Interclubs 2019-2020 – Round 6

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Europchess 1 – Borgerhout 1  :  3.5 – 4.5  +++  Europchess 2 – Wavre 1  :  4.5 – 1.5  +++  Europchess 3 – CREB 2  :  2 – 2  +++  Europchess 4 – CREB 3 :  2.5 – 1.5  +++  Europchess 5 – Excelsior 1 :  2 – 2  +++

Round 6: Getting closer

In the first round of the new decade, Europchess showed good fighting chess. While E 1 succumbed with a small margin to Borgerhout, E2 and E 4 landed convincing victories against Wavre 1 and CREB 3. E 3 and E 5 drew their matches against CREB 2 and Excelsior.

Europchess 1 close to the first match points against Borgerhout

With an average Elo of 2370, Borgerhout was the clear favorite, but the Elo differences were hardly visible on the boards. On the fourth board, Frank Hoffmeister held a good draw against Joost Offringa (2339) in a strategically complicated game. Both players had only made 25 moves before the time control and White accepted Frank’s draw offer in an equal position.

Tom Wiley arrived at a closed position with White against Eric De Haan (2329) where Black tried to obtain some play on the kingside. However, Tom kept full control of the board, and subsequently accepted Black’s draw offer.

IM Stefan Docx (2480) played a sharp line with White against Georgi Tomov on the second board, trying to organise a checkmate over the long diagonal a1-h8. Georgi defended with circumspection and managed to transpose into a slightly better ending. He pressed for a win, but White was equally careful, so the game ended in a draw.

On the third board, Carl Buhr won a pawn in the opening with White from FM Xander Wemmers (2432) and obtained good winning chances with a pair of bishops. However, with the help of a tactical trick, Black could convert into an ending with rook plus one bishop of opposite colors and fixed pawns. Despite Carl’s best efforts, the game ended in a just draw.

On the eighth board, Stephen Clark-Foulquier reached a balanced position with Black after the opening against John Cornelisse (2220). However, in the middlegame, White was able to to open up the centre and to organise a successful attack on the kingside.

Shortly thereafter, a second loss occurred on the top board. Rossen Roussev had reached a complicated middlegame against IM Hugo Ten Hertog (2538), but the ensuing complications went into Black’s favor. In the double-rook endgame Black was a solid pawn up with an active position and duly converted his material advantage to a full point.

On the seventh board, E 1 fought back with a nice White win from Sławomir Kędzierski over Tim Lammens (2298). Black took the initiative in the opening, but did not achieve anything tangible. In the middlegame the position turned into White’s favour, pressing against Black’s d5-pawn and controlling the c-file. When time became short, Sławomir managed to collect Black’s pawns on the kingside and reached a winning queen endgame. Black was helpless against the two passed pawns and resigned just before the h-pawn promoted.

A few minutes later Paula Gitu finished her game with a draw against Evert Rademakers (2304) on the sixth board. She had suffered in the middlegame from a cramped position and White dominated the board. In time trouble, he then won two pieces for a rook and a pawn, but the ending actually offered some chances for Black. However, since White was able to catch all of Black’s pawns, the players shared the point. This 3.5-4.5 was the best team result in the first division so far and gives hope for the next rounds.

Europchess 2 beats division leader Wavre

E 2 delivered a surprise win against division leader Wavre 1. On the fourth board, team captain Mattias Johansson obtained a promising position with Black against Christian Depauw (2089) where he could press on the queenside. However, White also created some chances on the kingside and the players signed a peace treaty shortly thereafter. Leonardo Pérez Aranda followed up with a nice Black win over Yves Moreels (2093). Already in the opening, the two sides left theoretical territory and engaged in a highly tactical fight. Leonardo was able to create the stronger threats, won material and the game. On the sixth board, Szymon Pozimski and Albert Verhaegen (2050) reached a roughly balanced position before the time control, where Szymon with Black was using his increment to survive. On move 39, though, it was his opponent, who took too long for his reflections and lost on time.  Shortly thereafter, Martin Müller took another full point from Michel Wettach (2092). Due to a Fingerfehler, the latter lost an exchange and a pawn with Black in the middlegame. Martin exchanged material and just when Black was about to create counterplay with his queen and bishop against White’s king, Martin found the most precise continuation to either checkmate or win the bishop. With this 3.5-0.5 in the pockets the remaining two players could relax. Mark Ouaki and Thierry Verspecht (2055) on board five, as well as Pere Moles Palleja and Marc Anciaux (2130) both drew their rather complicated endings. This 4.5-1.5 victory brought E 2 to the third place, and hence back into the fight for promotion in Division 3 A.

Europchess 3 draws with CREB 2

In the derby with CREB 2, Europchess was close to a full match win. On board 3, Luis Parreira created good play against Olivier Caufriez (1792) with White. However, Black won Luis’s bishop with a tactical trick, securing a draw in the ending. John Riksten on the top board played a sharp game against Olivier Theuerkauff (1900) with attacking changes due to the opposite-coloured bishops and a weak Black king. However, as he overstepped the time, the point was lost. On board 4, Luis Busquets Pérez overplayed François Fontigny (1716) and won a full piece in the latter’s time trouble. Winning the ending was thus a matter of routine, only. In that situation, the team was hoping for a Black win from Benjamín Alberola Mulet over Tagumpay Gravidez (1838). Benjamín had a material advantage, but a somehow light king position. When time ran short, he conceded a draw in the belief that White could force a perpetual check. With this 2:2 Europchess 3 fell back to the second rank in Division 4 F and needs to keep scoring in the coming rounds.

Europchess 4 beats CREB 3

E 4 played a nice match against CREB 3. On the top board, Johannes Bertram took only sixteen moves to win against Bernard Raquet, who did not find a recipe against White’s original and fine attack on the kingside.  Stefano Ganci won equally effortless with Black against Arman Sarkisian (unrated) on board 4. On the second board, Jose María Ramos Florido was always pressing against Thierry Lhoir and conceded a tactical draw in the end to seal the full match point for the team. In this situation, it was less dramatic that Kristian Frederiksen lost first a pawn and then the game with White against the talented Ruben Micciche (1594).  E 4 thus maintains its lead in Division 5 D.

Europchess 5 draws with Excelsior

In Division 5 G, Europchess 5 drew with Excelsior. On the first two boards, Jesper Abrahamsen shared the point with the experienced Gérard Burnay (1637) as did Sergio Serrano Samper with Hayk Akhayan (1636). Bruno Gatta ran into difficulties in the opening against Radu-Catalin Nica (1507), while Ioannis Grammatikopoulos overcame Jacques Fonteyne (1449) with Black. The team is now placed fourth in Division 5 G.

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