Double Gold For Russia At European Team Championship

Double Gold For Russia At European Team Championship

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Nov 23, 2015, 6:08 AM |
17 | Chess Event Coverage

Leading from start to finish, Russia won gold in both the Open and Women sections at the European Team Championship.

Four draws against Hungary was enough for the Russian men on the last day; the ladies finished in style with a 3-1 win against Germany.

In an otherwise flawless event, the last round of the tournament started as early as 11 a.m. Players were spotted yawning, and in no time lots of crazy positions appeared on the board! At some point commentator Simon Williams was begging for a Berlin...

Perhaps the first victim of the early start was Vassily Ivanchuk, who blundered a full piece on move 18 and resigned immediately.

The crucial match on the top boards, between Russia and Hungary, had its own sidestory: the Marshall Gambit in the Ruy Lopez. Exactly the same variation appeared on boards one and three: Leko vs Svidler, and Almasi vs Tomashevsky.

After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. c3 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. Rxe5 c6 12. d3 Bd6 13. Re1 Bf5 14. Qf3 Qh4 15. g3 Qh3 the games deviated in this position:

Leko played 16.Be3 here, while his colleague Almasi chose 16.Bxd5. Both games reached an ending with a slight edge for White (Leko got the bishop pair, Almasi an extra pawn) but the Marshall is the Marshall: it wasnt enough for a tangible advantage.

Svidler was the last of the four players to hold the draw, and so the tournament was only decided after his game. Nepomniachtchi-Balogh was a very quiet Queen's Gambit Accepted, while the quickest draw was the most interesting at least visually:


After the victory was secured, two team members joined the Chess.com live broadcast for a nice chat with commentator Simon Williams. 

“Finally we won something,” said Svidler. “I've forgotten the feeling. I haven't won a team event with the Russian team in ages.”

Tomashevsky: “All members of our team at some moment played their best chess. That's why we won, so all five players contributed something nice. That was the key moment I think.”

The Russian team at the closing ceremony.

One of the reasons for Russia's success might be the similar climate in Iceland; it's been pretty cold. “It feels like home,” said Svidler, who also made a remark about the famous Spassky-Fischer match held in 1972 in the same playing hall.

I think without that match the problems we've had over the past ten years winning team events would not have happened because I think chess would not have boomed in the West without Fischer-Spassky.”

Hungary went home with the bronze medal; eventually Armenia had a slightly better tiebreak after finishing on 13 match points as well.

In the last round the Armenians defeated Georgia convincingly: 3-1. Until then undefeated, Baadur Jobava couldn't make it against Levon Aronian:

For France the tournament ended disappointingly. The team started wonderfully, despite having their minds on the terrible attacks in Paris. Eventually they ended on the same number of match points as Hungary and Armenia, but just missed out on the medals.

In the last round France defeated the Netherlands 2.5-1.5, where the game on the last board was decisive. Tkachiev demolished Tiviakov:

Germany had a medal chance as well, but finished their tournament with a 2-2 tie with Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijanis had come to Iceland with a huge delegation — about two dozen people in total — and leaving without a medal must have been tough!

Mamedyarov refuted very nice but incorrect sacrificial play by Nisipeanu:

Like Germany, Ukraine finished on 12 match points. Pavel Eljanov may have played the move of the tournament with 35...Qxd3!! in his round eight game against Gajewski, annotated by GM Dejan Bojkov:

Magnus Carlsen finished his tournament on a positive note. He beat Radek Wojtaszek to limit his rating loss to 16 points. For Wojtaszek the tournament was a compete disaster: he lost 24.8 points. Only Scotland's FM Graham Morrison did worse, with a 40.4 loss.

Here's the game annotated by GM Dejan Bojkov:


FM Tautvydas Vedrickas (2320) scored the biggest gain in Reykjavik: a whopping 47.2 points. In the women's section WFM Alessia Santeramo did even better with a gain of 92 points

2015 European Team Championship | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo FED Team + = - TB1 TB2 TB3
1 1 RUS Russia 6 3 0 15 224,5 22,5
2 6 ARM Armenia 5 3 1 13 220,5 22,5
3 7 HUN Hungary 5 3 1 13 217 22,5
4 4 FRA France 5 3 1 13 211,5 21
5 2 UKR Ukraine 6 0 3 12 185 20
6 10 GER Germany 5 2 2 12 168,5 19,5
7 3 AZE Azerbaijan 4 3 2 11 182,5 20,5
8 14 ESP Spain 5 1 3 11 180,5 21
9 17 GEO Georgia 4 3 2 11 180,5 20,5
10 5 ENG England 4 3 2 11 165,5 19
11 9 NED Netherlands 5 1 3 11 163,5 20,5
12 12 CZE Czech Republic 4 3 2 11 160 21
13 8 POL Poland 4 2 3 10 165 18,5
14 25 MDA Moldova 4 2 3 10 162,5 19,5
15 23 ITA Italy 4 2 3 10 161,5 19
16 15 SRB Serbia 3 3 3 9 161 18,5
17 19 TUR Turkey 4 1 4 9 134 18,5
18 13 LAT Latvia 4 1 4 9 128 18,5
19 24 ISL Iceland 4 1 4 9 125,5 18,5
20 21 SLO Slovenia 4 1 4 9 120 18,5

(Full final standings here.)

Below are the individual board prizes, based on performance rating. To be eligible, players had to play a minimum of 60% of the game — in this tournament six rounds.

# Title Board 1 Rtg Federation Perf Points Percentage Games
1 GM Bologan Viktor 2630 Moldova 2845 7 77,8 9
2 GM Aronian Levon 2781 Armenia 2835 6 66,7 9
3 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2765 France 2835 6 66,7 9
Board 2
1 GM Rapport Richard 2693 Hungary 2828 6,5 72,2 9
2 GM Eljanov Pavel 2753 Ukraine 2821 5 71,4 7
3 GM Sargissian Gabriel 2689 Armenia 2808 5,5 68,8 8
Board 3
1 GM Pantsulaia Levan 2567 Georgia 2868 6,5 81,3 8
2 GM Naiditsch Arkadij 2689 Azerbaijan 2773 5,5 68,8 8
3 GM Almasi Zoltan 2689 Hungary 2758 5,5 68,8 8
Board 4
1 GM Melkumyan Hrant 2632 Armenia 2770 6,5 72,2 9
2 GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2735 Russia 2756 5 71,4 7
3 GM Tkachiev Vladislav 2658 France 2723 4 66,7 6

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Viktor Bologan won the gold medal on board one with 7.0/9.

The Russian women ended their tournament with a 3-1 victory against Germany. On board one, Alexandra Kosteniuk and Elisabeth Paehtz played a quick but spectacular draw:


Kateryna Lagno also drew, but both Aleksandra Goryachkina and Anastasia Bodnaruk won their games. “It was a tough tournament, especially for me, because I played all nine rounds,” said Lagno. “We were playing very well, but even if we would lose today, we could become even third.”

On the next boards there was an upset: Playing without Nana Dzagnidze, Georgia was held to a draw by Austria. The Ukrainian ladies grabbed their chance, defeated Netherlands 3.5-0.5 and clinched the silver medal.

2015 European Women's Team Championship | Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo FED Team + = - TB1 TB2 TB3
1 2 RUS Russia 8 1 0 17 268,5 26
2 3 UKR Ukraine 7 1 1 15 281,5 27,5
3 1 GEO Georgia 6 2 1 14 196,5 20,5
4 4 POL Poland 5 1 3 11 194 20,5
5 5 FRA France 5 1 3 11 185,5 21
6 7 GER Germany 5 1 3 11 169,5 20,5
7 9 HUN Hungary 5 1 3 11 162 19
8 15 ITA Italy 5 1 3 11 152 20
9 19 AUT Austria 5 1 3 11 147 18
10 8 ROU Romania 4 2 3 10 153 18
11 6 ARM Armenia 4 2 3 10 149,5 19
12 11 ESP Spain 4 2 3 10 145,5 20
13 17 GRE Greece 4 2 3 10 145,5 19,5
14 12 SRB Serbia 3 3 3 9 164 19
15 10 NED Netherlands 4 1 4 9 154,5 20
16 13 AZE Azerbaijan 4 1 4 9 126,5 19,5
17 20 SLO Slovenia 3 3 3 9 105,5 18,5
18 21 LAT Latvia 4 0 5 8 145,5 19
19 14 TUR Turkey 3 2 4 8 141,5 18,5
20 16 CZE Czech Republic 4 0 5 8 102 16

(Full final standings here.)

Here are the individual board prizes scored in the women's section. World Champion GM Mariya Muzychuk did really well and won gold with a 2772 performance. IM Jovanka Houska of England had an excellent tournament as well.

# Title Board 1 Rtg Federation Perf Points Percentage Games
1 GM Muzychuk Mariya 2542 Ukraine 2772 7 87,5 8
2 IM Houska Jovanka 2391 England 2614 7 87,5 8
3 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2534 Russia 2604 5,5 68,8 8
Board 2
1 WGM Vojinovic Jovana 2295 Serbia 2576 6,5 81,3 8
2 GM Lagno Kateryna 2523 Russia 2569 6,5 72,2 9
3 IM Javakhishvili Lela 2479 Georgia 2559 5,5 78,6 7
Board 3
1 GM Zhukova Natalia 2480 Ukraine 2556 6 75 8
2 WGM Papp Petra 2303 Hungary 2464 6 75 8
3 WGM Cosma Elena-Luminita 2303 Romania 2456 6 75 8
Board 4
1 WGM Goryachkina Aleksandra 2478 Russia 2668 7 87,5 8
2 GM Ushenina Anna 2438 Ukraine 2593 6 85,7 7
3 WIM Kopinits Anna-Christina 2231 Austria 2443 5,5 68,8 8

xxx
The closing ceremony was a generous cocktail party held in Harpa, the magnificent concert hall that also hosts the Reykjavik Open every year.

Iceland's Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson gave an entertaining speech, calling the European Chess Union “the best European Union there is.” After receiving a chess board with signatures of top players, he said: “The more chess we will play in the parliament, the better the politics!”

Alexander Grischuk joined the Russian ladies on stage to make a selfie...

...which worked out pretty well!

After the cocktail party many players and coaches went into town, or back to the hotel lobby, to party a bit more. Two Dutch grandmasters decided to take a one-hour nap before their bus would take them to the airport for an early morning flight. That was a tricky decision.

Both Ivan Sokolov and Loek van Wely slept through their alarms, and missed the flight that contained the rest of the Dutch players (including the women's team).

How many morning flights I gonna miss in my life?The only 'good' news is that a misery needs a company.... my friend King Loek missed the same flight...Now we are heading to airport

Posted by Ivan Sokolov on Monday, November 23, 2015


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