Interclubs 2013-2014 – Round 2

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Round 2: Peace in Boitsfort, Surrender in Leuven

In the second round, Europchess 2 scored an important match point with a draw in Boitsfort 2, whereas Europchess 1 and 3 saw no land against Leuven 1 and 2. In return, Europchess 4 beat Leuven 5.

Europchess 1 in dire straits against Leuven 1

With a respective average of 2136 ELO (Europchess 1) and 2156 ELO (Leuven 1) the match looked on equal on paper, but turned out to be one-sided affair this Sunday. Everything started rather well. On board 4 Jozsef Barta played an aggressive opening with White against Eddy van Espen (2133) and kept pressure throughout the middlegame. When Black took a poisoned pawn on a2, Jozsef won a full piece through tactics and brought home the point with ease after three hours of play.

Two draws at the top boards followed. Georgi Tomov defended with Black a difficult opening gambit from Maurice Peek (2391) on board 1. Although White got great positional compensation for the pawn, Georgi kept his position intact and settled for a draw. On board 2 Tom Wiley pressured Benjamin Tonoli (2211) and got a pawn advantage out of the opening. However, Tom missed the opportunity to exchange all of the minor pieces, and soon Tonoli had full compensation for the pawn.  Tom was forced to defend passively, and accepted Tonoli’s draw offer a few moves before the time control. Another half point was added by Pere Moles Palleja with White on board 6 against Carlos Oliva Olave (2118). Pere won a pawn in the middle game, but black got good compensation. White probably should have refrained from winning the pawn and keep good winning chances instead. To relieve the pressure, Pere decided to return the pawn for exchanging the rooks and got a drawish queen endgame.

Unfortunately, the remaining three games were lost. Svetlozar Andreev faced sharp play from Jonas Verheyden (2119). In a very old opening line, Svet stayed in the book for 16 moves. Just when the position seemed consolidated an oversight allowed White to sacrifice on f7 and win a whole rook, followed by a forced exchange of queens. Svet tried his best to get counterplay with the remaining material, but to no avail: 2.5-2.5. On board 8, Edit Kollo gained some attacking chances with White against Patrick Delanoeije (2037). When she missed the correct continuation, the tables turned and Black first cashed in material and then the full point: 2.5-3.5. John Riksten on board 7 played a fairly equal game against Marc Weiler (2073) with Black. White had always some space advantage, but no more. Shortly after the time control, John went astray, allowing his opponent to take the full point.

This left Frank Hoffmeister with Black on board 3 against Roel Goossens (2153). Frank equalised in the opening and refused to take a pawn offer as it would have led to a forced draw. However, this decision was not rewarded. White increases his positional grip on the queenside, while Frank tried to organise counter-play on the opposite wing. In White’s zeitnot he missed, however, the most precise continuation and found himself in a worse position after move 40. White then invested another 20 minutes into the position and found a beautiful combination to finish the game in his favour. With this painful 2.5-5.5 loss we find ourselves on the disappointing 10th rank in Division 2 B.

Europchess 2 draws Boitsfort 2

The first to finish was Ventsislav (Board 5) who played with Black against Bernard Lacrosse (1819). After some fight for the central squares and an exchange of knights, a completely equal position was reached and the players agreed on a draw. Kristian playing White on board 4 faced Thierry Cottenier (1758). Black played very solidly in the opening, carefully preparing a freeing advance c6-c5. This led to mass exchanges on c5, and a completely equal position with a symmetrical pawn structure and 2 knights on each side: Draw. Iñaki played with White on Board 6 against Thierry Lenoir (1831). After an equal opening, Iñaki tried to eliminate Black’s strong dark-coloured bishop, but then decided to accept a risky knight sacrifice. Although it looked like White’s king could find a safe hiding place, Black managed to increase the pressure and eventually got through with his attack, pocketing the full point. 2-1 for Boitsfort. Luis (3), playing with Black against Bernard Paul (1984), had equalised in the opening without any problems. Soon the heavy pieces were exchanged though, and after reaching an endgame with opposite-coloured bishops none of the players had real winning chances: draw. On Board 2, Mattias got a clearly worse position with White after the opening against Luc Vingerhoets (1990). However, he managed to limit the activity of Black’s bishop pair and a draw was agreed in a completely blocked position. This meant that Johannes (1) had to win his game to draw the match. Playing with Black against Antoine Jacobs (1998), he had taken some time to reach an equal position after the rather passive opening, but then White weakened his position with a premature attack and subsequently lost a pawn. Johannes then played without risk and converted the advantage in a won endgame. With this 3-3 in a very tight match, Europchess 2 scored its first point much earlier than last season. Next opponent in Division 3C is Humbeek, which after a start with two wins is leading the table.

Europchess 3 wins a point of honour against Leuven 2

Playing with an average of over 2000 ELO, Leuven 2 was the clear favourite in its encounter with our third team. Nevertheless, it was not such an easy ride. On board 1, José Maria Ramos Florido fought well with Black against Arnauld Aglave (2125). White gained some attacking chances on the kingside, though, before Black was able to strike back on the queenside. In the ensuing complications White prevailed with the full point. Vladymyr Dedobbeleer faced severe problems with Black in the opening in his game against Romain Slootmaekers (2018). He lost a full piece without any compensation: 0-2. On board 4, Dario Maiorani got a balanced position with White in the middlegame against Steven Foulon (1887). In time trouble, though, the game was somehow tilted towards Black. This meant that it was for Luis Busquets Perez to take the point of honour with White from Steff Helsen (2101). Despite a difference of over 400 ELO points, Luis kept his opponent under constant pressure in an unorthodox opening. Black’s king got forced to g8 (without castling) and Luis minor pieces encircled the monarch with great artistry and finished him off. Europchess 3 is situated on rank 9 in Division 4 D.

Europchess 4 prevails over Leuven 5

Our 4th team scored the two match points from Leuven 5. Kalojan Hoffmeister took a full point as his opponent on board 4 did not show up. Piotr Rapacz on board 2 dominated with White against Koen Mangelschoets (1386). He opened the centre early on against Black’s king who was under constant threat. With this power play Piotr first won material and later on the full game. Due to the rule that sanctions forfeits these two wins were sufficient to cash in the match. Hence, the losses from Jesper Abrahamsen against Tony Dauw (1588) and from Bruno Gatta against Martin Rosselle (1254) did not change the overall result. Jesper with Black undertook some adventures on the queenside, but his king got stuck in the middle. This was punished by White in the middlegame. Bruno had a comfortable game with Black and even exercised some pressure on the queenside. However, he lost somewhere the exchange in the ensuing complications and with it the full point. Nevertheless, with this good team start Europchess 4 occupies fifth place in Division 5 K.

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