European Chess Club Cup Round 3: Top Teams Lead
The top teams in the Open section of the European Club Cup are finally finding stronger opposition in round three. SOCAR was challenged by O.R. Padova, while Saint-Petersburg met Peristeri. Certainly the most closely contested matches were PGMB-Rostov (6th seed) – G-Team Novy Bor (5) and Clichy Echecs 92 (9) – Odlar Yurdu (8). Saint-Petersburg conceded only one point and O.R. Padova took 1,5 points from the defending champions. Malachite had no mercy and walked past Tammer-Shakki with 6-0.
G-Team Novy Bor signed an important 4-2 win and GM Nidjat Mamedov saved the day for Odlar Yurdu by equalising the score against the French team. Norwegian GM Simen Agdestein was guest in the press room. He explained that today’s game with GM Alberto David was extremely complicated, that he was very close to winning, but just couldn’t find the right way during the time trouble.
On the question about his excellent results in recent months he first laughed – “Thanks for asking!” Agdestein said that he “Finally fixed a few things in his life” and thanked WGM Olga Dolzhikova for all the help with organization and the chess school. Now he has more spare time and he can prepare better.
Agdestein confirmed that after brief absence he is back to full-time teaching and playing chess. The ultimate goal is to be in good shape for the 2014 Olympiad in Tromso.
On the question about football, he said that he is totally out of the game since his career ended due to broken knee. But he praised his students – “Our chess department is very good in football!”
“The World Chess Championship Match in Chennai will be very exciting,” Agdestein said, “It will be a battle of Sportsman against Scientist”.
In the Women section Hou Yifan brought the first point for Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo by beating former World Champion Anna Ushenina of Ugra. Humpy Koneru soon followed the suit by forcing Natalija Pogonina to resignation. Pia Cramling later completed the demolition of Ugra for the final 4-0 score.
SHSM Nashe Nasledie took a quick lead against BAS thanks to the win of Russian Champion Valentina Gunina and later completed the match with a convincing 3,5-0,5 victory. Mika Chess Club earned a narrow 2,5-1,5 win against Jelica PEP.
Pia Cramling visited the press room to speak with the journalists. On the question about today’s game she said that she equalized quite easily, then got some edge and later only needed some time to find the winning plan in the bishops’ endgame. This is her 7th year in Monte-Carlo and she highlights the excellent team atmosphere.
What is her secret of staying on the top level for so long? – She stopped feeling pressure and now only enjoys playing chess.
Chief Organizer Nikos Kalesis is pleased with the progress of the tournament. The participants are obviously happy with the hotel and conditions as there hasn’t been a single complaint thus far.
Kalesis feels particularly proud that the live transmission of 176(!) games is going smooth and without problems. This is the highest number of broadcasted games in any chess event, except the Olympiads.
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