Interclubs 2018-2019 – Round 1

Wavre 1 – Europchess 1  :  4 – 4  +++  Tournai 1 – Europchess 2  :  2 – 4  +++  Boitsfort 4 – Europchess 3  :  3 – 1  +++  Woluwe 2 – Europchess 4  :  2 – 2  +++  Wavre 5 – Europchess 5  :  2 – 2  +++

Round 1: Fifty-Fifty

The start into the new season was not bad, but could have been better. E 2 won, E 3 lost, while E 1, E 4 and E 5 all made draws.

Europchess 1 drops a point in Wavre

Europchess 1 went with a good feeling to Wavre, as we had won the last encounter with a comfortable margin. However, this year, the home team was reinforced with the two top players from Lasne-Waterloo (Wettach and Callier) and fought very hard about the match points.

On the seventh board, Martin Müller snatched the h2-pawn from Christophe Callier (2001) in an unusual opening and destroyed White’s right to castle. It seems that he was on the road to victory when he won a second pawn in the middlegame, but in time-trouble White started an attack which reversed the tables.

After this unfortunate turn of events other setbacks followed. Pere Moles Palleja had outplayed Thierry Hawia (2002) with White on the 6th board and was a pawn-up. However, Black organized counter-play on the queenside. When both sides infiltrated the 2nd/7th rank of their opponents with their rooks, the game became highly tactical and ended with a draw through perpetual check.

On the 2nd board, Georgi Tomov faced with Christian Depauw (2125) a dangerous opponent, who had beaten him last time. Georgi played a calm opening system in which Black equalized. White put his hope on reaching a bishop’s ending where the pawns of his opponent could become targets, but Black kept the queens on the board and took an important pawn on b2. This forced Georgi to agree to a draw with a perpetual check.

On board 5, Eduardo Semanat Planas came with initiative for Black out of the opening and converted it into a good position with opposite-coloured bishops and two rooks each. He controlled the open c-file and could exert some pressure against White’s isolated d4-pawn. However, due to an oversight he lost his f7-pawn, giving Gabriel Miulescu (2034) the chance to play by advancing his kingside pawns. Eduardo gave his bishop to create dynamic play, but in the end the material advantage decided the game in favour of White.

On the positive side, Milan Beles won a good game with White on board 8 against Yohan Burignat (1749). After a classical opening Milan infiltrated Black’s queenside with his queen supported a by strong knight on e5. He decided not to give his queen for a rook, bishop and knight, but chose the ‘safer way’. However, also this variation turned out to be dance on the volcano as Black later on sacrificed a bishop to open lines against White’s king. Experienced Milan, though, forced the exchange of queens and rooks to get to a winning endgame.

Equally, on the 1st board, Rossen Rusev withstood the pressure of Etienne Bauduin (2216). White had gained some space advantage and invested a full piece to get some kingside attack. In high time trouble Rossen kept his nerves, won a second piece and later on the full point.

On the 3rd board, Timothy Binham played with Black a subtle game against Marc Anciaux (2125). In order to get rid of an annoying pin from a bishop of g4, White loosened his king side with h3-g4. Tim then prepared a counter-strike with f5. Supported by the Queen and knight, the pawn marched to f3, where it inflicted decisive damage to White.

With this 4:3 the match hinged on Frank Hoffmeister’s White game against Michel Wettach (2076) on board 4. After the opening, Frank lost a pawn, but had good compensation on the white squares in a blocked position. Both players spent a lot of time for an accurate middlegame, and after exchange of queens the position looked drawish. However, Black then got another pawn on g5, which decided the game and secured a match point for Wavre.

Europchess 2 wins in Tournai

Europchess 2 travelled to far-away Tournai, and forfeited the point on the first board, as John Riksten could not arrive on time. However, his team mates made more than good for him. Despite a painful loss of Benjamin Alberola Mulet with Black on board 3, who ran into an unstoppable king’s attack of Julien Minet (1947), the team still won the match. Radoslav Krastev display ed fine endgame technique on board 2 against François Boudrenghien (1952), winning with a little combination à la Capablanca in the end. On board 4, Mattias Johansson outplayed Thomas Gueuning (1895) with White. The opponent gave twice the exchange to build a fortress. But Mattias gave back the first rook to get play and then sacrificed the second rook for a won ending, which he converted with precise play. On the fifth board, Szymon Pozimski beat Martin Heynen (1722). A little combination netted him a pawn which he duly converted in the ending. And finally, Kristian Frederiksen remained cool when his opponent Jonathan Michel (1631) tried to activate his two rooks to chase his king. Kristian found a shelter whereas the Black monarch could not escape the mate: With this 4-2 victory E 2 could drive back home with some sweet fruit in the bag.

Europchess 3 loses to Boitsfort 4

Our third team, though, left empty-handed from Boitsfort. Thanos Gkionis brought a quick board point with a king’s attack against Yves Van Mol (1490), invading with his queen Black’s king position, followed by a combined assault against the helpless monarch by his combined forces. However, all the other three players lost. Luis Busquets allowed David Kusman (1694) to dominate the open c-file in a closed position. White won a pawn and then the game. Johannes Bertram played a sharp opening with Black against Pierre Hody (2010). However, Hody played carefully and when all risks were under control he could open the position and attack decisively himself. On the second board, José Maria Ramos Florido arrived at an equal ending with queen, bishop and three pawns each against our colleague Thomas Jayes (1920). Black managed to bring his king in support of a passed pawn and gained material. José Maria tried until he was left with this bare queen, while Black still had two pawns and a bishop extra, but then had to give in.

Europchess 4 draws with Woluwé 2

With Woluwé 2, our fourth team met one of the strongest contenders in the division. The teams shared the points: two wins from Marcello Ranucci against our former colleague Jens Frederiksen (1727) and Jesper Abrahamsen against Pierre Yves Mistiaen (1710) on the first two boards was balanced with two losses from Robert Prylinski against Simonne Peeters (1686) and Bruno Gatta against Philippe Mariame (1648).

Europchess 5 draws with Wavre 4

Like the first team, also our brand new fifth team was somehow on the wrong foot against Wavre 4. It looked all fine when Mark Ouaki outplayed with Black the promising youngster Adrien Anciaux (1431) with combinational means on the first board. Also Sergio Serrano Samper prevailed over the experienced Christian Artisien (1494) with threats over the long diagonal. However, on the third board, Angeliki Dedopoulou had to give in against André Dumortier (1413) despite a good opening, when her queenside got under fire. On the fourth board, Roberto Teichner was on the way to victory with material advantage in an ending against Doryan Burignat, but overlooked a back-rank mate. Again, Wavre got away with a draw: 2-2.

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