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Betsson results, European Club Cup 2008/10/17-23

For further details of the venue, conditions and massive strength of the tournament, I can only recommend Max Devereaux’ thorough report, or others available elsewhere! Below is some detail of Betsson’s excellent performance in which as the 36th seeded team (though this did include the absent Richard Pert which bumped up the seeding average a bit – we should probably have been about 44th seeds of 64 teams) we finished 22nd on tiebreak. To give some indication of the strength of it, the winners were URAL, headed by Radjabov, Kamsky, Shirov and with 2670-rated Dreev a reserve on Board 7! Also present, amongst others, were Carlsen, Aronian, Ivanchuk, et al. More details are available from the official site.

Round 1
Betsson.com - Economist SGSEU-1 Saratov ½ :5½.

4.1IM (W) Ledger Andrew J2429GM Alekseev Evgeny27150 – 1
4.2IM Ansell Simon T2410GM Tomashevsky Evgeny26460 - 1
4.3FM Eames Robert S2329GM Roiz Michael2677½ - ½
4.4FM Duncan Chris R2294GM Galkin Alexander26240 - 1
4.5FM Ledger Dave J2254GM Andreikin Dmitry26030 - 1
4.6Ledger Stephen C2151GM Khairullin Ildar25750-1

Rather outclassed by a “weakened (!)" 4th seeded team. Weakened because 2 more 2700+ players, Wang Yue and Ni Hua were still busy winning gold medals for China in the Mindsports Olympiad in Beijing which unfortunately overlapped with the first couple of rounds here. Mind you, Betsson were also suffering from the absence of Richard Pert, which would surely have had Russian Super-final co-winner, Alekseev trembling in his boots. Hmm. Some games were close, 2 weren’t, but all in all, we were pretty much out-grinded/played, with the notable exception of Robert Eames, who correctly turned down a draw, obtained a winning attack but didn’t manage to follow it through. A solitary draw was about our expected score, mind you!

Round 2
Merida Patrimonio de la Humanidad - Betsson.com ½ :5½

21.1(W) Zarzo Lopez Tomas2281IM Ledger Andrew J24290 – 1
21.2Garcia-Ortega Mendez Jose M2223IM Ansell Simon T24100 - 1
21.3Sanchez Silva Luis Agapito2092FM Webb Laurence E2347½ - ½
21.4Rubio Nevado Pedro2083FM Eames Robert S23290 - 1
21.5Hernandez Cid Cesar2065FM Ledger Dave J22540 – 1
21.6Delgado Palomeque Ruben0Ledger Stephen C21510 – 1

A little easier this one, after a tough introduction. Only Lawrence couldn’t quite manage to convert a tricky rook ending (5 pawns up, but hey). He allowed his opponent to queen his last pawn to keep it exciting, but the planned double-rook mate wasn’t quite there. Competently done all round. Simon won a very nice miniature with a queen sac on move 15

Round 3
Betsson.com - Vilnius Chess-Bridge Club 3 : 3

16.1 (W) IM Ledger Andrew J2429GM Kveinys Aloyzas25330 – 1
16.2IM Ansell Simon T2410IM Zagorskis Darius25090 - 1
16.3FM Webb Laurence E2347GM Malisauskas Vidmantas24791 – 0
16.4FM Eames Robert S2329IM Dambrauskas Virginijus2338½ - ½
16.5FM Duncan Chris R2294Novikov Vitalij2325½ - ½
16.6FM Ledger Dave J2254Rocius Marijonas21881 - 0

A decent draw this one against a team outrating us fairly significantly. Lawrence bounced back with a great win and the mighty FMs grabbed some points to make up for the shortcomings of the IMs up top. An entirely unfair comment of course, but then I’m one of the FMs in question. As will be seen, Andy and Simon were solid throughout (which is more than can be said for one of Simon’s fingers at a later stage, but that’s another story).

Round 4
SK Hohenems - Betsson.com 3½:2½

15.1(W) GM Baramidze David2557IM Ledger Andrew J24290 – 1
15.2IM Braun Arik2567FM Webb Laurence E2347½ - ½
15.3GM Naumann Alexander2518FM Eames Robert S23291 – 0
15.4IM Atlas Valery2465FM Duncan Chris R22940 – 1
15.5GM Bezold Michael2513FM Ledger Dave J22541 – 0
15.6FM Atlas Dimitry2322Ledger Stephen C21511 – 0

A narrow defeat in round 4 against a strong team, with a fine win on Board One for one of those IMs against a strong up-and-coming German GM and with the black pieces. Eames missed a suicidal-looking king move early on to have a good chance of something or other (this kind of vagary is usually the case with most of his games), Dave Ledger missed a chance that his opponent thought was “winning" after about 15 moves, but then “winning" and “won" are two different tenses and don’t always follow logically, especially where pesky GMs are concerned. Chris chipped in with a great win, (which was to become a feature), and Lawrence with a nice draw, but unfortunately the team went down to a narrow defeat.

Round 5
Betsson.com - HMC Calder 5 : 1

23.1 (W)IM Ansell Simon T2410IM De Jong Jan-Willem2408½ - ½
23.2FM Webb Laurence E2347FM Abeln Michiel23291 – 0
23.3FM Eames Robert S2329FM Broekmeulen Jasper23251 - 0
23.4FM Duncan Chris R2294WGM Muhren Bianca22781 - 0
23.5FM Ledger Dave J2254Muhren Willem22221 - 0
23.6Ledger Stephen C2151CM Huizer Mark2195½ - ½

Betsson well and truly bounced back today in a pretty evenly-rated match, with a fine 5-1 win and this with top board Andy succumbing to the manager’s ruthless rotation policy and grudgingly being forced to languish by and in the swimming pool with a beer in one hand (unless under water) under the Greek sun. Solid shows from the top and bottom with the FMs hoovering up the points in the middle-order. Chris won (zzzzzzzz) and Rob Eames’ game was probably very unclear.

Round 6
CRE Charleroi - Betsson.com 3 : 3

18.1(W) IM Gharamian Tigran2555IM Ledger Andrew J24291 - 0
18.2IM Eliet Nicolas2435IM Ansell Simon T2410½ - ½
18.3IM Laurent Bruno2370FM Webb Laurence E2347½ - ½
18.4Akhayan Ruben2262FM Eames Robert S2329½ – ½
18.5Israel Gregory2159FM Duncan Chris R22940 – 1
18.6Romanelli Robert1970Ledger Stephen C2151½ – ½

Again, a good solid draw, as shown by all those 1/2 s. Andy’s opponent ended up winning the Board One prize with 5.5/6, so he can possibly be excused; the middle order was solid and Chris won again (yawn). The team’s overall performance can maybe be well summed up by the thought that this was probably our worst result and that we saw it as a point dropped. Clearly Dave Ledger must never be dropped again. Sadly, Steve couldn’t quite use his rating advantage to nick it on bottom board. Simon, it should be pointed out, was by this point playing with a finger swollen to the size of, well, a quite-swollen finger. Either way, it was a brave performance playing through the pain barrier and details of the lancing of this digit and the resulting outpourings can be obtained by request.

Round 7
Betsson.com - Mendrisio 3½ : 2½

18.1(W) IM Ledger Andrew J2429GM Godena Michele2517½ – ½
18.2IM Ansell Simon T2410IM Bellini Fabio2489½ - ½
18.3FM Webb Laurence E2347IM Sedina Elena23650 – 1
18.4FM Eames Robert S2329IM Mantovani Renzo23591 - 0
18.5FM Duncan Chris R2294FM Aranovitch Emiliano2385½ - ½
18.6FM Ledger Dave J2254Pedrini Pier Paolo01 - 0

And a fine win to finish with! Again, we were comfortably outrated and again came flying through with flying colours, for want of a better non-repetitive word. Captain Steve Ledger generously dropped himself for a second time so that Rob could play his 7th game, needing a win for an IM-norm (7 rounders being obtainable from closed tournaments such as this). Bob (see, even his name’s unclear) duly obliged coming through a messy opening (presumably), a very unclear middlegame (I would imagine) and a seriously murky endgame. But if there’s one thing Eames is noted for, it’s his endgame technique. Well, probably in a parallel universe somewhere anyway. Well done to Robert (SEE!!) for his first norm and a fine all-round performance, underpinned by the great first round draw. Elsewhere Lawrence went down to his first defeat of the 6 games, Chris let everyone down by failing to win for the 4th time in succession, but the IMs were solid and Dave Ledger saw home his rating edge to grab the match.

A great series of results, all in all, with Lawrence (whose real name appears to be “Laurence", but I’d best be consistent now) (3.5 /6), Rob/Bob/Robert (4.5 / 7) and Chris (4/6) all putting in 2400+ performances (Chris’ nearer to 2500), Dave (4/6) comfortably over 2300 (excluding the 0 in the last round), the IMs up top performing admirably against strong players and gaining a few points and the captain chipping in half marks at the bottom (well, nearly).

Admirably captained, very well organised and a great time was had by all (Simon’s finger and the odd headache apart). Many thanks are due to BETSSON for their generous sponsorship and to the ECF for arranging entry fees, etc.

Dave Ledger

Division 1

Pride and Prejudice
Barbican 4NCL 1
White Rose 1
Guildford-A&DC 1
Cambridge Univ. 1
The ADs
Barbican 4NCL 2
Oxford 1
Pandora's Box Grantham
S. Wales Dragons
Guildford-A&DC 2
Poisoned Pawns 1
Jutes of Kent

Division 2

Sambuca Sharks
Warwickshire Select 1
e2e4.org.uk 1
Barbican 4NCL Youth
AMCA Dragons
Kings Head
Poisoned Pawns 2
Anglian Avengers
Wessex 1
Celtic Tigers 1
Bristol 1
White Rose 2
Brown Jack
Guildford-A&DC 3
FCA Solutions 1

Division 3

Rhyfelwyr Essyllwg
Sambuca Black Sheep
Cambridge Univ. 2
Wessex 2
Warwickshire Select 2
KJCA Kings
FCA Solutions 2
The Full Ponty
Sussex Smart Ctls.
e2e4.org.uk 2
Nottinghamshire 1
Nottinghamshire 2
Oxford 2
AMCA Rhinos
Braille Chess Assoc.
AMCA Hippos
Glos. Gambits
Bristol 2
KJCA Knights
Guernsey Mates
Bristol 3
e2e4.org.uk 3
Beauty and the Beasts
Celtic Tigers 2
Oxford 3
Guildford-A&DC 4
AMCA Cheetahs