Interclubs 2015-2016 – Round 9

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Leuven 1 – Europchess 1 : 3.5 – 4.5  +++  Leuven 2 – Europchess 2 : 2.5 – 3.5  +++  The Belgian CC 2 – Europchess 3 : 2.5 – 1.5  +++  The Belgian CC 3 – Europchess 4 : 3.5 – 0.5  +++

Europchess beats Leuven twice, but also loses twice to Anderlecht

+++  In Round 9, the first two teams secured two narrow wins against Leuven. However, the third and the fourth teams came back empty-handed from their matches against Anderlecht 2 and 3.

Europchess 1 overcomes Leuven 1

Drawn from past experience, Leuven 1 has always been a difficult opponent for our first team. However, this time, the pendulum swung to our side. On the 7th board, Jozsef Molnár played a good game with Black against Patrick Delanoeije (1976). Although White seemed to have had the initiative for a while after the opening, when it got tactical, Jozsef punished a number of inaccurate moves. He thus pocketed the full point in the middlegame quite easily.

On board 4, also Georgi Tomov quickly got the upper hand against Jonas Verheyden (2121). He opened the g-file against Black’s castled king, and brought a strong attack to fruition so that his opponent resigned a move before the mate.

In return Tim Binham on the second board with White got in trouble against Roel Goossens (2172). After a closed opening Timothy had hoped get some play on the queenside, but overlooked an important resource in time trouble costing him the point.

On board 3 and 5, Tom Wiley and Frank Hoffmeister played both very calm games with Black against Karl Ceulemans (2159) and Eddy Van Espen (2092), respectively. Tom had no problems in a symmetrical position, and when most pieces were exchanged over the open e-file a draw was the natural outcome. Also Frank traded every piece leading down to a knight’s ending with 4 vs. 3 pawns on the kingside for Black and 3 vs. 2 pawns on the queenside for White. A peace treaty was signed shortly before the time control.

Fortunately, Martin Müller added another point to the score sheet in his game with White against Koen Delaere (1884) on the 8th board. Martin pressed a long time in the middlegame, but there was little tangible coming out of his initiative. In a complicated ending with two rooks and a knight each, he then won due to a knight fork.

In return, Radu Stoenescu could not hold his game against Christiaan Van Hul (2062) on board 6. After a very tactical opening Radu overlooked a trick which cost him first the exchange and then a full piece. Despite heroic resistance until the very end, Black then converted his material advantage due to a remaining a-pawn. At the standing of 4:3 eyes thus turned to Laszlo Hetey on the first board, defending with Black against Benjamin Tonoli (2182). Laszlo spent a lot of time in the opening and kept the position in balance despite White’s constant pressure with a more active rook and bishop vs. a rook and a knight and pawns on both wings. However, when the time trouble was over Laszlo cashed in the deserved draw, meaning the full match points for E 1! With this victory, E 1 maintains its 3rd rank in Division 2 B.

Europchess 2 beats Leuven 2 in an important match

The fight against Leuven 2 promised to be very tight as both teams had not been safe from relegation yet before the round. On the first board, Benjamin Alberola Mulet battled with Arnaud Aglave (2056). Benjamin accepted a gambit with Black and kept the pawn in a solid, but passive structure. When White won the exchange, but Benjamin could activate his two passed pawns, a draw was agreed.

Also Olafur Hannesson did not go over the full distance against Romain Slootmaekers (2003). He got some space advantage out of the opening, but nothing more: Draw!

On the third board, Mattias Johansson also added another half point with Black against Thomas Massoels (1980) after a queenless middlegame where both sides lacked obvious plans. So the decided matches of the day were actually played on the lower boards. First Kristian Frederiksen ran into the king’s attack form Dirk Voet (1888) who opened the h-file and won due to a rook/queen battery there.

In return, Carlo Russian made a strong performance on the 6th board with White against Bart Van Praag (1825). He gained spaced and the two bishops after the opening, but it was not obvious how to continue in the middlegame. Carlo established a strong knight on e6, and after some simplifications decided the game with a nice combination, which won a pawn and the game in a superior rook ending.

Accordingly, the fate of the round hung on John Riksten’s shoulders playing with White on board 4 against Bert Schreurs (1937). After a rather harmless opening and middlegame John reached an endgame with opposite coloured bishops and a pawn up. Somehow, he converted this advantage, earning us two important match points in Division 3 B. Indeed, E 2 is now back in the middle of the division.

Europchess 3 lacks fortune against Anderlecht 2

With an average Elo of 1950 Anderlecht 2 was the clear favourite against our third team in Division 4 B. But the exercise did not turn out that easy at all. On the first board, Luis Parreira’s opponent Thomas Samray (2002) had a strong attack after just a few moves. However, while deciding on how to continue the attack, he got in serious zeitnot leading to a few inaccurate moves and the loss of the game.

On board 3, Paolo Garzotti faced Olivier Baeten (1911) with Black. He lost a piece for two pawns which did not provide sufficient compensation. In the end White won fairly convincingly.

Playing White on the second board against Aude Soubrier (1993), Vladymyr Dedobbeleer got a promising position with an isolated d-pawn in the centre of the board. When entering the pawn ending, though, he committed a fatal mistake which not even led to a draw but an outright loss.

Finally, Øyvind Bø on board 4 with White also posed problems to Sophie Brion (1893). But on move 40 he overlooked a winning move and had to content itself with a draw afterwards. With this unlucky 1.5-2.5 loss Europchess 3 has still to remain vigilant in the two final rounds.

Europchess 4 loses to Anderlecht 3

Europchess 4 suffered from an even greater defeat by Anderlecht 3. While Jesper Abrahamsen drew his game on the first board against Julien Campeert (1854), Thanos Gkionis, Bruno Gatta and Nikolaj Abrahamsen had to give in against Nicolae Atanasiu (1846), Philippe Brion (1819) and Cedric Sohet (1760), respectively, on the following boards.

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