ETCC R5: Bulgaria take sole lead in open section

11/9/2011 – Topalov and his men defeated the German team 3-1 to emerge leaders, after Azerbaijan and France signed a truce when GM Vugar Gashimov had a medical condition during the round. Top seed Russia clawed back with a 2.5-1.5 victory over Ukraine. the Russian women maintained their lead despite Nadezhda Kosintseva’s second consecutive loss, to Georgian Nana Dzagnidze. Round five report.

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3rd – 11th November in Halkidiki, Greece

The ETCC is a nine-round Swiss, with one open section and one section for the women’s teams. The time control is 90 min for 40 moves + 30 min for the rest of the game + 30 sec increment for every move played starting from the first move. The member countries of the European Chess Union (ECU) have the right to enter one team of four players plus one reserve in the open competition, and one team of four female players and one reserve in the women’s competition. There are 38 teams in the former and 28 in the latter. The games are being played in the Olympic Hall Congress Center (1500 sq.m.), within the five-star Porto Carras Grand Resort, which is located in an enchantingly verdant landscape in Halkidiki, Greece.

Round five report

The Bulgarian team posted another convincing victory, this time over Germany. Topalov, playing black in an English against Naiditsch, opened up the position early on and gave a pawn in return for his opponent’s weak e3 pawn and oddly placed rook on e4. White defended the threats of the black queen and bishop accurately and probably should have drawn by repetition on move 34; instead he played a bad gamble with 36. g4? and got into a losing endgame.


Ivan Cheparinov and Veselin Topalov in round five

The second Bulgarian win was recorded by Cheparinov against an unfortunate Meier who was at the receiving end of a ruthless kingside attack. White’s bishops invaded his position and a pretty sacrifice on move 30 sealed the deal. The games Fridman-Delchev and Georgiev-Gustafsson were drawn.

Meanwhile all the games of the top board match between Azerbaijan and France were drawn in less than 20 moves. This was a decision made by the team captains after one of the players, GM Vugar Gashimov on board two (above left), fell ill. We know that Vugar has had cardiological and other medical problems in the past, and it was reported that he had an epilectic crisis (crise d'épilepsie in Europe Echecs), but this was dismissed by his brother (and manager) Sarkhan, and we were told that his systolic blood pressure had climbed to 220, and that he was complaining of headache. In a column in Soviet Sport columnist GM Evgeny Bareev describes the incident in greater detail:

"France last played exceptionally well on the odd boards with white and equalised on the even boards with black. One of the best players in the world, Vugar Gashimov, suddenly looked bewildered and seemed unable to find a satisfactory move. We are told that like Luzhin, the hero Nabokov's novel "Luzhin Defence", he fell from his chair and lost consciousness. The ambulance arrived quickly. After a short conference, the French players decided to offer a draw on all boards, and Azerbaijan humbly accepted. Some called the decision the French noble, others stupidy and a violation of every conceivable law of sports. What is clear is that this episode will be subjected to closer scrutiny."

The French team captain, GM Pavel Tregubov (above), was at a captain's meeting when the incident occurred and returned to the playing hall to find all tables empty. In the Russian Chess Federation's round five report he says:

"The players told me that there had been an unfortunate incident. I do not know the details, but Gashimov became ill, he lost consciousness and fell off his chair. His teammates rushed to his aid, and all the Azeri players set out to find a doctor. I began to discuss the situation with my players, and at that point the arbiter point stopped the clocks on all boards. I believe that was an error in judgement – he should not have interferee in the games. At the most he could have stopped the clock in the game Vachier Lagrave-Gashimov, if Maxime had requested this, but I'm not even sure of that. We need to ask the experts. But to stop the clocks of all the games of the match is, in my opinion, completely senseless. Why was it necessary? After all the match was still going on! I understand the argument that Mamedyarov ran to help Gashimov, but there were also other people who could have helped, and Shakhriyar could have returned after five minutes to continue his game. However, I do not think that any actions taken by the arbiters would affect the final outcome of the match. My players were very upset by what had happened, and so all agreed that we should offer a draw on all boards, even though they were aware that the match was going well for us."

Tregubov was also critical of the behaviour of Azerbaijan team captain GM Vladimir Tukmakov (above): "He was the same captain's meeting as me, and when he returned, he first began to study the positions on the boards, which under the circumstances was irrelevant. Frankly, I was unpleasantly surprised. He did that before the draw offer was made." The pictures of Tregubov and Tukmakov are from Vladimir Barsky’ report on the RCF site russiachess.org.


The faceoff between bruised teams Russia and Ukraine turned up three draws and one win for the favourites, thanks to the efforts and solid endgame technique of Alexander Morozevich.


The Russians, with Svidler, Grischuk, Morozevich and Nepomniachtchi

The surprise winners of the day were Romania and Italy against higher rated Netherlands and Israel. Dutch GM Anish Giri was held by Constantin Lupulescu on board one while his compatriot Sokolov went down to Vajda. Italy’s success was spearheaded by Fabiano Caruana’s systematic destruction of Maxim Rodshtein on board one.


GMs Fabiano Caruana and Michele Godena playing on boards 1 and 2 for Italy


Romania vs Netherlands ended 2½-1½ after a board three loss by Ivan Sokolov

The women’s section saw no change in rankings with Russia winning its fifth match in a row. But their opponents Georgia had something to cheer about with their top seed GM Nana Dzagnidze winning against Nadezhda Kosintseva.


Georgia vs Russia, with GMs Nana Dzagnidze and Nadezhda Kosintseva on board one

All results of round five

Open section

Women's section

Top standings after five rounds (open)

Rk.
SNo
Team
Gms
  + 
  = 
 – 
 TB1 
 TB2 
 TB3 
1
7
Bulgaria
5
4
1
0
9
13.0
57.5
2
17
Romania
5
4
0
1
8
13.0
39.0
3
3
Azerbaijan
5
3
2
0
8
12.5
61.5
4
6
France
5
3
2
0
8
12.5
52.0
5
19
Greece
5
4
0
1
8
12.5
51.5
6
4
Armenia
5
3
1
1
7
13.0
51.0
7
10
Germany
5
3
1
1
7
12.0
55.0
8
22
Italy
5
3
1
1
7
12.0
44.5
9
13
Spain
5
3
1
1
7
11.5
59.5
10
1
Russia
5
3
1
1
7
11.5
56.0
11
15
Georgia
5
3
0
2
6
13.5
37.5
12
14
Poland
5
2
2
1
6
12.5
48.0
13
5
Hungary
5
2
2
1
6
11.5
51.0
14
9
Netherlands
5
2
2
1
6
10.5
54.0

Top standings after five rounds (women)

Rk.
SNo
Team
Gms
  + 
  = 
 – 
 TB1 
 TB2 
 TB3 
1
1
Russia
5
5
0
0
10
15.0
54.0
2
5
Poland
5
4
0
1
8
14.0
48.5
3
2
Ukraine
5
4
0
1
8
13.5
54.0
4
3
Georgia
5
4
0
1
8
12.0
63.0
5
18
Czech Rep.
5
2
3
0
7
11.0
54.5
6
14
Serbia
5
2
2
1
6
13.0
38.0
7
11
Slovenia
5
2
2
1
6
12.5
36.5
8
12
France
5
3
0
2
6
11.5
47.5
9
6
Hungary
5
2
2
1
6
10.0
58.5
10
13
Netherlands
5
2
2
1
6
10.0
56.0
11
4
Armenia
5
2
2
1
6
10.0
55.5


Pictures on the official ETCC website are provided by Anastasiya Karlovich
(above with Arbiter Vasilis Parginos), Tzveta Karavelova and Goran Urosevic.


Links

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