Europchess 1 draws with Brussels 1 and Wavre 1
Facing Brussels 1 the one half of Europchess 1 went through a very tough afternoon. On the first board Georgi Tomov resisted the kingside attack from Oleg Iolis (2213) and entered into an unbalanced ending with a bishop against two connected passed pawns on the kingside and three pawns each on the queenside. Georgi allowed White to queen the h-pawn in order to conquer Black’s pawns on the queenside and to push his own passed pawn. In the end, being down on time, White forced a draw by repetition of moves. On the fourth board, Martin Müller and Sergio Zamparo (2034) battled out a pawn ending after a fairly uneventful middlegame. Both sides tried to trick the opponent with tempo play, but in the end a peace treaty was signed. On the second board, Frank Hoffmeister equalised with Black in the opening against the experienced Marc Anciaux (2134) and gained the bishop pair. However, White then could eliminate Black’s white-squared bishop and both sides agreed on a draw in view of the symmetric pawn structure. On board 3, Pere Moles Palleja drew with Thierry Verspecht (2059) after an unconventional opening from the latter. The position got blocked in the centre and both sides defended their pawn weaknesses on the queenside – draw! With this 2:2 result Europchess 1 drops to 3rd rank in the first division.
Europchess 2 beats Pantin
The first half of our second team played against Pantin 2. On the first board, Benjamin Alberola played a textbook game against Stavros Gessis’ (1806) “hanging pawns” with Black. In a tense situation he won the exchange and was on the road to victory, when he overlooked a tactical trick. This, unfortunately, lead to a quick win from White. His neighbour Luis Busquets Perez on board 4 provided for some compensation though. Luis pressed his opponent Andreas Pauckstadt (1805) with the White pieces all along the game. In the end, Black thought he’d achieved a draw by exchanging the remaining rooks, but the pawn ending proved to be lost due to Luis’s more active king. Our second half did not give any chance to Pantin 3. On board 2, Mattias Johansson ran over Samy Djerbou’s position (1593), by first taking away the right to castle and then invading with the queen and a knight. This cost Black first the exchange and then the full point. Johannes Bertram added the second win on board 3 with Black against Michel Elinckx (1432). In another symmetrical position, he took the risk to advance his kingside pawns, severely restricting White’s coordination. With a nice tactical trick Johannes then won two pawns on the kingside, which decided the game when queens were swapped off by force. This 3:1 Europchess 2 is now 4th (tied 2nd) in the third division.