Icewalker grabs Champions Challenge

7/9/2003 – The first Champions Challenge, the new knock-out tournament for title holders on our server at www.playchess.com, became easy prey of Icewalker, a.k.a. Einar Gausel. The Norwegian grandmaster cooly swept away all opponents to rake in the prize of 2.000 ducats. Next Saturday we have the second edition, open to all Kings.

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The first Champions Challenge was won by GM Einar Gausel. The Norwegian grandmaster (FIDE-ELO 2504) uses the nick "icewalker" when cruising on the server. His current server-rating is 2814, putting him on place 5 of the rating-list. Einar received 2.000 ducats, which is about € 200, for his success. Tournament director Reinhold Goldau had no difficulties at all to find 32 starters, including 2 GM and 6 IM, and the tournament could start on time. After 3h 15 minutes the winner of the KO-Match-Tournament was established.

Before turning to the individual rounds, one more word about being eligible for this tournament. The details can be found here. If you didn't qualify through succeeding in one of the tournaments of the week before, the rank and the rating on the server is of crucial importance. Thus, if you want to increase your chances to participate, you should keep an eye on your rank and rating.

But now let's have a look at the tournament. The first round had already some surprises in store:

1. Round  
 coca vs  Marc_G 2:0(0)
 Janus vs  toledo 2:0(0)
 Chessbolo vs  Peter2500 2:0(0)
 PracticePlay vs  Mester 0:2(0)
 Kendo vs  FHdf 2:0(0)
 Kobra vs  jrt 1:2(0)
 Bullmover vs  mfrenkie 2:0(0)
 frozenshade vs  Umumba 2:0(0)
 TigerTAD vs  MANSKE 2:0(0)
 zoranp vs  tinz 0:2(0)
 tomlent vs  mrhot70 1:2(2)
 icewalker vs  flugzeug 2:0(0)
 Ritschi vs  Fariasov 2:0(0)
 Klosterfrau vs  Golden eye 2:0(0)
 Drunken Diva vs  dauerlenz 2:1(1)
 Zayats vs  Kleeschaetzky 2:0(1)

Kobra (2583) - jrt (2348)
25.Nxf4?? better is 25.gxf4 to answer 25. - Nh4 with 26.Nd4 25. -  N6xe5 26.Qg2 Qxg2+ 27.Nxg2 Nxd3 and Black is winning 0-1 (77)

Thus the experienced server-player Thorsten Michael Haub, better known as the Kobra, bit the dust against the correspondence-chess IM and chess-teacher from Singapore, Junior Tay. Whereas the first two games were both rather clear-cut affairs for the winner, the third game for a long time was up for grabs, until the Kobra lost control in a difficult liquidation and was starting to fall behind. In a gripping time-trouble finale Junior Tay managed to realize his advantage.

 

After this surge of adrenaline Junior Tay's break was not long enough to be sufficiently prepared for his next opponent, Jörg Wegerle. With 0:2 Junior Tay met his fate. 

(50) tinz (2425) - TigerTAD (2636)

57.c7
(57.Kh1 +-) Nf3+ 58.Kh3 Rxg8 59.Rd8 Rg3# 0-1

The tournament also came to an end for Martin Zumsande, who in the first round somewhat surprisingly eliminated the International Master ZoranP. . In the position to the left Martin Zumsande, who has the white pieces, is winning. It was the first game and after the quiet 57.Kh1 everything would have been over. However, White became impatient and played c7, after which he was mated.

Another interesting encounter took place between Kay-Rudolph Wornath (Bullmover) and Tomi Nybäck (frozenshade), which the latter could win after four bitterly contested games.

Last Sixteen  
 coca vs  Janus 2:0(0)
 Chessbolo vs  Mester 2:0(1)
 Kendo vs  jrt 2:0(0)
 Bullmover vs  frozenshade 1:2(1)
 TigerTAD vs  tinz 2:0(0)
 mrhot70 vs  icewalker 0:2(0)
 Ritschi vs  Klosterfrau 0:2(0)
 Drunken Diva vs  Zayats 0:2(0)

In the quarterfinals more tough struggles ensued. Tomi Nybäck in particular had to fight hard again. He took six games to overcome Jörg Wegerle, though he finally had the better of it and emerged with an end result of 2:1. He won the second game and could keep this lead until the fifth game, in which he had to allow his opponent to equalize. However, Tomi countered immediately and was able to outplay Jörg Wegerle, who suffered from a bad opening.

The quarterfinal was also the end for one of the two grandmasters in the field. GM Igor Glek had to call it a day against IM Dennis Breder, the well-known trainer on the server. After five games the match was over. In an exciting decisive game Igor Glek lost on time in an equal position.

Quarterfinals  
 coca vs  Chessbolo 0:2(0)
 Kendo vs  frozenshade 1:2(3)
 TigerTAD vs  icewalker 0:2(0)
 Klosterfrau vs  Zayats 2:1(2)

Even though the results were pretty clear in the semifinals, the games were not. Dennis Breder, for example, was already a whole rook up in his first game against the eventual winner - though he was lost before -, which he, however, blundered away in one move - probably through a mouseslip. The second match saw something similar, when Chessbolo blundered a whole rook away - a one-mover - in an equal position. This proved to be too much of a shock and he also lost the second game.

Semifinals  
 Chessbolo vs  frozenshade 0:2(0)
 icewalker vs  Klosterfrau 2:0(1)

In the finals icewalker had the better of it. It was of decisive importance that he took five games less to reach the finals. His previous quick successes gave him longer breaks to recover. Tomi Nybäck was just too exhausted to put up much resistance against Einar Gausel in the duel of the Scandinavians.

Finals  
 frozenshade vs  icewalker

0:2(0)

All in all the tournament offered an entertaining afternoon, both for the spectators and the players. And thus there is every reason to look forward to the second edition, which will be played next Saturday.


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