Guildford are the perennial winners of the British national league, the 4NCL. Organized and partially funded by their astute coach, Roger Emerson, the Surrey team has won 81 games and drawn two in eight years unbeaten.
Until this week, Guildford had never entered the annual European Club Cup, which has been dominated by teams from the former USSR. The situation changed when the pandemic changed the European Championship online, where 91 competing teams and numerous upper-class squads became the strongest participation in the event, and a surprise winner on Wednesday.
Guildford’s grandmaster quintet, led by UK number one Michael Adams, was effectively England under a different name, plus a Bulgarian reserve. Fourth-seeded, they finished seventh in the final (+ 3 = 2-4) as nine tough games weathered them. Guildford had no one under the age of 30. Their individual scores were Adams 10/18, David Howell (undefeated in the final and with a beat Russian Vladislav Artemiev) 13.5 / 19, Luke McShane 11.5 / 18, Gawain Jones 18/12, Ivan Cheparinov 14/19.
The winners were a surprise, Baden-Baden, the German champions, sponsored by Grenke Bank and led by the best couple from France, were favorites to win the entire event, but finished last of six in their semi-final. Grenke also backed the little-known Deizisau-Stuttgart team, which took the lead in the final two rounds and took home the trophy.
Deizisau’s win total was 14/18 match points, but they would only have been third if the table points had been decided. All of his nine games ended 2.5-1.5, 2-2 or 1.5-2.5, while two of his six players had serious negative scores. They were saved by rising German chess star Vincent Keymer, 16, who impressed with 5.5 / 7. and by Georg Meier (5/6), who also played on Grenke’s winning team at the Corporate World Championship of the month. last.
Andrey Esipenko, 19, who beat world champion Magnus Carlsen at Tata Wijk in January, again shone in the Eurocup with an undefeated 15.5 / 20, probably the best individual score of the event.
Esipenko’s most brilliant game was his rook and knight sacrifice en route to a 21 move mating attack against number 2 from France. After Black lost the chance to stay level by 14 … Nf6, it was like watching the legendary Mikhail Tal reincarnate.
The match Jones v Krishnan Sasikiran, one of the three Indians of the Czech team Novy Bor, had a strange ending. White (Sasikiran) Kf3, Bc8. Black (Jones) Rg1, Ac7, Ps f4, h4. Of course, the position is tied with bishops of opposite colors and no black pawn can advance. Jones had offered a draw three moves before, but his opponent didn’t notice. At the captains meeting before kickoff, with a time control of 15 minutes per player per game plus a five-second increment per move, they voted to allow pre-moves as is normal for many online events, including the Meltwater Champions Tour.
Both players were raising and moving their bishops back and forth, and White had his premove ready. So when Jones chose 1 … h3! Sasikiran answered automatically 2 Ad7 ?? h2 and resigned.
The first Fide World University Championship played online on the Tornelo platform last week delivered a shock to Rapid Women when the top seed winner at 4.5 / 5, IM Iulija Osmak of Ukraine, was disqualified by one vote. minimum (2-1 with 1 abstention) of the Fide Fair Play Committee and placed in last place.
The 23-year-old was a former U-12 women’s world champion, a 2017 Ukrainian women’s champion, an international open-level teacher and a women’s grandmaster, and in her final year as an active player above the table before the pandemic. played 150 competitive matches.
So far, Osmak has found the support of former Fide world champion Ruslan Ponomariov, who played all five of his games and saw no evidence of cheating at “110%”; from his coach at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, GM Bartlomiej Macieja; and the Chess Federation of Ukraine. The matter could go as far as the Lausanne Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Fide has tried hard not to use the description “cheat”, but this is the first time that a player has been disqualified from a world title for alleged computer assistance. The position of the governing body of chess is weakened because they have not allowed Osmak to present his case directly, while claiming that there is no right of appeal from the Fide decision.
Instead, Osmak released a video analyzing his five games, offered to take a lie detector test and explained that his eye movements, which could have caused suspicion, are due to his having 16% vision in a eye.
Overall, it looks like a potentially damaging decision, perhaps an own goal, from the world body. Is it time for Fide President Arkady Dvorkovich, who has an excellent record of problem solving in difficult situations, to step in?
3717: one Nf8 +! Rd6 two c7! Rxc7 3 Ne6 + and 4 Nxg5 wins for White.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism