Training sessions are resumed! We will have our first (live and in the flesh!) session after the pandemic next Thursday, 19 May, especially for our many newcomers.
Europchess sent three teams to the Intercercles of the Belgian Francophone Federation, whose first round took place last Sunday in Namur. The first team, playing in the first division, scored two points, which was also the result of the second team in the second division. Our third team, mainly composed by players who only recently joined the club and have still little tournament experience, could still score one point in a division where many clubs have invited high rated players to their teams. A good starting result overall!
|1||9||1A||EUROPCHESS 1 tableau 1 81558 Hoffmeister, Frank 2169||1/2-1/2||MARCHE EN FAMENNE 1 tableau 2 85456 Dublet, Emilien 1856|
|1||10||1A||MARCHE EN FAMENNE 1 tableau 3 92720 Dumont, Vincent 1788||0-1||EUROPCHESS 1 tableau 4 50293 Mueller, Martin 2131|
|1||11||1A||NAMUR ECHECS 1 tableau 2 63011 Uhoda, Philippe 2079||1-0||EUROPCHESS 1 tableau 2 21088 Kedzierski, Slawomir 2143|
|1||12||1A||EUROPCHESS 1 tableau 3 10739 Moles Palleja, Pere 2114||1/2-1/2||NAMUR ECHECS 1 tableau 3 77950 Scoriels, Michael 1982|
|1||21||2A||MCC 1 tableau 1 70823 Wantiez, Fabrice 2247||1-0||EUROPCHESS 2 tableau 1 10684 Johansson, Mattias 2031|
|1||22||2A||EUROPCHESS 2 tableau 4 21451 Pereiro, Jorge 1455||0-1||MCC 1 tableau 4 61069 Brasselle, Andre 1846|
|1||33||2A||NAMUR ECHECS 2 tableau 2 45641 Mathieu, Alfred 1663||0-1||EUROPCHESS 2 tableau 2 15619 Alberola Mulet, Benjamin 1946|
|1||34||2A||EUROPCHESS 2 tableau 3 12300 Parreira, Luis Miguel 1765||1-0||NAMUR ECHECS 2 tableau 3 22688 Couniot, Jacques 1661|
|1||77||5A||CES 1 tableau 1 97782 Laret, Jean 1534||0-1||EUROPCHESS 3 tableau 1 21355 Gentchev, Galin 0|
|1||78||5A||EUROPCHESS 3 tableau 4 24536 Hinkel, Kira 0||0-1||CES 1 tableau 4 13979 Morici, Alessandro 1234|
|1||91||5A||EUROPCHESS 3 tableau 2 24293 Bokas, Georgios 0||0-1||2 Fous Diogène 1 tableau 2 20846 Raptis, Filippos 1837|
|1||92||5A||2 Fous Diogène 1 tableau 3 22648 Toledo, Hillel 1369||1-0||EUROPCHESS 3 tableau 3 24298 Kaduk Aguilar, Borin 0|
Last Sunday, Europchess played the last round of the National Interclubs Championship: Round 5 which had been postponed back in January. In a close and decisive match, our top team narrowly lost and thereby saw the possible promotion to Division 1 slip out of their hands. As the main contenders Boitsfort lost as well, the lucky third, our opponents Charleroi fully benefitted from their win and topped the league.
Our other four teams did not have any goals to reach anymore in the last match and scored some mixed results, with two wins and two losses. In the end, all finished in midfield, between 5th and 7th place.
A dramatic final match for our first team, which needed a win to secure promotion. However, the opponents were CREC Charerloi, who also still had chances to finish in first place. That it would not be an easy ride became clear with the line-up, as CREC had mobilised for the first time in the season GM Normunds Miezis on Board 1. This game was the first to finish: Víctor was slightly better after the opening and accepted the grandmaster’s draw offer. Then the Bulgarian boards ended 1-1, as Georgi won, and Rossen lost. Charleroi then took the lead on Board 4 and after another draw by Frank, the remaining chances hung on the last three boards, where Europchess needed another 2.5 points. This looked difficult to achieve. Matija had a dead-drawn bishop ending, and Tom a decisive advantage which he converted. Unfortunately, Sławomir’s position did not seem to offer more than a draw, also in a bishop endgame. In the end he was even outplayed by FM Alain Fayard, which secured the narrow 4.5-3.5 win for Charleroi. Due to Boitsfort’s surprising loss against Leuven Centraal (3-5), Charleroi even won the league. Congratulations to CREC. Still, a respectable 2nd place for Europchess 1.
The second team played with the strongest line-up of the season and repeated the score of the previous week: 5.5-0.5. While one board was left open by T.A.L. from the outset, Martin (bringing his season score to 6/6), Mark, Benjamín and John won their games, while Pere drew. After some relegation worries in the middle of the season, the team finished on a decent 5th rank.
Also Team 3 won. After a quick draw by Luis Parreira, Luis Busquets’ loss on Board 1 was compensated by wins of José María and Robert, clinching a fine 2.5-1.5 win. Also Europchess 3, after some worries, maintained themselves in Division 4 in the end quite clearly, finishing 7th.
Our other Division 4 team faced leaders CRELEL 5, who were determined to secure promotion: they brought in two strong players. Consequently, Europchess was underdog on all boards, and did not stand a chance. In the end a clear 0-4 – Congratulations to CRELEL. Europchess 4 played a decent first season in Division 4, saving themselves with several rounds to spare, and occupying a good 6th rank in the end.
The fifth team lost its last match of the season 1.5-2.5 against local rivals The Belgian CC. Ioannis with a win and David with a draw accounted for our points. Also Europchess 5 finished on a decent midfield spot (7th).
Overall, despite the disappointing outcome in Division 2, we can look back to a successful season, which was at times made difficult by the COVID pandemic. The interclubs coordinator would like to thank all players for their commitment and availability. In total, 52 players participated at least once.
The best scorers were (“+3” or better):
Sławomir Kędzierski (6.5/10), Tom Wiley (6/9), Matija Šušković (4/5), Martin Müller (6/6 – perfect score), Mark Ouaki (8/10 – unbeaten), Benjamín Alberola Mulet (8/11), John Riksten (3.5/4), Luis Miguel Parreira (6/9), José María Ramos Florido (6/7), Marcello Ranucci (4/4) and Jorge Pereiro (7/10).
After two weeks around Easter Sunday, in which participation was lower (allowing thus two lunchtime round-robin tournaments, won by GM Lampert and Benjamín Alberola respectively), the Swiss blitz tournament resumed with the victory of GM Lampert, according to the table above.
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.
With a 100% result, FM Buhr did not give a chance to his opponents.