Interclubs 2018-2019 – Round 7

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Europchess 1 – TSM 1  :  3.5 – 4.5  +++  Europchess 2 – Brussels 1  :  3.5 – 2.5  +++  Europchess 3 – Brussels 3  :  4 – 0  +++  Europchess 4 – Mechelen 9 :  2.5 – 1.5  +++  Europchess 5 – Brussels 7 :  3.5 – 0.5  +++

Greetings from Paul Keres

+++ In the seventh round the first team felt like Paul Keres, “the eternal second”. We played very well, but still lost with a tiny margin to a strong TSM 1. On the other side, all the other teams won and E 3 is even close to moving up!

Europchess 1 loses very narrowly to TSM 1

In the top match of the season, Europchess 1 got very close to a good result. On board 6, Marc Boeykens (2190) exercised some pressure with White against Frank Hoffmeister. However, Black defended well, and after some exchanges the position simplified to an early draw.

Tom Wiley on the board 5 faced an unconventional opening from Maria Gevorgyan (2228) and opted for a queenless middlegame in an unbalanced position with opposite-coloured bishops. However, Black could then dominate the open d-file take the full point once her rook invaded Tom’s second rank with a devastating effect.

On the fourth board, Timothy Binham held a good draw with Black against FM Matthias De Wachter (2313). After an early exchange of queens White tried to build pressure over the open d-file against Tim’s king on d8, but Tim found a clever counter-attack against White’s king on g3 with a rook lift from a8-a6-g6 which secured a the half point.

On board 7, Matija Šušković played an excellent game with White against Karsten Verhasselt (2165). After an exchange sacrifice for a pawn and a weakened king position, he got good compensation. Once Black even conceded the long diagonal for Matija’s bishop, White’s numerous threats led to a strong attack and the deserved win.

Equally, Paula Gitu on board 8 performed very well with Black against Rafael De Coninck (2161). After an equal middlegame the two players reached a rook endgame, where White overlooked a rook shift to h6, which cost him the isolated h3-pawn. After two more weak moves, Paula could even win a second pawn and force the exchange of rooks, pocketing the full point.

The lead in the match was, though, only short-lived. On board 2, Georgi Tomov was outplayed by FM Anne Haast (2343) despite a fairly harmless opening treatment. White was able to exercise pressure over the c-file against Black’s position. This cost Georgi an important pawn on top of a passive position, which was impossible to hold: 3-3.

In this situation, the outcome of the match depended on the games on board 1 and 3. Rossen Roussev faced on board 1 with IM Stefan Kuipers (2484) a recent participant of the B-tournament in Wijk aan Zee. Rossen gained an opening advantage and had a comfortable middlegame position. However, in time trouble of both players, he sacrificed his protected passed pawn for tactical reasons, which did not materialize. Around move 40 a full rook sacrifice against Black’s king looked promising, but as Black defended accurately Rossen had to resign once the storm was over.

Against that background Carl continued his game against Nathan De Strycker (2321). After a difficult middlegame he managed to hold Black’s extra b-pawn which threatened to queen. Black then forced the exchange of rooks, transforming the position to a knight v bishop ending with three pawns each on the kingside. Carl tried to press with a more active and a more agile knight, but in the end Black managed to catch all of White’s pawns: draw. With this unfortunate 3.5-4.5 lost, TSM has taken over the first rank in the Division and Europchess 1 is likely to live through another Paul Keres year.

Europchess 2 beats Brussels 1

In the local derby, the second team took the two match points from Brussels 1 after a tough fight. Unfortunately, due to a calendar misundertstaning Martin Müller did not show up and forfeited his White game on board 3 against Gerald Grodent (2021). But the other team mates overcompensated this loss with good games. First, on the second board, Olafur Hannesson won a full piece with Black in the middlegame from Arnaud D’Haijere (2023), who resigned immediately. Second, Mattias Johansson outplayed with White Petr Sochman (1936) in the opening. After some inaccuracies from both sides he then brought home the full point by also netting a full piece in a dominant position. Szymon Pozimski exercised pressure with Black against the isolated d-pawn from Christian Thierens (1904) on board 6. However, White uncorked a nice tactical combination over the open f-file which first won some material and then the entire game. On the first board Pere Moles Palleja played a calm game with White against Theo Kolp (2055). In the late middlegame, Black took a poisoned pawn costing him the exchange. A few moves later, Black gave his bishop to get three passed pawns on the queenside plus queen against queen against the rook. Although this was very hard to play, Pere kept oversight and finally won the game. A draw by Milan Beles against Stéphane Tannemaat completed the good result. After a complicated middlegame, Milan gained a pawn with Black in the rook ending, but White’s active king made sure that he could force a draw, which Milan accepted in view of the team situation. With this 3.5-2.5 win, Europchess 2 has established itself on a very good 3rd rank in Division 3 D.

Europchess 3 sends Brussels 3 back empty-handed

The winning streak of Europchess 3 continued with a clean 4-0 win against Brussels 3. Luis Busquets scored an easy win in a short game against Ahmed Lengliz (1296) on board 4. Also José Maria Ramos Florido took the full point with his usual attacking style against Stéphane Lefevre (1540). Probably the most complicated game was played by Luis Parreira with Black on the second board against Yann-Sven Rittelmeyer (1743). Luis opened up the king side with a firm attack against White’s king. White could only release the pressure by giving up his central e5-pawn after which Luis was on the winning road. At the time also Benjamin Alberola Mulet had achieved a winning position against Said Boujmil (1793), first winning a piece and then a full rook. If the third team continues this performance, it could even contend for the first place in Division 4 F.

Europchess 4 beats Mechelen 9

Against the team of youngsters from Mechelen 9, Europchess 4 scored a match win with two wins from Marcello Ranucci against Tomas Cuyx (1522) and Kristian Frederiksen against Jonas Vranckx (1366) and a draw from Jesper Abrahamsen against Lars Van Lommel (1213) through perpetual checks. On the other hand, Thanos Gkionis lost his game against Milo Knockaert (1197) because of a bad bishop against a better White knight and more active White pieces. The fourth team is now ranked third in Division 5 L.

Europchess 5 wins against Brussels 7

The fifth team scored two easy points on boards 1 and 4 (Mark Ouaki winning against Pierre Kolp, 1150 and Roberto Teichner winning against Lhea Kolp due to early surrenders). In the two games actually fought on the board, Robert Prylinski made a draw in an equal rook ending against Mohammed Lengliz (1149) and Bruno Gatta beat Lucie Schiro (1142). The fifth team is on a good 5th rank in Division 5 M.

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