Rochade Eupen 2 – Europchess 1 : 4 – 4 +++ Caissa Europe 1 – Europchess 2 : 1 – 5 +++ Brussels CC 1 – Europchess 3 : 2 – 2 +++ Brussels CC 5 – Europchess 4 : 0 – 4 +++
Round 11: Excellent final round for Europchess!
+++ In the final round, Europchess achieved two net wins and two good draws. The second team outclassed Caissa Europe with 5-1, leaving no doubt who belongs to the third division. The fourth team even scored a clean 4-0 score against Brussels Chess Club 5, while our third team held their first team to a good draw. Also Europchess 1 came home with a match point from Eupen, where Rochade 2 had been composed very strongly to hold the 2nd division.
Europchess 1 draws against a strong Rochade Eupen 2
As Rochade 2 was threatened by relegation they beefed up their team, with four 2300 players in front and ending with a 2100 player taking board 8. Nevertheless, this was not enough to overcome Europchess 1. On the fourth board, Frank Hoffmeister played White against Marcel Harff. After an equal middlegame, the players converted into a difficult Queen + two minor pieces endgame. Frank got two connected passed pawns in the queenside with winning chances, but Black organised counterplay against White’s king. Just one move before the time control Frank discarded a draw by perpetual check with a risky queen move. With this mistake he ran into a mating net which gave the full point to his opponent: 0-1.
On board 8, Øyvind Bø played a fine game with White against Norbert Müller (2107). He put pressure on the queenside with a typical minority attack and even gained a pawn. However, after some exchanges no further advances were possible and a draw was agreed.
On the first board, Tim Binham equalised with Black against Michael Coenen (2430) after the opening. When he pushed h6 and g5, though, he got in trouble on the light squares on the kingside in the middlegame. Getting short of time as well, he was unable to hold the position before the time control: 0.5-2.5.
On board 6, Matija Šušković got a reasonable position with Black against Thomas Huesmann all the time. But when the players reached an equal ending, Matija blundered a full piece, which triggered his immediate resignation: 0.5-3.5.
Luckily though, the streak of bad luck ended there. On board 2, Tom Wiley played an exemplary positional game against David Miedema (2370). He first gained some space on the queenside and then pressured on the kingside. This netted him a dangerous advanced g-pawn which made his day just before his opponent’s time control: 1.5-3.5.
Equally, Georgi Tomov took the full point from Martin Ahn (2306) with Black. White grabbed a pawn in the opening, but his attempt to hold it was punished by Georgi. He cashed in two pawns on the kingside instead and forced the transition into a bishop ending with a pawn up. Here, his two connected pawns on the kingside proved superior to White’s advanced pawn on the queenside: 2.5-3.5.
Also Martin Müller on board 7 took the full point, beating Norbert Esser (2158) with Black. After an early opening deviation from White, Black lost the bishop pair. However, in the middlegame Martin uncorked a little combination à la Capablanca to win a pawn. When the queens were exchanged, he then drove home the ending convincingly: 3.5-3.5.
This focused all the eyes on Jozsef Molnár’s game with White against Eckhard Roessler (2182). The two players had produced an equal pawn structure in the middlegame and exchanged most of the pieces without much ado. In the ensuing knight ending Jozsef won a pawn and his opponent got very short of time, creating some stressed faces among his team-mates. On the other hand there were only two White pawns left vs. one Black pawn. With cool play Black eliminated the first one with his knight and caught the second one with his king, sealing the draw. This 4:4 just kept Rochade 2 in the second division due to superior board points over Eisden. E 1 ended with a good 3rd place in Division 2 B. Congratulations!
E 2 scores a clear victory over Caissa Europe 1
The second team travelled to Mons to face Caissa Europe. That team needed to win with at least 5-1 to keep the division. But life can be cruel sometimes, as the opposite happened: it was our team which took five board points! The direction was set on board 6 by Carlo Russian with White against Christophe Bousmanne (1790). Carlo got a good game after favourable exchanges in the opening and refused two draw offers. He first cashed in a pawn for free and then outplayed his opponent in the middlegame: 1-0.
In this situation Caissa Europa already showed some resignation with another draw offer on board 3 from Daniel Canneel (2010) to Mattias Johansson. However, Mattias had no reason to accept it with a better position with Black. So he played on and converted his position into another full point: 2-0.
Similarly, Pere Moles Palleja beat Gaetan Marlier (2012) on the first board with Black from an equal middlegame. Benjamin Alberola Mulet playing White on the second board and Kristian Frederiksen playing White on the fourth board added two more points against Geoffrey Degraeve (2011) and Igor Avilov (1867), respectively. In this situation it did not matter that Serge Le Gal lost his first game of the season against Daniel De Noose (1851) on board 5. With this convincing performance Europchess 2 climbed up the ladder again and finished with 10 match points at a good 6th rank in Division 3 B. Well done!
E 3 surprises in Brussels 1 with a good draw
Europchess 3 was hosted by Brussels 1, another first team which could compose a strong average of players. Europchess 3 demonstrated once again its capacity to withstand the pressure and surprised with a good draw against the No. 2 in the Division.
At first sight, it did not look so bright, though. On the first board, Luis Parreira got into trouble with Black against Oleg Iolis (2104), and Vladymyr’s opening with Black was not so convincing against the young Theo Kolp (1736) on the third board. Both players thus had to concede defeat. However, on board 4, Thanos Gkionis led a nice attack with some strong threats all along the game against Piet Van de Craen (1600). The Brussels 1 player resisted for some time, but finally had to give in to the hard Greek pressure. Then Luis Busquets put the cherry on the cake. He faced on the second board Itzhak Solsky (2067) with White. His opponent moved the clock (which was already running after he arrived late) to the other side of the board without permission. Not impressed by this incident, Luis played a brilliant game which successfully closed the tournament with a draw to our team.
Hence, Europchess 3 ends this season on a very good 7th rank with 11 match points. This is only one point away from the third ranked clubs Anderlecht 2 and Boitsfort 2 and with a safe distance to the relegated teams Opwijk 2 (8 points) and Woluwé 1 (1 point). Given that Division 4 B was mainly composed of 1st or 2nd teams, one can only congratulate E 3 for this remarkable achievement. Cheers!
E 4 with a clean slate against Brussels 5
Given that our third team could stand off Brussels 1, it was less surprising that E 4 had an easy afternoon against Brussels 5. Jesper Abrahamsen won on the first board against François Haulotte (1681), followed by wins from Alex Amelotti over Samuel Yoro (1200), Nikos Zaimis over Issa Hossain (1190) and Nikolaj Abrahamsen over Romain Clain (1010). This catapulted the team to 5th rank in Division 5 J with 12 match points. Bravo!