Alkaloid triumphs at the European Club Cup in Novi Sad

by Marco Baldauf
11/15/2016 – Alkaloid, a team from Macedonia, won the European Club Cup. Alkaloid won the first five matches and drew the last two to finish first. Best scorer on the team was Chinese Grandmaster Yu Yangyi (photo). Place two went to Mednyi Vsadnik with Peter Svidler on top board. Vasily Ivanchuk won gold for the best performance on board one.

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Alkaloid triumphs in Novi Sad

Photos: Lennart Ootes

From 5th to 13th November the European Club took place in Novi Sad (Serbia). Top players such as Vladimir Kramnik, Levon Aronian, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Anish Giri etc. played in Novi Sad. 62 teams competed in the Open, 14 in the Women's Tournament, both played seven rounds Swiss.

Gold: Alkaloid

The team Alkaloid started as the number two seed and deserved the win, particularly because they showed a real team effort: they lost only two single games, all players had good results and the team won or drew all crucial matches against its direct rivals.

The winners from team Alkaloid

In round five the Macedonians took a big step towards the title by winning narrowly against St. Petersburg, the team that eventually finished second. The game on board five was crucial:



In round six Alkaloid played against top Syberia and went through some fearful before finally securing a 3-3 draw.



Yu Yangyi scored 5.5/7 and was a cornerstone of Alkaloid's triumph.

In the last round Alkaloid played against SHMS Legacy Square team from Moscow and needed only one team-point to win the title. They had no problems to secure this point.

Silver: Mednyi Vsadnik

Mednyi Vsadnik from St. Petersburg had a strong and motivated team and started the tournament with three clear wins, followed by a smooth 4.5-1.5 victory in round four against VSK Sveti Nikolaj Srpski from Serbia. After losing against Alkaloid in round five they came back with a vengeance, beating Beer Sheva (ISR) 5-1. In the last round match against top seed Syberia they secured the silver medal. Peter Svidler, board one of Petersburg, was in excellent shape: he won against Shakriyar Mamedyarov and Ding Liren, two world-class players.

Peter Svidler was in great shape and led his team to place two.

In the final round Mednyi Vsadnik played against Siberia and it took Peter Svidler and his team some effort to draw the match after Leinier Dominguez Perez - Mednyi Vsadniks' board two - fell victim to Anish Giri's fine endgame technique and Bu Xiangzhi Bu and Peter Svidler had to cope with a pawn-deficit in the endgame. But in the end they both managed to hold their games and Mednyi Vsadnik won silver.

Giri-Dominguez Perez



A close match: Mednyi Vsadnik against Syberia


Bronze: SHSM Legacy Square Moskau

No doubt a surprisingly good result of the team from Moscow which ranked eighth in the starting list. Legacy Square played without their top player Sergey Karjakin and the experts doubted the chances of the Moscovites to win a medal. But Daniil Dubov had a fantastic 5.0/7 score on board two, and Vladimir Malakhov (5.5/7) and Vadim Zvjaginsev (5/6) also scored well.

The 20-year old Daniil Dubov from Legacy Square Moskau.

(By the way: I heard that "Legacy Square" is a mistranslation of the Russian name of the club. It should rather be "Allowed Square" or "Possible Square", indicating the idea of moving a piece or a pawn to a certain square while conforming to the rules.)

Ashdod finished fourth. With an Elo-performance of 2888 Ashdod's top board Vasily Ivanchuk played an excellent tournament.

After his excursion to the world of draughts Vasily Ivanchuk celebrated a comeback and won gold for the best performance on board one.


Final standings after seven rounds

Rg. Team  Wtg1 
1 Alkaloid 12
2 Mednyi Vsadnik 11
3 SHSM Legacy Square Moscow 11
4 Ashdod 11
5 Odlar Yurdu 11
6 Syberia 11
7 Zhiguli 10
8 AVE Novy Bor 10
9 VSK Sveti Nikolaj Srpski 10
10 Schachgesellschaft Zurich 10
11 Ladya Kazan 10
12 OR Padova 9
13 AEM Luxten Timisoara 9
14 SV Werder Bremen 9
15 SK Dunajska Streda 9
16 LugPokerChess 9
17 Crvena Zvezda 9
18 Beer Sheva Chess Club 8
19 LSG IntelliMagic 8
20 Schachgesellschaft Riehen 8


62 teams



The Women's Tournament was less exciting. The favorites from Monte Carlo won in round three against NONA Batumi, their greatest rival, and after that showed focus until the end of the tournament. Monte Carlo won all seven matches and Women's World Champion Hou Yifan scored 7.0/7 on board one. With 6.5/7 former Women's World Champion Mariya Muzychuk scored only half-a-point less on board three.

Final standings after seven rounds

Rg. Snr Team Anz   +    =    -   Wtg1   Wtg2 
1 1 Cercle d'Echecs Monte-Carlo 7 7 0 0 14 152,0
2 2 NONA Batumi 7 5 1 1 11 127,5
3 3 Ugra Chess Club 7 5 0 2 10 126,5
4 10 ASD C.S.R. Fischer Chieti 7 3 2 2 8 78,0
5 5 Odlar Yurdu 7 3 2 2 8 75,5
6 9 Ladya Kazan 7 4 0 3 8 62,0
7 6 Chigorin Chess Club St Petersburg 7 3 1 3 7 89,0
8 7 Jelica PEP - Goracici 7 3 1 3 7 65,0
9 4 SHSM Legacy Square Moscow 7 3 0 4 6 86,0
10 11 Midland Monarchs 7 1 3 3 5 61,0
11 8 SS Lazio Scacchi 7 2 0 5 4 65,5
12 13 ASVOE Pamhagen 7 2 0 5 4 27,0
13 12 Rishon Le Zion 7 1 1 5 3 41,5
14 14 Kaunas CC Margiris 7 1 1 5 3 39,0

Mariya Muzychuk ...

... and Hou Yifan shine and help Monte Carlo to win gold.




Tournament page

Complete standings at chess-results

Marco Baldauf, born 1990, has been playing since he was eight. In 2000 and 2002 he became German Junior Champion, in 2014 he became International Master. He plays for SF Berlin in the Bundesliga.


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