Echiquier Mosan 1 – Europchess 1 : 6.5 – 1.5 +++ Pantin 1 – Europchess 2 : 3 – 3 +++ Pantin 3 – Europchess 3 : 2.5 – 1.5 +++ Pantin 5 – Europchess 4 : 1 – 3 +++ Pantin 6 – Europchess 5 : 4 – 0 +++
Round 7: Fourth Team Set For Promotion
In Round 7, the first team had no chance against the professional Dutch-German team of Mosan 1. The “mega-derby” between Pantin and our remaining four teams was roughly equal. E 4 won, E 2 drew, while E 3 and E 5 lost.
Mosan 1 clearly stronger than E 1
Playing against Mosan 1 constituted a challenge for the first team, as the host lined up 8 titled players from the Netherlands and Germany with an average Elo of 2465. Nevertheless, we stayed within the realm of our possibilities by making 1.5 points. On the top board, Rossen Roussev delivered a positional draw against GM Roeland Pruijssers (2550) in a closed position, where Black’s minor pieces were more effective than the White ones.
On the second board, Georgi Tomov even beat GM Twan Burg (2527) with White. After the opening Black tried to attack Georgi’s king, but with accurate play all threats were repulsed. Even better, Georgi could take control of the opened h-file and his counter-threats won material. With a number of accurate moves Georgi transformed the position into a won endgame where his win was just a question of time.
The remaining six games were lost, but not without interest. On the fourth board, Tom Wiley ran into a fierce attack from GM Ilja Zaragatski (2489), whose early pawn sacrifice paid off with interest. When Tom had to give his queen, it turned out that compensation was not sufficient.
On the fifth board, Paula Gitu succumbed to IM Thomas Beerdsen (2482). She courageously took a g4-gambit pawn in the opening, but White’s development proved to be very superior even after the exchange of queens.
Frank Hoffmeister relied on a closed structure against IM Max Warmerdam (2497) on board 3. But when he castled on the queenside White was able to organise a deadly attack against his king with a nice piece sacrifice which decided the game.
On board 8, Stephen Clark-Foulquier created some play with White against FM Michael Buscher (2362) in a complicated middlegame. However, being short of time, he could avoid the exchange of the heavy pieces, which would lead into a lost endgame. Stephen then decided to march with his king to the centre of the board, but this did not change the outcome of the game.
The two players with the best chances to win additional points were Eduardo Semanat Planas on board six against IM Nico Zwirs (2432) and Sławomir Kędzierski on board 7 against IM Christian Braun (2391). Eduardo sacrificed a pawn on the queenside in exchange for good attacking chances on the kingside, which bound all of Black’s defensive forces. However, just when he was about to eliminate Black’s extra pawn Eduardo’s king proved to be wrongly put on h3. Black could invade White’s position and win a full rook with precise checks. Sławomir equalised the game in a closed structure and was able to put his pieces on good squares. The only worry was a far advanced White pawn on h6. In the ending with a rook and knight, White could immobilise Black’s forces for a while, which was sufficient to break through on the kingside and win the game. With this 1.5-6.5 loss E 1 stays at the bottom of the first division.
Europchess 2 holds a draw against Pantin 1
E 2 was again in good form, this time against the runner-up of the division, Pantin 1. On the second board, Leonardo Pérez Aranda won a pawn with White against Coen Janssen (2236), but in view of a rather unclear situation the players sealed a draw early on. On the sixth board, Jesper Abrahamsen played a good game until move 36, when he handed over the point to his opponent Itzhak Solsky (2036). The latter broke the rules of the competition when he analysed the game of others while his own game was still running and received a 10 minutes penalty for this behavior. However, it could not change the course of the game and Jesper resigned on move 52. On board 5, Mark Ouaki attacked Joachim Demoulin (2037) with Black. However, his pawn sacrifice did not pay off and White pocketed the point. Team captain Mattias Johansson outplayed Pierre Robert (2079) in a beautiful strategic game with White. He managed to trade his pieces in a way that left him with a superb knight and a protected passed pawn vs. a bad Black bishop from Black and no counterplay. When White opened up lines on the kingside as well, Black’s position collapsed. As Martin Müller held a balanced position against Benjamin Collette (2177) with Black, the decisive question was what would happen at the top board between Pere Moles Palleja and Thomas Mayr (2254). Pere withstood White’s pressure for some time and even turned the tables with a nice attack over the h-file. His crucial win secured a good 3-3 in this hard fight. Europchess 2 thus remains in the third place in Division 3A.
Europchess 3 loses to Pantin 3
Unfortunately, though, the third team stumbled in their match with Pantin 3. On board 4, José María Ramos Florido made a draw with White in a balanced position against Raffael Scoccianti (1797). The third board between Luis Parreira and Yves Dohogne (1962) was very contested. Luis, with Black, launched a creative attack against White’s king and even allowed the queening of a pawn. Luis’s queen and knight checks were very dangerous, but at the end he needed to go for a draw by perpetual check. On the first board, Szymon Pozimski and Tillmann Haak (1990) went over the full distance. Szymon outplayed his opponent and won a queen against a rook and a bishop. However, White’s position did not present any more weaknesses in the ending, suggesting a draw. Szymon then sacrificed his queen against a rook only, in order to play with three pawns and an active king v. two pawns and the bishop. However, the position also turned out to be a draw. Finally, Benjamín Alberola Mulet gained an advantage after the opening against Rik Vos (1981) and controlled the open a-file. However, in the ensuing complications Black gained the upper hand and scored the decisive match point. This unlucky 1.5-2.5 loss increased the difference to the Division leader Philippeville 2 to 3 points.
Europchess 4 beats Pantin 5
En revanche, Europchess 4 prevailed over Pantin 5. Thanos Gkionis played a strong game against Abanoub Boshra (1646) with White and pocketed the full point from his young opponent. On the top board, Johannes Bertram accepted the draw offer from Jean-Louis Marchand (1882) following a difficult opening and after having equalised the position in the early middlegame with some precise moves. Equally, Kristian Frederiksen sealed a peace treaty on board 2 with Stavros Gessis (1816) after a rather uneventful middlegame which never left the drawing margin. The third board witnessed a tough fight between Marcello Ranucci and Enith Li Saag (1696). Marcello kept a cool head despite his time trouble and then outplayed his opponent in the endgame. This 3-1 against the closest competitors provides E 4 with a comfortable margin of 3 points to the runner-up of the division 5 D.
Europchess 5 under water against Pantin 6
In Division 5 G, Europchess 5 lost all games after hard fights. Leslie Black on the top board came under pressure in the opening from Giulia Polin (1826). He suffered from an exposed king position and was also a pawn down. However, shortly before the time control, he won a full piece with a good knight sacrifice. However, in severe time trouble, he then committed some blunders giving the game away. Nicos Zamis was leading the game on the second board with White against Valentino Cargnelutti (1819). However, despite being a pawn up in a rook ending, his more experienced opponent could take the full point. Sergio Serrano Samper ended up in another ending with a bad bishop against a better knight from Jahangir Reghabi Gholami (1776). Sergio’s bishop defended for twenty moves, but then White found a breakthrough and won the game. Jorge Pereiro played a good opening against Remco Ruiter (1539), but overlooked the possibility to win a pawn. In the middlegame he then miscalculated a tactical sequence and decisively lost material. This 0-4 loss brings E 5 back to the middle of the division.