CRELEL 1 – Europchess 1 : 5.5 – 2.5 +++ Brasschaat 2 – Europchess 2 : 2 – 4 (administratively changed to 3-3) +++ 2 Fous Diogène 1 – Europchess 3 : 1 – 3 +++ 2 Fous Diogène 2 – Europchess 4 : 1.5 – 2.5 +++ Halle 1 – Europchess 5 : 1.5 – 2.5 +++
Round 2: Good day for Europchess
+++ In the second round on 13 October all teams except for the first team outclassed their opponents! Hence, the second, third and fourth team sustain their ambition to play for the title. The first team, though, needs to show teeth in the next round.
Liège 1 beats Europchess 1
Liège did not take any risk, assembling a team with an average of 2377 Elo. The host team took the lead early on, when Etienne Goossens (2258) swept away Paula Gitu on the seventh board with a strong attack on the kingside.
Georgi Tomov played a positional game with White against Quentin Loiseau (2459) on the second board, but then Black sacrificed a pawn to open lines against White’s King. The complications that followed petered out to an equal opposite-colour Bishop ending.
Then spectators could follow three highly contested rook endgames. On board 3, Carl Buhr had to struggle against François Godart’s (2458) passed a-pawn on the 7th rank. While he could organise counterplay with his own passed e-pawn the final position was lost.
Frank was a pawn down against Lennert Lenaerts (2350), but could block White’s extra-pawn on the a-file with three pawns left on the kindgside for each player. Shortly before the time control, he unnecessarily pushed his f-pawn and ruined an otherwise drawn position.
Luckily, Rosen Rusev managed to draw his complicated rook ending on the top board against Liam Vrolijk (2478) after having played a long theoretical opening line, which yielded him good chances for Black.
On board 6, Jan Bednarich gained a good position with White against Tobias Kabos (2337) after the opening. However, in the middlegame, Black was able to open up the position against Jan’s king on the queenside, gained material and the game.
This left Tim Binham and Eduardo Semanat Planas playing for the remaining board points. Tim had put pressure with White against Jean-Luc Chabanon (2447) on board 4 and won a pawn after a complicated middlegame. However, short in time in the ending, he missed a win and had to settle for a draw.
Eduardo Semanat Planas played a sharp game on board 8 with White against Philippe De Gueldre (2228). He came under pressure and had to keep an eye on Black’s super-dangerous passed pawn on e2. However, Black could not find a breakthrough, and after an inaccurate move of his opponent Eduardo managed to exchange the heavy pieces and win the bastard on e2. That not only relieved the pressure, but actually lead to a won ending.
With this 2.5-5.5, Europchess 1 is trailing on the last place in the first division.
Europchess 2 stronger than Brasschaat 2
The second team continued its good performance in Division 3A with – on the board – a neat 4-2 against Brasschaat 2. On board 4, Mattias Johansson gained the initiative with White against André Van Der Graaf (1954) and pressured Black’s king on the open e-file. However, Black was able to defend with three pieces and in absence of any tangible advantage Mattias agreed to a draw after roughly 20 moves. But then the team took off: Mark Ouaki scored a comfortable win on board 6 against Marc Rombouts (1488) with strong attacking play. Milan Beles on board 5 followed with a king hunt against Pol Laporte’s (1723) king in the centre. Milan first cashed in two pawns and then the full point. On board 3, Leonardo Pérez Aranda played a highly complex game against Rob Hopman-Been (1962). Leonardo was down on material, but came back and just before he had equalised, the players agreed to share the point. Sławomir Kędzierski on board 2 was able to destroy Black’s pawn formation in front of the king and attacked with full speed. However, Oliver De Hert (1980) defended carefully, and as there was no decisive checkmate in sight, Sławomir accepted the draw. On the top board, Matija Šušković held with Black another draw against Mark De Smedt (1996) in an equal and uneventful game. Unfortunately, only after match it was noted that boards 5 & 6 were erroneously switched, so that the result was administratively changed into 3-3.
Europchess 3 beats 2 Fous Diogènes 1
The third team won 3-1 against 2 Fous Diogènes 1. On the third board, Luis Parreira came under a strong attack in an otherwise balanced position and had to resign against Luciano Aguilar (1656) early on. However, Luis Carlos Busquets Pérez bounced back on the fourth board with a fin win in a bishop ending, where his better bishop and the more active king could exploit the pawn weaknesses of Mohamed Mechkor (1250). Martin Müller delivered a great win on the top board against Peter Lipman (2040), pushing his central pawns to d6 and e6, from where they proved unstoppable for promotion. This left Benjamín Alberola Mulet on the second board. In a clearly better position he declined a draw offer from Adriano Aguilar (1777) and checkmated the Black king on b5 (!). E 3 is now leading its division 4 F together with two other teams.
Europchess 4 pulls off a difficult win against 2 Fous de Diogènes 2
A similar scenario occurred for the fourth team. After an early loss of Matus Petrik on the top board against Meruzhan Arshakyan (1632) and a draw on board 4 from Leslie Black against Oren Wolff (unrated), the match seemed compromised. Johannes Bertram’s position looked dead-drawn against Edouard Lacheron (1588) on the second board, and Marcello Ranucci’s dangerous as his opponent Nicolas Perez (1260) had two connected passed pawns. But first, Marcello won tactically material and managed to control the passed pawns to win; then Johannes took advantage of the fact that his opponent tried to achieve something ouf of his drawish bishop endgame. Johannes won two pawns and the game. This 2.5-1.5 victory makes E 4 division leader in Division 5 D.
Europchess 5 wins in Halle 1
The fifth team delivered a good win with 2.5-1.5 against Halle 1, with Jesper drawing against Kristoff Bultijnk (1553), Sergio Serrano Samper and Ionnis Grammatikopoulos winning against Mark-Johan Geerts (1248) and Frank Van Overstraeten (1244), respectively. Galin Gentchev had to give in against Aron Schepens (1312) on the second board, though.