The first round of the European Club Cup for Women did not have any surprises but one. The top seeds won comfortably in the end but the stronger teams had to fight for many hours and the last game finished by the seventh hour after the round began. See below for the preview of the first round European Club Cup for Women.
Top seeds and the defending champions Cercle d’Echecs Monte Carlo took on the Lithuanian Panevezys Chess Club and won with 3-1 without the highest rated player in the field GM Koneru Humpy playing. GM Pia Cramling and IM Almira Skripchenko dropped half points against IM Ciuksyte and WFM Limontaite but the Monaco side started well at the end of almost six hours thanks to the elegant exchange sacrifice by Nana Dzagnidze and the invasion of seventh rank by the rook pair in the endgame by Monika Socko.
Spartak Vidnoe of Moscow is also intending to become a leading club in chess apart from women basketball. The Muscovite club is the second seed and one of the two teams that swept of their opponents,Gross-Lehna SK which is the runner-up in Frauen Bundesliga last season. 2007 European Champion IM Tatiana Kosintseva won the first game for her team but the other games lasted quite a longer. The other three games were also ended as victories for IM Nadezhda Kosintseva, GM Antoaneta Stefanova and IM Evgenija Ovod.
MIKA Yerevan took Madatech Haifa Chess Club of Israeli and scored three points to grab the win thanks to the wins of GM Kateryna Lahno and IM Lilit Mkrtchian with the draws of IM Elina Danielian, IM Nino Khurtsidze. Mkrtchian was the first to win after grabbing a pawn and converting into a win while Lahno’s win and Khurtsidze’s draw ensured the win for the Armenian side and Danielian had to be content with the draw against WGM Pitam.
Finek St.Petersburg was another side to score three points in its first round win against Rudar Ugljevik from Bosnia&Hercegovina. IM Viktorija Cmilyte and IM Irina Turova scored wins while IM Korbut and WGM Demine drew with WGM Stojanovic and WFM Vujic respectively.
T-Com Podgorica won against the strongest team of the hosting country, Attikis Aspopirgos by 3.5-0.5 the only draw conceded by IM Inna Gaponenko against WFM Margarita Fakhretdinova.
The French club Vandeouvre made the major sensation of the first round by drawing against Economist SGSEU Saratov but it was the rather the latter side that saved the game thanks to the late win of WGM Baira Kovanova against Rebecca Klipper. Weigel won against WGM Kursova and neither IM Ushenina nor IM Paehtz were hold to a draw by WFM Congiu and WFM Steil-Antoni. WGM Kovanova had to look for a win in the opposite colored bishop endgame with an extra pawn against Klipper and saved the day for the Russian club.
The other club from Greece, Galaxias Thessaloniki lost 3-1 against Rumenian Cotnari-Politehnica Iasi with the only individual upset coming from Georgia Grapsa against IM Corina-Isabela Peptan.
The Serbian champion Radnicki Rudovci scored a 3.5-0.5 win against Bischwiller with individual victories by IM Foisor, WGM Olarasu and WIM Zivkovic against Hertrand, Julie and Claudia Fischer. The only individual upset was on the first board by Genzling against WGM Chelushkina.