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European Club Cup
Mark Hogarth reports on Hilsmark Kingfisher at the European Club Cup in Kemer, Turkey
The Hilsmark Kingfisher team, 4NCL’s representatives at the European Club Championships flew out on Sunday evening to the splendid holiday resort of Kemer, Turkey.
Qualifying for the second successive year by virtue of finishing 3rd in the 4NCL, the headed by team captain IM Lawrence Cooper and experienced English GM Keith Arkell on top board, the team looked forward in eager anticipation to doing battle against hopefully some of the world’s best players.
Four players in the team are looking for title norms out of this seven round competition (only tournament to offer this possibility). These are Andrew and Jovanka aiming for their first GM norms and Tavoularis and Briscoe aiming for their first and 2nd norms respectively (Briscoe obtained his only norm so far at Hasting 2006).
Making up the rest of the team is GM Ulf Andersson’s wife Christin and myself (only required if bubonic plague strikes the team!). Ulf played for us last year in Austria.
The 1st round draw did not disappoint, as we drew 4th seeds Bosna Sarajevo and former champions only a couple of years or so ago! Wow!!
Keith lined up to play world #2 Vassily Ivanchuk and Chris Briscoe (only recently improved his Elo rating by 30 points to 2273) lined up against former WCC vice-world champion Nigel Short!
The rest of the line-up was as follows:
|1.4||32||Hilsmark Kingfisher|| ||-||4||Bosna Sarajevo|| |
|1||GM||Arkell Keith C||2479||:||GM||Ivanchuk Vassily||2787|
|2||IM||Greet Andrew N||2441||:||GM||Almasi Zoltan||2691|
|3||IM||Houska Jovanka||2404||:||GM||Movsesian Sergei||2670|
|4|| ||Tavoularis Nicholas||2246||:||GM||Sokolov Ivan||2673|
|5|| ||Briscoe Chris||2273||:||GM||Short Nigel D||2649|
|6||WIM||Andersson Christin||2209||:||GM||Predojevic Borki||2645|
Facing world number 2 and four former 2700 players plus super-GM Predojevic must have provided some interesting discussions over the breakfast table as they contemplated facing their illustrious world class opponents…..
Start of play (1pm UK time)
Briscoe eyes up the chess mountain that is Nigel Short, takes a deep breath and opens up against Nigel with the Ruy Lopez –Worrall Attack!
Interesting psychological choice as GM Short wrote the foreword to IM Andrew Greet’s well received book largely based on this weapon which Short used to defeat Karpov in their WCC quarter-final match in 1992.
After a an 11/2 hours play only Keith and Nick look in any serious trouble, the rest seem to be doing okay against their mighty opponents.
2 ½ hour play….Keith avoids losing a piece but looks like his position is going to explode in his face! Jovanka is under attack and Nick is a pawn down in a worse position.
Later….Keith resigns in a hopeless position against an in-form Ivanchuk and Andrew, Nick and Christin faced similar fates.
Second last to finish is WGM(IM) Jovanka Houska who goes down bravely to GM Movsesian whilst failing to hold a difficult ending a pawn down. It’s all down to Chris now. Can he save our honour?
Yes!!! Although Chris had an edge for a large part of the game he was in massive time-trouble from move ten. He was forced to jettison a pawn and played most of the game with only a couple of minutes on the clock due to Fischer time limits being employed. Wow! He’s regained the pawn and actually looks better (from a weaker players perspective). The last game to finish, Chris saves Hilsmark’s honour and we avoid a 6-0 whitewash. Well done Chris!
You can follow the broadcast games and replay through the games above via the official website European Club Cup 2007 - Kemer,Turkey
Hopefully we will have some photos soon. I fly out Friday night at 10pm to join them. Can’t wait!
Thanks to Jacques Tivillier for providing regular test message updates!
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