Interclubs 2014-2015 – Round 8

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Europchess 1 – Fontaine 2  :  5.5 – 2.5  +++  Europchess 2 – Caissa Europe 2  :  5 – 1  +++  Europchess 3 – Brussels CC 2  :  1.5 – 2.5  +++  Europchess 4 – Fontaine 4  :  0 – 4  +++

Round 8: Important wins at home  +++

Europchess 1 defeats strong Fontaine 2  +++

With Fontaine 2, Europchess faced the only team that has beaten our closest rival Anderlecht so far. With an average of 2124 ELO they were composed stronger than usual, promising a tight fight. However, Europchess 1 left no doubt about our ambition in the course of the match. On the top board, Georgi Tomov gave the direction with a quick win with White over one of Belgium’s most promising chess talents, Nicola Capone (2283). In a closed opening, Georgi did not castle but opened the g-file against Black’s king. In the ensuing attack he won material and the full point after less than two hours of play.

Facing Xavier Mastalerz (2159) on the fourth board with Black, Frank Hoffmeister added another half-point soon thereafter. Having run into White’s pet opening variation, Frank suffered in the early middlegame where White gained the bishop pair and the initiative. However, his opponent missed a good attacking chance to win a pawn and continue with good winning chances. Frank could equalise and the point was shared after the exchange of the minor pieces.

Afterwards, the second half of the team delivered an amazing 4-0 streak, starting with Ismo Ulvila on Board 8 with Black. He had accepted a gambit pawn from Jean-Francois Rousseau (1890) and used a lot of time in the opening to find the accurate plan. White kept some dangerous looking pressure as Ismo lost his right to castling and the king was stuck on f8. However, White’s piece co-ordination with the queen at b7 was not enough for direct attack. Moreover, when he wrongly broke Ismo’s pawn formation at the kingside, Black’s bishop pair and strong central pawns grasped the initiative and White resigned with less than a minute left for 10 moves: 2.5-0.5.

Less nerve-racking, Jozsef Barta on board five won against Christian Kieffer (2136). Jozsef had gained an advantage in the opening with Black using a lot of time to equalise to an equal-looking rook/bishop ending with a free pawn for each side. However, Jozsef’s pieces remained always more active, and when he managed to exchange the bishop and bring his King to support his free pawn, the ensuing rook ending could not be saved: 3.5-0.5.

His neighbour on board six, Matija Suskovic, followed with another full point with Black against Florian Pierard (2072). In a typical position of adverse pawn chains, Matija played at the queenside, while White tried to open the f-file to get play against the king. However, after the exchange of queens there was no sign of attack and Black’s rooks invaded the position netting an important central pawn. With precise play, Matija converted his material advantage in another rook ending: 4.5-0.5.

Also Martin Müller on board seven did not give any chance to Maurice Lion (1940). Martin dominated the board with White, as Black did not have anything concrete other than a well-posted knight on e4. With a subtle manoeuvre Martin pushed his queenside pawns, earning him a dangerous passed pawn on a7 which had to be guarded by Black’s poor Queen on a8. This allowed Martin to invade on the kingside and before getting mated Black resigned: 5.5-0.5.

Unfortunately, the remaining two games from Timothy Binham against FM Kim Le Quang (2282) and Tom Wiley against Alexandre Platel (2230) on boards 2 and 3 got lost. Tim had accepted early on an isolated d-pawn with Black. White cleverly reduced material and restrained Black’s activity, which brought him first the gain of the pawn and after a tough rook and knight vs. rook and bishop ending also the full point. Tom’s position had long developed naturally with good chances due to restricted space of Black’s pieces. However, when the board was cleared to three minor pieces each, Black’s pieces developed some activity on the queenside which forced White into careful defensive mode which was, however, not enough to save the game. With an altogether convincing 5.5-2.5 win the first team keeps on leading Division 2 A one match point ahead of Anderlecht.

Europchess 2 outplays Caissa Europe 2

Set against a direct rival, Europchess 2 imposed itself with a clear margin against Caissa Europe from Mons. On board 5 Luis Parreira defeated Clement Godry (1831). After a complicated middlegame, Luis converted the position into a rook ending with two pawns up. He rightly gave one pawn to cut Black’s king from the remaining b-pawn which then could be promoted without any problem: 1-0.

Kristian Pade Frederiksen overplayed his young opponent Laurent Marchal (1697) with Black, netting an exchange against a pawn. However, this material advantage was not easy to convert and the players arrived at a complicated endgame, where astonishingly, Kristian’s king on e4 was more secure than his counterpart on h2, which got brutally mated by a Black pawn advancing to g3: 2-0.

Johannes Bertram on board 4 looked on the winning course as well, having won with Black an important central pawn early on from Patrice Marchal (1876) at the cost of losing the right to castle. However, it took a lot of time to bring his h8-rook into play and when Johannes got short on the clock, White started some activity against the King. Johannes overlooked a winning continuation and, under pressure gave an exchange for another pawn, but White could force draw through perpetual check: 2.5-0.5.

On the top board, Svet Andreev was equally playing for a win with White against Mutombo Kabeya (1896). Profiting from space advantage in the middlegame, Svet won a pawn and converted to a complicated knight ending. Unfortunately, when the pawns were reduced to 2-1 Black could give his knight for White’s remaining soldiers, leading to a draw: 3-1.

Mattias Johansson on board 3 won against Igor Avilov (1894). In a standard opening, White did not get much play in the beginning and actually had to play very accurately to withstand pressure on the long diagonal. However, when Black’s active pieces were exchanged, Mattias could show his superiority in an ending where he converted an extra-pawn into the full point: 4-1.

Finally, John Riksten wore down Benoit Wery (1895) on board 2 in a long game. Gaining some positional advantages over time, John ended up with a better knight against a restricted black-squared bishop and domination of the only open file in the position. After time control he converted this into a full point. With this 5-1, Europchess 2 has a gained a safe 7th rank in Division 3 C.

Europchess 3 loses narrowly to Brussels Chess Club 2

For the third team, half a match point was in good reach against a strongly composed Brussels Chess Club 2. On board 4, Ventsi Petrov got a slightly more comfortable position with Black against Simonne Peeters (1748). He refused a draw offer before time control, but it turned out that only White could get some serious threats with a pawn push to h5, allowing the queen to get through to Black’s king. A few moves later a discovered check cost the entire queen: 0-1.

On the second board, also the second Black game got lost by Luis Busquets against Petr Sochman (1956) who instigated a strong attack against Luis’s king: 0-2.

In return, things looked promising on board 1 and 3. Indeed, the top board José Maria Ramos Florido played a beautiful game against Gerald Grodent (2031) with White. In a sharp middle game José Maria weakened Black’s king position, and after the time control he found the right mating pattern while keeping his own king sheltered against Black’s counter-attack by Queen and rook.

This focused attention to the game on board 3 between Vladymyr Dedobbeleer and Eddy Mattheys (1898). With fine play, Vladymyr had gained an exchange for a pawn in the middlegame, but as the position was blocked, it was hard to materialise this advantage. In the ending Black held the draw thereby securing the match-win for his team: 1.5-2.5. After this unfortunate result Europchess 3 occupies rank 8 in Division 4 F.

Fontaine 4 on top of Europchess 4

Fontaine 4 took full revenge for the loss of their 2nd team. Bernard Dewinck (1729) forced Bruno Gatta to an early resignation, followed by a win from Benoit Thirion (1728) over Nikolaj Abrahamsen on board 3. Adrian Filoteanu with Black on board 4 resisted Frederic Barbarossa (1649) for a long time, but then lost a bishop and the game after time control. This led to a final fight from Jesper Abrahamsen on the top board against Marco Marchiano (1898). Jesper kept a balanced position with a pawn down in an ending with rook/knight vs. rook/bishop for a long time, but when Black further simplified, he also pocketed the full pawn. This 0-4 loss further brought Europchess 4 back to rank 8 in Division 5 D.

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