Despite the usual problems in composing the lineup in these difficult period, we could gather a strong composition for the eight round of the Interclubs, which resulted in four wins and only one loss.
With an all 2000+ line-up, Europchess 1 was favourite against Dolle Toren Leuven 1. While in the upper half of the team, Víctor lost to IM Rein Verstraeten and Georgi, Frank and Sławomir drew, the lower half stayed flawless and scored four wins (Tom, Leonardo, Matija and József), leading to a comfortable 5.5-2.5 win. As division leaders Boitsfort lost their match, Europchess 1 took over the lead in Division 2B, equal on team points with Boitsfort but with a margin of 3.5 individual points.
The second team scored a much needed 4-2 win in Geel. Curiously, after the opening phase, Black stood better on all six boards. David had a passive position and had to resign abruptly when he lost a rook. Johannes instead had won a pawn for nothing and swapped off piece after piece in order to convert the advantage in a light-piece endgame. Martin provided the lead in his season debut, thanks to a powerful passed pawn. On Boards 2 and 3 the Black advantage was a bit less decisive: Mark was able to hold a rook endgame one pawn down; Benjamín instead could not achieve more in a slightly better bishop vs knight endgame. Szymon delivered, as usual, the longest fight: after defending a quite scary position for about 15 moves with less than 2 minutes on the clock, he made it to the time control, won a pawn with a tactical motive and went on to carry home the endgame. With this, Europchess 2 moves up to 8th rank, two points clear of the relegation spots.
The third team remains a concern, after losing narrowly to Moretus Hoboken who had lined up a much stronger team than in previous rounds. Luis Busquets achieved a draw against a much higher-rated opponent, and Marcello won his game. With 3 points, the team is tied with the relegation spot.
In a match against a team of underrated youth players, Europchess 4 scored another win, with Matus, Marius and Robert accounting for three full points. With 8 points and two more matches against low-ranked teams, the team should not be very concerned by relegation anymore.
Another 3-1 win also in Division 5, where Ioannis, Jorge (with his third win in a row) and Gabriele (in his first game for Europchess) signed responsible for the points. 5 match points mean a decent mid-field rank for the team.