An amazing game at the European Club Cup 2019

by Sagar Shah
11/15/2019 – The European Club Cup is witnessing some fantastic games. Five out of seven rounds have been completed and the Italian team of Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova is leading with a perfect score of 10.0/10. In the women's section there is a tie between the Georgian team Nona and the Ukrainian Kyiv Chess Federation. IM SAGAR SHAH reports on the results and the performances with a special focus on the amazing game between Ivan Saric and Aydin Suleymanli.

Fascinated by the French Winawer Fascinated by the French Winawer

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Saric shines

Before we tell you about how things stand at the European Club Cup 2019. We would like to show you a game that happened between the leaders Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova and Team Vugar Gashimov. It was the fifth board clash between Ivan Saric with white and Aydin Suleymanli with Black. Saric is a world-class GM from Croatia. His opponent Suleymanli is one of the brightest young talents of Azerbaijan chess, who recently won the gold medal at the World Youth under-14. Quite a lot was at stake on this game as the score was 3:2 in favour of the Italian team when the game reached the endgame.

The start of the all important clash between Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova and Vugar Gashimov

Let's have a look at a few of the critical moments in the game. Things started to get complicated when Black played the move ...g5!?


White took the pawn on h5 with his knight and after g4, he was forced to sacrifice an exchange on f5.


Saric came up with this very interesting concept here ♗e3!? After ♞xe3 xe3 xe3 fxe3, we reach the following position:


Let's take stock of this position. White has a pawn and a minor piece for a rook. But look at his pawns. Aren't they hideous? Well, they look ugly, but the h4 pawn is fantastic passed pawn and the knight is well-placed on f6. Black on the other hand has a nice structure, but his g4 pawn is slightly weak, and he has absolutely no control on the dark squares. All in all the position is dynamically even.


Aydin decided to give up his pawn so that he can create a passed pawn on the queenside and his rooks have files to infiltrate.


I guess if it wasn't a team event, Suleymanli would have taken on h7 which would have led to a position of dynamic balance. But because his team needed him to win, he went in with Ra2!?


White is quite a bit of material down! But he has managed to trap the rook on h8 and also the central pawns are free to move! If you look at it, somehow the position is just much more fun to play as White!


What would you do here as Black? ♚xe7 dxe8=♕ ♚xe8 leads to a position that is quite difficult to assess. But the right assessment of this position is a draw! In the game Suleymanli felt that he should take on d7 and even that would end in a draw. However, it was not to be.


A brilliant game by both sides. Congratulations to both the players, especially to Saric who took a lot of risk in the game!


After five rounds at the European Club Cup we have a sole leader in the open section: the Italian club of Obiettivo Risacrimento Padova. 

Michael Adams has been rock solid on board no.2 for the Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova team with 3.0/4 | Photo: Official website

Richard Rapport has also shown great form on board 1 with 2½/3, but the real hard-hitter has been Vallejo Pons and Gawain Jones on boards four and five with 3½/4 | Photo: Official website

Mamedyarov has a score of 2½/3 with a 2900+ performance | Photo: Official website

The top seed of the event Alkaloid lost an important game in round three against the second seeded Mednyi Vsadnik. While all the games ended in a draw it was Pavel Ponkratov on board five who scored the win over Yuriy Kryvoruchko.

Standings after round 5 (Open)

Rk. Team  TB1 
1 Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova 10
2 Mednyi Vsadnik 9
3 SK Joly Lysa nad Labem 9
4 Alkaloid 8
5 Moscow Chess Team 8
6 Vugar Gashimov 8
7 AVE Novy Bor 8
8 Primorsky District 8
9 Valerenga 8
10 Molodezka 8

Women's section

Team Nona of Georgia are in the lead with 8.0/10. They have three wins and two draws.

NONA: Bela Khotenashvili (board 4)Nino Batsiashvili (board 3) | Photo: Official website

Anna Muzychuk along with her sister Mariya Muzychuk are playing on boards 2 and 1 respectively for the team Kyiv Chess Federation and they are also on 8.0/10. | Photo: Official website

Standings after round 5 (Women)

Rk. Team  TB1 
1 Nona 8
2 Kyiv Chess Federation 8
3 Cercle d`Echecs Monte Carlo 7
4 Odlar Yurdu 6
5  AVE Novy Bor 6
6 Ugra 6
7 Caissa Pentole Agnelli 6
8 ZSK Maribor 5
9 SPB Chess and Draughts Sport School 5
10 Jelica PEP 4
11 Rishon Lezion 4
12 Gambit Asseco SEE 3
13 Hertzeliya Chess Club 2
14 MNE Woman Chess 0

All Games (Open)


All Games (Women)



Sagar is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder and CEO of ChessBase India, the biggest chess news portal in the country. His YouTube channel has over a million subscribers, and to date close to a billion views. ChessBase India is the sole distributor of ChessBase products in India and seven adjoining countries, where the software is available at a 60% discount. compared to International prices.


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