The first team played against the last-placed second side of Rochade Eupen and needed a win in order to keep the three way tie between Europchess, Charleroi and Boitsfort at the top of division 2B until the very last match. Thanks to wins by Víctor, Frank, Sławomir, Paula and Matija, and draws by Rossen and Tom, they achieved a clear 6-2 win and defended the lead. As Charleroi played only 4-4 in Liège, only Europchess and Boitsfort share the lead now, but due to the final match-up Europchess-Charleroi, everything is still possible in the Championship.
The second team had the opportunity to definitely avoid relegation with a win against last-placed Marche-en-Famenne. With a resounding 5.5-0.5 they succeeded, but the score was much clearer than how the games actually went. John started with a draw. Then Johannes and Luis converted worse positions into wins, and Benjamín’s win already decided the match. The games on the two top boards went into long endgames. Mark had a slightly worse but drawn bishop ending, but after a miscalculated winning attempt of his opponent, he was even able to pocket the full point. Martin had won a piece, but was risking to run out of pawns. In the end, with little time on the clock he had to execute the basic Knight+Bishop mate, which he did within the required 50 moves.
For a good part of the season, the third team gave us the biggest headache, risking relegation. Against a strong Pantin 3 side, they now pulled off a crucial and unexpectedly clear 3.5-0.5 win, through wins by Luis, José María and Marcello, and a draw by Julien. Thanks to other match results in our favour, the team avoided relegation with one match to spare.
The fourth team was this time hampered by the tense player availability situation. Unfortunately, one board could not be filled. On the remaining boards, they nonetheless reached an even score with a draw by Paolo and a win by Jorge. With the narrow 1.5-2.5 defeat, the team is now in 6th place and will for sure finish the season in the upper half of the division.
In the third Pantin-Europchess match of the day, we had to surrender to the hosts again with the narrow score of 1.5-2.5. Alex with a draw, and David with his first win in a long tournament game (congratulations!) provided Europchess’ points. Also Europchess 5 is in 6th place.