German Bundesliga – Werder wins the title

5/9/2005 – Last year's champions Porz were the clear favourites, with an average of 60 rating points more on each of the eight boards. But the chess team of the German football club Werder Bremen was younger and fresher: average age under 30, vs 40 years for Porz. And in the end Werder clinched the title with a 4.5:3.5 tiebreak victory.

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Upset victory of Werder Bremen in German Bundesliga

Everyone expected Porz to win, but without their superstar Michael Adams the favourites went down 3.5:4.5 against upstart Werder Bremen, with only Nyback and Zahar Efimenko scoring for the chess division of the German soccer champions and only Ivan Sokolov bring home a full point for last year's champions Porz. The playoff on Sunday became necessary after both teams had tied 28:2 in the regular season, which was one of the most exciting in the German Team Championship 25-year history. The decider was played in the VIP lounge of the Werder Bremen football stadium.


Before the start of the playoff round

The Werder Bremen squad lagged behind Porz by 60 rating points on average on the eight boards, but were younger and fresher. While Porz sported a team of roughly 40 years on average, Werder's average age is below 30.


Board one: Christopher Lutz vs Luke McShane ended in a draw after 60 moves, with McShane pressing


Board two with Zbynek Hracek of the Czech Republic vs Loek van Wely of Holland. Draw in 24.


Board three: Ivan Sokolov vs Yannick Pelletier (Sokolov won in 33)

Final results

1. Christopher Lutz 2614 (Porz) Luke McShane 2620 (Werder) draw
2. Zbynek Hracek 2588 (Werder) Loek van Wely 2687 (Porz) draw
3. Ivan Sokolov 2662 (Porz) Yannick Pelletier 2610 (Werder) 1-0
4. Zahar Efimenko 2620 (Werder) Rafael Vaganian 2631 (Porz) 1-0
5. Alexander Beliavsky 2630 (Porz) Vlastimil Babula 2584 (Werder) draw
6. Tomi Nyback 2551 (Werder) Alexander Graf 2632 (Porz) 1-0
7. Mikhail Gurevich 2630 (Porz) Gennadij Fish 2525 (Werder) draw
8. Lars Schandorff 2497 (Werder) Erik van den Doel (Porz) draw


Chess Bundesliga poster that hung all over Bremen last week


Soccer superstar (!) Marco Bode gives a simul for children


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