Tom had White, and his opponent played the Albin Counter-gambit (1 d4 d5 2 c4 e5 !?). As compensation for his pawn, Black gained a strong knight on d4. On move 14 Black made the strange decision to retreat this knight, instead of supporting it further by castling queen-side. After this mistake, Black’s compensation for the pawn disappeared. Soon after, he fell into a pin on the e-file that cost him a whole piece. The game was effectively over by move twenty, but Black struggled on for a further twenty moves before resigning.
Frank on board 2 had black and won space early in the opening. The opponent was playing passively which allowed Frank to exercise pressure on a backward pawn. With a little combination he first pocketed the poor e2 pawn followed by his colleague on c2. On move 37 white resigned.
Jeno played with White against De Vrieze ( 1798) on table 3 and chose this time the Sokolsky opening (1. b4, f5, 2. Bb2, Kf6, 3. a4, e6 4.b5, Be7 5. e3 b7 etc). Jeno very quickly reached a very good positional standing and gained a pawn in the 11th move, visibly his chess-men were very active on the chess-board. After three hours, Jeno started an elegant final attack on Balck’s King side, which resulted in gaining another pawn, but due to the time-control Jeno over-looked even a one-move victory. Finally Black could find the way of giving Jeno permanent checks, and that is why the party had to end in a draw, which made Jeno sad since this was the second time (likewise at the 10 round), when Jeno missed the chance of an absolute winning position.
After the opening, Mattias, with the black pieces, benefited from the disorganisation of the white pieces and won a pawn. White then sacrificed the exchange to start an attack on black’s king. The attack, however, fell through and white resigned when black could simplify to won endgame.
Jozsef played white on board 1 against a team of youngsters. His opponent, Manolis Grigoriu (1506) was trained by Europchess players. To 1.e4 he replied c5, but Jozsef decided to avoid any main line by playing 2.b3 and forced black to think on his own from the first moves. It proved to be a good strategy as black was struggling to find good moves in the opening and white achieved better development. After one more weak move by the opponent Jozsef created weaknesses in black’s pawn structure and prevented him from castling as well. Black tried to get a bit of relief by a temporary knight sacrifice, but it proved to be wrong and Jozsef kept the extra piece. Then the opponent looked very disappointed and he made some more weak moves that resulted in a loss of further pieces. He did it in order to create a mating threat that was easy to parry. Within a few moves white secured his king’s position and then black resigned.
José María played with Black on board 2 against Christos Moratidis (1277) and he played his usual Sicilian Defence. White played the opening in a not very orthodox way and without much ambition. The game was always under control, with a little positional advantage for Black. However, when time control problems arrived for José María, White started a desperate attack, which was played with good an exact determination. Instead of continue playing actively, José María decided to defend his position but he did not found the best moves. Finally he resigned and congratulated his young opponent, who left the playing hall very happy for his victory.
Kristian playing on third board for once had the white pieces. That didn’t help much, though, as he continued his bad habit during the last couple of months of getting himself into all sorts of trouble by choosing rather feeble opening moves in an attempt to take into account the famous “specifics” of the position. This time he deemed it right to “punish” his young opponent for a knight move to the edge of the board. In fact, the move was reasonable. The upshot of this so called punishment was a terrible discoordination of the white forces, which Black could have exploited by blowing up the white centre tactically. Black didn’t seize the opportunity, however, but instead chose to undermine the white centre in classical fashion by attacking it from the front. This was also a good plan, since it gave him a mobile central pawn majority which in connection with his bishop pair spelled a very hard time for White. Suddenly, however, Black blundered tactically in deciding how to keep his pawn centre together. Now the tables were turned completely; White won a pawn, the queens came off the board and White’s pieces came to life. Black’s moral suffered a hard blow from this turn of events and a couple of moves later, he lost yet another pawn due to a tactical oversight. Soon, Black had to decide whether to go into a rook or a pawn ending two pawns down. He chose the latter, regained one pawn but found his king locked up on the queenside, whereas all White had to do now, was to create a passed pawn on the kingside. Seing this, Black resigned the game, making the score 2-0 in favour of Europchess and thus securing our team promotion to fourth division!!
In the last round the somewhat rare Albin countergambit appeared on the board for the second time when Milan played it on the 4th board against his young adversaire Daniil Bogdanov. Another version of the same opening was on the very first board played by Tom (as White) and you can see the difference just after 6 moves if White knows some theory:
… and if he does not:
Fortunately in both cases we were sitting at the “right side” of the board and both Tom and Milan won their game without problems.