Chaotic Spanish League reaches semi-finals

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Spanish League reaches semi-finalsThe first phase of the Spanish Team Championship has concluded. Today the semi-finals will be Escuela Int. Kasparov-Marcote vs. Reverté Albox and Solvay vs. Linex-Magic. The new system being used this year has led to problems already.

Alexei Shirov and Ruslan Ponomariov | Photo © FEDA

The 2010 Spanish Team Championship takes place August 23-28 in the Polideportivo La Benedicta sports complex in Sestao in Northern Spain. Spain's top ten teams, the División de Honor, compete over six rounds in this stage. The time control is 90 minutes for the first 40 moves and then 30 minutes for the rest of the game with a 30 second increment from move 1.

Spanish Team Ch 2010 | Teams & Players



Rounds 3-4

In our previous report we stated that "the final two rounds will settle the qualification for the play-offs later this year", as it's always been. However, this is not true. In fact the Spanish federation changed the system completely, and after four rounds it has become clear that it hasn't been an improvement.

A similar system is being used as in this year's U.S. Championship. After four rounds of Swiss, the first four teams play semi-finals and the winners play a final to decide the champion. The first four rounds we re paired according to the Swiss system.

In team competitions this is asking for trouble, if you ask us, and indeed already in the fourth round the first problems arose. What was the case? After three rounds Escuela Int. Kasparov-Marcote, Reverté Albox and Solvay were on five points, Linex-Magic on four and the rest of the field on two points or less. The teams of Linex-Magic and Solvay had to play each other, and so a draw would secure a spot in the semis.

And indeed the players agreed to draw all games before the first move - something the arbiters found out about. The round was delayed for fourty minutes and at some point the arbiters were threatening to declare one team as the winner and one as the loser. All this was told to us by one of the players in Sestao.

Eventually the match was played and the teams drew quickly on six boards. Ironically, Linex-Magic and Solvay meet each other again, today.

On Wednesday the teams of Solvay (with Indians Harikrishna, Ganguly and Negi on the first three boards) and Reverté Albox (with Dreev, Krasenkow and Mchedlishvili) drew on all six boards.

Indians Harikrishna, Ganguly and Negi

L-R Indians Parimarjan Negi, Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Pentala Harikrishna



Escuela Int. Kasparov-Marcote defeated SCC Sabadell where the results on boards 1 and 2 were decisive: Gashimov and Vallejo defeated Navara and Laznicka respectively.

Ivan Cheparinov was the man of the match for reigning champs Linex-Magix by scoring the only win, against Miguel Llanes Hurtado of Mérida. Gros X.T. played only 3-3 against Barbera. Bauer beat Doncea but Loek van Wely lost to Yuniesky Quesada Perez.

Sestao Naturgas, the hosting club, finally won in this third round, but only 3.5-2.5 against U.G.A. On boards 4 and 5 IMs Vila Gazquez and Fluvia Poyatos managed to beat Sestao's GMs Edouard and Del Rio De Angelis, but the top guns Nakamura, Vachier-Lagrave and Moiseenko on boards 1-3 decided matters.

On Thursday Escuela Int. Kasparov-Marcote crushed Reverté Albox 5-1, though it must be said that one of these wins was a non-game. Vallejo's opponent Krasenkow got ill and couldn't play. The Spaniard opened 1.a3 and collected the free point after fifteen minutes - the allowed amount of time for arriving late in Sestao.

Gros X.T. vs Sestao Naturgas was a tough match with many draws, e.g. in Bacrot-Nakamura, Kasimdzhanov-Vachier-Lagrave and Van Wely-Short. The match was decided by Frenchman Romain Edouard who beat Hichem Hamdouchi.

Vachier-Lagrave, Short and Moiseenko of Sestao Naturgas

L-R Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Nigel Short and Alexander Moiseenko



Spanish Team Championship 2010 | Round 4 Standings
Spanish Team Championship 2010 | Round 4 Standings


Games rounds 3-4



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Gustafsson, Smeets, Vallejo and Gashimov playing for Escuela Int. Kasparov-Marcote

L-R Jan Gustafsson, Jan Smeets, Francisco Vallejo and Vugar Gashimov



Photos © FEDA



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