Baden-Baden Won Mika To Take The Lead
The Marshall Attack in the Ruy Lopez currently has a good reputation for the black side, and it worked fine for Levon Aronian who achieved a draw against Etienne Bacrot on the second board of MIKA - Baden Baden. On the other hand, Arkadij Naiditsch, who is playing in excellent shape here in Kallithea, managed to neutralize opponent’s counterplay in the same opening and transpose into winning ending. Fransisco Vallejo Pons was in serious trouble on board five, but the German team was optimistic as Pentala Harikrishna held a firm advantage ever since the introducing moves of the Catalan opening. With this important win, Baden Baden takes a sole lead with perfect score after five rounds. Tomorrow they are paired against the surging PVK Kiev Chess.
On the second table Economist Saratov and Ashdod Illit Chess Club drew all the games before the time control, while PVK Kiev wrecked Sahovsko Drustvo Ptuj by 5-1, allowing only draws against Grandmasters in Sloveian team. Ural is back on track after a sound 4.5-1.5 win against CC Zagreb, with full points from Radjabov, Grischuk and Malakhov. The weakened Iretza Gros tried their best against powerful TPS Saransk, but the Russian team efficiently collected all points on the lower boards.
Defending Champion Monte Carlo Take The Lead While EPAM and Spartak Vidnoe Draw.
After the fifth round of the European Club Cup 2008 Cercle d’Echecs Monte Carlo is now leading with 9 points after defeating Aspopirgos Attikis the the local heroes by 3-1 while Spartak Vidnoe and EPAM are sharing the 2-3.places after drawing with each other as a result of Stefanova’s and Matveeva’s victories canceling each other out with 8 points. T-Com Podgorica and Economist Saratov are at 7 points and looking for more. The decisive game for the fight for the trophy might be between EPAM vs. Cercle d’Echecs Monte Carlo today.
On the first board of EPAM and Spartak Vidnoe, GM Hoang and WGM Hou fought until the very end but without neither side overwhelming the other and the game ended as a draw. GM Stefanova won against IM Zatonskih displaying a meticulous endgame technique again by utilizing the material advantage. The a pawn looked dangerous in the game between IM Atalık and GM Zhao but white managed to create counterplay with the help of the d pawn neutralized the pawn and the full point was shared between the two players in the end. IM Tatiana Kosintseva was very close to a win against IM Matveeva but missing one move in a sharp position cost a lost for the 2007 European Champion and IM Matveeva scored a very important win for her team.
The upset of the event so far, the local heroes from Athens faced the defending champions Cercle d’Echecs Monte Carlo with at least 300 rating difference on every board but Aspopirgos was still able to extract one point from the Monaco side. GM Humpy Koneru face WIM Papadopoulou and gained a pawn around move 25 but there was still long way to go for a team and it was the last game to finish in the hall. There was a rook endgame with opposite colored bishop with the decisive extra d pawn on the board but it took some moves to reach the precise winning mechanism for the Indian Grandmaster. WIM Cherenkova, who is 4 out of 5 on board 2, made the upset of the round by winning against GM Pia Cramling, a very solid and experienced player with the help of a strong pawn storm on the king’s side which black did not seem to have a sufficient solution or counterplay against. The lack of coordination of the black pieces cost a lot in the game between Dzagnidze-Fakhretdinova game where the young Georgian invaded the seventh rank with her rooks which proved decisive. On the fourth board IM Skripchenko scored an easy win against Iordanidou by converting the extra piece.
A survival match for the fight for the top was played between Economist Saratov and MIKA Yerevan. Economist Saratov won 2.5-1.5 against MIKA Yerevan. The early draw between IM Ushenina and GM Chiburdanidze, IM Paehtz and GM Lahno were followed by a more complicated one between IM Khurtsidze and WGM Kovanova. The decisive game of the match was played between IM Danielian and IM Harika, where the Indian star carried her club to the victory. Black’s c pawn was very strong that white had to give the exchange but the material advantage was then converted by the world junior girls champion.
Economist Saratov suffered a draw against Vandeouvre and a loss against Monte Carlo in the first two rounds but after three consecutive wins they are back on track and had to fight well against Spartak Vidnoe to hold on to the higher spots in the standings.
T-Com Podgorica scored a comfortable 3.5-0.5 against their neighbors from Serbia, Radnicki Rudovci by IM Muzychuk, IM Gaponenko and IM Kovalevskya winning against WGM Chelushkina, WGM Olarasu and WIM Zivkovic.
In the game that would influence the middle of the standings, Madatech Haifa Chess Club defeated Panevezys Chess Club thanks to the wins of their last two boards Vovinkina and Porat.
Finek St.Petersburg, the Russian champions, is not the team that you expect to see on lower boards with IM Korbut, IM Cmilyte, WGM Zhukova, WGM Demina and IM Turova, however they lost the crucial games so far including the one against Economist Saratov so that is the reason thy were at the seventh board but scored an easy win against Herzliya Chess Club.
CS Cotnari-Polithenica, swept Bischwiller while Gross-Lehna from Germany defeated Galaxias Thessaloniki by 3.5-0.5 by the individual wins of IM Petrenko, WGM Voicu and Nagel.