Interclubs 2015-2016 – Round 10

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Europchess 1 – Charleroi 1  :  4 – 4  +++  Europchess 2 – Gent 4  : 1 – 5  +++  Europchess 3 – Excelsior 1  :  2.5 – 1.5  +++  Europchess 4 – Humbeek 3  :  4 – 0  +++

Round 10: Europchess draws with Charleroi!

+++  In round 10, the first team showed good chess to draw division leader Charleroi, whereas E 2 went down the hill against the 4th team of Ghent. The third and fourth team both won against Excelsior and Humbeek, respectively.

In Division 2 B, the division leader Charleroi was already qualified to move up to the first division. So, they kept their two GMs Kveinys and Gurevich at home, and played ‘only’ with three IMs and one FM. However, on our side we also came with a team of above 2200 ELO average, promising a tough fight. And indeed, so it was. On board 7, Jozsef Molnar had to wait 55 minutes for his opponent Alexandre Lalau (2066) to arrive. The two then started a sharp struggle, where Black pocketed a pawn on the queenside. However, Jozsef opened up the king position and outplayed his opponent in the ensuing tactics who did not survive with his short time. So, after 3 hours, E 1 took the lead.

On board 2, Tim Binham equalised easily with Black in a closed opening against IM Daniyal Saiboulatov (2374). However, White then opened the a-file and could place a rook on the 7th rank. Tim gave an exchange to ease the pressure, but his counter-play was not sufficient: 1-1.

On the third board, Tom Wiley ventured an interesting move with White in the opening, causing some problems to IM Bruno Laurent (2363). However, the latter found a good defence, getting the a2-pawn against Tom’s king on the queenside. This looked very dangerous for White, but with stubborn and cool defence Tom managed to swap the queens to arrive at an equal ending where a draw was agreed: 1.5.-1.5.

On the first board, Laszlo Hetey did not get much out of the opening with White against IM Nicolas Eliet (2393). Black then even took over control of the centre, but lost the thread in zeitnot. This allowed Laszlo to win the queen against a rook and a minor piece, which was enough to win the game: 2.5-1.5.

In the meantime, Jozsef Barta lost ground on the 6th board with Black against Claudio Piacentini (2153). White had won a pawn on the queenside in the middle game thanks to a tactical trick. After a couple of exchanges, Jozsef put his hopes on a bishop ending which proved lost, though: 2.5-2.5.

Georgi Tomov on board 4 went to heaven and hell on board 4 against Julien Sclacmender (2222). With Black, Georgi took a gambit pawn and stabilised his position through accurate play. He then swapped pieces counting on his material advantage in the ending. However, White uncorked a dangerous resource, activating his passed c-pawn and centralised the king. Near the time control, a tight fight occurred, but when move 40 was over, the ensuing rook ending proved to be drawn: 3-3.

Another rook ending on board 5 between Frank Hoffmeister and FM Alain Fayard (2200) went to Charleroi. Frank unnecessarily conceded the bishop pair in the opening and suffered from a slightly worse middlegame. Black then forced a rook ending with a pawn up which proved to be winning despite best efforts from Frank to create counter-play.

In this 3-4 situation, Martin Müller on board 8 saved the day for our team. With Black against Gregory Israel (2023), he kept a balanced position throughout the game. The two players then went into a double rook-ending which was still largely in the drawing margin. However, after more than 5 hours play, White committed an oversight, after which Martin came out with two extra-pawns. With this 4-4, Europchess is the only team to have drawn against Charleroi, maintaining the 3rd place in Division 2 B.

In contrast, the second team had a difficult task against a strongly composed Ghent 4. There were only two draws in the early middle game. Benjamin Mulet Alberola on board 2 defended a stable position with Black against Étienne Van Leeuwen (2077), and Olafur Hannesson had a slight space advantage with White against Ben Boog (2075) on the third board which did not yield anything tangible though.

His neighbour on the fourth board, John Riksten, won an exchange from Johan De Saegher (1922) with Black, but did not survive the following king’s attack. Unfortunately, also Pere Moles Palleja lost an equally looking endgame to Marc Lacrosse (2157) on the first board with White, and Johannes Bertram had to resign in the middlegame against Christoph Anderl (1886) after a dubious opening.

Even our hopeful Carlo Russian lost his game on board 6 against Victor De Saegher (1763). Carlo had achieved a better position with Black in the early middlegame, but one inaccurate rook move destabilised his queenside position, leading to material losses.

This 1-5 loss brings E 2 again closer to the danger zone in Division 3 B. Albeit being ranked 8th in Division 3 B with 8 match points, at least 1.5 board points are needed in order not to depend on the results of other teams in the last round.

For the Europchess 3 relegation is no issue anymore, the team having conquered rank 7 with 10 match points. Facing Excelsior 1, our team gave a good performance despite an early loss of Luis Busquets on board 4. He fell into an opening trap with Black from Elvir Palazoski (1627) which cost him too much material. However, Mattias Johansson got an attack with White against Carlos Onrubia-Aviles (1927) and converted his clear advantage first into a better bishop and then into a won pawn ending. Also Luis Parreira showed his teeth on the third board with White against Hayk Akhayan (1649). Using his space advantage he savaged Black’s king in strong attack. Kristian Frederiksen’s draw on the second board with Black after an equal game with the experienced Luc Lambert (1791) sealed the match win.

Europchess also proudly presents the results of the fourth team against Humbeek 3. Three out of four opponents were considerably late. But when they arrived they could not put much resistance on the board either. Jesper Abrahamsen and Thanos Gkionis won against Robert Buelens (1480) and Arno Van Roy (1341), while Bruno Gatta and Nikolaj Abrahamsen took the full point from Gabor Borbas (1311) and Frederik Ducuroir (1200), respectively.  This put E 4 on rank 6 with 10 match points. A win in the last round could even mean rank 5 in the final standing.

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