The top seeded URAL Sverdlovskaya passed by another barrier, allowing only one draw to the team of Siroki Brijeg - Hering. Much more uncertainty was seen in the match between MIKA Chess Club and 4-time ECC winner Bosna Sarajevo. Being weakened after the unexpected cancelation of Alexander Morozevich, the Bosnian team still gave a stiff resistance. Baadur Jobava and Arman Pashikian brought a lead to MIKA, which proved to be decisive in spite of Magnus Carlsen’s rook blunder in the endgame against Sergei Movsesian.
OSG Baden-Baden once again cleverly used pieces colors to score 4.5-1.5 against the very solid Novoborsky SK. For the Russian derby, Economist SGSEU-1 introduced FIDE Grand Prix leader Wang Yue on the first board against FINEK Gazprombank. He was held to a draw by Vadim Zvjaginsev, but Evgeny Tomashevsky, Ni Hua and Dmitry Andreikin won their games to deliver a 4.5-1.5 score in favor of team from Saratov.
Thanks to Andrei Volokitin and Sergey Volkov, TPS Saransk managed to outplay Zagreb CC by a small margin even after Goran Dizdar shocked Mikhail Kobalia on the last board. The 6th team with the perfect score after three rounds is the last-year champion Linex Magic who won 4.5-1.5 against the talented team of Werder Bremen.
GM Ni Hua
After the third round of the European Club Cup, the top two seeds Monte Cercle d’Echecs Monte Carlo and Spartak Vidnoe are alone at the top both have won all their games so far. The latest addition to the Monte Carlo squad, Dzagnidze scored a crucial win to lead her club to victory against Finek St.Peterburg while Spartak defeated Radnicki Rudovci. Details below.
In the meeting of the two of the three leaders before round three, Spartak Vidnoe defeated Radnicki Rudovci, the Serbia champions with a clear 3.5-0.5 score with the only draw conceded by one of the new arriving players of the team from Beijing, GM Zhao Xue against IM Foisor. GM Stefanova, grabbed a pawn in the middlegame and went on to win while 2007 European Champion Tatiana Kosintseva utilized the c4 outpost and the c file effectively to score the win for her team as did her sister IM Nadezhda Kosintseva in a game she dominated on both sides of the board. IM Foisor defended well against GM Zhao Xue to score the only individual half point of her team. Spartak Vidnoe will face the defending champions Cercle d’Echecs Monte Carlo and probably 14-year old world championship finalist WGM Hou Yifan will also join their squad.
The defending champions won their third round game to join Spartak on top, narrowly against Finek St.Petersburg with 2.5-1.5 with the help of their new star IM Nana Dzagnidze who just passed the 2500 mark. IM Ekaterina Korbut decided to sacrifice an exchange against Koneru Humpy for a very strong bishop in the centre which were enough for white to force a draw. White was the side who was looking for exploiting black’s weaknesses but black managed to hold in Cmilyte-Cramling game. The young Georgian star of the Monaco team IM Dzagnidze scored a vital win against WGM Zhukova in a 4 vs. 3 pawns rook endgame with the pawns on the same side. IMs Socko and Turova also made a draw.
EPAM was another side to score an important win against MIKA Yerevan, one of the most successful teams of the ECC recent years thanks to the individual victories of Atalık and Zatonskih. GMs Hoang and Chiburdanidze made an early draw. IM Matveeva played à la Fischer played against Spassky in the first game of the Reykjavik 1972 match since she captured the h2 pawn with her bishop which was trapped few moves later. However, the Belorussian team made the comeback with IM Atalık’s nice victory against Lahno in a complex Grunfeld position with the assault of her rooks on f file. IM Zatonskih gave her team the important win by winning the endgame with opposite colored bishops and one pair of rooks with the decisive mating net in the end.
Aspopirgos of the capital of the home country pleased the hosts by scoring a 3-1 win against Rudar Ugljevik with WI Cherenkova, WFM Fakhretdinova and Iordanidou’s wins. The Lithuanian Panevezys Chess Club won the 2 points after winning 3-1 against Vandoeuvre Echecs while sixth seed Economist Saratov , the struggling strong Russian side won their first match with 4-0 against Gross-Lehna with IM Harika Dronavalli making her debut in Kallithea. Madatech Chess Club won narrowly against Bishwiller while the Israeli club Herzliya also scored their first win against the home side Galaxias Thessaloniki.