October 19, 2008
Round 2 of the European Club Cup left three leaders with two wins, Radnicki Rudovci, Spartak Vidnoe and Cercle d’Echecs Monte Carlo. The defending champions had a glorious win against the strong Economist Saratov while Spartak Vidnoe emerged narrowly triumphant against Cotnari-Politehnica Iasi. The full story of the round two for women is below.
The strong teams have already started facing each other in the women’s section of European Club Cup and the second seeds Spartak Vidnoe was in dire straits when WGM Motoc won against IM Nadezhda Kosintseva after the knight was trapped on e7 and the black rook entered the backyard of the white’s camp with Ra4 and Ra2. Things did not get better after the draw between WGM Cosma and IM Tatiana Kosintseva. GM Stefanova showed produced a nice endgame win against IM Peptan. The decisive game of the first board pairing was between WIM Paulet and IM Ovod. After some middlegame complications and the time control was reached black was clearly on top and went on to win the game to give the win to the Muscovite club.
Hou Yifan arrived in Kallithea but she will not appear today while another Chinese national IM Zhao Xue will be the fresh force for team against the Serbian champions Radnicki Rudovci.
One of the big games of the round was between T-com Podgorica and MIKA Yerevan which did not produce any winner with all the games ending as a draw. The compatriots of the titleholders in Chess Olympiad, IM Gaponenko and GM Lahno drew early in a normal middlegame position but it was IM Muzychuk that was looking to draw blood against her experienced opponent GM Chiburdanidze -even clear from her opening selection (Advanced Caro-Kann with Nc3)-. However, the bishop pair and white’s pressure did not culminate into a win for the young Slovenian. The more active looking side was white between IM Danielian and IM Maric but that was not sufficient for a win for a white while IM Khurtsidze and IM Kovalevskaya ended as a draw as every other board in the match.
The third board witnessed another important game between Finek St.Petersburg and EPAM which did not produce any winner either. The things went more or less smoothly between IM Korbut and GM Trang as did on the second board between IMs Zatonskih and Cmilyte. IM Zhukova and IM Atalık also drew but the fireworks were used on the fourth board beetween IM Matveeva and IM Turova. An interesting position emerged rightafter the opening between the two Russians. Both players were in such a fighting mood that white castled on the pawn-deserted kingside and gave her queen and a pawn to take the two bishops and a rook. The longest and the most fighting game on the third board also ended as a draw in the end.
Cercle d’Echecs Monte Carlo was paired with the only victim of the underdogs in the first round Economist SGSEU Saratov which drew with Vandoeuvre Echecs. GM Humpy started this year’s European Club Cup campaign with a win against IM Ushenina. Actually the Ukrainian had a much better position but two consecutive blunders brought the disaster. White’s reckless king’s side pawn storm fired back when black found a way to reach the white king resulted as a win for IM Socko against WGM Kovanova. IM Skripchenko won against WGM Kursova to complete the clear 3.5-0.5 win for the Monaco side.
IM Paehtz looked for a winning idea and a decisive mistake by her opponent in a 3 vs. 2 pawns endgame (on the same side) with rook and a minor piece but the ex-world junior girls champion did not win and the game ended as a draw which was the only individual point of the Russian side. Hopefully, there is still many rounds to go and the Russian side might make a comeback. They also have a fresh force from Beijing, the World Junior Girls Champion IM Harika Dronavalli who joined the squad from the 1st Mind Sports Games in Beijing.The pawn sacrifice of Congiu gave a huge compensation but nevertheless material did tell in the end of the game between Congiu-Chelushkina. IM Foisor won the Queen’s endgame against WM Steil-Antoni while the only draw of the match for the French club was by Klipper against WGM Olarasu and Rudovci scored 3.5 points in the end. The Lithuanian Panevezys Chess Club duly won against the Israeli side Herzilya while two level teams Madatech Haifa and Gross-Lehna canceled each other out. Rudar Ugljevik was the other rating favourite to sweep off Bishwiller while the local derby between the Athens and Thessaloniki teams ended as a 3-1 win for Aspopirgos Attikis.