Economist-SGSEU-1 Saratov and Spartak Vidnoe win European Club Cup

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ecc09Economist-SGSEU-1 Saratov (Evgeny Alekseev, Pavel Eljanov, Evgeny Tomashevsky, Bu Xiangzhi, Ni Hua, Alexander Moiseenko, Dmitry Andreikin and Michael Roiz) became the winners of this year's European Club Cup in Ohrid, Macedonia by winning all of their seven matches. In the women section the team of Spartak Vidnoe completed the Russian success; Tatiana and Nadezhda Kosintseva, Antoaneta Stefanova, Kateryna Lahno and Evgenija Ovod took home the gold medal.

The 25th European Club Cup (57 teams) and the 14th European Club Cup for Women (11 teams) were organized by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Chess Federation under the auspices of the European Chess Union. The events took place October 3-11 in Ohrid, Macedonia, about 190 km south of the capital Skopje. The time control was 90 min. for 40 moves + 30 min. & 30 sec. increment.

Rounds 4-7

Before we knew it the tournament was already over, and so it's about time we wrap up the last four rounds of the European Club Cup. In round 4, the 6 teams that still had a 100% score met each other on the first three boards.

The Russian team Economist-SGSEU-1 Saratov defeated the Israeli team Beer Sheva Chess Club 4-2 thanks to wins for Eljanov and Moiseenko, who beat Rodshtein and Khmelniker respectively, and both with the black pieces. Alkaloid Skopje beat SPbChFed Sankt-Peterburg 2½-3½ in a very tough match: Svidler-Mamedyarov 1-0, Vitiugov-Kamsky ½-½, Sakaev-Volokitin 0-1, Zvjaginsev-Guseinov 0-1, Efimenko-Mamedov 1-0, Turov-Stanojoski 0-1.

The top match OSC Baden-Baden vs Mika Yerevan ended in a small victory for the Armenians: 2½-3½. Akopian outplayed Bacrot in a Benoni, but Adams played a strong game against Andriasian to level the score. Eventually the match was decided by a big blunder: in a good position Naiditsch's 67...Qd4?? dropped a full rook against Pashikian.

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The 5th round saw a big surprise on board one, where the Armenian Olympic team a.k.a. Mika Yerevan suffered their first loss, to Economist-SGSEU-1 Saratov. Aronian gave a good example by smoothly beating Alekseev but Eljanov levelled the score against Akopian. Eventually it was Ni Hua who scored the decisive victory, with Black against Andriasian.

The only two teams left with a 100% score played each other in round 6: Alkaloid Skopje vs Economist-SGSEU-1 Saratov, and also in this match the win for the Russians was brought home by a Chinese player: Bu Xiangzhi, who won the only decisive game against Guseinov.

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Very important for Economist-SGSEU-1 Saratov: Ni Hua (front) and Bu Xiangzhi (back)



The third Russian team and defending champions Ural Svedrdlovskaya were back at the top after beating Werder Bremen 4½-1½ and 1. Novoborsky SK 5-1, but then went down 2½-3½ against Mika Yerevan in the penultimate round, in which Aronian's win over Grischuk was the only decisive game.

The last round was played on Saturday. Economist-SGSEU-1 Saratov started with a comfortable lead of two match points, but still they won their last match as well, against Ashdod Illit Chess Club, leaving no doubt about who were the strongest this year. Again it was Bu Xiangzhi who decided the match with a win against Avrukh. The Armenians (Mika Yerevan) had to be satisfied with silver after winning six matches but losing to the winner. Ural Svedrdlovskaya won bronze this time.

In the much smaller women section, in which only 11 teams played, eventually the Russian ladies of Spartak Vidnoe took gold quite convincingly by winning all of their matches as well. Four teams ended on 9/12, three match points behind the winner. Defending champion Cercle d'Echecs Monte Carlo won the silver medals while Samaia Tbilisi took bronze.

Peter Svidler scored the highest performance rating in Ohrid; his 5.5/7 on board 1 for SPbChFed Sankt-Peterburg was good for a 2920 level of play. In the women section Kateryna Lahno played at a 2772 (!) level, scoring 5.5/6 on board 3 of the winning team Spartak Vidnoe.

Naturally quite a lot of very high level games were played in Ohrid and the most important ones are available for replay in the game viewer below. More, including the games from the women section, can be found in the PGN files in the links below the article.

ECC 2009 (Open) Final Standings (top 30)
ECC 2009
ECC 2009 (Women) Final Standings
ECC 2009
ECC 2009 | Individual performances (top 20)
ECC 2009
ECC 2009 (Women) | Individual performances (top 20)
ECC 2009


Selection of games rounds 4-7



Game viewer by ChessTempo


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Besides modest money prizes, the winning teams received cups...



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...and medals



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Gold (open): Economist-SGSEU-1 Saratov



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Gold (women): Spartak Vidnoe



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Silver (open): Mika Yerevan



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Silver (women): Cercle d'Echecs Monte Carlo



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Bronze (open): Ural Svedrdlovskaya



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Bronze (women): Samaia Tbilisi



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The beautiful Lake Ohrid in the evening light



Photos courtesy of the official website

Links

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