FEFB Championship 2013

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Report by Tom Wiley

Each year over the Ascension Day long weekend, the Fédération Echiquienne Francophone de Belgique holds its Championnats Individuels.  Last year the championship was hosted in Brussels by the CREB.  This year the tournament was hosted by the Cercle d’Echecs Fontainois in Fontaine l’Evêque, a small town not far from Charleroi.  There are two tournaments; the Elite group is restricted to the 12 strongest players, and there is an Open group that is accessible to all players.  Some places in the Elite group are filled by nomination (one from each constituent league of the FEFB, the previous year’s champion, the previous year’s open winner, and a junior nominee), and then the remaining places go to the highest-rated players who turn up on the day.  Whereas last year in Brussels no fewer than nine Europchess members played in the FEFB Championship (three in the Elite and six in the Open), this year Europchess had only two representatives, both in the Elite group. Tom Wiley played as the representative of the Brussels Chess League, and Martin Mueller from CREB, who may be joining Europchess in the future, played as the winner of last year’s Open group.

In terms of rating, the Elite participants were quite evenly matched, but the results went very strongly my way from the very start.  After winning a double rook ending against Julien Russo in Round One, I won a sharp struggle against Kim Le Quang in Round 2.  This game is given below.  In Round 3 I managed to win a queen ending against Lubo Blagojevic, and after three rounds I was already a point ahead of the other players.  In Round 4 I won again with Black against Kevin Noiroux, who unfortunately got stuck in traffic and therefore started the game with a time disadvantage.  After beating Xavier Mastalerz with White in Round 5, I was one and a half points ahead of the field with a 100 per cent score.  A draw with Pieter Claesen in Round 6 was sufficient to guarantee me unshared first place with a round to spare.  A quick win against Ivan Werner in the last round then stretched the winning margin to two full points.

Martin Mueller showed good fighting spirit by recovering from two losses in the first two rounds to finish with a 50 per cent score, gaining several rating points.  He showed particular determination in the last round, drawing a tricky ending with rooks and opposite-coloured bishops against IM Pieter Claesen.

N Nom Cat Cote Fide Pts Perf Buch
1 Wiley Tom 0 2241 2242 6.5 2588
2 Le Quang Kim 0 2285 2247 4.5 2280
3 Claesen Pieter 0 2371 2347 4.0 2200 26.0
4 Mastalerz Xavier 0 2141 2137 4.0 2195 25.0
5 Real Thibault 0 2034 2039 4.0 2162 19.5
6 Noiroux Kevin 0 2223 2230 3.5 2168 28.5
7 Russo Julien 0 2084 2088 3.5 2165 26.5
8 Mueller Martin 0 2104 2100 3.5 2170 22.0
9 Callier Christophe 0 2106 2102 2.5 2019
10 Blagojevic Lubo 0 2075 2047 2.0 2017 27.5
11 Werner Ivan 0 2097 2066 2.0 1972 25.5
12 Piacentini Claudio 0 2176 2114 2.0 1924 21.5
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