17th TIPC Charleroi

By admin

Frank Hoffmeister beats grandmaster / strong performance by youngsters Paula Gitu and Carlo Russian

At the international tournament of Charleroi (Tournoi International du Pays de Charleroi, TIPC), which constituted also the Belgian Individual Championships, Europchess members achieved some impressive results. While the Champion was crowned in a closed 10-player round robin tournament (winner: IM Mher Hovhannisyan, with a GM norm), Frank Hoffmeister, Tom Wiley, Paula Gitu, Carlo Russian and Martin Müller started among the 79 participants in the strong A-tournament.

Frank had two very different tournament halves. After having turned a better ending to a loss with short time in Round 1 and further two draws against players rated below 2000, he had a fabulous second part: first he beat the untitled, but high-rated Indian Rakesh Kulkarni (2363) in a tactical battle with Black: White attacked by all means, but Frank took the exchange sacrifice, forced the exchange of queens and brought home the ending. Then he won against GM Igor Naumkin (RUS, 2379) with White in a positional game, converting the two extra pawns he had gained in the middlegame in a painstaking long session where the grandmaster tried with all his expertise to create additional problems. Also against the Israeli IM Masha Klinova he held a good draw. It took a Kasparov – GM Sergey Kasparov from Belarus (2449) – to end the great run: instead of going for a dead rook ending with equal pawn structure, Frank wanted to keep a bishop against the knight. This assessment turned out to be erroneous and Kasparov outplayed him in the endgame. In the end, Frank finished 16th with 5.5/9 and a performance of 2234.

Tom had a similar start with a loss in Round 1 and two draws against players slightly above 2000. After that he started winning and drew with the >2100 opponents, to reach 5.5 points as well. Tom’s most exciting game came probably from the last round, where he could double his rooks on the 7th rank of the opponent, while his opponent attacked Tom’s lonely king. In the end the game was drawn through a perpetual check. He finished on 21st place with a performance of 2134.

Paula and Carlo scored 50%, both against very strong opposition. Paula beat three players over 2100 (Wim & Sigiswald Barbier and the rising Sterre Dauw) through nicely spotted tactical combinations. She also achieved draws against two FMs (Serge Vanderwaeren and Johan Goormachtigh) and against Frank with stubborn defense. Carlo beat FM Luc Henris in the first round after an opening catastrophe through an ingenious attack and added three draws against >2100 players. He also won against Martin who got in trouble surfing into a rarely played opening sideline which Carlo knew much better.

Martin had the opportunity to play GM Kasparov in the first round, who told him a lesson why two bishops can be stronger in the ending than two knights. After a very unfortunate 3rd round loss to Astrid Barbier (1842), when he overstepped time in a deadly drawn position he had to play mainly players rated below 2000. Despite his model fighting spirit, he was unable to overcome a series of underrated youngsters and unfortunately dropped some more points, finishing 52nd with 4/9 and a performance some 100 points short of his rating.

In the B-tournament,our ex-colleague Jens Frederiksen from Caissa Woluwé scored 50% against stronger opponents, achieving a performance of 1825.

More information, including download of games, on the TIPC’s website:


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