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Monday, October 12, 2009

European Chess Club Cup 2009, rounds 4 - 7

Yesterday I wrote about the first three rounds of the European Club Cup. After three rounds the Samaia team from Tbilisi was in lead. After the fourth round where Samaia played 2-2 with Economist, the team from Monte Carlo won 4-0 against Radnicki Rudovci, I won a nice game against IM Foisor Cristina-Adela:

That's the position before my 39th move, I'm playing White and have about 3 minutes before the time control. The question here can I take on e5 - Bxe5? since after this move Black will play 39. ... Qe7 with the idea to play h5 and win the knight. But I calculated a little longer and noticed that after 39. Bxe5 Qe7 40. Bb2 h5

I will have the strong move 41. Qe5! since after 41. ... hxg4 42. Qh5+ the rook on g6 will be lost because after 42. ... Kg8 the pawn on f7 will be pinned and I can take the rook on g6 and if Black plays 42. ... Rh6, then then pawn on g7 is pinned and the rook on h6 is not protected and I can take the rook with Qxh6. So the game continued with

42.Qh5+ Kg8 43.Qxg6 and at the end I won the game: gxh3 44.Qg3 Bc6 45.gxh3 Bxa4 46.Rf1 Ne6 47.f4 Qd7 48.Rf2 Nd4 49.Bd5 Qd6 50.Kh2 Bd7 51.Bxd4 cxd4 52.Bc4 Ra8 53.Re1 Be6 54.e5 Qc6 55.Bxe6 fxe6 56.Qg6 Qe8 57.Qe4 Rd8 58.f5 exf5 59.Rxf5 Qe6 60.Rh5 Be7 61.Qh7+ Kf7 62.Rf1+ Ke8 63.Qxg7 Kd7 64.Qg2 Kc7 65.Rc1+ Kb6 66.Qd2 Kb5 67.Qg2 Rd5 68.Qa2 Bc5 69.Qc4+ Kb6 70.Ra1 Kb7 71.Qb5+ Bb6 72.Qa6+ Kc7 73.Rc1+ 1-0

Spartak Vidnoe also won in the third round against the team of Cotnari-Politehnica with 3-1 and after the 4th round three teams were in the lead with 6 points.

The key match of the Eurocup for our team happened in the 5th round where we played against Samaia Team.

I was playing Black against Lela Javakhishvili. After the 29th move of White Rc1 we reached the following position:

We both had about 3 minutes to make 40 moves and I quickly played 29. ... Na2 which is not a bad move but after 30. Ra1 I made a blunder and played 30. ... Ba4??, I could have played 30. ... Nc3 and after 31. Rxa7 Bxg2! with very interesting and complicated play. After the blunder in the game after 31. Nd2 I realized that I'm going to lose some material. Even though I tried to save the game, White's advantage was too big and on the 64th move I resigned. Since all of my team mates in this match made a draw this loss was decisive. However, on the diagrammed position I could have played 29. ... Ba4! and it would have been White who would need to fight for a draw. But the result is the only thing that matters in chess. After the win in this match Samaia was leading together with Spartak who also won in their match against polish Polonia with 8 match points.

In the 6th round Spartak continued to go forward with an impressive win 3,5 to 0,5 over the strong team of T-Com Podogorica. But Samaia surprisingly lost 1,5-2,5 to Radnicki Rudovci. My team missed a very good chance to fight for the gold in the last round. Monte Carlo was playing in the 6th round against Mika. On the first, third and fourth boards the games ended in a draw. And only Pia Cramling was playing against Nino Khurtidze. It was a very long battle and after White's 87th move we reached the following position:

It's Black to move and as we can see after 87. ... Kc2 and then b3-b2-b1Q Black wins the game in 26 moves according to the tablebase which today have all position with 6 pieces and less. But Pia played 87. ... b3 which leads to a draw but after 88. Kd3 b2 White made another mistake 89. Kd2 and according to the Tablebase Black again had a chance to win after 89. ... Bd6! but after 89. ... Bf4 on the 98th move the game ended in a draw. And the match also ended in a draw and we missed our last chance to play the direct encounter against Spartak for the gold medals. In fact we almost lost a chance to fight for the silver.

So Spartak before the last match secured the first place, who played very well in this Cup. 4 participants of the team got medals for best results on their boards. So I congratulate this team with a deserved win and the participants for nice results and perfomances! However the fight for the silver and bronze medals was still on. In the last round Samaia played against the team of Polonia and our team was playing against the team of BAS Beograd. Humpy Koneru from our team who played beautifully, took 5 out of 6 and showed the perfomance of 2714 decided not to play in the last round and I faced Inna Gaponenko on the first board which I commented and will make a separate post for that. My nice win against Gaponenko helped my team to win silver medals because Samaia team only made a draw and only took bronze medals.

That's how the tournament ended, the final table can be found here. The next European Club Cup will take place in Plovdiv (Bulgaria) from October 16th to October 24th, 2010.


Posted by: Alexandra Kosteniuk
Women's World Chess Champion



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