Gaia wins Portugese team championships by wide margin

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
The Portuguese team championships ended on Sunday in a clear and convincing victory for the defending champions and the hosting team from Gaia - with grandmasters Tivakov, Korneev, Hoffman, Ftacnik, rising Spanish star Ivan Lopez Salgado and the Portuguese IM Antonio Frois. Gaia won with a 100% team score - all encounters won - and an overwhelming board score.

By Nicholas Ravené. Lanier

The Portuguese team championships took place August 1-9 in the GaiaHotel at Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal. The Academia Xadrez de Gaia team won all seven matches played over six boards and collected no less than 32 of the possible 42 points.

This year the Portugese Chess Federation tried a a new system, with a qualification phase in 4 groups of 4 teams, and a final phase with an 8-team championship group and an 8-team descent group - basically the Spanish system.

In the runup two teams opted out on financial grounds - or because they could not find players willing to play in August, the main holiday month in Portugal! The Amadora team finally was persuaded to play, when they found out the fine for not playing would be much stiffer than the cost of playing - they arrived with 5 players and thus conceded one point before the start of the any match. The Coimbra team was even fielding a 10-year-old boy - Pedro Matins - because of lack of players - a certain rebellious stated of mind!

Portugese Teams

The Vale de Cambra team with GM Aleksa Strikovic, Luis Galego and IM Fernando Diogo

The playing conditions in the basement of a local hotel are a bit oppressive - but regular. Whether this system will be adopted also next year - and a date in August - remains to be seen, as this autumn the presidency of the Federation will change, Antonio Bravo refusing to stand for another term as President.

In the last round Academia Xadrez de Gaia clobbered the GD Ferroviários Barreiro/Trenmo team 5 to 1 (the lone point conceded by a missing player!) but still the Railwaymen were the grand surprise of the championship - with three unknown Spanish players with low ratings and the "local" Ukrainian trio of Andrey Fernets and Vladimir and Viktor Ulyanovski they surpised everybody by playing solidly, scoring upsets and for the top boards IM norms!

Portugese Teams

The Clube Pesca Nautica Desportiva Albufeira with GM Robin Swinkels, IM Dirk Hennig and FM Michael Hammes

The third medal place was secured by NX Faro, with three extra-strong players from Granada on the top boards. José Cuenca and the Camacho brothers plus the three Algarve team members played an unexpectedly strong tournament. Fourth place was secured by the second Algarve team with GMs Appel and Swinkels and IM Hennig, FM Hammes, and the inland players Finkler, Bianca Jeremais, Luis Silverio and myself.

Co-favorites Dian de Evora and Vale de Cambra ended up on 6th and 7th reprectively in the crown group - next year these teams will problaby look quite different.

Portugese Team Ch 2009 | Final Standings
Portugese Teams 2009


Unfortunately we haven't been able to find a PGN file with the games, but many of them can still be found and replayed at this live page.


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