Mérida Wins Spanish Team Championship Ahead of Sestao

Mérida Wins Spanish Team Championship Ahead of Sestao

Sep 11, 2014, 2:15 AM |
16 | Chess Event Coverage

On Wednesday, Mérida Patrimonio de la Humanidad clinched its first Spanish Team Championship title in Linares. The team led by Vassily Ivanchuk won in the last two matches to finish on 12 match points, one more than 2013 champion Sestao.

As reported earlier, Mérida Patrimonio de la Humanidad had lost one match, to Mágic, and was sharing the lead with Solvay after five rounds of play. On Tuesday, the latter team played 3-3 with Mágic while Mérida defeated Equigoma-Casa Social Católica 2-4. It was a crucial match, with lots of drama.

Iturrizaga and Ivanchuk drew on board one, and so did Almasi and Hansen on two. Kryvoruchko won on three after sacrificing an exchange. His pawn majority on the queenside provided good compensation and it was instructive to see him waiting a long time before pushing the pawn to b1.

Korneev had beaten Guerrero Vargas on board six, and so it would all be decided in Berkes-Castellanos and Corral Blanco-Illescas. The veteran Spanish GM didn't have a great week in Linares, lost almost 15 rating points and also this game:

The playing hall. | Photo © José Antonio Díaz courtesy of the Spanish Chess Federation.

Mérida needed one more draw to win the match, but Berkes even scored the full point in a difficult endgame that saw a lot of errors.

Gros Xake Taldea vs Sestao Naturgas Energia was an interesting battle that included three Dutch and three French GMs: Van Wely and Sokolov were playing for the Basque club and Giri for Sestao, Fressinet and Edoard playing for Sestao, and Bacrot for Grox Xake! Here's the board one game:

In the final round Mérida Patrimonio de la Humanidad crushed Barcelona 5.5-0.5 to comfortably take the Spanish title for the first time in club history. Only Ivanchuk drew his game again and so the Ukrainian had drawn six, and won one game to score exactly at his current rating level. Hungarian Ferenc Berkes was the star of the winning team, scoring 6.5/7. Here's his last-round game:

Ivanchuk scored six draws and one win. | Photo © José Antonio Díaz courtesy of the Spanish Chess Federation.

It was the fourth time that the title went to Mérida, as Mágic is from the same city! Quite fittingly, Mágic was also the only club to beat Patrimonio de la Humanidad this year. 

Mérida Patrimonio de la Humanidad. | Photo © José Antonio Díaz courtesy of the Spanish Chess Federation.

The teams of Equigoma and Barberá have descended from the División de Honor to the Primera División while Collado-Villalba and VTI Atocha, both from Madrid, will be seen in the top league next year.

2014 Spanish Team Championship | Final Standings

Rk. Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TB1 TB2
1 MERIDA PATRIMONIO DE LA HUMANIDAD phpfCo1l0.png 2 4 4 12 29
2 SESTAO NATURGAS ENERGIA phpfCo1l0.png 3 4 5 11 28
3 CLUB MAGIC EXTREMADURA 4 3 phpfCo1l0.png 3 5 10 24,5
4 C.A. SOLVAY 2 2 3 phpfCo1l0.png 9 26
5 GROS XAKE TALDEA phpfCo1l0.png 4 4 3 7 21
6 ESCOLA D'ESCACS DE BARCELONA ½ ½ ½ 2 phpfCo1l0.png 4 4 13,5
7 EQUIGOMA - CASA SOCIAL CATOLICA 2 1 2 2 phpfCo1l0.png 2 14,5
8 C. E. BARBERA ½ 1 ½ 3 phpfCo1l0.png 1 11,5

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