Interclubs 2017-2018 – Round 2

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Namur 1 – Europchess 1  :  3.5 – 4.5  +++  Leuze 1 – Europchess 2 :  4 – 2  +++  The Belgian CC 2 – Europchess   :  3.5 – 0.5  +++  Lasne-Waterloo 2 – Europchess 4  :  0 – 4  +++

Round 2: Europchess 1 takes the lead in the second division

+++ In the second round, Europchess 1 took the lead in the second division with a narrow win in Namur, which had been tipped as one of the favourites this year. While the 2nd and 3rd team lost rather clearly, the fourth team imposed itself over Lasne-Waterloo 2 with a neat 4-0.

Europchess 1 wins narrowly in Namur

Travelling to Namur, the first team played one of the favourites in the league, which had, however, a very bad start in the first round against Boitsfort. So it was likely that the Walloon capital would like to fight back this time.  And indeed, the match turned out to be very tight throughout.

On the 7th board, Michael Geuquet (1949) played a very safe line with White against Benjamin Alberola Mulet (2089), leading to a queenless middlegame and a drawn ending. With a repetition of moves, the peace treaty was signed before time control.

Similarly, Charles Coibion (2096) and Pere Moles Palleja drew their game on board 5. Pere played an original opening concept with Black getting a solid yet uneventful position where sharing the points was the just result when an ending with rook plus minor piece was reached with only some kingside pawns left.

On board 6, Radoslav Krastev with White tried to get play in a closed position on the queenside against Michael Scoriels (1995). However Black’s attack on the kingside proved to be more dangerous. Radoslav tried to defend bravely, but once Black’s queen invaded, the battle was lost: 1-2 on the lower boards.

However, on the 1st board Carl Buhr delivered another sparkling win with Black against FM Victor-Angel Bolzoni (2205). After a complicated middle-game, Carl got connected rolling pawns in the centre against which White’s heavy pieces were helpless: 2-2.

Also Georgi Tomov was in good form. Out of a very equal position with White in the middle-game against Eric Denayer (2183), he developed some advantage in the ending with more active piece play. When he got a passed pawn, the latter decided the day: 3-2.

On the 3rd board, Frank Hoffmeister was less successful with Black against Ivan Werner (2131). Frank had made a positional exchange sacrifice and got two strong centre pawns as compensation. However, while time was running short ahead of move 40, he miscalculated a little combination. Instead of leading to a forced win, White had a good defence which simplified the position and later on even brought him the full point: 3-3.

At this moment, John Riksten on board 8 scored the decisive match point. His opponent Pierre Vernimmen (1852) had started a typical kingside attack by bringing forward his pawns and bringing his rook and queen to the g-file and h-file. But John kept his nerves, evacuated his king to a relatively safe e2-square, and launched a counter-attack with his queen on Black’s naked king. He thus first picked up a couple of pawns, then exchanged the queens and won the ending with his passed pawns on the queenside!

In this moment, Matija Šušković on board 4 added the final draw to take the full match points. He had played an interesting game with White against Philippe Uhoda (2106). After a short tactical exchange in the centre he got a positional advantage and got a passed pawn on the queenside. However, that one was safely blocked by Black’s heavy pieces. When Matija opened up the kingside Uhoda saved himself with a good sacrifice leading to a perpetual check, which Matija accepted in view of the team situation.

With this 4.5-3.5 win Europchess took the lead in Division 2 B with 4 points, as no other team in the division was able land two successive victories so far.

Leuze 1 stronger than Europchess 2

Europchess 2 found its master in Leuze 1. On the first board, Cyrille Gozzoli (2206) won against Olafur Hannesson with a strong attack. On the other hand, Martin Müller showed teeth with White against Eric Poivre (2034), wearing him out in a long ending with 100 moves. The third board went again to Leuze with Frederic Verschueren (1972) beating José María Ramos Florido. José Maria with Black was a pawn up, but under a dangerous attack. In a very complicated position, after almost 4 hours of play, he had to decide either to allow a perpetual check or to go for a risky continuation and possibly keep the material advantage. Given the overall score he chose the latter, but the courage did not pay off, as White’s attack proved too strong.
Playing White, Thanos Gkionis beat Jean-Paul Tissier (1966) with tactical means in a structure he knows very well. However, as Kristian Frederiksen on board 5 (against Patrick Decellier, 1925) and Edit Köllö on board 6 (against Gerald Charles, 1909), both lost, the team had to give in with 2-4. It is now standing at rank 5 in Division 3 B.

Europchess 3 caught on the wrong foot by Belgian Chess Club 2

The third team had a tough time against the 2nd team of The Belgian Chess Club. Here, Olivier Baeten (1889) launched a successful attack on Vladymyr Dedobbeleer’s White king with a knight sacrifice on board 4. On the 3rd board, Hermann Ebner with Black got outplayed by Gregory Vanobbergh (1975) and Luis Parreira on the 1st board had to resign to Aude Soubrier (1994). Only Luis Busquets added half a point to the team’s basket, withstanding the pressure of Thomas Samray (1986). This clear 0.5-3.5 defeat keeps the third team jointly at the bottom of Division 4 F.

Europchess 4 scores neat win over Lasne-Waterloo 2

In Division 5 B, Europchess 4 continued its good performance with a clear win over Lasne-Waterloo 2. On the first board, Jesper Abrahamsen won with Black the queen of Antoine Poussart (1600) with a nice bishop fork, after which White resigned early on. In his first game for Europchess, Robert Prylinski chose a calm opening against André Dumortier (1470) on the second board. Both players played positionally, but in the ending, Robert’s rook plus 3 pawns proved stronger than his opponent’s bishop and 5 pawns. Similarly, Bruno Gatta outplayed Jacques Lecherf (1246) on board 3, and Sergio Serrano Semper mated Jean Scribe (1211) on the fourth board in a winning yet dramatic ending, fighting against the clock. The fourth team is hence climbing up the ladder, being on shared 1st place in the division.

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