Charleroi 1 – Europchess 1 : 4 – 4 +++ Pantin 1 – Europchess 2 : 5.5 – 0.5 +++ Pantin 3 – Europchess 3 : 2 – 2 +++ 2 Fous du Diogène 2 – Europchess 4 : 2 – 2 +++ Pantin 7 – Europchess 5 : 3 – 1 +++
Round 3: Missed Chances
+++ As the Sunday fell on the beginning of a holiday week our times teams missed many stem players. However, with our reserve players being in good form, the five teams still made good performances and even missed chances for winning some matches.
Europchess 1 wins a draw in Charleroi
On the 7th board, Paula Gitu gained space on the kingside with Black after a timid opening from Ricardo Bruno (2016). White then sacrificed a piece to break through, but Paula coordinated well her defence and launched a decisive counter-attack against White’s weakened king position: 1-0.
On board 8, Szymon Pozimski got into trouble with White when his opponent Alexandre Lalau (1993) was able to push a central pawn, making use of several pins. Szymon managed to withstand the pressure, but then overlooked a couple of moves later a tactical trick which cost him a full piece: 1-1.
On board 5, Jozsef Barta had equalized with Black against Claudio Piacentini (2145). However, when he took a poisoned pawn on a4, White was able to march with his f-pawn to f6, creating mating threats against Jozsef’s king. Black managed to hold off the immediate danger, but landed in a lost rook ending where White’s passed pawn on the kingside decided the game: 1-2.
Fighting back on the top board, Rossen outplayed with Black IM Daniyal Saiboulatov (2353). He castled queenside and advanced his pawns on the kingside against White’s uncastled king. When an important White central pawn fell into his hands as well, Rossen’s pieces invaded White’s position, taking the full point: 2-2.
Tim played an equally impressive game with White against FM Kim Le Quang (2271). He controlled the d-file with his rooks and his opposite-coloured bishop exercised some pressure against dark-square weaknesses. When Black tried to build counter-play on the kingside, Tim gave the exchange for two pawns, which decided the game as his passed pawns on the kingside could not be stopped: 3-2.
On the fourth board, Eduardo Semanat Planas built up an attack with White against Alain Fayard’s king after the opening (2182). His exchange sacrifice was correct, but when Black gave it back, an equal ending arose with rook and knight vs rook and bishop and a blocked pawn structure. Eduardo to the risk to open up the queenside, giving Black chances to push. Luckily Eduardo could transform the position with further exchanges into a theoretical draw with rook plus pawn vs rook: 3.5-2.5.
On the 5th board, Martin Müller faced a struggle against Gregory Israel (2054) with White, but a tactical trick allowed him to get counter-chances against Black’s weakened king. After the time-control it seemed that he was even winning, but after an inaccurate rook-move White had to be happy with a draw by perpetual check: 4-3.
The match thus hinged on the Frank’s game with Black against Julien Sclacmender (2242). Frank had equalized easily after the opening and even got a slight advantage by pressuring on the half-open c-file. However, on move forty he lost an important pawn and had to defend the ending. When White was getting down on time, he transformed into a drawish rook ending, where the extra b-pawn was safely blocked. White then gave it up to penetrate the kingside, transforming into an ending with rook plus pawn vs. rook plus pawn with a slightly more active White king. On move 100 (!), Frank fell into the last possible trap, losing his remaining f7-pawn. This unfortunate move did not only throw away the game, but also the match win. With this tough luck, E 1 is now on rank 4 in Division 2 A.
Europchess 2 left empty-handed in Pantin 1
The leader of Division 3 D, Pantin 1, was less merciful with E 2. Basically, only Olafur Hannesson could hold a draw as the first player with Black on the top board with Thomas Mayr (2220) after a quick game. However, all the other five team mates lost. John Riksten had to resign against Benjamin Colette (2182). Thierry Thiteca (2129) took the point from Svetlozar Andreev. Luis Parreira faced an opening problem with White, spent a lot of time and then lost later on to Joachim Demoulin (2044). Kristian Frederiksen (against Tillmann Haak, 1945) and Mark Ouaki (against Carlos Onrubia-Aviles, 1895) also left empty-handed although having reached comfortable positions in the middlegame. After this severe punishment, E 2 is now ranked 5th in the Division.
Europchess 3 wins a draw in Pantin 3
Europchess 3 fought very well against Pantin 3 and obtained a nice match point. The first to finish was Serge Le Gal with Black on board 3 against Kaan Cappon (1824). After a closed opening, the position resulted in an isolated d-pawn for Serge. It could have become a weakness in the end-game, but before the end-game the gods of chess invented the middle-game. With three minor pieces, Serge was capable of containing his opponent, who did not want much fight and so a draw was agreed. Luis Perez Busquets faced Yves Dohogne (1967) on the top board with Black. After a closed opening with some simplifications Luis gained the control of the f-file, while his opponent had advanced his g- and h- pawns to the fourth rank. After a mistake of his opponent, Luis could pick-up a pawn with the bishop and entered with both his rooks into White’s position. Seeing at least two more pawns being lost and having his king in the open, his opponent resigned. This put Europchess 3 in the lead. However, Thanos Gkionis with White in board 2 was not lucky enough against Simon Pleysier (1941). He also accepted an isolated d-pawn, but in contrast to Serge, only 2 minor pieces were remaining for each side. The opponent first gained two pieces for a rook, which proved to be more mobile and have more combined power. Then, Black also won the exchange through a knight fork, and Thanos had to resign after several moves. This left the result of the match to the fourth board. Piotr Rapacz with White against Raffaele Scoccianti (1781) had had a very exciting game. In the opening, he ventured a somewhat risky early sortie of his queen, but his opponent did not manage to get advantage therefrom. After the queens were exchanged, an equal position occurred. Piotr kept on defending his d-pawn, but suddenly his opponent won a piece. However, Piotr fought on and was rewarded with a mistake of his opponent, who gave him the piece back. Piotr continued pushing his last remaining pawn up to the seventh rank, while Black’s remaining pawns were still on the behind. Black gave his rook for the passed pawn, and Piotr’s rook then had to stop four pawns of his opponent! In the end, a rook v. knight endgame was reached, and after more than four hours of game the players shared the point. With this good 2-2, E 3 has stabilised its position on rank 6 in Division 4 E.
Europchess 4 wins a draw in Fous Diogène 2
The fourth team had a good start in Etterbeek against Les 2 Fous du Diogène 2. On the second board, Helge Schröder won quickly with White against Julien Castiau (1502) after having netted material with better opening play. On board 4, Ioannis Grammatikopoulos sacrificed two pawns for good attacking chances, but Black (Oren Wolff, 1300) defended well and finally won the full point. Julien Peyrebrune had to face a fierce attack with Black on his king from Aurel Koebele (1417). After many tactical complications, Julien managed to simplify and ended up in a position where his extra rook was much stronger than the white’s two advanced passed pawns. Black had to resign short after. The last to finish was Marcello Ranucci, who played Black against Yannick Kuy (1600). He attacked on the queenside, but ran into strong counter-play on the kingside. In a complicated position, Marcello made a mistake right before the time control and eventually lost the endgame. After this draw, E 4 is on rank 9 in Division 5 L.
Europchess 5 wins a board point of honour in Pantin 7
Pantin 7 was the clear Elo favourite of this match. However, on board 1 Bruno Gatta won with Black against Pierre Nicolas (1743). After an irregular opening, Bruno first defended a slightly inferior middlegame. But in the third hour Bruno put some pressure on his opponent and won two pawns, after which White resigned. On the other boards, though, Sergio Serrano Semper (against Pierre Jourdain, 1731), Paris Sansoglou (against Abdenasser Zaoui, 1294) and Angeliki Dedopoulou (against Zuheyr Alsahili, 1289) lost. E 5 is now on rank 6 in Division 5 M.