The Russians dominate at Ech clubteams

0 | Chess Event Coverage
Despite the Wch match not many will have missed out the Europan Club Cup that was played last week in F?ɬºgen, Austria. With a few days delay I'm still happy to write about this tournament because of some very interesting games.

No less than 56 teams played in Austria; a new record. This meant 406 players from 46 federations, among them 124 GM's and 85 IM's. There has been written enough about the participation of the Dutch teams here and here. Congrats for Sipke Ernst of course, who became IGM over there; probably analysis by him can be presented here soon. For now we'll have a look at the top of the European Championship.

There were seven rounds with matches of six boards. The first two rounds saw the usual Swiss tournament big scores. (e.g. have a look at Ivanchuk-A.Sokolov in the game selection below.) In the third round Ural Sverdlovskaya (a.o. Svidler, Shirov, Akopian, Grischuk) disappoints against Bank King (a.o. Asrian, Lputian, Vaganian, Minasian); despite a rating difference of more than a hundred points on all boards the match ends 3-3. Elara Cheboksary (a.o. Gelfand, Mamedyarov, Navara, Bareev, Khalifman) beats Werder Bremen (o.a. Efimenko, Areschenko, Hracek, Babula) 3,5-2,5. Tomi Nyback beats Evgeny Bareev:

Bareev-Nyback F?ɬºgen, 2006

Right from Elista to F?ɬºgen, Bareev is not afraid: 16.Rxd5!? exd5 17.Qxd5 Qe7 but here he seems to make a mistake with 18.Bg5? (18.Qxc4 leads to an unclear position) after which Nyback forced an exchange of queens with 18...Qe5! and then he played the ending very well.

After the fourth round only Boris Gelfand's team, Elare Cheboksary, is on a hundred percent score (8 points). TPS Saransk, seeded fourth (with a.o. Ivanchuk, Volokitin, Najer, Volkov), loses again, this time to Ashdod City Club (with a.o. Eljanov, Smirin, Sutovsky, Khenkin) with 2-4, and loses chances of a prize.

The fifth round is an exciting one. Ural Sverdlovskaya and Ladya Kazan (a.o. Radjabov, Kasimdzhanov, Timofeev, Fillipov) beat Elara Cheboksary and Ashdod City Club respectively, with five draws and one win each. Both teams lead the competition with 9,5 points. Alexander Grischuk wins an important game and again Bareev is involved:

Bareev-Grischuk F?ɬºgen, 2006

In a difficult position White goes astray: 25.Qf4? Nxg3! 26.Qxg3 Ne2 27.Qe3 Nxc1 28.Rxc1 Rxc1 29.Qxc1 Rxf2 and then 30.La1? b3 immediately wins for Black.

After six rounds, five teams lead: four from Russia and one from France (Clichy). Because of a 6-0 win by Tomsk-400 over the Belgians KSK 47 Eynatten, Tomsk becomes the favourite with the highest tiebreak.

And in the last round they do what they have to, against Cheboksary (3,5-2,5). The start isn't good, though: Mamedyarov, participant in Hoogeveen this week, brings in a point for Cheboksary within one and a half hours.

Mamedyarov-Jakovenko F?ɬºgen, 2006

Bad preparation by Jakovenko. The last game that was followed was one earlier game by... Mamedyarov. So White knows what to do in this position and plays the quiet but quite brilliant 18.Bf4!!. White doesn't mind the ugly doubled pawn and his central activity decides the game whithin a few moves! 18...Nxf4 19.gxf4 Qb4?! 20.Rad1 Rb8?! 21.Nd6 Nc5 22.Nxc6 Be6 23.Bd5! 1-0.

Morozevich, on board one for Tomsk, gives a better example with a beatiful win over Boris Gelfand.

Morozevich-Gelfand F?ɬºgen, 2006

An important clubmatch and Gelfand plays the Petroff with Black. Well, what to do? Hm... just prove that you're the better player perhaps? Moro plays the quiet 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.0-0 Be7 8.c3 and a bit later he delivers an isolated queen's pawn at Black's position:

16.Nb5! Nxe5 17.dxe5 Rxe5 18.Nxc7 Rd8 19.Nb5

What follows can be added to a new edition of the (great) book Winning Pawn Structures by Alexander Baburin. A Karpovian played ending by White, who is known for his wild, crazy stuff. This man can do everything. (He was top scorer at the Ech with 5 out of 6.)

In the decisive game of the whole tournament Inarkiev (in the first week of the Wch match online commentator for FIDE) beats Alexander Khalifman in a nice ending fight.

Lady Kazan and Ural Sverdlovskaya end, like Tomsk, with 12 points after 3,5-2,5 victories over respectively Clichy and Werder Bremen. Ural, the team with four 2700+ players, ends third.

>> at Chessbase all games are put together nicely for download

>> here the games from above for replay
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