Luxemburg wins Small Nations Team Tournament

by André Schulz
5/4/2015 – With the US Championship, the Gashimov Memorial, the match between Kasparov and Short, and the World Team Championships in Armenia (men) and China (women), April was a busy chess month. Another, albeit smaller, team tournament took place in Guernsey on the Channel Islands. The European Small Nation Team Championships. Luxemburg won convincingly.

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European Small Nation Team Championships

The European Small Nation Team Championships were played from 18. to 25. April in Guernsey. It was the fourth chess championship of this kind. Previously, the tournament took place in Andorra, Klaksvik (Faroe Islands), and in Monte Carlo. Presumably the idea for this chess tournament was inspired by the "Games of the Small States of Europe", a kind of Olympic Games for states with less than a million inhabitants.

The Faroe Islands won two of the four previous tournaments - in 2009 and in 2013. In 2011 Luxemburg won. This year the Chess Federation of Guernsey hosted the event and invited to the Les Cotis Hotel in St. Peter Port. Chief organiser Fred Hamperl took care that everything went smoothly.

Naturally, the European Small Nation Team Championships were not as strong as the "real" European Championships. However, a number of grandmasters took part: GM Oscar De La Riva Aguado (Andorra), GM Algimantas Butnorius (Monaco), and GM Igor Efimov (Monaco). But at the end of the tournament the best scorers were Martin Poulsen from the Faroe Islands and Michael Wiedenkeller from Luxemburg.

Luxemburg also had the best team. They scored 17 of 18 possible points, and won all their matches apart from their match against the defending champions from the Faroe Islands, which was drawn. The Faroe Islands conceded two more draws and finished third on tie-break. Monaco won silver.

The encounter between Hogni Egilstoft Nielsen (right) and CM Mario Kobler
won the prize for the best game of the tournament.

GM Igor Efimov (Monaco)

The team from Jersey (left): Louis Joualt, FM Jon Hawes, Tito Kahn and CM Garry Forbes.
The player on the right is CM Colin Pace from Malta.

Luxemburg against Liechtenstein

Final standings

Rk. Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 Luxembourg  *  2 4 3 3 3 17 27.0 0
2 Monaco  *  2 4 4 3 15 26.5 0
3 Faroe Islands 2 2  *  2 3 3 4 3 15 26.0 0
4 Andorra 0 2  *  2 2 3 4 3 11 21.0 0
5 Malta 1 0 ½ 2  *  3 4 9 17.0 0
6 Cyprus ½ 1 2 1  *  3 7 15.5 0
7 Guernsey 1 0 1 1  *  3 3 6 14.5 0
8 Liechtenstein ½ 0 0 1  *  3 2 5 12.0 0
9 San Marino ½ 1 ½ 1 1  *  4 12.0 0
10 Jersey 1 ½ 1 ½ 0 1 1 2  *  1 8.5 0

Chess-results...

The blitz tournament was won by IM Rodgaard from the Faroe Islands.

Blitz tournament

Rk.   Name Rtg FED Pts.  TB1   TB2 
1 IM Rodgaard John 2340 FAI 6.0 29.5 21.0
2 IM Smith Axel 2470 SWE 5.5 30.0 22.5
3   Poulsen Martin 2252 FAI 5.5 26.5 17.5
4 IM Wiedenkeller Michael 2470 LUX 5.0 29.0 20.5
5   Gengler Pierre 2195 LUX 5.0 24.5 17.0
6   Klerides Paris 2282 CYP 4.5 32.0 23.0
7   Ribbergren Karl-Johan 2221 MNC 4.5 30.5 22.5
8   Andreasen Joan Hendrik 2225 FAI 4.5 28.5 21.0
9   Linster Phillippe 2239 LUX 4.5 24.0 16.5
10 FM Mossong Hubert 2085 LUX 4.5 21.0 16.5

... 34 participants

The players from the Faroe Islands won bronze

 Monaco won silver - thanks to their better tie-break

The winners from Luxemburg

(Front from left to right): arbiter David Sedgwick, his assistant Kevin Thurlow, Judge Russell Finch, Toby Brookfield. (Back): Peter Rowe, President of the Chess Federation Guernsey, Linda Rowe, Willy Iclicki, FIDE, Ion Dobronauteanu, ECU, Alison Hamperl.

Pictures: Tournament page

Links

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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