ETCC R07: Russians forge further ahead!

by Sagar Shah
11/21/2015 – There is no stopping the Russian teams in both the sections of the European Team Championships 2015. Alexander Grischuk scored a crucial win over France to give the men a 2.5:1.5 victory. Latvia held Azerbaijan to a draw, and Georgia beat Ukraine! In the women’s section Russia sailed through against Hungary. Serbia managed to hold Georgia. We have pictures and loads of analysis.

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ETCC R07: Russians forge further ahead!

Two teams were in excellent form in the European Team Championships 2015 – Russia and France. In round seven they were pitted against each other. The Russian team, who had one point lead over the field, distanced themselves even further from the rest by beating France 2.5:1.5. The match was tense and interesting, but in the end it was Alexander Grischuk’s win over Laurent Fressinet which made the difference.

On the top board, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was able to probe Svidler’s Grunfeld,
but the Russian kept his calm and equalized the game

Maxime had dropped down to 2723 in June 2015. A string of powerful performances have helped him get back to a live rating of 2774 and eleventh in the world rankings. In the seventh round he played a well-timed e4-e5 advance against Svidler in the Grunfeld. It seemed as if the Frenchman had quite a tangible advantage, but then he made a few inaccuracies and Svidler was alert to get his counterplay.

[Event "20th European Teams"] [Site "Reykjavik ISL"] [Date "2015.11.20"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime"] [Black "Svidler, Peter"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E60"] [WhiteElo "2765"] [BlackElo "2745"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2015.11.13"] [WhiteTeam "France"] [BlackTeam "Russia"] [WhiteTeamCountry "FRA"] [BlackTeamCountry "RUS"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 Nc6 4. Nc3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bg7 8. Bb5 O-O 9. Ne2 Na5 10. Be3 Be6 11. Bf2 a6 12. Bd3 Bc4 13. O-O b5 14. Bxc4 Nxc4 15. Nc1 c5 16. Nb3 cxd4 17. cxd4 Qd6 18. Qe2 Qa3 19. Rab1 Rac8 20. Rfd1 Na5 21. Nc5 Nc6 {[#]} 22. e5 $1 {In the Grunfeld it is good to know when the move e4-e5 is well timed. In this particular case it is. Black would love to play e6, Ne7-d5. If he can get in these three moves he would be completely fine. However, in this given instance it is impossible to blockade the d5 square, and one of the main reasons is the offside queen on a3 is quite precariously placed and could get trapped.} e6 23. f4 Rc7 (23... Qa5 24. d5 $1 $16) (23... Ne7 24. Qd2 $1 {Threatening Rb3 to trap the queen.} Nd5 (24... Nc6 25. d5 $1 $16) 25. Rb3 $18) 24. d5 $1 exd5 25. Rxd5 $16 {White is clearly better.} Rd8 26. Rxd8+ Nxd8 27. Qd2 Nb7 28. Nxb7 (28. Rb3 Qa5 29. Qxa5 Nxa5 30. Ra3 Nb7 31. Nxb7 Rc1+ (31... Rxb7 32. Rxa6 $16) 32. Be1 Rxe1+ 33. Kf2 Rc1 34. Rxa6 $16 { is an extra pawn for White.}) 28... Rxb7 29. Rc1 h5 30. Rc8+ Kh7 31. h3 Qe7 32. Qd6 (32. Rc6 $14) 32... Qd7 $1 {Calm defence by Svidler. Slowly and steadily he has reduced White's initiative to almost nil.} 33. Qxd7 Rxd7 34. Bh4 Rd4 35. Bg5 Bh6 36. Bf6 Bg7 37. Bg5 Bh6 38. Bf6 Bg7 39. Bg5 1/2-1/2

Grischuk was the Russian hero, featuring in the only decisive game of the match

Take any recent tournament and you will see that the Berlin scores really well for Black. However in Reykjavik, White has been scoring heavily – five wins, four draws and one loss, that’s quite an achievement for the first player. On the losing side from black have been strong players like Leko, Aronian, Almasi, Eljanov and Fressinet. Is this the start of a new chapter in this opening where white is gaining an advantage in the endgame line? I do not think so. But one thing is for sure – white players are coming better prepared and are able to pose new problems to their opponents. This is exactly what Alexander Grischuk did in his game against Laurent Fressinet.

[Event "20th European Teams"] [Site "Reykjavik ISL"] [Date "2015.11.20"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Fressinet, Laurent"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C67"] [WhiteElo "2750"] [BlackElo "2712"] [PlyCount "85"] [EventDate "2015.11.13"] [WhiteTeam "Russia"] [BlackTeam "France"] [WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"] [BlackTeamCountry "FRA"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8+ Kxd8 9. h3 h6 10. Rd1+ Ke8 11. Nc3 Ne7 12. b3 Bf5 13. Nd4 Bh7 { Caruana-Carlsen from the Norway Chess Challenge was the top level game that reached this position.} 14. Nce2 (14. Bb2 Rd8 15. Nce2 {was how the Caruana-Carlsen game continued.}) 14... Rd8 15. Bb2 a6 16. c4 c5 17. Nf3 Nc6 18. Nf4 Bc2 19. Rxd8+ Nxd8 20. e6 $5 {Usually if White gets in this break he should be doing really well. But here the position is round about equal.} f6 { A pretty good reaction by Fressinet, but it was also possible to take the pawn. } (20... Nxe6 21. Re1 Kd7 22. Ne5+ Ke8 23. Nxf7 Kxf7 24. Nxe6 Bd6 25. Nxg7 Rg8 26. Nh5 Re8 $11 {In this endgame the two bishops will compensate for White's extra pawn.}) 21. Rc1 Bf5 (21... Bh7 $142) 22. Re1 Bd6 23. Nh4 $1 Bc2 24. Nh5 { From here on Grischuk tightens the noose on the position and Fressinet is never really able to get out of the bind.} Rh7 (24... Rg8 25. Bxf6 gxf6 26. Nxf6+ $18) 25. f4 $1 Nc6 26. g4 Nd4 27. f5 a5 28. Kf2 a4 29. bxa4 Bxa4 30. Re3 b6 31. Ng6 Kd8 32. Rd3 Kc8 33. Ke3 Bc2 34. Ra3 Nxe6 35. fxe6 Bxg6 36. Ra8+ Kb7 37. Rg8 f5 (37... Bb1 38. Rxg7 Rxg7 39. Nxg7 Bxa2 40. Bxf6 $18) 38. Bxg7 Bxh5 39. gxh5 Kc6 40. a4 Kb7 41. Bf6 Kc6 42. Rg7 Rh8 (42... Rxg7 43. Bxg7 Bh2 (43... Be7 44. Kf4 $18) 44. Bxh6 $18) 43. Rxc7+ {Quite a clean victory for Alexander Grischuk.} 1-0

Etienne Bacrot was so close to winning against Evgeny Tomashevsky
but couldn’t convert his material advantage

The final position from Etienne Bacrot – Evgeny Tomashevsky game

The last position from the game is an amusing fortress. Black keeps shuffling his king between f8 and f7 and there is nothing at all that White can do about it. Absolutely nothing! Bacrot saw the futility of continuing in this position, and agreed to a draw. But didn’t the French player have a chance to convert his advantage in an earlier stage of the game? Let’s have a look:

[Event "20th European Teams"] [Site "Reykjavik ISL"] [Date "2015.11.20"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Bacrot, Etienne"] [Black "Tomashevsky, Evgeny"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "D15"] [WhiteElo "2686"] [BlackElo "2743"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "142"] [EventDate "2015.11.13"] [WhiteTeam "France"] [BlackTeam "Russia"] [WhiteTeamCountry "FRA"] [BlackTeamCountry "RUS"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 a6 5. e3 Bf5 6. Ne5 Nbd7 7. Qb3 Qc7 8. cxd5 Nxe5 9. dxe5 Nxd5 10. Nxd5 cxd5 11. Bd2 (11. Qxd5 Rd8 12. Qb3 Bc2 13. Qc3 Qxc3+ 14. bxc3 Rd1+ 15. Ke2 e6 $44 {looks like excellent compensation.}) 11... Qxe5 $146 {Just a month ago Tomashevsky played this same opening against Postny in the European Club Cup. But in that tournament he was White. It is possible that he had prepared this novelty from the black side.} 12. Be2 (12. Rc1 $5) 12... Qd6 13. Qxb7 Rb8 14. Qa7 (14. Qxa6 Qxa6 15. Bxa6 Rxb2 $11) 14... Rxb2 15. Bd1 $1 {Bacrot finds this interesting idea of trapping the rook on b2 with Bb3. The rook cannot really retreat as Ba4+ is quite a strong threat.} f6 (15... Rb8 16. Ba4+ $18) 16. Bb3 Bc2 17. Qd4 Bxb3 18. Qxb2 Bc4 {For an exchange Black has a pawn and has prevented White from castling. However, one gets the feeling that White should have an edge here because he can safeguard his king with f3 Kf2.} 19. Rb1 Kf7 20. f3 g6 21. a4 Bg7 22. Qb4 Qe5 (22... Qd7 23. Kf2 Rc8 { might have been a better way to continue.}) 23. Kf2 Bd3 24. Bc3 Qf5 25. Rbd1 h5 26. Qd4 {Over the last few moves White has consolidated his position while Black has been unable to get his pieces into action. The rook on h8 is also quite passive. White is clearly better.} Bc2 (26... Bc4 27. e4 $1 $16) 27. Qxd5+ Qxd5 28. Rxd5 Bxa4 29. Rc1 $16 {Black faces a thankless defensive task ahead of him.} Rb8 30. Rc5 Rb6 31. Rc7 Re6 32. h4 Bb5 33. Bd4 Bf8 34. Ra7 Rd6 35. Rcc7 Re6 36. e4 Bd3 37. Rc8 Bg7 38. Rc3 Bb5 39. Rcc7 Bh6 40. g3 Bf8 41. Ra8 Bg7 42. Rb8 Bf8 43. Rb6 Rxb6 44. Bxb6 {The exchange of rooks is definitely progress for White, who can now use his king in the attack.} Ke6 45. f4 Bd3 46. Ke3 Bf1 47. Bc5 Kf7 48. Rc8 Bh3 49. Ra8 Bf1 50. Kd4 Be2 51. Rb8 Bf1 52. Kd5 $6 {This results in the loss of the e4 pawn and we reach the fortress that we have seen in the diagram above the game. Bacrot could have tried converting his advantage in a better way.} (52. Rb6 Be2 53. e5 $5 fxe5+ 54. fxe5 Bg7 55. Rb7 Bf8 56. Bb4 Bf1 57. Rb6 Bg7 58. Bd2 Be2 59. Bg5 Bf1 60. Rb7 Bf8 61. Rb2 ( 61. Kc5 Ke6) 61... Bh3 (61... Bb5 62. Rf2+ $18) 62. Rb6 a5 (62... Bf1 63. e6+ $18) 63. Ra6 Bg4 64. Rxa5 {Now this position is an entirely different matter. I am convinced that White will be able to break this blockade. Although the specifics will have to be worked out I think it will include forcing Black to play e7-e6 and then exchanging the dark squared bishops. The resulting rook vs bishop will be no fortress.}) 52... Bg2 53. Rb2 e6+ 54. Kc4 Bxe4 55. Bxf8 Kxf8 56. Kd4 Bf5 {Tomashevsky has seen that he will lose both his e6 and a6 pawns but will still be able to draw the game.} 57. Rb7 Bg4 58. Ra7 Bf5 59. Rxa6 Ke7 60. Rb6 Kf7 61. Rb7+ Kf8 62. Ra7 Bg4 63. Kc5 Bh3 64. Kd6 Bg4 65. Rc7 Bh3 66. Re7 Bg4 67. Rxe6 Kf7 (67... Bxe6 $2 68. Kxe6 $18 {is a lost pawn endgame.}) 68. Re7+ Kf8 69. Rc7 Bh3 70. Rc1 Kf7 71. Re1 Bg4 {A very pretty and at the same time impregnable fortress.} 1/2-1/2

On the last board Jakovenko tried hard to win a pawn up endgame, but the game ended in a draw. With this victory Russia move to 13.0/14 match points, three points clear of the nearest rivals. A win in the next round will guarantee the gold medal for them. The Russian team faces Aronian and co. in the eighth round.

Thirteenth seeds in the event, Latvia, were on the verge of beating the third seeded Azerbaijani team. Igor Kovalenko played a sparkling attacking game against Teimour Radjabov, in a style which we associate with the legends of Lativa – Mikhail Tal and Alexei Shirov.

[Event "20th European Teams"] [Site "Reykjavik ISL"] [Date "2015.11.20"] [Round "7.2"] [White "Radjabov, Teimour"] [Black "Kovalenko, Igor"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C18"] [WhiteElo "2739"] [BlackElo "2694"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2015.11.13"] [WhiteTeam "Azerbaijan"] [BlackTeam "Latvia"] [WhiteTeamCountry "AZE"] [BlackTeamCountry "LAT"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e5 c5 5. a3 Bxc3+ 6. bxc3 Qa5 7. Bd2 Qa4 8. Qb1 c4 9. Nf3 Nc6 10. h4 Bd7 11. h5 h6 12. Be2 O-O-O 13. Nh4 Nge7 14. Qc1 Rdf8 15. Bf4 Qa5 16. Bd2 g5 17. Nf3 f6 18. exf6 Rxf6 19. O-O Qc7 20. Nh2 Nf5 21. Ng4 Rff8 22. Qb2 Nd6 23. Rae1 Ne4 24. Bc1 Be8 25. Ne3 Nf6 26. g4 Ne4 27. Ng2 Rf6 28. Bd1 Rhf8 {[#] White is in a huge bind. His kingside is under siege and all the Black pieces are fantastically placed. Radjabov tries to kick away the knight on e4, but he lands in a bigger hole.} 29. f3 Qg3 $1 30. Be3 (30. fxe4 Rf2 $19 {is curtains.}) 30... Rxf3 $1 {A very natural sacrifice for an attacking player like Kovalenko.} 31. Bxf3 Rxf3 32. Rxf3 Qxf3 33. Rf1 Qxg4 { Black has two pawns for the exchange and the h5 pawn is falling. The rest is pretty easy.} 34. Qa1 Qxh5 35. Rf8 Kd7 36. Qe1 Ke7 37. Rf1 Qh3 38. Bf2 Bh5 { [%cal Gh5f3] To beat a player like Teimour Radjabov in such a brutal fashion just shows how talented Kovalenko really is.} 0-1

Kovalenko is one of those players who has reached the 2700 Elo mark by just playing in open events. Soon he will be getting invitations in the top level Round Robins, and it will be great fun to watch a creative player like him in action against the best in the world.

Alexei Shirov was so close to a draw against Shakhiryar Mamedyarov,
but blew it in the end, which resulted in a 2:2 tie

[Event "20th European Teams"] [Site "Reykjavik ISL"] [Date "2015.11.20"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Shirov, Alexei"] [Black "Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C80"] [WhiteElo "2689"] [BlackElo "2743"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/5Rp1/r5P1/3K3P/5Pk1/8/1b6/8 w - - 0 94"] [PlyCount "10"] [EventDate "2015.11.13"] [WhiteTeam "Latvia"] [BlackTeam "Azerbaijan"] [WhiteTeamCountry "LAT"] [BlackTeamCountry "AZE"] {Shirov has been defending well in this endgame for quite some time. All he needs to do is exchange the last g7 pawn for one of his pawns or win the bishop due to the threat of queening a pawn. Alexei begins with the right move. } 94. h6 gxh6 95. f5 $2 {Now Black is able to easily blockade the pawns using his rook, bishop and king.} (95. g7 $2 Rg6 $19) (95. Rb7 $1 {This move would have given White the draw. The point being that the bishop has no real good squares on the board to go to.} Ba1 96. g7 Ra5+ (96... Rg6 97. Rb1 {[%cal Gb1g1]} Bxg7 98. Rg1+ Kf5 99. Rxg6 Kxg6 100. Ke4 $11 {The king jogs back to the h1 square.}) 97. Ke4 Ra8 98. Ra7 $1 Re8+ 99. Kd3 Bf6 (99... Bb2 100. Rb7 Bf6 101. Rf7 $11) 100. Rf7 Bxg7 101. Rxg7+ $11) 95... Kg5 96. Ke4 Ra8 97. Kf3 Bf6 98. Rh7 Rg8 {Next up is Bg7 and then the king picks up the f5 and g6 pawn or it goes to f6 and the rook does the needful.} 0-1

The biggest upset of the round was the victory of Georgia over Ukraine. Baadur Jobava against Vassily Ivanchuk ended in a draw. Pavel Eljanov had the white pieces against Mikheil Mchedlishvili. As we all know well by now, Pavel is extremely dangerous with white. He was able to easily beat his Georgian opponent. In spite of his loss yesterday to Fressinet, Eljanov is gaining rating in this tournament. He now has a live rating of 2760 and is up to number 13 in the world.

Levan Pantsulaia is surely the player of the tournament at this point. He has a score of 5.5/7 and a rating performance of 2845. With victories over strong players like Kozul, Nepomniactchi and Kryvoruchko he is adding 25 Elo points to his modest rating of 2567.

Alexander Areschenko had a horrible day at the office. He was completely winning in the middlegame against Merab Gagunashvili. Later he made a few mistakes, but was still clearly better. Towards the end he was under such great time pressure that he lost all his advantage, and in a position that was far from clear, his flag fell. Quite a depressing turn of events for the Ukrainian team.

[Event "20th European Teams"] [Site "Reykjavik ISL"] [Date "2015.11.20"] [Round "7.4"] [White "Areshchenko, Alexander"] [Black "Gagunashvili, Merab"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B43"] [WhiteElo "2682"] [BlackElo "2539"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "102"] [EventDate "2015.11.13"] [WhiteTeam "Ukraine"] [BlackTeam "Georgia"] [WhiteTeamCountry "UKR"] [BlackTeamCountry "GEO"] 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Nc3 b5 6. Bd3 Bb7 7. O-O Nc6 8. Nxc6 Bxc6 9. Re1 Qb8 10. a4 b4 11. Nd5 Bd6 12. h3 Ne7 13. Nxe7 Bxe7 14. Qe2 a5 15. b3 O-O 16. Bb2 f6 17. Rad1 Qb6 18. Bb5 Rab8 19. Bxc6 Qxc6 20. Rd2 Rb7 21. Qg4 Rf7 22. Re3 g6 23. h4 Qc5 24. Red3 f5 25. exf5 Rxf5 26. Rf3 Rxf3 27. Qxf3 Rc7 28. Qe4 Bf8 29. Be5 d5 30. Qg4 Re7 31. h5 $1 $18 {White already has a decisive advantage.} Kf7 32. hxg6+ hxg6 33. Qf4+ (33. Re2 $1 $18 {with the idea of Qf4+ and Bd6 would be very strong, as then the rook on e2 would be better placed than on d2.}) 33... Ke8 34. Bd6 Bh6 35. Qg3 Qc3 36. Qxg6+ Kd7 37. Qxh6 (37. Bxe7 Qxd2 38. Bc5 {was pretty strong.}) 37... Kxd6 38. Re2 Qa1+ 39. Kh2 Re8 40. Qf4+ Kc6 41. f3 Qf1 42. Qe5 Kd7 43. Rd2 Re7 44. Kg3 Re8 45. Kh2 Re7 46. Kg3 Re8 47. Rd4 Qc1 48. Qe2 Rc8 49. Rg4 Qxc2 50. Rg7+ $2 (50. Qb5+ Kd6 51. Qxa5 Qxb3 52. Qb6+ $18 {[%cal Ga4a5] is still a winning situation for White.}) 50... Kd6 51. Qa6+ Ke5 {[#]Areshchenko's flag fell in this position.} 0-1

In the position where Areshchenko’s flag fell White no longer has an advantage as his pieces are badly co-ordinated. The king on e5 is quite safe. Yet this is far from lost. Alexander must have tried to find a way to mate the black king, and in the frustration of not finding it forgot about his clock. Credit must also be given to Merab Gagunashvili, who defended the position with great tenacity.

Magnus Carlsen drew his game with the white pieces against Ioannis Papaioannou

[Event "20th European Teams"] [Site "Reykjavik ISL"] [Date "2015.11.20"] [Round "7.1"] [White "Carlsen, Magnus"] [Black "Papaioannou, Ioannis"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "E11"] [WhiteElo "2850"] [BlackElo "2638"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "81"] [EventDate "2015.11.13"] [WhiteTeam "Norway"] [BlackTeam "Greece"] [WhiteTeamCountry "NOR"] [BlackTeamCountry "GRE"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Bb4+ 4. Bd2 Qe7 5. g3 Bxd2+ 6. Qxd2 Nc6 7. e3 d5 8. Bg2 dxc4 9. O-O e5 10. Nxe5 Nxe5 11. dxe5 Qxe5 12. Na3 O-O 13. Nxc4 Qe7 { White doesn't have much out of the opening but it is a typical Carlsenesque position where he can press with a slight edge.} 14. Rac1 Rd8 15. Qa5 c6 16. b4 Be6 17. Qc5 Qxc5 18. bxc5 Nd7 19. Na5 {White has good amount of pressure on the b7 and c6 pawns.} Rab8 20. a4 g6 (20... Nxc5 21. Rxc5 b6 {is not the right moment as the back rank is weak.} 22. Re5 bxa5 23. Rxa5 $14) 21. h3 {Carlsen couldn't see anything better than to make some luft for his king. Papaioannou now executes a liquidating combination, but I am unsure whether he can fully equalize.} Nxc5 22. Rxc5 b6 23. Rxc6 $6 (23. Re5 bxa5 24. Rxa5 $14 {might have been more irritating for Black to defend.}) 23... bxa5 24. Rc5 Rd2 25. Rxa5 Rbb2 {White has won a pawn but Black's activity is just too much. Bc4 is threatened.} 26. Rc5 Ra2 27. a5 Ra3 28. g4 Rda2 29. Bd5 Bxd5 30. Rxd5 Rxa5 31. Rfd1 Rxd5 32. Rxd5 h6 33. Kg2 a5 34. h4 Kg7 35. h5 g5 36. Kf3 Ra4 37. Rc5 Kf6 38. Rc6+ Kg7 39. Ra6 Kh7 40. Kg3 Ra3 41. Kg2 1/2-1/2

Team pairings and results of round seven

No. Sd Team
Pts.
MP
Res.
:
Res.
MP
Pts.
Team Sd
1 4 France
15
10
:
11
16
Russia 1
2 13 Latvia
15
8
2
:
2
9
16
Azerbaijan 3
3 17 Georgia
15
8
:
8
13½
Ukraine 2
4 14 Spain
14
8
:
8
14½
Hungary 7
5 8 Poland
13½
8
1
:
3
8
14½
Armenia 6
6 9 Netherlands
13
7
3
:
1
7
13
England 5
7 12 Czech Republic
13½
7
:
7
12½
Germany 10
8 16 Croatia
12½
6
0
:
4
6
11
Serbia 15
9 31 Finland
11
6
1
:
3
6
12½
Italy 23
10 11 Norway
12½
6
3
:
1
6
11½
Greece 18
11 20 Romania
13½
6
:
6
12½
Moldova 25
12 24 Iceland
11
5
1
:
3
5
11½
Turkey 19
13 22 Sweden
11
5
3
:
1
5
12
Slovenia 21
14 28 Switzerland
11½
5
3
:
1
5
11
Montenegro 29
15 33 Lithuania
10
5
2
:
2
4
9
Iceland Legends 27
16 32 Belgium
3
3
:
1
4
Faroe Islands 34
17 26 Austria
11½
3
4
:
0
2
9
Kosovo* 36
18 30 Denmark
2
4
:
0
1
3
Scotland 35

Full board results of round seven

Rankings after seven rounds

Rk. SNo FED Team
  + 
  = 
  – 
 TB1 
 TB2   TB3 
1 1 RUS Russia
6
1
0
13
135,0 18,5
2 4 FRA France
4
2
1
10
124,5 16,5
3 3 AZE Azerbaijan
4
2
1
10
118,0 18,0
4 6 ARM Armenia
4
2
1
10
111,5 17,5
5 17 GEO Georgia
4
2
1
10
108,5 17,5
6 7 HUN Hungary
4
2
1
10
108,0 17,0
7 10 GER Germany
4
1
2
9
97,0 15,0
8 13 LAT Latvia
4
1
2
9
91,0 17,0
9 9 NED Netherlands
4
1
2
9
88,5 16,0
10 2 UKR Ukraine
4
0
3
8
111,0 15,0
11 14 ESP Spain
4
0
3
8
108,0 15,5
12 8 POL Poland
3
2
2
8
101,5 14,5
13 23 ITA Italy
3
2
2
8
101,0 15,5
14 15 SRB Serbia
3
2
2
8
97,5 15,0
15 11 NOR Norway
4
0
3
8
88,0 15,5
16 25 MDA Moldova
3
2
2
8
86,0 15,0
17 5 ENG England
2
3
2
7
104,0 14,0
18 12 CZE Czech Republic
2
3
2
7
82,5 15,0
19 19 TUR Turkey
3
1
3
7
76,5 14,5
20 22 SWE Sweden
3
1
3
7
75,5 14,0
21 28 SUI Switzerland
3
1
3
7
74,5 14,5
22 16 CRO Croatia
2
2
3
6
73,0 12,5
23 31 FIN Finland
3
0
4
6
70,5 12,0
24 20 ROU Romania
2
2
3
6
69,5 15,0
25 18 GRE Greece
2
2
3
6
69,0 12,5
26 33 LTU Lithuania
2
2
3
6
61,5 12,0
27 29 MNE Montenegro
1
3
3
5
81,0 12,0
28 21 SLO Slovenia
2
1
4
5
69,5 13,0
29 26 AUT Austria
2
1
4
5
63,0 15,5
30 24 ISL Iceland
2
1
4
5
61,0 12,0
31 27 ISL Iceland Legends
2
1
4
5
53,0 11,0
32 32 BEL Belgium
2
1
4
5
41,5 11,5
33 30 DEN Denmark
2
0
5
4
59,0 12,5
34 34 FAI Faroe Islands
2
0
5
4
25,5 9,5
35 36 KOS Kosovo*
1
0
6
2
41,5 9,0
36 35 SCO Scotland
0
1
6
1
14,5 3,0

Women's section

The Russian team continued their dominance in the women’s section with a clinical 3:1 victory over Hungary. Valentina Gunina and Aleksandra Goryachkina provided the wins for Russia to take their match point tally to 13.0/14.

Valentina Gunina played an interesting opening novelty and then
followed it up with some amazing power play chess against Petra Papp

[Event "20th European Teams Women"] [Site "Reykjavik ISL"] [Date "2015.11.20"] [Round "7.3"] [White "Gunina, Valentina"] [Black "Papp, Petra"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D85"] [WhiteElo "2516"] [BlackElo "2303"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2015.11.13"] [WhiteTeam "Russia"] [BlackTeam "Hungary"] [WhiteTeamCountry "RUS"] [BlackTeamCountry "HUN"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 d5 4. cxd5 Nxd5 5. g3 Bg7 6. Bg2 Nxc3 7. bxc3 c5 8. e3 Qa5 9. Bd2 O-O 10. Nh3 $5 $146 {Gunina made this move in just 21 seconds, which clearly meant that she had come prepared for the line.} Nc6 11. f4 $5 Qc7 12. Nf2 e6 13. h4 $5 {[%csl Gc3,Gd4,Ge3,Gf4,Gg3,Gh4] Just imagine that the light squared bishops are off the board - Black would be clearly better. This is the reason why Petra gets her bishop to b7 with her next move.} b6 14. h5 Bb7 15. hxg6 fxg6 $6 (15... hxg6 $1 $15 {looks risky but it's not easy for White to make use of the h-file. Black should be totally fine here.}) 16. Qg4 Rae8 17. Ne4 cxd4 18. cxd4 e5 $6 {Petra clearly understands that she should be getting to the white king who is sitting pretty in the center. However, she misses a strong tactical stroke by Gunina.} 19. Rxh7 $3 Nxd4 (19... Kxh7 20. Ng5+ Kg8 (20... Kh8 21. Qh4+ Kg8 22. Qh7#) 21. Bd5+ Rf7 22. Bxf7+ $18) 20. Rc1 $1 (20. exd4 $2 exf4 $17) 20... Qe7 (20... Qf7 21. Nd6 $18) 21. Qxg6 Qf7 (21... exf4 22. Ng5 $1 {The threat of Rh8+ followed by Qh7# is decisive.}) 22. Rxg7+ Qxg7 23. Qxg7+ Kxg7 24. Rc7+ Rf7 25. Nd6 $1 Ree7 26. Rxb7 Rxb7 27. exd4 exf4 28. Bxb7 Rd7 29. Bxf4 {A very interesting and fighting game with a sparkling finish by Gunina.} 1-0

Heartbreaker Petra realized that she had to create
some counterplay but was unable to control the tactics

Miss dependable for the Russian team: Aleksandra Goryachkina with +4 =2 on board four

The big news of round four was Serbia drawing their game against Georgia. Nana Dzagnidze lost her game to Jovana Vojinovic. Nino Batsiashvili pulled one back, but the other two games ended in draws.

Jovana Vojinovic, girlfriend of Richard Rapport, created a huge upset
by beating Nana Dzagnidze [picture by Ray Morris Hill]

Meanwhile Mariya Muzychuk and her team blanked Austria with a score of 4:0

The Ukrainians are now in the second spot and the Georgians have been pushed back to third. Are there any more surprises left in store in the remaining two rounds in the women’s section? Let’s wait and watch!

Team pairings and results of round seven

No. Sd Team
Pts.
MP
Res.
:
Res.
MP
Pts.
Team Sd
1 2 Russia
17½
11
3
:
1
9
13½
Hungary 9
2 12 Serbia
15
8
2
:
2
10
14
Georgia 1
3 3 Ukraine
16
9
4
:
0
8
13½
Austria 19
4 4 Poland
14½
8
:
8
12½
Romania 8
5 5 France
14½
7
3
:
1
7
14
Turkey 14
6 7 Germany
14
7
3
:
1
7
13
Greece 17
7 6 Armenia
12
7
2
:
2
6
13½
Azerbaijan 13
8 18 England
15
6
:
6
13
Italy 15
9 16 Czech Republic
11½
6
1
:
3
5
12½
Spain 11
10 10 Netherlands
12
5
4
:
0
5
Switzerland 24
11 20 Slovenia
11
5
3
:
1
5
12
Lithuania 25
12 22 Montenegro
5
:
4
Iceland 29
13 21 Latvia
11½
4
4
:
0
4
9
Sweden 27
14 28 Belgium
3
:
3
9
Denmark 26
15 30 Finland
3
0
½
:
2
9
Norway 23

Full board results of round seven

Rankings after seven rounds

Rk. SNo FED Team
  + 
  = 
 – 
 TB1 
 TB2   TB3 
1 2 RUS Russia
6
1
0
13
162,5 20,5
2 3 UKR Ukraine
5
1
1
11
161,5 20,0
3 1 GEO Georgia
5
1
1
11
117,0 16,0
4 4 POL Poland
5
0
2
10
111,5 17,0
5 5 FRA France
4
1
2
9
121,5 17,5
6 12 SRB Serbia
3
3
1
9
109,5 17,0
7 9 HUN Hungary
4
1
2
9
99,5 14,5
8 7 GER Germany
4
1
2
9
99,0 17,0
9 8 ROU Romania
3
2
2
8
99,5 14,0
10 6 ARM Armenia
3
2
2
8
85,5 14,0
11 15 ITA Italy
4
0
3
8
81,5 15,5
12 19 AUT Austria
4
0
3
8
73,0 13,5
13 10 NED Netherlands
3
1
3
7
93,0 16,0
14 11 ESP Spain
3
1
3
7
88,0 15,5
15 14 TUR Turkey
3
1
3
7
87,0 15,0
16 13 AZE Azerbaijan
3
1
3
7
78,0 15,5
17 17 GRE Greece
3
1
3
7
74,5 14,0
18 20 SLO Slovenia
2
3
2
7
59,0 14,0
19 22 MNE Montenegro
3
1
3
7
45,0 11,0
20 21 LAT Latvia
3
0
4
6
80,5 15,5
21 18 ENG England
3
0
4
6
78,5 16,5
22 16 CZE Czech Republic
3
0
4
6
56,5 12,5
23 25 LTU Lithuania
2
1
4
5
76,5 13,0
24 24 SUI Switzerland
1
3
3
5
54,0 9,5
25 26 DEN Denmark
2
1
4
5
41,5 11,5
26 23 NOR Norway
2
0
5
4
53,0 12,5
27 29 ISL Iceland
1
2
4
4
40,5 10,0
28 27 SWE Sweden
1
2
4
4
31,0 9,0
29 28 BEL Belgium
1
1
5
3
32,5 9,0
30 30 FIN Finland
0
0
7
0
13,0 3,5

Pictures by Hrafn Jökulsson on the official facebook page of ETCC 2015


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.
 

Topics European Team

Sagar Shah is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant and would like to become the first CA+GM of India. 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 of the ChessBase India website.
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guardian1984 guardian1984 11/24/2015 07:59
The coverage of the Carlsen-Papaioannou game is insufficient and the analysis frivolous. I believe it deserved more attention. It is a World Champion game against the leading Greek grandmaster after all...
karavamudan karavamudan 11/22/2015 03:07
Former World Champion Capa had the reputation of losing the fewest number of games. MC may have the dubious record of losing the largest number of games as world champion.

I guess he feels that he is not challenged enough. Alekhine used to enjoy crushing opponents. Does Magnus want the same?

Logos Logos 11/21/2015 10:46
Thank you Sagar Shah.

Your articles are well-written and interesting, with excellent analysis, commentary and photos - a real and much-appreciated treat! Please keep up the great work.
TsekTod TsekTod 11/21/2015 02:39
Is weak player Papaioannou ? a chessplayer with rating 2634. Please think first and write later
Kokoschka Kokoschka 11/21/2015 12:46
Everybody has setbacks. I wouldn't write Carlsen off just yet!
XADREZRESTINGA XADREZRESTINGA 11/21/2015 11:09
Go France
Bill Alg Bill Alg 11/21/2015 08:26
@everyone: GM Papaioannou is not so weak as you seem to suggest. But I guess one can't change the mind of an elo-fetishist.
Kurt Utzinger Kurt Utzinger 11/21/2015 08:21
MC is/was perhaps too busy with other things than chess. But on this high level, such a behaviour will not pay off.
Yuan Mei Yuan Mei 11/21/2015 04:49
Carlsen's play, and attitude, if it is that, as looks likely, is a shame. Something that never happened to true champions. And Anand is one of them. As were even several uncrowned kings such as Bent Larsen, who could play fantastic chess for at least twenty years running.
BeachBum2 BeachBum2 11/21/2015 02:33
MC is probably bored, not paying enough attention when playing opponents so much weaker. I totally understand (alas, often do the same in my sport). I know it might look disrespectful - but what can you do... you just do not have that "fire" to play somebody you can beat w/o stressing. Unlike Magnus though, I still can find people who can kick my ass, so I'm less bored :)
Bojan KG Bojan KG 11/21/2015 01:04
Russians very impressive so far. MC again failed to deliver against much weaker opponent, score +1 -2 =2 is dismal for world champion. I think as many others that he peaked at very young age and from now on I doubt he will ever be almost unbeatable as he used to be for the past few years. Of course being WC is the most important thing for him but nevertheless WC should play consistently well, not losing or drawing games against players 200 or 300 ELO points below him. Overall this year has been the worst for Magnus in terms of games lost and number of blunders.

Hats down to Serbs, my fellows crushed Croatia 4:0!!! Well done!!!
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