the Belgian Interclub Championship, with the first team losing to Division leader Liège 1, the second one getting another good victory, this time against Anderlecht 2, and the other two teams securing ties against Liège 7 and Anderlecht 5, respectively.

Europchess 1 falls short against leaders Liège 1

Europchess 1 put up its strongest team so far this season, but still suffered a tough 2.5-5.5 defeat against Liège 1. Jozsef Barta was the only one to score a win on the day, on board 8 against Gaetan Didderen (2114) with White, after his opponent miscalculated a sacrifice in a promising position.

Boards 5 to 8 of Europchess 1

Still, tables turned rather quickly. On first board, Tom Wiley set up a solid structure with Black against GM Vladimir Gurevich (2481), but with his pieces concentrated on the queenside, he missed a tactical shot on the other end of the board, and after a few more moves the position became untenable: 1-1.

Frank Hoffmeister got a tiny advantage out of the opening with White on board 6 against Lars Swijsen (2123), but his opponent found a good simplifying line and held the rook ending with accurate defense.

On board 7, Eduardo Semanat Planas sacrificed a pawn with Black early on in his search for the initiative, but Lennart Lenaerts (2121) stood firm and gradually converted his material advantage by pushing his passed pawn to a6, which cost Eduardo a full piece.

Carl Buhr on board 3 got under pressure with Black against IM Alexander Alienkin (2381) but managed to confuse his opponent in mutual time trouble. The ensuing ending looked slightly better for Black but White managed to defend: 2-3.

The first four boards of Europchess 1

Georgi Tomov, playing White against Etienne Goossens (2207), pressed throughout the game but failed to make the most of his chances in a favourable bishop ending and Black managed to eliminate all White pawns but one thus escaping in a theoretically drawn position: 2,5-3,5.

On board 2, Timothy Binham gained a slight advantage in the opening against IM Pascal Vandervoort (2406), but Black struck back with a nice temporary pawn sacrifice. In time trouble Timothy fell a pawn down and then failed to hold a knight v. bishop ending with pawns on both sides: 2,5-4,5.

Matija Suskovic reached a comfortable position with Black on board 5 against Philippe de Gueldre (2124) that evolved into a quiet opposite-colored bishop ending. At this point, Matija tried to play for a win, and abandoned his blockade of White’s passed pawns in order to snatch a pawn. This turned out to be an unfortunate decision that freed White’s hand and the passed pawns decided the game swiftly.

With this victory, Liège is almost certain to win Division 2 B.

Europchess 2 keeps up the good run of form with a victory over Anderlecht 2

Europchess 2 showed good fighting spirit and managed to take the points from a hard fought match against Anderlecht 2 where almost all games could have gone either way.

Pere Moles Palleja reacted well on first board with Black to the original play of Clement Rihouay (2195). Pere went for a double-edged counterattack that put his own King in danger but opened communications with the centre and the queenside. Sadly, Black then missed a key rook manoeuvre that would have secured the advantage, and White took over the initiative and simplified into a winning ending.

Pierre Fogel gained space advantage in the centre with White against Thierry Ackaert (2099) while his opponent was trying his luck on the kingside. A sudden pawn break by Black on the queenside led to exchanges that were favourable to White and then Black dropped a full piece in time trouble.

John Riksten, playing Black on board 3, followed theory for quite some time in his game against Thomas Samray (2040) and the game was fairly balanced but John managed to complicate things in the run-up to the time control and force a decisive error from his opponent whose time was running out.

On board 4, Ismo Ulvila had White against Regis Lanoye (2035). Ismo played a dangerous side line with a pawn sacrifice to keep Black’s King in the centre of the board. However, Black defended accurately, exchanged pieces and reached a drawn opposite-bishop ending.

Luis Parreira started well with Black against Olivier Baeten (1954), but then a series of passive moves gave his opponent the advantage. Luckily, with little time left and still far from making the 40 moves, Luis’ opponent failed to find the winning move, lost material and, consequently, the game.

Kristian Frederiksen gained the advantage with White against Sophie Brion (1917) but mixed up a sequence of moves and lost an important central pawn. His bishop pair provided some compensation but Black kept the position closed and consolidated. Kristian ran short of time and eventually blundered another pawn. This led to a defeat in the game but still meant a narrow 3.5-2.5 win for the team.

Europchess 3 ties a hard-fought match against Liège 7

Europchess 3 fought hard to keep its first place in Division 5F with a draw against Liège 7 in a match where all games turned out to be decisive.

Jesper Abrahamsen on board 1 got into problems with Black, as his opponent Erol Delcours (1761) managed to establish a protected passed pawn on c6. Jesper created some counterplay against White’s uncastled King, but eventually the passed pawn proved stronger. Things started looking grim when Edit Kollo on board 2 miscalculated in a comfortable attacking position with White against Robert Lievens (1606) and also lost.

Europchess 3

Fortunately, Luis Carlos Busquets outplayed Raoul Kuypers (1353) on board 4 with White. Luis rightly exchanged queens in the middlegame to gain control for his rooks over the only open file and this, coupled with an eternal Black weakness on d6, gave him decisive positional advantage. On board 3, Vladymyr Dedobbelleer also managed to convert his advantage in a knight ending and took the full point against Victor Champt (1553) to tie the match.

Europchess 4 shares the points with higher rated Anderlecht 5

Europchess 4 also drew against the higher-rated team of Anderlecht 5 and is now ranked third in Division 5 L. On first board, Jeremy Rand won with Black against Jörg Thalmann (1599). He managed to win the exchange with a nice combination, but in the endgame was not precise and just when White’s counterplay seemed enough to secure a draw, White left his bishop “en prise” with check and promptly resigned.

Unfortunately, Paris Sansoglou on second board lost a pawn in the middlegame against Eddy Dubois (1575) and could not hold the game: 1-1. On board 3, Bruno Gatta took over the initiative with Black against Manfred Grede (1512) but White managed to escape with a perpetual check. Finally, on board 4, Nikolaj Abrahamsen fought hard to recover from going a pawn down early on with White against Samir Rami (1414) and thanks to a nice trap even got some advantage but with time running out he decided to settle for a draw.

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