Interclubs 2013-2014 – Round 3

Round 3: Europchess back in the game!

In round 3 of 13 October, both Europchess 1 and 2 scored their first full match points against Fontaine 2 and Humbeek 1, respectively. Europchess 3 narrowly lost to Lessines 1, while Europchess 4 drew against Humbeek 3.

Europchess 1 takes a deserved win from Fontaine 2

In Division 2 B, the first team hosted a somewhat weakened Fontaine 2 with an average of under 2100 ELO. On board 1, Georgi Tomov played a nice attacking game against Jean Herman (2236) with White. Georgi’s queen invaded b7, while Black’s knight was allowed to check on c2. In the ensuing complications White’s slight lead in development proved decisive. Before Black could actually bring his kingside into play White’s attack against the Black king succeeded: 1-0 after roughly 3 hours. On board 6 Eduardo Semanat Planas followed with a nice Black win against Jonathan di Cosmo (2030). Eduardo chose a sharp opening that lead to an unbalanced position. With a super knight on d4, Black got the better chances, which Eduardo duly converted through an attack on the king’s side: 2-0. Jozsef Barta on board 5 played a calm opening and got a promising position with White against Florian Pierard (2054). However, opening the f file in the middlegame turned out to be better for black and Jozsef lost a pawn. Black didn’t find the best continuation in time trouble and when most of his advantage was gone but still in time trouble (4 minutes for 14 moves) he offered draw to avoid the risk of losing. (2,5-0.5). Svetlozar Andreev on board 8 got a stable position with Black against Santino Vivone (1937). However, when White opened some lines against Svetlozar’s king, the attack got too strong to be held back (2.5-1.5). On board 3, Frank Hoffmeister played a theoretical line which promises a tiny advantage for White. His opponent, Julien Russo (2089) tried to create some attacking chances on the kingside and sacrificed two pawns on the queenside. Frank defended accurately, and after a forced exchange of queens, he took the full point (3.5-1.5). Matija Suskovic on board 4 won a pawn with Black in the opening in exchange for conceding his right to castle. Vincent van Steenkiste (2065) penetrated Matija’s 7th rank with a rook, but Matija was able to chase it away. In the ensuing complications in mutual time trouble Matija refused a draw by move repetition. Unfortunately, he then overlooked a tactical trick, losing the game (3.5-2.5). This increased the pressure on Tom Wiley not to lose his game with Black on the second board against Xavier Mastalerz (2145). Tom had chosen risky opening with his king marching to c6! In return, he had pocketed a knight. So the challenge was to bring his pieces on the queenside into play while keeping his king safe. In a highly complicated middlegame Mastalerz won back an exchange, thus having rook and pawn against two minor pieces in a position where Tom was still not fully developed.    However, as play speeded up between moves 25 and 40, Tom managed to win another piece; and after the time trouble was over, his material advantage paid off to win the game and the match for Europchess (4.5-2.5). In this situation, it mattered less that Martin Müller had given away a clearly better position against Eric Lui (1952) on board 7 with White. Black had pushed a pawn to a3 and tried the entire game to create threats against Martin’s king on b1. In time trouble, he finally succeeded and won a Queen for a rook. Martin counted on his passed pawn on d6, but Black cleverly gave back the Queen for the rook to arrive at a won pawn ending (4.5-3.5). This first win has brought Europchess 1 at rank 7 in Division 2 B, hopefully with a further rising tendency.

Europchess 2 outclasses Division Leader Humbeek 1

The second team scored an important win in Division 3 D. It all started when Luis Parreira took the full point from Guido De Bouver (1847). Luis won a pawn in the opening with White but then came into trouble in his queenside, where his opponent snatched the b2-pawn and advanced his a-pawn to a4. In a highly complicated position, Luis managed to clear the air with a good exchange sacrifice. Black implicitly offered a draw, as he had difficulties to bring his rook on h8 into play. Luis courageously refused, and once he got back the exchange he steered towards clear win in the pawn ending: 1-0! Shortly thereafter, Johannes Bertram won an exciting time trouble duel versus Stijn van Nooten (1869). Johannes had come under pressure with White in the opening. When Black forced the position by pushing his central pawns, Johannes got the upper hand, though. Both players had to play 15 moves with less than 5 minutes on their clocks, and here Johannes won a pawn and exchange on move 38, forcing resignation: 2-0. Similarly, Mattias Johansson cashed in the full point from Arno Sterck (1860). Just as in the 1st round, Mattias outplayed White in an isolated-d pawn position, by exchanging all pieces and taking the open c-file. In the ending, White did not find any decent way to defend his weaknesses and had to give up with 2 pawns down: 3-0. In this confortable team position, Kristian Frederiksen gained another half point against Tim Dubin (1702). Kristian had won a pawn in the opening with a nice tactical trick and could have played for an easy win after the exchange of the queens. However, White was able to restrain Black’s play with a pawn on g5 after which Kristian’s extra pawn did not count much. Players exchanged pieces and Kristian took the draw with a perpetual check with his Queen and knight vs. Queen and rook: 3.5-0.5. On board 1, Pere Moles Palleja played very accurate game against Stefan Colijn (2289) with White. Pere took a piece and showed that the sacrifice was basically incorrect. However, just when he seemed to have been consolidated, Pere chose a wrong way to give material back. Black took his chances and equalised. He then even got the better ending and converted an extra-pawn despite opposite coloured bishops: 3.5-1.5. However, John Riksten took revenge on board 2 with Black against Thomas Schurins (1884). He blocked the kingside against any attacking ideas from White and invaded White’s position with both his rooks on the queenside. After time control John found a super knight move to finish off his opponent, and after a few futile attempts to complicate matters White finally gave up. 4.5-1.5! The two match points catapulted Europchess 3 in the middle of the table – and the bad memories of last year’s unfortunate start are starting to fade away.

Europchess 3 unlucky against Lessines 1

It started off so well! In the encounter with the favourite Lessines 1, Vladymyr Dedobelleer created the first surprise with an elegant win over Pascal Fostier (1839). In the middlegame Vladymyr gained an important centre pawn of Black and later on the entire game. That was the only win of the team on this day. On board 4, Piotr Rapacz played very solidly against Francis Knudde (1830) and achieved an equal queen’s ending. Piotr underestimated, though, the subtleties of the position when he exchanged queens. The pawn ending was, unfortunately lost: 1-1. Luis Carlos Busquets on board 2 had a hard time with Black against Gaetan Marlier (1920). After a mistake in the opening, White put a lot of pressure on Luis in the centre against Black’s uncastled king. This earned him a piece and then the full game: 2-1. This put the burden on Jose Maria Ramos Florido to equalise the game on board 1 against Frederick Baguet (1936). Jose Maria got a tiny edge in the opening, but nothing decisive. When the game turned into an endgame, White had excellent winning chances due to his connected passed paws on the f- and g-file. Time was getting, however, very short for José Maria. With less than 2 minutes on the clock he allowed that Black could give his knight for the two pawns thereby securing a draw – and a match win for Lessines. Europchess 3 is now trailing in Division 4 D and needs to improve in the next rounds in order to keep itself in the division.

Europchess 4 draws with Humbeek 3

In the fourth team, our players had to face the youngsters from Humbeek. Although they had been in control of the game for quite some time, Bruno Gatta on board 3 and Paris Sansoglou on board 4 lost their matches against Jonas de Schouwer (1231) and Guillaume Herremans (1154), respectively. In return, Sergio Serrano Samper won a piece and then the game from Manon Heiremans (1323) with Black, and Jesper Abrahamsen defeated Bjarne van Dijk in a rook ending thanks to his protected passed pawn on e6. With this 2-2 the fourth team has established itself in the first third of the table in Division 5 K.

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