GM Mihail Marin honours Brussels

06/06/2019
By admin

Bestselling grandmaster gives an advanced chess class and successful exhibition

Upon invitation from Europchess, Grandmaster Mihail Marin from Bucarest visited Brussels to hold a chess event in the official cultural programme of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union on Friday 17 May 2019. As a side event, our club members Benjamin Alberola Mulet and Cristian Ardeleanu also showed the European Parliament and the Council to Marin and his wife and the couple enjoyed a good Belgian speciality restaurant near Grand Place upon invitation of President Frank Hoffmeister.
Born in 1965, Mihail Marin qualified for the Interzonal tournament in 1987 and won the bronze medal for Romania in the 1988 Olympiad. Since then, he represented Romanian colours twelve times and is widely regarded as one of the best current chess writers. GM Marin has written a couple of opening books and recorded many videos with Chessbase in Hamburg. His bestselling book “Learn from the Legends: Chess Champions at their Best” from 2004 earned him international praise. Against that background the club was particularly happy that he chose for his lecture the theme: “Learn from Rubinstein”. He thus showed several Rubinstein games with deep strategic ideas on pawn play, which would inspire modern grandmasters like Carlsen. So we learned how taking pawns towards the center could create more control over important squares and accumulate advantages in the ending. A seemingly equal but passive position is then enough for a strong GM to lose against the former Polish star or today’s world champion. Of course, Rubinstein’s famous rook endgame technique added a cherry on the cake! Judging from the comments after the lecture, the quality was very advanced and highly appreciated. Thank you Mihail for sharing your insights!
After this very instructive lecture Marin then took the challenge to play against 25 players, three of which were nominated by the Romanian Presidency. He was better on most boards, but most of our players defended tenaciously. After more than six hours, the following results could be recorded. GM Marin won 16 games, lost 2, and drew 7 games (with Jenő Czuczai, József Barta, Johannes Bertram, Martin Müller, Nikos Zaimis, Paula Gitu and Frank Hoffmeister). Below are shown all games, which the players have shared with the club after the simul. We especially congratulate Matija Šušković and Edit Köllő for their outstanding achievement of beating one of Romania’s living legends!
In parallel to the chess event, Marin’s wife Mariya Yugina painted a very beautiful picture with a chess motif. She offered it as a present to the club afterwards, for which we are extremely grateful. Clearly, this rounded up an extraordinary visit of an artistic couple to Brussels!

Frank Hoffmeister with GM Mihail Marin

GM Marin presenting instructive Rubinstein games

...the attentive audience

And now, time to play!

Opening phase: lots of Bg2 fianchettoes

Games of the simultaneous exhibition (25 boards)

The exhibition started around 4 pm and lasted until 10 pm. GM Marin chose White on all boards and allowed his opponents to think while he was making the round, sometimes even twice or three times. He did not impose any maximum Elo threshold for his opponents. Our 25 players included non-rated players as well as players from all five teams.

Against his three non-rated compatriots from the Romanian Embassy, GM Marin faced no particular difficulties.

1. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Catalui, Daria

Alekhine Defence B02

1. e4 Nf6 2. e5 Ne4? 2. … Nd5 3. d4 is the normal continuation. 3. d3 Ng5?? 4. Bxg5 and White won after 25 moves.

2. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Hapa, Claudiu

Queen’s Gambit Tarrasch Defense D34

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. g3 Nf6 6. Bg2 Be6 7. 0–0 Be7 8. Nc3 0–0 9. b3 Nc6 10. Bb2 Ne4 11. Rc1 (see diagram)

After 11. Rc1

11. … Bg5? 11. … b6 was preferable. The text gives up the bishop pair and loses a pawn without compensation. 12. Nxg5 Nxg5 13. dxc5 d4 14.Nb5 Nh3+ 15.Kh1 Bd5 16.Nxd4 Qf6 17.Bxd5 Nxf2+ 18.Rxf2 Qxf2 19.Qg1! Forces the exchange of queens and the transposition into a won ending. 19. … Qxg1+ 20. Kxg1 Nxd4 21. Bxd4 Rab8 22. e4 Kh8 23. Be5 Rbd8 24. Bd6 Rfe8 25. Bxb7 1–0.

3. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Serbanescu, Radu 1-0

Four Knights Game C47

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nc3 Nc6 4. g3 d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Bg2 Bg4 7. h3 Bh5 8. 0–0 Bc5 9. g4 Nxc3 9. … Bg6 10. Nxd5 Qxd5 11. Nxe5! Qxe5 12. Re1 10. bxc3 Bg6 11. d4 exd4 12. cxd4 Nxd4 13. Nxd4 Qxd4 14. Re1+ (see diagram)

After 14. Re1+

14. …Kd7? 14. … Kf8 15. Be3 Qxd1 16. Bxc5+ Qd6 17.Bxd6+ cxd6 18.Bxb7 Rb8 19. Bd5² 15.Qxd4+ Bxd4 16. Rd1 White wins a piece and the game is over. 16. … Rhe8 17. Rxd4+ Kc8 18. Be3 c6 19. c4 Rd8 20. Rad1 Rxd4 21. Rxd4 Kc7 22. Bf4+ Kb6 23. Rd7 Re8 and White wins with 24. Be3+ Ka6 24. Bxc6! 1–0.

A couple of players from our fifth team put up interesting defenses with Black. Nikos Zaimis was crowned for his original efforts with a draw, while Robert Prylinski was close to a draw, but had to resign because of time constraints on the Friday evening.  Alex Amelotti defended in a complicated middlegame, but finally racked under pressure on the g-file. Eric Molson missed a good opportunity to turn the tables.

4. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Honciu, Ion-Adrian


1-0

5. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Zaimis, Nikos (1535)

King’s Indian Defense E65

1. c4 g6 2. g3 Bg7 3. Bg2 d6 4. Nc3 c5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. e3 Nf6 7. d4 0–0 8. 0–0 Bg4 9. h3 Bd7 10. b3 Qc8 11. Kh2 e5 12. Bb2 Nh5 13. Nb5 (see diagram)

After 13. Nb5

13…e4!? [13...exd4 14.exd4 a6! 15.Nxd6 Qc7 16.Ne4 cxd4 was a good defense as the d4–pawn cannot be taken as long Black can pin the knight with Rd8. But all this was hard to conceive and so Nicos gives his queen for three pieces, certainly a good choice in a simul situation. 14. Nxd6 exf3 15. Nxc8 fxg2 16. Kxg2 Raxc8 17. g4 Nf6 18. d5 Rcd8! 19. Qe2 Ne7 20. e4 Rfe8 21. e5 Nfxd5 22. cxd5 Nxd5 23. f4 Bc6 24. Kh2 Nc7 25. Rad1? Bb5! 26. Qf2 Bxf1 27. Qxf1 Ne6 28. f5 Nd4 29. Bxd4 cxd4 30. f6 30. e6! fxe6 31. f6 Rf8 32. g5 should secure a win for White. 30. ... Bf8 31. Qf4 d3! 32. Kg2 Rd5 33. Qc4 Red8 34. Qe4 d2 35. e6 fxe6 36. Qxe6+ Kh8 37. h4 R8d6 38. Qf7 Although White can play for a win after 38. ... Rd8 Marin accepted a draw in this complicated position. ½–½

6. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Amelotti, Alex (1337)

Bird’s Opening A02

1. f4 f5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. b3 e6 4. Bb2 Nf6 5. g3 b6 6. Bg2 d5 7. 0–0 Bb7 8. e3 Be7 9. Qe2 0–0 10. Nc3 a5 11. a4 Ne4 12. Nb5 Bf6 13. Bxf6 Nxf6 14. d3 Nb4 15. Nbd4 Qc8 16. Ne5 c5 17. Ndf3 Nd7 18. g4 fxg4 19. Nxg4 Nc6 20. Qe1 Ba6 21. Qg3 Nf6 22. Nge5 Ne7 23. Bh3 Nf5 24. Qf2 d4 25. e4 25. Bxf5 exf5 26. exd4 Ng4 27. Nxg4 fxg4 28. Ne5 provides for a slight advantage. 25...Ne3 A strong knight, which White will not tolerate for long. 26. Ng5 Re8 27. Rfe1 Ra7 28. Rxe3 dxe3 29. Qxe3 h6 30. Ngf3 Rc7 31. Kh1 Bb7 32. Rg1 Qd8 33. Rg6 Ree7 34. Qg1 (see diagram)

After 34. Qg1

Black is an exchange up for a pawn, but must defend his weaknesses on g7 and e6. Alex now crumbles in his request to find counterplay. 34. … Nh5? 35. Qg4! Qf8 35. …Nf6? 36. Rxf6 36. Qxh5 Qxf4 37. Rg1 Qf6 38. Qg6 Qxg6 39. Rxg6 1–0

7. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Pryliński, Robert (1597)

English Opening A20

1. c4 e5 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. 0–0 Be7 7. d4 f6?! An interesting pawn sacrifice for quick development. 8. dxe5 Be6 8. … fxe5? 9. Nxe5 Nxe5 10. Qxd5. 9. exf6 Bxf6 10. Nbd2 Qe7 11. Ne4 0–0–0 12. Nxf6 Nxf6 13. Qa4 Qb4 14. Qxb4 Nxb4 15. Bf4 Nc6 15. … Nxa2? 16. Ng5 Bb3 17. Bh3+ Kb8 18. Be6! 16. Rac1 Nd5 First 16. … Rhe8 17. b4 Nd5 is slightly better. 17. Bg5 Rd7 18. a3 h6 19. Bd2 Re8 20. b4 Bg4 21. e3 Bxf3 22. Bxf3 Ne5 23. Be2 Rd6 23. … Nf4 24. exf4 Rxd2 25. Bh5 g6 26. fxe5 gxh5 27. f4 and the rook ending will be difficult to hold. 24. Be1 g5 25. h3 Rf8 26. b5 Nf3+ 27. Bxf3 Rxf3 28. a4 Nf6 (see diagram)

After 28. ... Nf6

Black resigned due to time constraints. After 29. Bb4 Re6 30. Kg2 Rf6 31. Rc4 White is likely to untangle slowly and convert his extra pawn. 1–0.

8. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Molson, Eric

Catalan Opening A13

1. c4 Nc6 2. g3 e6 3. Bg2 d5 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. 0–0 a6 6. b3 Bc5 7. d4 Ba7 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Bb2 h6 10. Nbd2 b5 11. Rc1 Bb7 12. Ne4 0–0 13. Nc5 Bxc5 14. Rxc5 Qd6 15. Qc1 Rac8 16. Rd1 Rfd8 17. e4 Nde7 18. Rh5?! White could convert his positional advantage with the break 18. d5! exd5 19.exd5 Ng6 20.Bh3 Rb8 21.Qc3 f6 22.Re1 Nce7 23. Re6 18. … e5 19. Nxe5 Nxe5 20. Rxe5 Ng6 21. Rc5 c6 22. h4 f6 23. h5 A double-edged decision, as the knight can later jump to th good g5–square. Easier was 23. Bh3 Rb8 24. Ba3. 23. … Ne5 24. Qf4? Qe7? 24. … Qxc5! 25. dxc5 Rxd1+ 26.Kh2 Nd3 and the worst is over for White. 25. Rcc1 Nf7 26. Bh3 Rb8 27. Bf5 Ng5 28. Kg2 Ne6 29. Qe3 c5 30. d5 Ng5 31. Rc2 31. f4 Nf7 32. Qxc5 wins easily. 31. … Bc8 32. Bxc8 Rbxc8 33. Re1 Qd7 34. Rh1 Re8 35. Rh4 f5! 36. f3 fxe4 37. fxe4 (see diagram)


After 37. fxe4


Black has survived his opening difficulties and could now equalize with 37. … Qxd5! 38. exd5 Rxe3 39. Bd4 Rd3. After two inaccurate moves, though, the game is lost. 37. … Rf8? 38. Rxc5 Nf3? 39. Rf4 Rxf4 40. Rxc8+ Qxc8 41. gxf4 Qg4+ 42. Kf2 and the d-pawn is unstoppable after 42… Ng1 43. Be5 Nh3+ 44. Kf1. 1–0

GM Marin: “After the opening I considered the game as won, but after the knight reached g5, I started fearing I was worse. My opponent must have got confused by the choice between several tempting continuations for a few moves in a row.

From the fourth team Marcello Ranucci and Serge Le Gal delivered interesting middlegame fights, while Thanos Gkionis was replaced by the President of the Brussels Chess Club, Philippe Jassem. The latter game was probably the most spectacular from the entire series. In addition, Edit Köllő celebrated a win in a typical come-back game.

9. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Ranucci, Marcello (1776)

Catalan Opening A13

1. c4 e6 2. g3 Nf6 3. Bg2 d5 4. Nf3 dxc4 5. 0–0 Bd6 5. … Nbd7 6. Na3 Nb6 7. Nxc4 Nxc4 8. Qa4+ Bd7 9. Qxc4 Bc6 10. d3 is more in line with the requirements of the position. 6. Na3 Bxa3 Black lost a tempo. 7. bxa3 c6 8. Qc2 0–0 9. Qxc4 Qd5 10. Qc2 Nbd7 11. Bb2 Qf5 12. d3 e5 13. e4 Qh5 14. h3 Re8 15. Rae1 Re7 16. d4 exd4 17. Nxd4 Qc5 18. Qb3 Ne5 19. Ba1 Qb6 20. f4 Ng6 21. Kh2 c5?! 21. … Bd7 22. e5 Nd5 23. Bxd5 cxd5 24. Qxd5 Rd8! 25. Qb3 Qa6 with some compensation on the white squares. 22. Qxb6 22. Nf5! 22. … axb6 23. Nb5 Bd7 24. Nc7 Rxa3 25. Bxf6 gxf6 26. Nd5 (see diagram)

After 26. Nd5

26.. .. Rxa2? 26. … Bc6! 27. Nxe7+ Nxe7 28. Rf2 c4 and the game continues with a hard fight. 27. f5! Probably underestimated by Marcello. 27. … Bc6 28. fxg6 Bxd5 29. exd5 Rxe1 30. gxh7+ Kxh7 31. Rxe1 c4 32. Rd1 b5 33. d6 1–0

10. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Le Gal, Serge (1732)

English Opening A40

1. d4 e6 2. g3 c5 3.Bg2 cxd4 4.Nf3 Nc6 5.Nxd4 Bc5 6.Nb3 Bb6 7.c4 Na5 A premature attack on c4. Normal development with 7. … Nf6 was indicated.  8. N1d2 Qc7 9. Nxa5 Bxa5 10. 0–0 Nf6 11. Nb3 Bb6 12. c5! Bxc5 13. Bf4 e5 14. Rc1 exf4 15. Rxc5 Qb8 16. Qd4 (see diagram)


After 16. Qd4


16. … d6? 16. … 0–0 17. Qxf4 Qxf4 18. gxf4 b6 19. Rc7 d5 and White is only slightly better. 17. Rg5! Be6 17. … 0–0? 18. Qxf6! 18. Rxg7 Ke7 19. Qxf4 Qf8 20. Rg5 Rg8 21. Rb5 Rd8 22. Rxb7+ Nd7 23. Rd1 Rg6 24. Qxd6+ Ke8 25. Qxf8+ Kxf8 26. Nc5 Nxc5 27. Rxd8+ Kg7 28. Rxa7 1–0

10. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Jassem, Philippe (1651)

Bird Opening A03

1. f4 d5 2. Nf3 Bg4 3. e3 Nd7 4. Be2 Ngf6 5. 0–0 e6 6. b3 c5 7. Bb2 Be7 8. Nc3 0–0 9. Ne5 Nxe5 10. fxe5 Bxe2 11. Nxe2 Ne8 11. … Nd7 12. Nf4 Qc8 13. Qg4 b5 14. Rf3 g6 15. Nh5 d4 16. Raf1 16. Nf6+ Nxf6 17.exf6 Bd6 18. Rh3! wins for White. 16. … dxe3 17. Rxe3 c4 18. Rh3 f5?? 18. … cxb3 19. cxb3 Qc2 20. Bc3 b4 21. Bxb4 Bxb4 22.Qxb4 gxh5 should be tried with good counter-chances for Black. 19. exf6 Bc5+ 20. Kh1 Rf7 21. Nf4 Nxf6? 21…e5 offers better chances of survival. 22. Qxe6 22. Rxh7!! Nxh7 23.Qxg6+ Kf8 24.Bg7+ Rxg7 25. Nxe6+ is a nice finish. 22. … Nh5? (see diagram)


After 22. ... Nh5?


23. Qxf7+! 23. Qd5 was even stronger, but the text leads to a spectacular king hunt. 23. … Kxf7 24. Nxh5+ Ke7 25. Nf6 Qa6? 25. … Qe6! 26. Rxh7+ Kd6 27. Ne4+ Qxe4 28. Rf6+ Qe6 29. Rxe6+ Kxe6 and not everything is lost for Black. 26. Rxh7+ Ke6 27. Re1+ Kf5 28. g4+ Kg5 29. h4+ Kf4 30. Rf1+ Bf2 31. Rxf2+ Kg3 32. Rg2+ Kf3 33. Re7! 1–0

10. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Köllő, Edit (1653)

Catalan Opening E11

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 Nc6 5. Nf3 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Bxd2+ 7. Nbxd2 0–0 8. 0–0 b6 9. Rc1 Bb7 10. Qc2 Rc8 11. a3 Qe7 12. b4 a5 13. b5 Nb8 14. Qb3 14. cxd5 exd5 15. Bh3 14. … dxc4 15. Nxc4 Rfd8 16. Rfd1 Bd5 17. Qb2 Nbd7 18. Nfe5 Ne4 19. Nxd7 Qxd7 20. Ne5 Qe8 21. Qc2 f5 22. a4 Rd6 23. Qd3 c6?! (see diagram)

After 23. ... c6

24. bxc6? 24. f3! Nf6 25.e4 wins for White. 24. … Bxc6 25. Qa6? 25. Nc4 Rdd8 26. Nxb6 Bxa4 27. Nxa4 Qxa4 28. Bxe4 fxe4 29. Qxe4 keeps the advantage for White. 25. … Ra8! 26. Qc4 Bxa4 Suddenly, Black has emerged with two dangerous passed pawns on the queenside. 27. Bxe4 fxe4 28. Rd2 b5 29. Qc7 Rdd8 30. Nc6? 30. Rc5 prevents the advance of the b-pawn. 30. … Rd7 31.Qe5 Rd5 32. Qxe4 Bb3 32. … b4 was also possible. 33. Rb2 a4 34. Nb4 Rdd8 35. Rc7 Rdc8 36. Rc5 Bc4 37. Qe5 a3 38. Rb1 a2 39. Ra1 Ra4! 40. Nc2 b4 With skillful play Edit has set her trumps into motion. White is helpless against their combined fore. 41. Ne3 b3! 42. Nd1 Rb4 43. Nb2 Bd5 44. Rac1 Rxc5 45. dxc5 Re4! 46. Qc3 Rxe2 47. Nd3 Rc2 48. Rxc2 bxc2 49. Nc1 Qa4 0–1

GM Marin: “I didn’t notice that I could win a piece as I was focused on increasing my positional advantage. But the queen incursion was a blunder (I didn’t see her answer) and after that she played very confidently.”


The third team was less successful. Ventsislav Petrov and José María Ramos Florido had to resign after tactical oversights. Luis Parreira lost in a complicated middlegame, and both Luis Busquets and Benjamín Alberola Mulet could not hold difficult endings.

13. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Petrov, Ventsislav (1777)

1-0

14. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Busquets Pérez, Luis (1840)

Sicilian Defense B21

1. e4 c5 2. d3 Nc6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. g3 d5 6. Nc3 Bxc3+?! 6…d4 7. Ne2 Nf6 is the normal continuation. 7. bxc3 dxe4 8. dxe4 Qxd1+ 9. Kxd1 Nf6 10. Nd2 Bg4+ 11. Ke1 Rd8 12. h3 Bd7 12. … Bc8 does not lose a tempo later on. 13. Bd3 0–0 14. g4 b6 15. Kf2 Bc8 16. Re1 h5 17. g5 Ne8 18. h4 Nc7 19. Nf3 Ba6 20. c4 Ne6 21. f5 Ned4 22. Nxd4 Nxd4 23. Kg3

After 23. Kg3

23.  … e5? Luis has fought well in a  complicated strategic struggle, but the text weakens the f6-square. With 23. … e6! 24. fxg6 fxg6 that would not be so bad as Black controls the f-file with a good position. Now White can use this square for his own rook. 24. a4 Nc6 25. Bb2 Nb4 26. Re3 Rfe8 27. Rf1 Rd7 28. Bc3 Nc6? Better was 28. … Nxd3 29. Rxd3 Rxd3+ 30. cxd3 Rd8 31. Rf3 gxf5 32. exf5 Bb7 33. Re3 Bc8 with equality. 29.fxg6 Nd4 29. … fxg6 30. Rf6! 30. gxf7+ Rxf7 31. Rxf7 Kxf7 32. Bxd4 exd4 33. Rf3+ Kg7 34. Rf6 Bb7 35. Kf4 Rf8 36. e5 Rxf6+? 37. gxf6+ Kf7 38. Be4 Bc8 39. Bf5 Bb7 40. Kg5 Bc6 41. e6+ 1–0

GM Marin: “After the opening I was worried that my double pawns would cause some trouble. I was mainly concerned about consolidating but I also tried to maintain chances for active play.”


15. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Ramos Florido, José María (1842)

English Opening A15

1.Nf3 Nf6 2.g3 g6 3.b3 Bg7 4.Bb2 0–0 5.Bg2 d6 6.c4 e5 7.d3 Nc6 8.0–0 h6 9.Nc3 Be6 10.Rc1 Qd7 11.d4 exd4 12.Nxd4 Bh3 13.Nc2 Bxg2 14.Kxg2 Nh7 15.Ne3 Rfe8 16.Qd2 Re6 17.Ned5 Rd8 18.Nb5 Rc8 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Rfd1 a6 21.Nbc3 g5?! [An aggressive move, which weakens the white squares, though. 22.Ne3 Re5 23.Ncd5 f6 24.Rf1 Rce8 25.Qd3 Nf8 26.g4 Ng6 27.Nf5+ (see diagram)

After 27. Nf5+

27…Kh7?? In a good position José Maria missed the killer 27…Rxf5 28.gxf5 Nb4! (Not 28…Nh4+ 29.Kh1 Ne5 30.Qh3 c6 with equality only). After 29. Qc3 (White cannot take on b4 because of 29… Nf4+) 29…Nxd5 30.cxd5 Qxf5 Black would have the upper hand. However, a terrible blunder ends the game on spot. 28. Nxf6+ 1–0.

16. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Parreira, Luis (1918)

English Opening A38

1. c4 Nf6 2.g3 c5 3.Bg2 g6 4.Nc3 Bg7 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.d4 cxd4 7.Nxd4 0–0 8.0–0 a6 9.Nc2 d6 10.b3 Ne5 11.Bb2 Qc7 Not a good square for the queen. 11. … Rb8 or 11. … Ld7 was better. 12.Rc1 Bd7 13.Ne3 Bc6 14.Ncd5 Qd8 15.Qd2 Nxd5 16.cxd5 Bd7 17.h3 f6? [Provides the knight with a return square on f7. However, from there, it remains passive. After 17. ... Be8 the knight can come back to d7 and c5. 18.f4 Nf7 19.Nc4 b5 20.Na5 Re8 21.Rc2 Rc8 22.Rxc8 Qxc8 23.Rc1 Qb8 24.Nc6 Qb7 25.Qa5 f5 26.Bxg7 Kxg7 27.Bf3 g5 28.Kh2 g4 29.hxg4 fxg4 30.Bg2 Rc8 (see diagram)

After 30. . Rc8

31.Qc3+! The transposition of the queen to the kingside will decide the game as Black has too many weaknesses there. 31…Kf8 32.Qd3 h6 33.Qe4 Be8 34.Qh7 [With the nasty threat 35. Nd4 and 36. Ne6+. 34...Bxc6 35.dxc6 Qa7 36.Qf5 1–0

17.  Marin, Mihail (2531) – Alberola Mulet, Benjamín (2032)

Queens Indian Defence E 14

1. d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 e6 3.e3 b6 4. Bd3 Bb7 5.0–0 Be7 6. b3 0–0 7. Bb2 c5 8. c4 Ne4 9. Qe2 f5 10. Nc3 d5 11. cxd5 exd5 12. Rfd1 Bf6 13. Rac1 Qe7 14 .dxc5 bxc5 15. Na4 Bxb2 16. Qxb2 Nd7 17. Bb5 Ndf6? (17. ... Rac8 keeps the balance) (see diagram)


After 17. Ndf6


18. Qe5! After the exchange of queens, Black’s potential counterplay is minimized and White can immediately pressure against the hanging pawns on d5 and c5. 18. … Qxe5 19. Nxe5 Rac8 20. f3 Nd6 21. Rxc5 21. Bd7! Nxd7 22. Nxd7 Rfe8 23. Ndxc5 Ba8 24. Kf2 was even stronger. 21. … Rxc5 22. Nxc5 Nxb5 23. Nxb7 White pocketed a healthy pawn, but Black’s pieces may become active. 23. … Rc8 23. … Nc3 24. Rd2 Re8 25. Nc6 Rxe3 regains the pawn as 26. Nxa7? Re7 does not work. 24. Nd3! Rc2 25. Nb4 Rc7 25. … Rb2 26. Nxd5 Nxd5 27. Rxd5 Nc3 28. Rxf5 Rxa2 29. Ra5 leads straight into a lost ending. 26. Na5 Nc3 27. Rd2 Rc5 28. Nac6 Kf7 29. Nd3! Rb5 30. Nd4 Ra5 31. a4 g6 32. Ne5+ Kg8 33. Rc2 Rc5 34. b4 Rc7 35. b5 Ne8 36. Ne6 Re7 37. Rxc3 Rxe6 38. Nc6 Nd6 39. Nxa7 Nc4 40. Kf2 g5 41. Nc6 Nb2 42. Rb3 42. Ra3 42. … Nxa4 43. b6 Nc5! 44. Nd4 Re8 45.Rc3 [45. Rb5 Nb7 46. Rxd5 45. ... Na4 46. Rc6 Rb8 47. Nxf5 Nxb6 48. Rc7 Nc4 49. Ne7+ Kf8 50. Nxd5 Rd8 51. e4 Ne5 52. Rxh7 1–0

GM Marin: “With Benjamín the game was purely technical and I somehow found the way to advantage.”

The second team showed teeth. While Mattias Johannson was only overcome in the pawn ending, Martin Müller held a draw in a minor piece ending. Johannes Bertram had winning chances in a highly tactical middlegame, but could be satisfied with a draw in the ending. From CREB 1, our former player Jenő Czuczai, had promising chances on the kingside with an exchange up, but signed a peace treaty when the position became blocked.

18. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Johansson, Mattias (2036)

Sicilian Defence B21

1. e4 c5 2. d3 Nc6 3. f4 g6 4. Nf3 Bg7 5. g3 e6 6. Bg2 Nge7 7. 0–0 0–0 8. c3 d5 9. e5 f6 10. exf6 Bxf6 11. Na3 Rb8 12. Nc2 b5 13. Ne3 b4 14. Ng4 Bg7 15. Qe1 Qd6 16. c4 a5 17. Rf2 a4 18. Rb1 Nf5 19. Nge5 Ncd4 19. ... Bb7 20. Be3 Nxe5 21. Nxe5 Qe7 is slightly better for Black. 20. Nxd4 Nxd4 21. Be3 Nf5 22. Rc1 d4 23. Bd2 Bb7 24. Bxb7 Rxb7 25. Nf3 Rb6 26. Qe4 Bf6 27. Rcf1 Qc6 28. Re2 Re8 29. Qxc6 Rxc6 (see diagram)

After 29. ... Rxc6

30. g4! Ne3 30. … Ng7 31. Kg2 and Black has to defend a passive position. 31. Bxe3 dxe3 32. Ne5 Bxe5? 32. … Rd6 33. Rxe3 Rd4 34. Kg2 Rf8 secures some counterplay. 33. fxe5 Rf8? 34. Rxf8+ Kxf8 35. Rxe3 Ke7 36. Kg2 Rc8 37. Rh3 Rh8 38. Kf2 Rf8+ 39. Rf3 Rxf3+ Better was 39. … Rd8. The pawn ending is hopeless. 40. Kxf3 Kd7 41.Kf4 h6 42.h4 Kc7 1–0

19. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Bertram, Johannes (1911)

English Opening A21

1. c4 e5 2.g3 d6 3.Bg2 f5 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.e3 Be7 6.Nge2 0–0 7.d4 c6 8.b3 Na6 9.Bb2 Bd7 9. … e4 or 9. … Qe8 have been played before. 10. d5 Qe8 11. Qd2 Rc8 12. h3 Kh8 13. g4!? Nc7 13. … fxg4 14. hxg4 Nxg4 was interesting if followed up by 15. f3 Nxe3! 16. Qxe3 Nb4 17. Rc1 Qg6 and long-term compensation for Black. He has two pawns for a piece and White’s position looks un-coordinated. 14. g5 Nh5 15.f4 e4 16. h4 Na6 17. Ba3 Qg6 18. Kf2 Rfd8 19. Rad1 Be8 20. Qc2 Bf8 21. Nd4 cxd5 22. Nxd5 White has a clear advantage now, as Black’s position is somewhat cramped and he lacks an active plan. 22. … Bc6 23. Nc3 23. Qe2! 23. … Qf7 24. Bf1 Rd7 Prepares a combination on the long diagonal. The immediate 24. … Nxf4 exf4 e3+ does not work as White can first take on c6 and then on d8. 25. Be2 White continues with this plan, but Black would have problems after 25. b4! 25. … Nc5 26. Rd2 (see diagram)

After 26. Rd2

Both players overlook that with 26. Bxc5 dxc5 27. Nxc6 Rxc6 28. Rxd7 Qxd7 29. Bxh5 White wins a piece. Now Johannes takes his chance. 26. … Nxf4! 27. exf4 e3+ 28. Kxe3 Re8+ 29. Kf2 Bxh1 30. Qxf5 Qe7 31. Qh3 Ne4+ 32. Nxe4 Bxe4? 32. … Qxe4! 33. Qxd7 Qg2+ 34. Ke1 Qg1# would have crowned Black’s attacking play. But Johannes only calculated 33. … Qe3+ after which the White king can escape. 33. Bg4 Qf7! 34. Qg3 Rdd8 35. Nb5 d5! 36. Bxf8 Qxf8 37. Nc3 Qc5+ 38. Kf1 d4 39. Qf2 (see diagram)

After 39. Qf2

39. … Qb6? 39. … dxc3 40. Qxc5 Rxd2! creates insurmountable problems for White. For example  41. Qb5 Bd3+ 42. Be2 Rexe2. 40.Nb5 d3 41. Qxb6 axb6 42. Kf2 g6 43. Nc3 Bc6 44. b4 Rd4 45. b5 Bd7 45. … Bh1! and the bishop can do his job on the long diagonal. 46. Bxd7 Rxd7 47. Nd5 White has almost equalized. 47. … Rd6? With 47. … Re4! 48. Nxb6 Rdd4 Black ‘s rooks would become more powerful than in the game. 48. Rxd3 Re4 49. Rc3 Kg7 50. a4 Kf7 51. Kf3 Re1 52. Re3 Rxe3+ 53. Kxe3 Kf8 54. Kd4 Kf7 55. Kc3 Ke6 56. Nxb6 Rd1 57. Kb4 Kd6 58. a5? 58. c5+ Ke6 59. Nc4 looks very strong for White.  For example 59. … Rb1+ 60. Ka5 Rc1 61. Nd6 should be winning. 58. … Rb1+ 59. Kc3 Ra1 60. Kb4 Rb1+ 61. Kc3 ½–½

GM Marin: “I was convinced that I was much better after his knight reached h5 but overlooked his Nxf4. After that he played a series of accurate moves, crossing all my hidden tactical tricks, but eventually missed a win close to the endgame. After that I didn’t have the strength to search for the most effective way to win.”


20. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Czuczai, Jenő (2030)

Bird Opening A02

1. f4 d5 2. Nf3 f5 3. b3 Nf6 4. Bb2 e6 5. e3 Bd6 6. Be2 0–0 7. 0–0 b6 8. c4 Bb7 9. Nc3 c6 10. Qc2 Qe7 11. Rac1 Ne4 12. d3 Nxc3 13. Bxc3 Nd7 14. Qb2 Ba3 15. Qa1? Bxc1 16.Rxc1 dxc4 17. bxc4 c5 18. a4 h6 19. Qb2 Rab8 20. h3 Bc6 21. Ra1 g5 22. Kh2 Kh7 23. Qd2 Rg8 23. … g4 24. Ne5 Nxe5 25. Bxe5 gxh3 26. gxh3 Rg8 is winning for Black. 24. g3 Qf7 25. Qe1 Rg6 26. Qf2 Rbg8 27. Rg1 Bxf3 28. Bxf3 Nf6 29. Be2

After 29. Be2

29. … g4? Jenő has built up promising pressure on the kingside. With 29. … gxf4 30. exf4 h5 and his initiative can become dangerous. However, after the closure of the position Black’s extra exchange does not make much difference, and the game is level again. 30. h4 h5 31. Ra1 a5 32. Bd1 Rd8 33. Bc2 Rb8 34. Rb1 ½–½

21. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Müller, Martin (2038)

1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Bg4 3. Bg2 Nd7 4. c4 e6 5. cxd5 exd5 6. 0–0 c6 7. Nc3 Ngf6 8. d3 Bc5 9. Qb3 Qb6 10. Qc2 Be7 11. e4 11. Be3 Qc7 12. Nd4 Nb6 13. h3 Bd7 14. Bf4 Qc8 15. Kh2 11. … dxe4 12. dxe4 Bxf3 13. Bxf3 h5 14. Bg5 Qc5 15. Be3 Qa5 16. Rad1 h4 17. a3 hxg3 18. hxg3 Ne5 19. Bg2 Neg4 20. Bd4 Qh5 21. Rfe1 Qh2+ 21. … Ne5 22. Bxe5 Qxe5= 22. Kf1 Nh5 23. Qe2 (see diagram)


After 23. Qe2


23. … Nxg3+! The best try for Black to create activity and dangerous threats. 24. fxg3 Qxg3 25. Bg1 Nh2+ 25. … Bh4! 26. e5 Qf4+ 27.Qf3 Qxf3+ 28.Bxf3 Bxe1 29.Bxg4 Bxc3 30.bxc3 Rd8 with equality.  26. Bxh2 Qxh2 27. Qf3 Rh6 28. e5 Rh4 29. Re4 Rxe4 30.Qxe4 Bc5 31. Ke2 31. Ne2! 31. … Qg3 32. Rd2! Rd8 33. Rxd8+ Kxd8 34. Qd3+ Qxd3+ 35. Kxd3 f5 36. exf6 gxf6 37. Ne4 Be7 38. Bh3 Kc7 39. Kc4 Not the right plan. White should transfer his king to f5 in order to win the f-pawn, while the bishop must keep the queenside under control. 39. … b5+ 40. Kd4 a5! 41. Be6 a4! Martin prepares to force the exchange of pawns, which increases his drawing chances. 42. Bf5 Kb6 43. Nc3 Bd6 44. Bd7 Be5+ 45. Kd3 Kc7 46. Be8 Kb6 47. Kc2 f5 48. Na2 f4 49. Nb4 c5 50. Nd5+ Ka5 51. Bh5 b4 Because of the a5–a4 advance, White cannot avoid this exchange now. 52. Be2 Bd6 53. Nf6 bxa3 54. bxa3 c4 and Black will gain the a3–pawn. ½–½

Finally, the first team remained unbeaten. Frank Hoffmeister escaped into a lucky draw after a worse opening, while József Barta and Paul Gitu always kept the balance throughout the game. Matija Šušković lost an exchange in the middlegame and could have been kept in a mating threat, but once he took over the iniative against Marin’s king, his attack was decisive. Chapeau Matija!

22. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Hoffmeister, Frank (2179)

1. c4 c6 2. g3 d5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Bg2 dxc4 5. 0–0 Nbd7 6.Na3 Nb6 7.Qc2 Qd5 8.b3 cxb3 9.axb3 Be6 10.b4 Qb3 11.Qxb3 Bxb3 12. b5 The first new move for me, apparently played by Jan Timman in the 1980s. Mihail knew it very well as he had recorded the line in his book on the English opening, as he told me after the game.

12…Bd5 I did not like 12. … c5 13. d3 Nfd7 14. Nd2 Bd5 15. e4 Be6 16. f4 and Black cannot develop, but 12. … Ba4! would keep the balance after  13. bxc6 Bxc6 14. Rb1 e6 15. Nb5 Bxb5 16. Rxb5 Nfd5. 13. d3 e5? 13. … e6 14. e4 Bb3 15. bxc6 bxc6 16. Ne5 Bc5 17. Nxc6 Ba4 is roughly equal. Now Black is in trouble. 14. e4! Be6 15. bxc6 bxc6 16. Nxe5 Bd7? 16. … Rc8 17. Nc2 Bd6 18.Bb2 Bb8 was the lesser evil. 17. Nac4 Nxc4 18. Nxc4 Be6 18. … Bc5 19. Ba3 Bxa3 20. Rxa3 Ke7 21. Rfa1 Rhb8! 22. Rxa7 Rb1+ 23. Rxb1 Rxa7 19. Be3 Bxc4 20. dxc4 Ng4 21. Bxa7 Be7 21. … Bd6 was more precise as 22. e5 Nxe5 23. f4 Rxa7. 22. h3 Bf6 (see diagram)

After 22. .. Bf6

23. e5?! If White takes 23. hxg4 Bxa1 24. Rxa1 0–0 25. e5 Rfc8 26. Ra3+ he should be winning easily. 23. … Nxe5 24. f4 Nd7 25. Bxc6 Rxa7! The idea when playing 22. Bf6 26. Rxa7 Bd4+ 27. Kg2 Bxa7 28. Rd1 0–0 29. Rxd7 Bb6 and Marin accepted a friendly draw offer in a better position. ½–½.

GM Marin: “Frank created some tactical problems which I didn’t deal with in optimal way.”


23. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Gitu, Paula (2094)

1. f4 d6 2. Nf3 Bg4 3. e3 e5 4. Be2 e4 5. Nd4 Bxe2 6. Qxe2 c5 7. Nb3 f5 8. 0–0 Nf6 9. Nc3 d5 10. d3 exd3 11. cxd3 Qe7 12. e4 d4 13. Nb5 Nc6 14. Re1 14.e5! 14. … a6 15. Nd6+ Qxd6 16. e5 Qe7 17. exf6 Qxe2 18. Rxe2+ Kf7 19. fxg7 Kxg7 20. Bd2 Kf7 21. a4 a5 22. Rae1 b6 23. Re6 Rc8 24. R1e2 Bg7 25. Kf1 Rhe8 26. Rxe8 Rxe8 27. Rxe8 Kxe8 The ending is equal, but White can push for an advantage on the kingside by creating a passed pawn. 28. Be1 Ne7 29. Nd2 Nd5 30. g3 h5 31. Ke2 h4 32. Nc4 Kd7 33. Kf3 hxg3 34. hxg3 Bf6 35. Bd2 Bd8 36. g4 Ke6 37. gxf5+ Kxf5 38. Nd6+ Ke6 39. Ne4 Ne7 40. Kg4 Nf5 41. Ng5+ Kf6 42. Kf3 Bc7 43. Ke4 Ng3+ 44. Kd5 Kf5 45. Ne6 Bb8 46. Ng7+ Kf6 47. Ne8+ Ke7 48. Ng7 Kf6 49. Ne6 (see diagram)


After 49. Ne6


49. … Nf1! 50. Bxa5? 50. Nxc5 bxc5 51. Bxa5 and only White has winning chances. 50. … Ne3+ 51. Ke4? 51.Kc6 Kxe6 52. Bxb6 c4 53. dxc4 Nf5 54. Bxd4 Nxd4+ 55. Kb7 Bd6 56. a5= 51. … Kxe6 52. Bxb6 Kd6 53. a5 Nd5 54. f5 Bc7? 54. … Nxb6! 55. axb6 Kc6 56. b7 Bd6! and Black wins. 55. Bxc7+ Nxc7 56.b3! Nd5 57. a6 Nf6+ 58. Kf4 Nd5+ 59. Ke4 ½–½

GM Marin: “During the game I felt that Paula was well determined and after pushing really hard to get chances I also thought I might have got myself into trouble.”

24. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Barta, József (2088)

1. f4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. g3 e6 4. Bg2 c5 5. d3 Nc6 6. 0–0 Be7 7. Qe1 Nd4 8. Na3 Nxf3+ 9. Bxf3 Qb6 10. c4 Bd7 11. e4 dxe4 12. dxe4 Bc6 13. Qe2 Qc7 14. Nb5 Bxb5 15. cxb5 Rd8 16. Bd2 0–0 17. Bc3 Nd7 18. b3 18. Rad1 keeps a slight advantage after  18. … Rfe8 19. e5 Nb6 20. Ba5. 18. … e5 19. Bg2 Bf6 20. Rad1 exf4 21. Bxf6 Nxf6 21. … f3? 22. Bxd8! fxe2 23. Bxc7 exf1Q+ 24. Rxf1 and White is a piece up. 22. gxf4 Rxd1 23. Qxd1 Rd8 24. Qf3 b6 25. e5 Nd5 26. f5 Nb4 27. e6 (see diagram)

After 27. e6

27. … Qe5! 27. … fxe6? 28. fxe6 Qe7 29. Qf7+ Qxf7 30. Rxf7 and White can play for a win. 28. exf7+ Kxf7 29. a3 Qd4+ 30. Kh1 Nd3 31. f6! gxf6 32. Qf5 Rd6! 32. … Kg7? 33. Be4! 33. Qxh7+ Kf8 34. Qh8+ Kf7 35. Qh7+ ½–½

25. Marin, Mihail (2531) – Šušković, Matija (2136)

King’s Indian Defence E 69

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 d6 5. Nc3 0–0 6. Nf3 Nbd7 7. 0–0 e5 8. e4 c6 9. h3 exd4 10. xd4 Qb6 11. Nc2 A side variation. 11. Re1 or 11. Rb1 are the main choices. 11. … Ne8 12. Bd2 a5 13. b3 Nc5 14. Rb1 f5 15. Qe2 fxe4 15…Qc7 would threaten the exchanges on e4, followed by Bf5 and then there is no Be3 with tempo-attack on the queen. 16. Nxe4 Nxe4 17. Qxe4 Bf5 18. Qe2 Nf6 18. … Bxc2 19. Be3 Bd4 20. Bxd4 Qxd4 21. Qxc2 Ng7= 19. Be3 Rae8 20. Rbd1 c5 21. Na3 Ne4 22. Nb5 Rf6 (see diagram)

After 22. Rf6

23. g4 Bd7 24. Bxe4 Rxe4 25.Nc3 Qc6 26.Nxe4 Qxe4 27.f3 Qe8 28.Qd3 Bc6 29.Kg2 After a couple of forcing moves, White has won the exchange but weakened his kingside. Black’s powerful bishops provide some compensation. 29. … Re6 30. Rde1 Qf7 31. Bd2 Be5 32.Bc3 h5 33.Bxe5 dxe5 34. Re3? 34.gxh5 gxh5 35.Qe3 keeps an eye on f4 with advantage for White. 34. … Qf4! 35. gxh5 gxh5 The computer finds 35… e4 36. fxe4 Rxe4! 37. Rxf4 Rxe3+ with equality. 36. Rg1 Kf7? 36. … Kh8 is necessary. 37. Qh7+ Ke8 38. Qxh5+? 38.Kf1!! with the threat 39. Rg8 checkmate ends the game. After 38. … Kd8 39. Rd3+ Kc8 40. Rg8+ Re8 41. Rxe8+ Bxe8 42. White wins with 43. Qe7. 38. … Kd8 39. Rge1 Be8! 40. Rd3+ Kc7 41. Qh7+ Kb6 42. Qe4 42. Re4 Qc1 43. Qf5 was hard to find. After the text, Black’s initiative becomes very dangerous. 42. … Rg6+ 43. Kf2 Qh2+ 44. Ke3 Rg2 45. Rd5 Rxa2 46. Qxe5 Qf2+ 47. Kf4 47.Kd3? Bg6+ 47. … Bc6 48. Qe3 The way to draw was 48. Kg4 or 48. Kg5. 48. … Qh4+ 49. Ke5 Bxd5 50. cxd5 Rg2! White is helpless against the checks on the g- and h-file, pushing his king up on the board. 51. d6 Rg5+ 52. Ke6 Qh6+ 53. Kd7 Rg7+ 54. Qe7 Rxe7+ 55. Rxe7 55.dxe7? Qd2+. 55. … Qxh3+ 56. Re6 a4 57. bxa4 c4 58. Ke7 Qh4+ 59. Ke8 c3 60. Re4 Qh8+ 61. Ke7 Qg7+ 0–1

In sum, Europchess showed again its class. It is particularly heartening that the fights were equally spread among the teams. At the same time, GM Marin can be highly praised for having entered into a variety of openings and long-term struggles, even conceding his opponents extra-time in difficult moments. Even after six hours he was in good spirits and left an excellent impression with all the team mates.

GM Marin summed it up like this: “As far as I remember this was the toughest simul team I have ever faced. I am happy with the final result, as during the long hours there were more games that turned to my favour than those in which I spoiled good positions. All in all it was a fantastic experience for us. And I would once again express our gratitude for the wonderful invitation!”

Last man standing (or rather sitting). After more than six hours, Johannes saves a draw after an eventful game.

Mariya Yugina, with her painting, produced during the event

GM Mihail Marin & WFM Mariya Yugina

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