Gold for Azerbaijan and Russia in Novi Sad

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
etc09Azerbaijan won the 17th European Team Championship in Novi Sad today thanks to a 2.5-1.5 victory against The Netherlands. Russia, held 2-2 by Spain, took silver and Ukraine won the bronze medal. The Russian women won the gold medal ahead of Georgia and again Ukraine.

The 17th European Team Championship was organized by the European Chess Union and Serbia Chess Federation. The Championship was held in Novi Sad, Serbia (80 km northwest of the capital Belgrade and 280 km south of Budapest).

The dates were October 21th (day of arrival) until October 31th 2009 (day of departure). It was a nine round Swiss played from October 22nd to 30th, without a rest day. The time control was 90 min. for 40 moves + 30 min. & 30 sec. increment.


Round 9

etc09Vugar Gashimov already posted it on Facebook, at 20.13 CET: "AZERBAIJAN European champion!!!!!!!!!" He played an important role in today's last round, beating Stellwagen in the only decisive game of the match Azerbaijan-Netherlands. In a Caro-Kann Advance Gashimov kept a small edge in the form of bishop versus knight, and eventually he reached a rook ending with an extra pawn. This shouldn't have been enough though, because Stellwagen defended very well and in fact reached a theoretical draw (diagram). However, after 70...Rf4? Black was lost anyway, where six other rook moves would have drawn, as the tablebase shows.

It was a crucial moment for the tournament, since Russia had already played 2-2 earlier on, against Spain. Svidler and Shirov drew, and so did Jakovenko and Illescas. Morozevich beat Vallejo with Black, but Alekseev later lost to Salgado Lopez and this eventually decided matters since although they ended on half a board point more than Azerbaijan, the Russian team had one match point less...

Azerbijan was the only country to end on 15 match points; Russia took silver with 14. Armenia eventually went home without a medal since Ukraine had the better tiebreak. In the top six of best performers, three are from the winning team: Gashimov, Mamedov and Mamedyarov. The winner in that section was Eljanov who ended on a 2823 performance (6/8). The surprise of the tournament was Jon Ludvig Hammer, whose 6.5/9 and 2792 performance on first board for Norway could have easily been scored by, well, someone like Magnus Carlsen.

In the women section Russia and Georgia were on a different level, both finishing four points ahead of the rest of the field. Although they beat Russia in the second round, Georgia had to be satisfied with silver after scoring two board points less. Ukraine took bronze with 12 points. Also here Azerbaijan did very well; as 'gg' commented, "they came an inch from a medal, same points as Ukraine and same first tiebreak. They missed out on the bronze on the second tiebreak. All five Ukrainan women were well over 2400, all the Azeris were in the 2200s, four of them 2233 or lower."

Russia's board one and two had the highest performance ratings: Nadezhda Kosintseva, who won the only decisive game in the last round, scored a fantastic 8/9 which was good for a 2665 performance. Alexandra Kosteniuk did only slightly worse with 6/8 (2621 performance).

All results round 9

European Team Ch 2009 | Final Standings
European Team Ch 2009
European Team Ch Women 2009 | Final Standings
European Team Ch 2009

Selection of games round 9

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Photo courtesy of the official website


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