Interclubs 2015-2016 – Round 8

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Europchess 1 – Herve 1 : 4 – 4 +++ Europchess 2 – Wetteren 1 : 2 – 4 +++ Europchess 3 – Opwijk 2 : 2.5 – 1.5 +++ Europchess 4 – Excelsior 2 : 1 – 3 +++

Europchess 3 the winner of the day

+++ In round 8 at home, the first team got a lucky draw against Herve 1, while E 2 lost 2-4 to Wetteren 1. A reinforced Europchess 3 scored two important match points against Opwijk 2. E 4 had to give in to Excelsior.

Europchess 1 draws with Herve 1

Although Europchess 1 hosted the trail-ender of the Division, it got into serious trouble against Herve 1. On board 8, the team forfeited a point early on as Helge Ruotanen did not show up due to a misunderstanding. But also on board 3 we ran into trouble as Georgi Tomov with White soon faced a strong king’s attack from Eli Serbu (2121). Georgi had to give his queen for a rook and a bishop, but could not hold the game in the long run: 0-2.

On the second board, Tom Wiley played a fairly solid game with Black against Slavko Duric (2144). He swapped his bishop against a knight but as the pawn structure was blocked, this was no advantage for White. When the players exchanged their heavy pieces over the open d-file the draw was agreed.

On board 5, Jozsef Barta reached a fairly blocked position with White against Pierre Fontaine (2033) and also accepted a draw offer in the middlegame.

On the positive side, though, was the game from Radu Stoenescu with Black on board 6 against Dimitri Giagoulis (2021). Radu advanced his pawns on the queenside and established a strong passed-pawn on c3. When he also established a fine battery with queen and bishop on the long diagonal a8-h1 against White’s weakened king, he earned the full point.

Also Martin Müller with White on board 7 delivered a strong performance against Serge Herzet (1951). He constantly built up a strong attacking position, based on a knight on e5 and his two aggressively put bishops. After some manoeuvring he destroyed his opponent’s castled position with a beautiful exchange sacrifice.

On board 4 Frank Hoffmeister reached a difficult ending with Black against Philippe Sauveur (2087). Despite being an exchange down, he had some counter-chances because of a passed d-pawn. However, shortly before time control he lost that precious asset and thus also the game.

With this 3-4 standing, eyes were turning to the first board where Timothy Binham faced Mikhail Kolkin (2325) with White. Tim had refused an early draw offer and played for the advantage by pushing a pawn to d6. However, Kolkin kept the pawn under control and created himself a passed pawn on the h-file. After nerve-racking complications in the middle-game the two players reached an endgame with Tim having knight, bishop and f-pawn, playing against a rook and an h-pawn. With fabulous precision, Tim put his pieces on the best squares, pushing Black’s king into the corner. When finally the f-pawn advanced Kolkin had to give his rook, and Tim mated him with the remaining knight and bishop. This extra-ordinary win secured half a match point, keeping Europchess on rank 3 in Division 2 B.

Europchess 2 swallows bitter pill against Wetteren 1

In Division 3 B, Europchess played against another strong team, namely Wetteren 1. Mattias Johansson on board 5 played a quick draw with Dirk Castelein (2021) after a colourless opening with a lot of exchanges. On board 6 with Black, Johannes Bertram got a comfortable opening position against Jan Demunck with some pressure on the queenside. However, when his opponent organised a king’s attack the position fell apart: 1.5-2.5. On the first board, Pere Moles Palleja drew with White an interesting game with Koen Van De Velde (2131). Both players tried to control the centre with knights on d5 and d4 respectively. When the position opened up, they were left with opposite-coloured bishops leading to a draw. Unfortunately, Benjamín Alberola then lost with White to Luc Michiels (2120) on the third board. The players had fought for a long time a very strategic game, but in the end a simple tactical trick decided the game for Black. Also Olafur Hannesson on board 4 with Black had no luck against Randy Van Houtte (2022). In a complicated middle game he lost a central pawn but could create some chances against White’s open king. However, shortly before the time control White managed to consolidate and decided the game with a counter-attack with queen and rook on Olafur’s lonely king on f7. Bravely, Jozsef Molnar then scored the point of honour on board 2 against Robijn Verlinden (2128) with Black. He stood rather passively for a long time, but then created tactical counter-chances which paid off. The players reached a queen-ending where Jozsef’s king marched to g1 (!) to protect his passed pawn on g2. After some checks he found the right position for the king and forced the exchange of queens. This brought the final result to 2-4. Europchess 2 has now fallen back to rank 9 in Division 3 B and must score in one of the following rounds.

Europchess 3 wins crucial match against Opwijk 2

Paired against the current No. 11 of the division, Europchess 2 had to score two match points in the fight against relegation. And indeed, it worked out well despite a very unfortunate loss of Carlo Russian on board 4 against Dominique Versyck (1801). Carlo got the better position after the middlegame but gave the full point away by playing too quickly in the end. However, Luis Parreira with White on board 3 showed no mercy for Kris Verhasselt (1835). Black unwisely took a pawn on h2 with his queen and lost a piece when Luis chased it away with his two rooks. This was enough for the full point in our favour. Also Kristian Frederiksen scored against Gilbert Van Acker (1841). Although his position after the opening was somewhat doubtful, he showed superior tactical play before the time control, winning White’s queen. With this 2-1 standing all depended on the nerves of Jose Maria Ramos Florido on the first board against Phil Thomas (1847) with White. José Maria pressed in the game on both wings and got good winning chances in a rook ending with pawns on opposite wings. Unfortunately, he overlooked one resource of Black which saved him the half point. Nevertheless, that was good enough for E 3 to win the match and locate itself safely in the middle of the table on rank 7 with 8 points.

Europchess 4 loses to Excelsior 2

While Jesper Abrahamsen won his game against Elvir Palazoski (1627), Jeremy Rand (on board two against Jacques Gervais, 1601), Bruno Gatta (on board 3 against Simone Broeker, 1541) and Nikolaj Abrahamsen (on board 4 against Samir Azzoug, 1412) lost their games. However, despite this loss Europchess 4 is still on rank 5 in Division 5 J.

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