FEFB Intercercles – Round 1

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Mixed results for Europchess in Round 1 of the FEFB Interclubs

Europchess teams had mixed results at the start of the 2013 Interclubs Championship of the Francophone Chess Federation of Belgium (FEFB) on Sunday, 21 April. The team playing in Division 2 took two points and the one in Division 3 did a bit better scoring 2,5 points from their first round games, all played in Fontaine-L’Eveque in a friendly and nice atmosphere that is so typical of this team tournament.

According to the rules of the championship, teams consist of four players: two of them face opponents of one club whereas the two others play against another club. Having taken first place in the 3rd division in 2012, Europchess returned with two teams this year, one in Division 2 and another one in Division 3. The first team had to fight against representatives of Wavre 3 and Fontaine 2 on this first day, while Europchess 2 played against Namur 2 and CREC 4.

Hesitant start for Europchess 1

Pere Moles Palleja, playing with White against Frank Tavernier (Wavre, FIDE rating 1688) faced an interesting theoretical knight sacrifice for a pawn that grants Black huge compensation. Pere gave up a second pawn to complete development and pressured Black’s centre, eventually obliging him to exchange queens and enter a difficult endgame. Pere pocketed the pawn, blocked his opponent’s passed pawns and quickly advanced his a-pawn to promotion to secure the full point.

Jenő Czuczai played an exciting game with Black against Bruno Russo (1962) of Fontaine-L’Evêque. After the opening, Black gained space on the Queen’s side quickly. On the other hand, White initiated a strong attack on Black’s King’s side and sacrificed a knight on h7, with dangerous mating threats. Having avoided all mating threats, it was then Jenő who tried to take advantage of his opponent’s time trouble (10 minutes left for 23 moves) and kept the position complicated instead of steering towards a winning endgame. Unfortunately, he went for a nice long mating combination, sacrificing two pieces, but White found the only refutation despite having only 20 seconds on the clock. When his opponent made the time control while keeping the material advantage, Jenő finally had to resign.

Johannes Bertram seemed to have a promising middlegame with White against Eric Lui (Fontaine, 1952), but his opponent managed to free his pieces and reach an equal bishop vs knight endgame. Johannes tried to outmanoeuvre his opponent, but eventually even had to give up his bishop for a dangerous passed pawn. Luckily, the pawn constellation still allowed White to secure a draw after five and a half hours.

Luis Parreira played with Black against unrated Christophe Charlier (Wavre), a player who scored 6 out of 7 in the Belgian Interclubs with a 2000+ performance. After an early exchange of queens, Black got a slightly better position with opposite-coloured bishops. A combination using both rooks allowed Luis to win a pawn, but the exchange of rooks that followed led to a position without any real hopes of a win. Draw.

With 2 points, the team goes into the next rounds from a midfield position.

Europchess 2 misses some chances

José María Ramos Florido with White faced Christian Artisien (CREC, 1594), an experienced Belgian player, who followed theory and offered tough resistance.  In a game of 3,5 hours, José María had to combine positional strategy with his usual aggressive style, taking some risks in order to overcome the defence of his opponent.  José María increased progressively the pressure and Black felt forced to sacrifice the exchange looking for counterplay.  However, José María’s attack was more dangerous and his opponent finally resigned after 33 moves.

Mattias Johansson with the White pieces declined a pawn offer in the opening and castled long. The attack against the Black King quickly became very dangerous. Quentin Fontaine (Namur, 1901) gave the queen to avoid mate but resigned on move 22 in view of further material losses.

Vladymyr Dedobbeleer got in trouble in the opening against Dominique Charlier (Namur, 1805). He managed to recover but just two moves later he made another inaccurate move which led to the loss of a knight and, ultimately, a defeat.

Luis Busquets Pérez with black faced Vincenzo Sorretti (CREC, 1596). This was the second time they met with the same colours, after a game in the Interclubs 2010-2011 where Luis missed excellent chances to win. Luis managed to get the initiative early on this time and he pressed throughout the game winning one pawn and then simplifying to a won endgame in a tough fight that went the full course of nearly six hours. See the position with white to move:

White played 60.Kd2. Unfortunately, history repeated itself: Luis played inexactly 60…Ke5 allowing his opponent to grab half a point. What was the correct move after 60.Kd2?

The 2.5 points pocketed still allow all hopes for the following rounds, the next one taking place in Liège on Sunday, 5 May 2013.

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