October 23, 2008
The defending champions of the European Club Cup, Cercle d’Echecs Monte Carlo almost close to the second victory in a row after the crucial 3-1 win to EPAM while Economist Saratov overcame Spartak Vidnoe with the close but decisive 2.5-1.5 victory. The team from Monaco is now leading by two match points having 11 followed by their opponents today, T-Com Podgorica which outscored Rudar Ugljevik with 3.5-0.5 in round 6 to leap to the shared second place with 9 points together with Economist Saratov. Details of the penultimate round are available below.
The defending champions won the vital game against EPAM with 3-1 thanks to the victories of GM Hoang and GM Cramling. The sacrificed pawn became the telling extra pawn in the end of the game between GMs Hoang and Humpy while GM Cramling who was not in her best form in Kallithea bounced back against IM Atalık by utilizing the open h file to reach the opponent the king. IM Matveeva was another player to attempt to utilize the h file with major pieces but Dzagnidze found enough counter play to keep the balance and found a way to give perpetual check to reach the draw. The longest game of the match was played between IM Skripchenko and WGM Sharevich, however the extra pawn and better placed pieces of white were neutralized in the end and the game ended as a draw.
This match gave the Monte Carlo team almost the decisive lead with 11 points, 2 points ahead of the closest rivals. Only scoring 2 points is going to be enough for the team from Monaco.
In the game between Hou and Ushenina, white made a blunder which ended up with black emerging with two minor pieces against rook and a pawn. White was not losing immediately but according to the Ukrainian player who came to the press room in the evening, the Chinese youngster erred several times to give the opportunity for Ushenina to score an important win against the child prodigy and help her team to achieve a very important victory against the Muscovite club. IM Harika and GM Stefanova made a quick draw while GM Zhao initially took the initiative then won the material against IM Paehtz. Black chose to play with three pawns against the bishop with a rook pair, black had chances to hold on until white had found the opportunity to capture the e6 pawn due to the misplaced black rook on g3. Zhao, therefore won but it was not Spartak’s day because IM Nadezhda Kosintseva already won against WGM Kovanova via the effective invasion of the seventh rank with her booth rooks. Spartak Vidnoe will face Aspopirgos Attikis, the local heroes of the event while they will look for the results other games such as the one between Economist Saratov and EPAM.
T-Com Podgorica did not miss the opportunity to take over the second place by winning 3.5-0.5 against Rudar Ugljevik. Muzychuk won swiftly against Stojanovic in a Qd4 Sicilian while IM Maric and IM Kovalevskaya also won against WIM Boric and Dragoci respectively, however, the interesting game was on the third board where IM Gaponenko employed an exchange sacrifice against Vujic-Katanic which was returned back but it was just the beginning since white employed another sacrifice and forced black to king to make a voyage around the board which did not bring glory for the white successfully hold in the end.
The local heroes reached 8 points and sharing 4-6.places after their win against Madatech Haifa Chess Club with 2.5-1.5 thanks to WFM Fakhretdinova and Iordanidou’s victories.
The two underscoring heavyweight teams Finek St.Petersburg and MIKA Yerevan won against Radnicki Rudovci and Panevezys Chess Club comfortably with 3.5-0.5 and 4-0 respectively. Cotnari-Politejnica Iasi outscored Gross-Lehna with 3-1 while Vandoeuvre won all the individual games against Galaxias Thessaloniki as did Herzliya Chess Club against Bischwiller.No Comments »