After rounds 4 and 5 were postponed due to the pandemic, we had a difficult start into the chess year 2022. Many players were unavailable, and in the end we had to forfeit the match of Europchess 5. Looking at the results all over the country, we were by far not the only ones in such a situation. However, with four defeats, Round 6 was indeed a setback, even though the teams partly faced much stronger opposition.
The first team was almost at full strength, but the match confirmed the impression of the previous rounds: the division is very tight; no team is scoring very high wins and matches are very close. Against Wavre, wins by Georgi and Benjamín, as well as draws by Tim, Leonardo and Mark were not enough to take home a point, the match ending with the season’s first defeat. With 5 points Europchess 1 is now 4th in their division, 2 points behind leaders Boitsfort.
The second team suffered particularly from the various absences, and was rated more than 200 points lower than their opponents on average. Paula scored a convincing win on Board 1, ripping apart her opponent’s kingside, winning two pawns – an advantage that she duly converted. The rest of the team played decent games, reaching interesting or even promising positions. But after three hours the higher strength of the opponents started to show, and successively all games were lost. With 3 points, only one more than the two last-placed teams, the standing is now less comfortable for Europchess 2.
Also the third team was missing some key players, but had more or less an equal opponent. A win by Jorge, who has also recently received his first FIDE rating, and a draw by Luis were unfortunately not enough to avoid the narrow defeat. Also Europchess 3, with 2 points, is close to the relegation zone in Division 4B.
The fourth team faced a team of regular Division 4 strength and consequently had a hard time. Guus, in his first game for Europchess, saved the honour with a draw against a quite high-rated opponent. Europchess 4 is currently 6th in their division.