The first round, postponed for Europchess teams 3 and 4 was played this Sunday 8 December respectively against Excelsior1 and Aalst3, both visitors having one forfeit in the team.
Europchess 3 faced Excelsior 1 with Jose Maria Ramos Florido on 1st board against Carlos Onrubia-Aviles (1934) who did not show up and gave thus the first advantage to our team, with a good hope for the final outcome. Unfortunately Vladymyr Dedobbeleer and Edit Kollo on third and second boards both missed the opportunity to kill the game. Vladymyr in a good opening against Jacques Fonteyne (1557) could easily gain a nice advantage by playing quietly, but instead was too greedy by willing to win a bishop, and miscalculated a trap on his king and queen that he lost as well as the game. On her side Edit Kollo, accepting a gambit from Luc Lambert (1840), spent huge time to try to recover some space on the board and so went into a hard zeitnot which led her to a very bad position, where she started losing pawn by pawn, and finally had to give up. In this tricky situation, all pressure went to Dario Maiorani’s shoulders who had absolutely to win against Radu-Catalin Nica (1519). Both players went into a complicated and balanced game, with an uncertain outcome. In the final, Dario even lost a pawn but he brilliantly recovered it and at the end, after having refused the draw, he managed to force the promotion of one of his pawns which led him to the victory.
This heroic game provided Europchess 3 the opportunity to overcome the opponents with the help of their forfeit, and also some fresh air in the ranking.
On its side Europchess 4 played Aalst 3 which also had to deplore a forfeit on its third board. Paris Sansoglou could thus quickly offer the first point against the absent Yuliya Vyborova (1487). On 1st board, Jesper Abrahamsen in a tricky position, knowing a handicap of two pawns, forced a counterattack with some threats on his opponent Johan Wauters (1528) who finally offered a draw, which satisfied both players. On his side Piotr Rapacz on second board initiated a strong and limpid attack on his opponent Jan Vlasschaert (1507). After having gained a bishop in 13th move thanks to a combination of pawns pressure, he put blacks on defensive who could not push him back and so finished crashed under Piotr’s steamroller. The game was already won for the team when Benjamin Musall courageously went on struggling in a disadvantageous position against Lucien Lefevre (1407) after having lost a knight in the battle. But the games were anyway done and Europchess 4 scored 3-1 which brings the team to the second position in its group.