Interclubs 2016-2017 – Round 4

Zottegem 1 – Europchess 1  :  5 – 3  +++  Wavre 1 – Europchess 2  :  3.5 – 2.5  +++  Wavre 2 – Europchess 3  :  3 – 1  +++  Wavre 3 – Europchess 4  :  2.5 – 1.5  +++

Round 4: No luck today, my chess is going away

On 27 November, the unthinkable happened. All four teams lost – full stop.

Europchess 1 unlucky in Zottegem

In a roughly even match, Zottegem 1 won 5-3 with a dramatic U-turn in the last game. On the first board, Timothy Binham tried an unusual opening with Black against Glen De Schampheleire (2350), where White’s king gave up the right to castle, while Tim’s queen got stranded in an uncomfortable position on the kingside. The imbalance proved to be in White’s favour, taking the full point.

Meanwhile, Georgi Tomov played a positional game with White on the second board against Rein Verstraeten (2335). He got a protected passed d-pawn, but Black kept him and the open e-file under tight control. In an equal position the draw was agreed.

On board 3, Tom Wiley equalised with Black out of the opening against Adrian Roos (2279). However, in the middlegame an unfortunate knight manoeuver cost him a pawn and later on also the game.

Playing White on board 4 Frank Hoffmeister gained more space and some pressure out of the opening against Ruben Smekens (2143). But Black organised some counter-play on the queenside which kept the balance. The two players agreed a draw ahead of a forced variation leading to a perpetual check.

Being 1-3 down in the first half of the team, hope thus hinged on the performance from the latter boards. Here, Martin Müller on the 8th board defeated with White Peter Colin (1974) in a convincing game. He first repudiated a pre-mature attack from Black on the queenside and then organised a strong and successful attack on the kingside.

Unfortunately, his neighbour on board 7, Eduardo Semanat Planas fell victim to Yasseen De Herdt (2086). In a complicated middlegame, he lost the exchange which his opponent duly converted in the endgame.

On board 5, Matija Suskovic outplayed Willem Van Melkebeke (2127) with Black. White used a lot of time in the opening and ended up with an ending where Matija was a strong passed pawn up. He crowned his performance with a nice Queen sacrifice vs. rook and piece. Instead of taking the queen, after which Black’s pawn would have become unstoppable, White resigned.

With a 3-4 standing, everything then depended on Pere Mole Palleja’s game with White against Nele Vanhuyse (2095). Pere had won a pawn early on, but the position was pretty blocked. In order to bring his extra pawn in motion he then transferred his king from the kingside to the queenside and dared a piece sacrifice to get two passed pawns in mutual time-trouble after the 1st control. Unfortunately, Black’s two bishops held the pawns under control and Black even won the game. With this unfortunate 3-5 loss Europchess 1 is further trailing in the 2nd half of the table.

Europchess 2 loses tight fight in Wavre 1

The second team stood up against a nominally stronger Wavre 1, but also did not get any match point in the end. On the second board, Olafur Hannesson outplayed Marc Anciaux (2125) with White and scored an important point. Playing Christian Depauw (2099) with Black, John Riksten made a good draw on the third board. Also Carlo Russian convinced with a win with Black against Christophe Charlier (2083). However, despite this, the match got lost. First, both Helge Ruotanen against Albert Verhaegen (2088) and Kristian Frederiksen against Xavier Bouchat (1937) had to give in their White games on boards 4 and 6. Then, on the first board, a tragedy happened. Benjamin Alberola had played very well, gaining material in a better position against FM Etienne Bauduin (2268). However, in zeitnot, he lost a full rook in a complicated position. This turned the match from 3.5-2.5 into 2.5-3.5. Europchess 2 is now on rank 6 in the middle of the table in Division 3 B.

Wavre 2 beats Europchess 3

A similar situation then arose in the match between Wavre 2 and Europchess 3. On the fourth board, Alain Tossens (1770) proposed to Vladymyr Dedobbeleer a draw in the middle of the game. He accepted in view of the situation in the remaining boards. In the meantime, Luis Busquets’ opponent Gerard Hulet (1827) also proposed a draw on board 2 that Luis judiciously accepted, given that he had to defend an isolated d-pawn in an inferior ending. Unfortunately Thanos Gkionis then lost his game on board 3 against Sébastien Fisson (1822) while he was for long time better. Yet his opponent managed to reverse the situation to his advantage. Also Luis Parreira on first board found himself in a very tricky position. In zeitnot had to give up the game against Stéphane Thibaut (1901) on the first board. This brings E 3 back to rank 7 in Division 4 G.

Europchess 4 suffers first defeat against Wavre 3

Finally, Europchess 4 handed over the two match points against Wavre 3 as well. While Jesper Abrahamsen drew against Etienne De Wergifosse (1694) on the first board and Julien Peyrebrune beat Frank Tavernier (1644) on the fourth board, both Alex Amelotti and Bruno Gatta lost against Willy Meunier (1645) and Olivier Godeaux (1688). This was E 4’s first defeat in the season. The team now occupies rank 3 in Division 5 F.

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