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Globus Wins European Club Cup; Kramnik To Miss Candidates?
Right-left: Kramnik, Grischuk and Karjakin playing for Globus. | Photo ECC/Anastasiya Karlovich.

Globus Wins European Club Cup; Kramnik To Miss Candidates?

Both Odlar Yurdu and Alkaloid held them to 3-3, but with a win in the final round Globus secured victory after all. The top seed won the European Club Cup in Göynük/Antalya, Turkey on Saturday with 12 match points. Vladimir Kramnik missed his chance to qualify for the 2018 Candidates' by rating.

Round 5

Odlar Yurdu and Globus were the only two teams to win the first four matches, and so they were automatically paired against each other for round five. In a tense match, all six games ended in draws. That was not only good news for some of the other strong teams, but also for Globus. They could easily have lost this match as both Kramnik and Grischuk were totally lost at some point!

Vladimir Kramnik played Arkadij Naiditsch with the black pieces and things started to look promising after the opening. With a knight sacrifice he started a strong attack, which should have led to a draw. However, Kramnik played for a win too long and blundered big material at some point. Naiditsch was very gentle to him in the remainder.

Alexander Grischuk faced Rauf Mamedov, who played one of his specialities: the Chinese Dragon (10...Rb8). We hadn't seen that variation for a long time at top level. (In 2008 and 2009 Magnus Carlsen played it with both colors—those were the days!)

White was doing well, but also in this game everything changed in timetrouble. Mamedov got a queen, bishop and passed h-pawn vs a knight and two rooks for White. Somehow, Grischuk managed to escape.

2013 champions Novy Bor from the Czech Republic were among the teams profiting from this tie on the top boards. David Navara decided the match vs Legacy Square Capital as he was tactically alert against Vladimir Malakhov. Can you see what was wrong with the Russian's 22nd move ...Rh8?

Round 6

The next day Globus again played 3-3, again with six draws, this time against Alkaloid. Kramnik drew with Ding Liren, playing with black for the third time in a row. He said afterward: "It's quite bad luck I would say, especially when I need some rating points, but what can I do."

By that point it was pretty clear that his fight with Fabiano Caruana and Wesley So, for two rating spots in the 2018 Candidates' Tournament, was a lost battle. He had to get his rating to 2802 by the end of the month, and he wasn't even getting close to 2790.

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Ding Liren vs Vladimir Kramnik in round 6. | Photo: ECC/David Llada.

Kramnik's comments after the game: "For the moment I am not so sure because I played really a lot, maybe too much. I feel quite tired of chess. My plan was to take quite a serious break, a couple of months. (...) I play Wijk aan Zee, that's for sure, and I might also play in December something."

The last hope for the 14th World Champion to get into the Candidates' is a wildcard.

Odlar Yurdu of Azerbaijan grabbed the lead with a win vs Mednyi Vsadnik of St Petersburg, with five draws and Gadir Guseinov beating Vladimir Fedoseev. He might not have fared too well against Magnus Carlsen in their recent Speed Chess match, but here Guseinov played an excellent game:

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Odlar Yurdu vs Mednyi Vsadnik with Naiditsch-Svidler on board one. | Photo: ECC/David Llada.

With one round to go, Odlar Yurdu was on 11 match points, Globus on 10 and several teams, including Alkaloid and Noby Bor, on 9.

Round 7

All is well that ends well. This certainly was the case for Globus, who defeated Legacy Square Capital 4.5-1.5 on the final day, and saw Odlar Yurdu losing to Novy Bor. It was the perfect scenario for the top seeds.

Kramnik finally got to play the white pieces, and won after grinding down Ernesto Inarkiev in a rook endgame, thus improving his classical score against his compatriot to 4-0.

Ian Nepomniachtchi wasn't having a fantastic tournament, but also for him personally things ended well. He won a nice game after a somewhat spoilt morning on which he couldn't really prepare. The reason he gave is something many of us can relate to: "My Windows decided to update and it really took ages!"

Sergey Karjakin was one of the top guns for the winning team, but finished his tournament with a loss. He tweeted a nice group photo taken from Shakhriyar Mamedyarov's Instagram:

The winners hopefully bought a drink or two for Krishnan Sasikiran. The Indian GM scored the winning point for Novy Bor vs Odlar Yurdu:

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Sasikiran helped Globus tremendously in the final round. | Photo: ECC/David Llada.

After the tournament two top GMs had the following amusing encounter on Twitter. For context: Anish Giri had played some inspiring chess in Antalya, except for round six when he drew an utterly boring game with Dmitry Jakovenko using the Queen's Gambit Accepted, which Fabiano Caruana recently included in his repertoire.

2017 European Club Cup | Final Standings

Rank Team MP SBOly Pts. BH. SB
1 Globus 12 227½ 30 176 147,00
2 Alkaloid 11 226½ 30½ 165 126,00
3 Odlar Yurdu 11 208 27½ 168 125,00
4 AVE Nový Bor 11 206½ 28 173½ 130,25
5 Mednyi Vsadnik 10 204½ 28½ 166½ 112,50
6 LSG Leiden 10 129 22 159½ 103,50
7 Beer Sheva Chess Club 9 205 29 157 90,75
8 SHSM Legacy Square Capital 9 186 24 194 121,75
9 Csm Baia Mare 9 172½ 26½ 163 88,50
10 Šk Dunajská Streda 9 157½ 27 138½ 84,50
11 Nice Alekhine 8 142 25½ 150½ 71,50
12 Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova 8 135½ 20 181½ 95,00
13 Beşiktaş Jimnastik Kulübü 8 128½ 25½ 132½ 70,50
14 3CS 8 117 21 148 73,00
15 Augusta Perusia 8 106 20 154 75,50
16 Vålerenga Sjakklubb 8 83 19 158½ 73,00
17 Riga Technical University 7 115 20½ 155½ 69,75
18 Oslo Schakselskap 7 113½ 21½ 134 64,00
19 Gambit Asseco See 7 113 20 173 74,00
20 Fjölnir Chess Club 7 106½ 19½ 154½ 64,25
21 Hasan Pristina 7 70 17 140½ 63,00
22 LSK 'MAKABI' 6 79½ 17½ 158½ 58,00
23 White Rose 6 78½ 19 128½ 37,00
24 Dardania Chess Club 6 75 19 125 41,00
25 Etelä-Vantaan Shakki 6 68½ 18½ 134 49,00
26 Club Gambit Bonnevoie 6 53 17 119½ 37,00
27 Skakklubben Nordkalotten 5 93½ 22 116½ 29,00
28 Karaman Belediyesi Spor Kulübü 5 91 18 148 50,75
29 Viking Chess Club 5 76½ 17½ 125 41,25
30 Genç Akademisyenler Eğitim Kültür ve Araştırma Kulübü 4 100½ 17 148 35,50
31 Gonzaga 4 82 18 114 20,00
32 SK Elektroprivreda 4 78 16 140½ 35,50
33 Chania Chess Academy 4 77 17 134 38,50
34 Adare Chess Club 4 75 19½ 108 17,50
35 Benildus Chess Club 3 52 14½ 120 11,75
36 Hatay Büyükşehir Belediyesi Spor Kulübü 0 11 3 129 0,00

Download Tournament PGN

Games from TWIC.


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