Anderlecht 1 – Europchess 1 : 6.5 – 1.5 +++ Anderlecht 2 – Europchess 2 : 1.5 – 4.5 +++ Machelen 1 – Europchess 3 : 2 – 2 +++ Soignies 2 – Europchess 4 : 1.5 – 2.5 +++
Round 10: End of dreams
Anderlecht beats Europchess 1 convincingly
In the decisive match for the title in the second division, Europchess 1 suffered a bitter defeat in Anderlecht although the ELO average of both teams was roughly equal. On board 8, Jozsef Molnár lost early on with White to Thierry Ackaert (2067) after an unusual opening due to a tactical oversight costing a full piece.
On the second board, Georgi Tomov got a promising position with a rather solid pawn up after the opening with White against FM Michel de Wit (2310). However, he could not find a breakthrough and a draw was agreed after repetition of moves.
Tom Wiley on board 4 with White played a razor-sharp game against FM Jan van Mechelen (2250), with several pieces under constant attack and pins and counter-pins. Unfortunately, the final trick went to Black: 0.5-2.5.
Laszlo Hetey on board 3 with Black also allowed great complications in his game with FM Felix Beeckmans (2300) after a rather curious opening. White’s risky offensive on the kingside was honoured with the full point: 0.5-3.5.
Also Frank Hoffmeister on board 5 with Black against Clement Rihouay (2215) had to resign. He slowly got into a worse position in the middle game, which cost him a pawn without compensation. When he did not take advantage of an oversight by his opponent in time trouble which could have given drawing chances, the game was lost: 0.5-4.5.
In this situation, it helped little that Matija Suskovic recorded the only win for the team on board 6 with White against Nathanael Spaan (2210). Matija had kept control of the position all along, and when he could break through on the queenside while Black’s activity on the kingside was stopped, he pocketed a deserved full point: 1.5-4.5.
The remaining two boards were, though, again lost. On the first board, Carl Buhr had gotten a good game with Black against IM Richard Polaczek (2420), but his opponent started a fierce king’s attack in the middlegame which first earned him the exchange and later on the full point.
Finally, Martin Müller, playing with White, had to concede the bishop pair to his opponent FM Walter Tonoli (2200) in the opening. In combination with a strong assault of each available pawn this gave Tonoli persistent pressure. In time trouble, Martin’s solid pawn structure started to break up and after a 6 hour fight against the ropes the battle was lost.
With this clear 6.5-1.5 Europchess lost the lead in the Division 2A and will most likely end up with 2nd place.
Europchess 2 outplays Anderlecht 2
The second team was much better that day in Anderlecht. On the first board, Pere Moles Palleja
defended well against the attack from Joachim Demoulin (2074) and decided the game tactically for himself. Also John Riksten on the second board beat Ahmed Draidi (2052) convincingly. In a hedgehog position, John opened lines with a beautiful pseudo-sacrifice on d5 after which Black’s position crumbled. In return, Mattias Johansson’s hedgehog proved very safe against Thomas Samray (2017) on the third board, leading to a justified draw. Similarly, Kristian Frederiksen could not overcome Philippe Brion (1832) on board 6 with White in a very static position. More nerve-wracking were the two remaining games. Luis Parreira somehow survived a dubious opening where Julien Campeert (1847) on the fifth board with White seemed to have a winning initiative. Luis stubbornly defended so long that his opponent went into an inferior rook ending, which Luis conveniently won!
Under normal circumstances, Johannes Bertram on board 4 should have also gotten the full point on board 4 with White against Sophie Brion (1918), as he dominated the middlegame and entered into a comfortable queen’s ending with a pawn up. However, when both players reached less than 2 minutes on the clocks, nerves played a big role and Johannes had to concede a draw due to a perpetual check.
Nevertheless, with a clear 4.5-1.5 the second team showed a great performance that day.
Europchess 3 takes an important draw in Machelen
Travelling to Machelen, Europchess 3 took a deserved and reassuring draw. The first result was on board 3, where Vladymyr Dedobbeleer with Black lost against Johann Hernalsteen (1719) after having problems in the opening. Then, Dario Maiorani on board 4 with White also lost against Jelle Pepermans (1555), although Dario had a promising position he could not avoid the lethal counterattack of his opponent through the h-column. On board 1, José Maria Ramos Florido played with Black against Axel Harutyunyan (1822) a young opponent who had been very successful this season. In a very strategic game), José María kept firm although with less space, thinking that maybe a draw would be a good result for the team. However, after the results in boards 3 and 4 the victory was the only goal. With only 15 minutes for the last 15 moves before the time control, José María initiated a counterattack in the queenside, while his opponent sacrificed a bishop against the short castling looking for a decisive attack. José María defended accurately and managed to force the exchange of queens. He then converted his material advantage: 1-2. Therefore, all the eyes looked to board 2 where Luis Busquets Perez was playing against Patrick de Mol (1767) and where something particular happened. Luis with White had the initiative and a small advantage from the beginning. Luis gained the advantage on the board and in a very exciting time control phase for both players the opponent’s flag fell on move 40. Luis claimed the win, but the opponent insisted that he had played the move in time. In a manner of sportsmanship, Luis agreed to play on and finally won the game on the board with a clever sacrifice. Afterwards, the arbiter explained the flag feature of the digital clock and concluded that indeed the game should have been finished on move 40 …but unfortunately he did not count 2 wins on the score-sheet. With this happy end and the important match draw, Europchess 3 secured its place in fourth division for next year.
Europchess 4 wins against Soignies 2
With a narrow win over Soignies 2, Europchess 4 spent a nice afternoon in Wallonia. On the top board, Jesper Abrahamsen beat Georges Lebedew (1509), followed by Bruno Gatta’s win over Philippe Lepape (1489). Benjamin Musall lost to Renaud Flabat (1439) whil Nikolaj Abrahamsen complemented the match win with a draw against Patrice Blanchard (1295).