After a long interclubs season, with mixed results, several Europchess members took part in individual tournaments in five different European countries.
Maastricht : Limburg Open one round too long for Europchess quartet
The series of individual opens was started in Maastricht with the strong Limburg Open during the Pentecost holidays in mid-May. This year, four members of the club took the way to the Dutch city. In the A-Group, among roughly 100 participants, about one third were titled players (7 GMs, 11 IMS, 11 FMs). Frank Hoffmeister (3.5/7), Tom Wiley (3/7) and Martin Müller (2.5/7) felt the heat. Good fighting chess brought some highlights, such as Frank’s fine positional draw against Adrian Tuqui (ROM, 2366), Tom’s win over Nick Maatman (NED, 2210) and Martin’s impressive handling of a queen/knight vs. queen/bishop ending against Martin Molinaroli (GER, 2309), pocketing the full point. However, in the last round, two losses from Frank and Martin and a draw from Tom against a lower-rated player prevented a better overall score. At the top, GM Vladimir Dobrov (RUS, 2541) took first honours in front of IM Mher Hovhanisian (ARM, 2491), IM Daniel Hausrath (GER, 2496), GM Sipke Ernst (NED, 2587) and IM David Miedema (NED, 2357), all with 5.5/7. The top favourite GM Ivan Sokolov (NED, 2642) only came 7th, while the Swedish GM Emanuel Berg even went down to rank 30 with a disappointing 4/7 result. In return, Mattias Johansson played a very convincing tournament in the B-Group with 4/7. Mattias was always close to the top, producing a beautiful attacking win in the 5th round against a higher-rated player with an early sacrifice on f7. If he had also scored the full point in the last round, he could have even come much higher in the final rank than No. 31. So for next year, we will probably have to engage all our participants in “last-round” training to make it an even more memorable tournament in the annals of Europchess. Details and some games can be found here: http://www.limburgopen.nl/english/resultaten.php.
Georgi Tomov confirms FM performance in Charleroi
From 27 July to 3 August, CREC organised this year’s Tournoi International du Pays de Charleroi which attracted a record 187 participants. The Elo-favourites dominated the tournament, and so the top three of the seeding list, GM Igors Rausis (CZE, 2545), GM Aloyzas Kveinys (LTU, 2479) and IM Tanguy Ringoir (Belgian Champion 2012 and 2013, 2471) shared the tournament win with 7.5/9 each. Georgi Tomov participated for the first time with his newly acquired FM title, and was able to confirm this level with a strong result: his 6/9 points were equivalent to a 2305 performance, and meant rank 15 in the end. Starting with four wins in a row, he then faced strong opponents, but was only beaten by shared tournament winners Kveinys and Ringoir. However he got draws against IM Stéphane Hautot (BEL, 2366) and FM Marc Geenen (BEL, 2235). Our new member Martin Müller showed good fighting chess, being several times among the last ones to finish. His resilience earned him as well a score of 6/9, with which he finished 20th, with a performance similar to his 2100 rating. Jens Frederiksen, of Europchess and Caissa Woluwe, scored 4/9. More information, including games can be found under: www.tipc.be.
Tom Wiley scores 50% in a strong closed master tournament in Olomouc
The Olomouc Chess Festival took place this year from 31 July to 8 August. Olomouc is an attractive historic city situated in Moravia, Czech Republic. Tom played there for the first time in 2001, and this year he participated for the seventh time. The Chess Festival consists of three tournaments; there are two round-robin events, one where a GM-norm is attainable and another where an IM-norm is attainable, and there is also a Swiss-system Open tournament. The full tournament specification is available at http://www.czechtour.net/olomouc-chess-summer/, and the results are published on http://chess-results.com/. Tom Wiley played in the IM-norm group, involving 10 players with an average rating of 2284. Any opportunity for Tom to make the norm disappeared quite quickly after losses in rounds 3 and 4, but he recovered to finish the tournament with a 50% score of 4.5 out of 9. The IM-group was won by local FM Josef Obsivac, who nevertheless fell just short of scoring a norm.
Tom Wiley with Top Ten finish in Geraardsbergen
On returning to Belgium, Tom Wiley then played in the Geraardsbergen Open tournament from 10 to 14 August. Geraardsbergen is a small town in Oost-Vlaanderen, about 50 minutes drive from Brussels. The local chess club organised its 29th annual Open tournament, comprising nine rounds played at two games per day. The time limit is classical (90 minutes plus 30 seconds per move), but the results are not submitted for rating. This year the tournament attracted a total of 140 players and was won convincingly by the Belgian champion IM Tanguy Ringoir, who scored 7.5 out of 9. GM Vladimir Okhotnik, IM Pieter Claesen, Stief Gijssen, Johnny Schalkx and FM Glen De Schampheleire shared second to sixth places on 7 out of 9, and Tom shared seventh to eighth places with Denis Luminet on 6.5 out of 9. Jens Frederiksen, of Europchess and Caissa Woluwe, scored 4.5 out of 9. Full information about the tournament is published at http://users.skynet.be/vptd/.
Frank Hoffmeister draws with grandmaster in Austria
In mid-August, the 28th Summer Open of Schwarzach in the Austrian Alps near Salzburg took place. This is a cosy holiday tournament, where one can enjoy the beautiful landscape and mountain activities during the day and play one round in the evenings. The A-Group counted 50 participants, out of which there were 5 GMs, 13 IMS, 2 WIMs and 1 FM. The sole winner was GM Vitaly Kunin (GER, 2514) with 7/9, followed by the Croatian GM Mladen Palac (2561) and IM Artem Smirnov (RUS, 2439) with 6.5/9. For our club, Frank Hoffmeister took a good 19th rank with 5/9, which made him the second non-titled player in the field (even before the best “native” Austrian). His performance was composed of three wins against lower-rated players, two losses and four draws. Since two of the draws were achieved against the Russian GM Vladimir Epishin and the Ukrainian IM Bogdan Borsos, Frank played a nice performance with 2283 and gained some rating points. These two games are also reported on the website of the organisers (in Rounds 1 and 6, respectively). See http://www.chess-results.com/tnr93204.aspx?lan=0
Johannes Bertram sees brighter days in Berlin
From 17 till 25 August, Johannes Bertram participated in the 12th edition of the Lichtenberg Summer Open in Berlin, a 9-round tournament that attracted 231 players, mainly from the countless clubs located in the German capital. Johannes had hoped to recover from the devastating results of his first Interclubs season with Europchess and, with a very decent score of 6/9, he managed to do so. He finished overall 35th, and won the 4th prize in his rating category (1800-1999), being one of 8 players with 6/9. The way in which these points were won, however, still leaves room for improvement: in almost all games, Johannes found himself in dubious, difficult or outright losing positions, but always showed great resilience, carrying on with sometimes unpleasant moves, and when his opponents allowed him back in the game, grasped the opportunity to secure a draw or even turn around the situation and win. The tournament winner was one of the three Berlin-based grandmasters participating, 2nd seeded GM Robert Rabiega (GER, 2506), who was the only one to score 7.5/9. For him, it was not really a new feeling: he won the “Lichtenberger Sommer” for a record 6th time. The runners-up were IM René Stern (GER, 2504) and FM Ralf-Axel Simon (GER, 2194) with 7 points. Johannes was particularly impressed by the excellent tournament organisation: for instance, all games (in total more than 1000!) were introduced in the databases immediately after finishing and uploaded to the tournament’s website on the same evening! All of them, as well as some photos and reports, can be found here: