Interclubs 2018-2019 – Round 11 – Promotion to 1st division!

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Europchess 1 – Eisden/Dilsen 1  :  5.5 – 2.5  +++  Europchess 2 – Dworp 1  :  4 – 2  +++  Europchess 3 – Leuze 2  :  4 – 0  +++  Europchess 4 – Boitsfort 5 :  3  – 1  +++  Europchess 5 – DZD Halle 2 :  1.5 – 2.5  +++

Round 11: Europchess moves to First Division!

The year 2019 will be a very special year for the history of our club: For the first time, Europchess moves up to First Division! Next to the first team, all the other teams won as well, except the fifth team, which suffered from a board forfeit.

Europchess 1 defeats Eisden/Dilsen

Before the round, E 1 was leading with 1.5 board points ahead of TSM 1. This meant that we needed to win the match, preferably with a high score. However, it did not start too well. On board 5, Tom Wiley played a calm opening with White against Gino De Mon (2025). He pressed in the middlegame, but lost a piece after some tactical complications.

Similarly, on board 7, the White game from Matija Šušković went into a wrong direction. His opponent, Gerard Bischoff (1962), managed to exercise pressure on Matija’s pawn structure and gained the upper hand when he eliminated White’s dangerous passed d-pawn. In the end Matija’s second rank was too weak and Black’s attack prevailed.

On the other hand, Paula Gitu crowned her 100 % performance (8/8!) in this season with another win on board 8 against Domien Kuijpers (1810). In a nerve-racking position with low time on the clock, she managed to outplay her opponent with tactical threats on the kingside and pocketed the full point.

Carl Buhr on the third board equalised the match with a convincing White attack against Fabian Miesen (2179). Carl gained two pieces for a rook, but Black’s strong pawn centre provided compensation. The wizard Carl, though, managed to create dangerous threats against Black’s king, leading to checkmate.

Shortly thereafter, Tim Binham won his ending with Black against Bob Merx (2030) on board 4. Having survived White’s early attack on the kingside, Timothy steered the game into an ending. Although there were opposite-coloured bishops on the board, Tim’s two extra pawns decided the game.

Georgi Tomov, with Black on the second board, had entered into an interesting ending against Bram Van Den Berg (2191). His missing exchange was compensated by two pawns and a vulnerable White king. Shortly after the time control White lost control over the position and Georgi duly won.

In that situation, Wolfang De Cauter (2009) and Frank Hoffmeister agreed to share the point on board 6 in blocked rook ending. Each side had four pawns and a weakness, and there was no breakthrough possibility for either side. Having reached the 4.5 threshold for a match win, this draw took some pressure away from Rosen Rusev on the top board. After a complicated middlegame, in which Rosen won a pawn with a tactical trick, he transformed into a favourable rook ending with a better position. He duly converted this material and positional advantage into win.

This rounded up the round with a convincing 5.5-2.5 victory, whereas the main competitor TSM 1 could not score higher than 5-3 against Westerlo: The promotion to First Division was afterwards celebrated in a festive dinner, given in honour of Timothy Binham! Our top Finnish player is retiring from the Commission and going back to Helsinki in the next season.

Europchess 2 wins against Dworp 1

The second team was in equally good form, scoring a neat 4-2 against Dworp 1. Pere Moles Palleja (against FM Serge Vanderwaeren, 2124) and John Riksten (against Tom Van Hoofstat, 2104) held two quick draws on the top boards. Mattias Johansson had a blocked position with Black against Walter De Reymaeker (1963), which led to a peace treaty after the exchange of two minor pieces in the uneventful middlegame. Szymon Pozimski outplayed Stijn Bertrand (1757) with White on board five by opening the h-file against Black’s king, while Kristian Frederiksen on board 6 landed a Black victory after an oversight of Eric Cornelis (1646). This left Martin Müller battling on the third board against Diederik Lot (2018). Martin was always better in the middlegame and it looked as if he could easily win the ending. Both players queened their pawns, and Martin had an extra knight. But Black got some White pawns in return, and was able to force a perpetual check with his active queen: Draw after almost 5.5 hours! With this win, Europchess finalised a very good season on the fourth rank of Division 3 D.

Europchess 3 dominates Leuze 2

The match against Leuze 2 turned out to be a single-sided affair. On the fourth board, Mark Ouaki won quickly a piece with Black against Alexandre Locufier (1131) and the game. Luis Busquets followed with another Black win against Francis Knudde (1793). The players reached an unbalanced middlegame position, where Luis could destabilise White’s center, gain material and the game. On board 3, Vladymyr Dedobbeleer played a nice attacking game with White against Jonathan Degrave (1411). In order to protect his king, Black had to exchange queens and give up an important d6-pawn. Afterwards, his position collapsed and Vladymyr took the deserved point. This left the match with Benjamín Alberola playing on the top board against Maxime Demuys (1890). Benjamín controlled the dark squares and increased the pressure step by step. In the end he reached a rook/bishop endgame where zugzwang decided in his favor. With this clean 4-0, Europchess3 again underlined its ambition for more. However, as Anderlecht 2 won with 3.5-0.5 against Brussels 3, even this performance was not enough to catch the division leader. Europchess 3 ended with an excellent second rank in Division 4 E.

Europchess 4 stronger than Boitsfort 5

Another 3-1 win against Boitsfort 5 secured Europchess the second rank in Division 5 L. Johannes Bertram won his game on the top board against Michel Heynsmans (1429), as did Jesper Abrahamsen on the third board against Peter Nagy (1343), and Thanos Gkionis on the fourth board against Sylvain Travers (1313). Only Marcello Ranucci on the second board had to resign after a tough fight against Fernand Simon (1422). All in all, Europchess 4 came second in Division 5 L, only outclassed by Pantin 6.

Europchess 5 gives in to DZD Halle 2

Playing without the first board, the fifth team suffered a slight defeat against DZD Halle 2. While Bruno Gatta scored a good draw against Anne-Marie Maeckelbergh (1796) on the second board with a double sacrifice of bishop and knight, leading to a perpetual check by his queen. Ioannis Grammatikopoulos lost on the fourth board to Sonja Van Der Voorde (1455). In this situation, Sergio Serrano Samper’s victory on the third board with White against Kristoff Bultijnck (1510) in a well-played rook ending could not change the course of action. Europchess 5 thus landed in the final ranking on a respectable fifth rank in Division 5 M.

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