Interclubs 2014-2015 – Round 7

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CREB 1 – Europchess 1  :  1 – 7  +++  Westerlo 1 – Europchess 2  :  3.5 – 2.5  +++  CREB 3 – Europchess 3  :  2 – 2  +++  Wavre 3 – Europchess 4  :  3.5 – 0.5 +++

Sun and Rain on a winter Sunday  +++

Europchess 1 outclasses CREB 1

The first team went to CREB 1. Although we were favourites, as the royal club did not bring their three Ukrainian masters on the board, the match turned out to be a surprisingly single-sided affair. On board 7, Eduardo Semanat Planas started a ferocious attack with Black against Mohand Brouri (2020). White castled queenside and allowed Eduardo to put his heavy pieces on the open b- and a-file. Our Cuban master did not leave this invitation un-responded and sacrificed a full rook on b2 to strip White’s king of its protection! Although White could have defended better, Black’s attack then unfolded easily to be crowned by a mate around move 30. 1-0 after two hours.

An equally impressive win followed by Jozsef Barta with White on board 6 against Geraint Edwards (2026). Jozsef quickly gained space in the opening with a strong pawn chain. Again castling queenside did not pay off of the CREB-player. Jozsef invaded over the a-file into Black’s king position, won material and later on the game: 2-0.

Another point was then added by Tom Wiley on board 4 with White. Fabrice Rey (2152) apparently miscalculated a double pawn sacrifice in the early middlegame, providing White with two fabulous extra passed pawns in the centre. When Tom repulsed all tactical chances of Black with accurate play and simplified the position, Black resigned.

On board 8, Martin Müller with White faced Christian Thierens (1904). Martin gained enormous pressure on Black’s centre which unfolded when he opened the lines for his pieces. A beautiful sacrifice on g6 allowed White’s queen to chase the king, and Black could only hold out by giving back material with an interest of 4 (!) pawns: 4-0.

As if this was not enough, Laszlo Hetey on board 2 won the remaining White game against CREB’s veteran Yves Duhayon (2221). In a strictly positional game, White had a tiny advantage on the queenside pressuring over the a-file and the c-file. After a tactical oversight from Black Laszlo then cashed in two pawns there, forcing resignation: 5-0.

On board 6 Frank Hoffmeister added another point from Beksoltan Masgutov (2125). With Black Frank got a better position from the opening, organising an attack against White’s queenside castle. While White found a tricky response before getting rolled over by Frank’s advancing pawns, his piece coordination was not good enough to save the game. With a nice tactical trick Frank gained a full rook before time control and White resigned shortly thereafter: 6-0.

To save CREBS’s honour, it should be added that FM Ruben Akhayen (2302) and Georgi Tomov performed a hard fight on the first board. Georgi took the two bishops early on and tried to open files on the queenside. However, White held back and actually got some initiative in the late middle game. In the end, the game petered out, though, the two players agreeing a draw.

Also Timothy Binham was content with a draw on board 3 with Black against Denis Luminet (2194). At some stage, it looked as if he was better with stronger bishops and the more compact pawn structure, but in time trouble the advantage disappeared. Nevertheless, with a team standing of 6.5-0.5 a draw can be accepted rather easily. With this 7:1 win Europchess 1 keeps leading Division 2 A, but Anderlecht has come dangerously close with an equally high win over TSM 1.

Europchess 2 loses narrowly in Westerlo

In what was an intense and hard fought match, with all six games going almost to the wire of the first time control and two well beyond it, the second team nevertheless had to bite the dust in the end.

The first decision came on board 1, when Jozsef Molnar (Black) resigned his game against Stief Gijsen (2173). True to his aggressive style, Jozsef had gone pawn grabbing in the opening. At first, it looked like a reasonable gamble, as his position presented no obvious points to attack. However, to develop, Jozsef had to make pawn moves, and with them came the small weaknesses, that his opponent was waiting for to mount first an initiative and then an attack based on Black’s undeveloped pieces and uncastled King. This Jozsef didn’t survive, and the score in the match became 0-1.

Next came the tragedy of the day, as Luis Parreira (Black) had to stretch out his hand at board 5 in bitter recognition of defeat. In fairness, it has to be said, that his opponent Pieter Sterckx (1885) had gotten off to a better start, forcing Luis to displace a Knight on d8. However, the position remained sufficiently unclear, and one indecisive move from White was enough to tip the balance completely. In a few moves, Luis had obtained what looked like an absolutely crushing position in practical play. But precision was still required – plus time, on which Luis was running low – and some miscalculation unfortunately again tipped the balance in Whites favour, who was relentless this time. Luis’ King came under heavy fire, from which it didn’t escape: 0-2.

On board 6, Kristian (White) had long nurtured a small, but definite advantage consisting of better central control and more space against Jef Verellen (1761). Black’s position, however, was resilient enough, and it wasn’t obvious whether actions in the centre or an outright king side attack was the best way to proceed for White. Kristian decided on and was teeing up for a central break, when Black weakened his king side to expel an active white Knight from f4. After this, Black’s position collapsed amazingly quickly, and faced with inevitable material losses, he resigned the game, bringing the score to 2-1.

Shortly after this, and minutes before the time control, Johannes could level the score with a win on board 4 against Jan Van Der Auwera (1933, Black). Johannes had come out well of the opening, preventing Black’s king from castling, and benefitting from a strong knight that was clearly superior to Black’s side-lined bishop. After some inaccuracies on both sides, Johannes finally managed to advance his central pawns, supported by the rooks, and get through to the king. While the correct and only way to fight for equality in an extremely critical position was very difficult to see, Van der Auwera overlooked a deadly check in time trouble, which cost his Queen and led to immediate resignation – all in all an attractively conducted game by Johannes.

Thus, the score became 2-2, with Mattias (Black on board 3) and John (White, board 2) still playing after the time control. Mattias had fended off an attack on his King from Sven Gorts (1972) and liquidated into a endgame a pawn up with double rooks and opposite coloured Bishops. The extra pawn wasn’t much of an asset, however, as it sat backward on d6, and in a position, where both Kings were exposed, Mattias offered his opponent a draw, which was immediately accepted.

This left it to John to try and secure at least one match point. Alas, by this point he was fighting an uphill battle against Steven Bellens (2009) in an ending a bishop down and with a rook and a pawn on both sides. The piece John had lost to a dangerous passed c-pawn earlier in the game, which had begun otherwise promisingly for him. Anyway, after some shuffling back and forth, Black finally hit on the right plan of rounding up White’s remaining e-pawn, against which there was no defence. As the sad reality of this dawned on him and his team mates, he resigned game and match to Westerlo.

Europchess 3 draws with CREB 3

Playing in the same room as the first team, Europchess 3 was inspired to play for full points. On board 2, though, Piotr Rapacz with White got on the wrong path in the opening against Olivier Theuerkauff (1906). A nasty pin on the e-file cost him a piece although Piotr tried to wriggle out with some ingenious ideas. However, Black kept the situation under control and his extra material was enough to launch a successful mating attack: 0-1. In return, Vladymyr Dedobbeleer outplayed with Black Laurent Huynh (1697). In a complicated middlegame, White went for an attack on the king, based on a pawn on f6 and Black’s open king position. However, Vladymyr had a strong passed pawn on the e-file instead which allowed him to exchange the queens and enter into a won rook ending: 1-1. On the top board José Maria Ramos Florido won against Etienne Cornil (2014) in a sharp battle. White had pressed in the opening on the kingside, but José Maria kept his king shielded behind a White (!) pawn. His counterattack on the queenside then gained dynamism and in mutual time trouble also the full point: 2-1. Unfortunately, on board 4, Jeremy Rand had to resign against David Moreno (1618). In a generally balanced position Jeremy had steered the game well with White, but then ran into a sudden attack which cost him the point. All in all, the 2-2 was, however, a good result for E 3 which keeps a good 8th rank in Division 4 F.

Europchess 4 with no chance against Wavre 3

On first board, Jesper Abrahamsen played black against Gerard Hulet (1785). Jesper fianchettoed both bishops and used his queenside knight to block an isolated pawn. White activated his rooks to attack from the b- and g-columns and with the knights in the centre. Jesper was under pressure for a time, but managed to exchange pieces. White proposed draw which was accepted by Jesper.

On the second board Paris Sansoglou played white against Olivier Godeaux (1690). Paris lost a pawn in the centre and his opponent maintained the pressure and progressively increased his advantage to win the game.

On the third board, Benjamin Musall faced with Black the strong Willy Meunier (1643) who played very aggressively right from the start. After his queenside was invaded, Benjamin was pushed into a very defensive position and did not manage to resist the pressure.

On the fourth board, Nikolaj played white against Frank Tavernier (1588). Nikolaj played a very solid game where he forced his opponent to weaken his king position. Black obtained some pressure on the white position through an open rook file. Nikolaj had good opportunities to increase the pressure positionally but choose to sacrifice his bishop on the f -pawn. However, black had more defensive resources than foreseen by Nikolaj. Nikolaj was down a piece and abandoned in the endgame.

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