Azerbaijan or Russia, which team will it be?

0 | Chess Event Coverage
etc09Today the European Team Championship in Novi Sad will be decided. Azerbaijan and Russia are both on 13 match points, followed by five countries on 11. Russia's Alexander Morozevich decided yesterday's match against Armenia. In the women section Russia and Georgia are both on 14 match points. Today's round starts at 13.00 CET.

The 17th European Team Championship is organized by the European Chess Union and Serbia Chess Federation. The Championship is held in Novi Sad, Serbia (80 km northwest of the capital Belgrade and 280 km south of Budapest).

The dates are October 21th (day of arrival) until October 31th 2009 (day of departure). It's a nine round Swiss played from October 22nd to 30th, without a rest day. The time control is 90 min. for 40 moves + 30 min. & 30 sec. increment.

Round 8

Alexander Morozevich played a very important role for his country in yesterday's 8th round. The Russian's win against Akopian was an impressive treatment of the Benoni: the simple setup, which allowed ...b5, soon left Black without useful moves. The knight manoeuvre to c4 was a temporary success, as was the other knight reaching d3. After 28.b5! White was clearly on top, but Black might still have had some drawing chances after 38...Re5! 39.Nc6 Ree8.

Azerbaijan bounced back from yesterday's loss with a convincing 3-1 victory against Poland. Mamedyarov was successful against Macieja with some irregular stuff combining g6, c5 and an early Qb6. White had the bishop pair, but Black's centralized pieces exerted too much pressure. Mamedov beat Bartel in the always tricky ending with rooks and opposite-coloured bishops.

The Dutch team is doing very well at this year's championship: besides Russia they are the only team that hasn't lost a match yet. Yesterday they held Ukraine 2-2 with four draws. Smeets countered strongly and almost won against Eljanov; Stellwagen realized in time that he had to force the draw against Volokitin's Berlin Wall. The shared 3rd place for The Netherlands is clearly a joint effort; l'Ami is performing best with 5.5/8 which equals a 2708 performance.

Besides Ukraine, Armenia and The Netherlands, two more teams are in the race for a medal: Spain and Israel. The last round's top pairings are Russia-Spain, Netherlands-Azerbaijan, Israel-Ukraine and Switzerland-Armenia (Swizerland's IM Ekstroem again beat a GM yesterday to make up for a loss by Kortchnoi).

In the women section Russia and Georgia will take gold and silver and probably in that order. The two countries are three points ahead of Armenia and Ukraine. The latter is favourite to win bronze since the former plays Russia.

By the way, the tiebreak rules are as follows:

The order of teams that finish with the same number of match points shall be determined by application of the following tie-breaking procedures in sequence, proceeding from (a) to (b) to (c) to (d) the extent required:

(a) by the number of board points won, the highest number wins; (b) by the sum of the board points of all team's opponents, the highest number wins; (c) by the sum of the board points of all opponents defeated plus one half of the board points of all the opponents with which a tied result was achieved, the highest number wins; (d) by the sum of the board points of all the team's opponents, excluding the opponent who scored the highest number of board points and the opponent who scored the lowest number of board points, the highest number wins.

All results round 8

European Team Ch 2009 | Round 8 Standings
European Team Ch 2009
European Team Ch Women 2009 | Round 8 Standings
European Team Ch 2009

Selection of games round 8

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Photos courtesy of the official website


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