DuoBeniaján wins Spanish Team Championship

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
10/22/2021 – The Spanish Team Chess Championship ‘División de Honor’ took place on October 11-17 in Toledo. DuoBeniaján, a team from Murcia headed by David Antón and Parham Maghsoodloo, got first place after obtaining 12/14 match points in the 8-team single round robin. Bosch Serinsys (Anton Korobov, Alexei Shirov) and Andreu Paterna (Paco Vallejo, David Howell) finished second and third respectively. | Photo: Patricia Claros

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Valencian teams reach the podium

Spain, one of the European countries with a stronger chess culture — especially in terms of organizing top-level tournaments — holds one of the most attractive team competitions on the Old Continent, the ‘División de Honor’. The yearly event is an 8-team single round robin. The tournament attracts strong squads, which are notably evenly matched. This year, for example, the top team had an average Elo rating of 2602, while the seventh seed had a 2521 rating average.

Bosch Serinsys, from the Valencian city of Silla, arrived in Toledo as the top seed and defending champion, with Anton Korobov and Alexei Shirov on the first two boards. The rating favourites ended up in second place, after losing their second-round match against the eventual champions of DuoBeniaján and drawing Magic Extremadura in round 4.

Las year’s silver medallists, Andreu Paterna, also from Valencia, got third place, as they lost against DuoBeniaján and Bosch Serinsys. The team led by Paco Vallejo had won the Rapid Team Championship that took place before the classical event.

After convincingly beating Bosch Serinsys in round 2, DuoBeniaján became the favourite to take the title. But there are no easy matches in the tournament — the second seeds from Murcia lost their round-5 match against Jaime Casas, a squad representing the city of Monzón led by the Ukrainian duo of Yuriy Kryvoruchko and Yuriy Kuzubov.

Going into the last round, DuoBeniaján had a 1-point lead over Bosch Serinsys and Andreu Paterna. In the deciding clash between the eventual winners and Andreu Paterna, a victory by José ‘Pepe’ Cuenca on board 5 was the only decisive game of the match, giving the team from Murcia overall victory.

David Anton, David Howell

David Antón (DuoBeniaján) facing David Howell (Andreu Paterna) | Photo: Patricia Claros

Pepe Cuenca was interviewed by the Spanish Chess Federation, and he emphasized the importance of the work made by Emilio Sánchez and Sonia Gil, the team’s captains and promoters: “I am very happy for them because they work very hard — they have been trying hard for a long time, and this year they made it. I’m very happy to have contributed to the triumph”.

The player from Granada highlighted the union within the club and the camaraderie of the players: “There has been a very good atmosphere in the team — we have worked as a team and that is very important in these tournaments. I’ve met people like Parham (Maghsoodloo), Mchedlishvili and Nino (Batsiashvili), who are great fun. The good atmosphere has somehow been transferred to the board and that translated into overall victory”.

DuoBeniaján Costa Cálida

The winning squad — David Antón, José Cuenca, Mikheil Mchedlishvili, Parham Maghsoodloo, Nino Batsiashvili and José Carlos Ibarra | Photo: Patricia Claros

In the key round-2 encounter between DuoBeniaján and Bosch Serinsys, the winners of the match (and the tournament) scored victories on boards 2, 4 and 5. Parham Maghsoodloo got the better of Alexei Shirov with the black pieces on second board.

Shirov, Alexei (2659) - Maghsoodloo, Parham (2701)
División de Honor 2021 (2.14), 12.10.2021 [André Schulz]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0–0 Be7 6.d3 d6 7.Bxc6+ bxc6 A rather rare position out of a Ruy Lopez, with a delayed exchange on c6.

8.d4 Bg4 [In a few predecessor games, 8...exd4 was Black’s choice]


9.dxe5 Nxe4 10.h3 Bh5 11.Qe2 d5 White has not achieved much with his approach in the opening. Black is very comfortable.

12.c4 0–0 13.Nbd2 Nc5 14.Rd1 f5 [14...f6!?]

15.Nb3 Ne4 16.Qd3 Qe8!?


Black goes on the attack and burns a few bridges while doing so.

17.cxd5 Rd8 18.Qxa6 Qg6 19.Kf1 f4 [Black now threatens 20.-- Nxf2 21.Kxf2 Qg3+ 22.Kf1 Bxf3 23.gxf3 Qxf3+.] [The variation with 19...Bxf3!? 20.gxf3 Qh5 should not to be dismissed either.]

20.Nbd4? [20.Rd4!? Nxf2 could be responded by 21.Qxc6.]



White is lost but kept on trying.

21.Bxf4 [21.Re1 Rxd4 22.Nxd4 Nxf2 23.Kxf2 Qg3+ 24.Kf1 f3 wins for Black.]

21...Rxf4 22.Nxc6 threatening a deadly fork from e7.


22...Rxd1+ 23.Rxd1 Bf8 24.Qa8 Qf7 25.Ncd4 Rxf3 26.gxf3 Bxf3 27.Nxf3 Qxf3 28.Qd5+ Kh8 [White resigned in view of 29.Qd4 Ng3+ 30.Kg1 Qh1#.] 0–1

Final standings

  Team MP Pts Rtg. Avg. City
1 DuoBeniaján Costa Cálida 12 27.5 2598 Murcia (Murcia)
2 C.A. Silla - Bosch Serinsys 11 27 2603 Silla (Valencia)
3 Andreu Paterna 9 22.5 2586 Paterna (Valencia)
4 Magic Extremadura 6 20.5 2556 Mérida (Badajoz)
5 C.A. Jaime Casas de Monzón 6 19.5 2521 Monzón (Huesca)
6 Sestao Hotel Naval 5 18.5 2534 Sestao (Vizcaya)
7 Gros Xake Taldea 5 18 2524 San Sebastián (Guipuzcoa)
8 Club Deportivo Xadrex Ourense 2 14.5 2447 Orense (Orense)

All pairings and results at info64.org

All games



Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.


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