Interclubs 2017-2018 – Round 1

Europchess 1 – Rochade Eupen 2  :  6.5 – 1.5  +++  Europchess 2 – Brussels CC 1  :  4.5 – 1.5  +++  Europchess 3 – Brussels CC 2 :  1.5 – 2.5  +++  Europchess 4 – Wavre 3 :  2.5 – 1.5  +++

Round 1: Brand new start

+++ After a somewhat bumpy 2016-2017 year, we have seen a good start into the new season. Europchess 1, 2 and 4 won convincingly, while E 3 suffered a narrow defeat only.

Europchess 1 outclasses weakened Rochade Eupen 2

Boards 1-4 (Rossen, Georgi, Tim, Frank)

Europchess 1 hosted Rochade Eupen 2 in Division 2 B. The team, which had arrived last year with a player pool of 2100+ average, was this time considerably weaker in the second half of the boards. This started to tell very soon in the match. On board 5, Matija Šušković created some pressure in the centre against Peter Schillings (1915), first winning a pawn and then dominating the only open d-file with his rooks. When also his queen invaded Black’s position, the full point fell into our pockets like a mature fruit.

Equally, Carlo Russian on board 8 played a textbook game with Black against Raphael Sproten (1675). He first weakened White’s king position and then started a good attack over the f-file, overrunning White’s badly coordinated pieces. In the view of inevitable material losses White resigned in the middlegame.

On the 7th board, Pere Moles Palleja gave a headache to Nicolas Roessler (1747). With beautiful attacking play he earned back his sacrifice with an interest of several pawns, making any resistance useless.

With this comfortable lead Frank Hoffmeister on board 4 offered a draw with Black to Ramil Sabirov (2054). He had taken over the initiative after the opening, but his bishop pair proved too thin to get a decisive advantage in the ending.

By then, his neighbour on board 3, Tim Binham, had a winning position with White against Sven Mühlenhaus (2199). Tim had profited from a somewhat passive Black opening play and created some weaknesses on Black’s kingside. When the position opened up, his pieces could lead a decisive attack, winning material. In the end, Black resigned when the unusual position of a White queen plus four extra pawns was reached against a rook and two helpless minor pieces. So, around the time control, the match was already won with 4.5-0.5.

The remaining three games were all interesting endings. First, Tom Wiley converted a somewhat drawish-looking rook ending into a won pawn ending, leaving Viktor Weinkauf (1789) disappointed on board 6.

Georgi Tomov delivered a thriller, ending up with a rook against three connected passed pawns: draw against Sven Förster (2200).

And finally, Rossen Rusev on the top board tried everything with White to overcome FM Thomas Huesmann (2235). While he had gained a clear advantage in the middlegame, the ending with two minor pieces each turned out to be a draw as there were not enough pawns left.

Nevertheless, Europchess celebrated a strong 6.5-1.5 victory as a good starting point for this season, taking the 2nd rank in the Division.

Boards 7-8 (Pere, Carlo)

Europchess 2 beats higher-rated Brussels 1

Europchess 2 had an excellent start into the season. With Brussels 1, averaged 2050, it faced one of the stronger teams in Division 3 B and sent it back with no regrets! On the 3rd board, Martin Müller won quickly with White against Sergio Zamparo (2118). He first drove back Black’s pieces and then won a full piece with tactical means in the early middlegame. This good win apparently set a precedent. On the 1st board, Benjamín Alberola Mulet, posed problems with White to the experienced Oleg Iolis (2180). He won a piece on the kingside, while Black was fishing for compensation at the queenside. However, this strategy did not work and Benjamin took the full point. On the 2nd board, Mattias Johansson played a solid game with Black against Ivan Ronse (2121). White tried to put pressure on the backward d6-pawn, but Mattias stood safe and counted on White’s bad bishop. Moreover, at some stage he could have destroyed White’s coordination with counter-play over the h-file and played for a win. But when White could take control of this open file, the game quickly petered out to a draw. On the lower boards, the outcome was similarly cheerful. Kristian Frederiksen on board 5 kept control with White over Petr Sochman’s (1938) attacking attempts and converted his material advantage convincingly. Julien Peyrebrune had a somewhat passive position with Black against Natacha Mabille (1933) but held it well. Moreover, when she was starting to be low on time, he could have even played for more. But a draw was already a very good result. Finally, Thanos Gkionis on board 4 was clearly superior to Stéphane Tannemaat (2029) with Black. After sharp middlegame, he arrived at a rook ending with two protected pawns up. Instead of centralising the king and winning easily, he miscalculated a pawn advance and allowed his opponent to come back. After a couple of inaccurate moves on both sides the game petered out into a theoretical draw with rook plus g-pawn vs. rook. Together, this 4.5-1.5 victory against a higher-rated team catapulted the team on rank 4 and gave hope for more in the coming rounds.

Europchess 2

Europchess 3 narrowly loses to Brussels 2

Brussels 2 then took revenge with our third team. On board 1, José María Ramos Florido had an interesting position with White against Arnaud D’Haijere (1930), but lost a piece: 0-1. Also Luis Busquets ran into problems with Black against Theo Kolp (1929) whose attack on the queenside against Luis’s king proved decisive. On the other hand, Hermann Ebner played a very solid game with White on board 3 against Valentin Alota (1797) which never left the drawing margin. Vladymyr Dedobbeleer attacked with Black Pierre Fox (1710) on both sides of the board, winning with a nice king’s attack in the end. With this 1.5-2.5 loss Europchess 3 landed on rank 8 in Division 4 F.

Europchess 3 (Luis B., Hermann, Vladymyr)

Europchess 4 beats Wavre 3

In Division 5 F, Europchess 4 won against Wavre 3 with 2.5-1.5, taking rank 4 in Division 5 B. While Bruno Gatta benefitted from an announced forfeit on board 2, Nicos Zaimis outplayed on board 4 Willy Verhoeven (1198) convincingly. Once he won the queen, the game was quickly over. On board 3, Sergio Serrano Samper got somehow crushed by Samuel Salvaggio (1509) who had organised a strong attack against Sergio’s king in the centre. In this situation, Jesper Abrahamsen’s game with White against Frank Tavernier (1655) was to decide the match. Jesper got an equal position in the middlegame with only one weak pawn on a2. However, Black could not turn this into a win and a peace treaty was signed.

Europchess 4 (Jesper)

Europchess 4 (Sergio, Nikos)

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