European Club Cup: Vidit on fire!

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
10/8/2022 – Novy Bor, the well-known Czech chess club, is very likely to win the open section of the European Club Cup, as it has a 2-point lead going into Sunday’s final round. Playing on board 2 for the Czech team is Vidit Gujrathi, who has scored six wins in as many games in Mayrhofen. In the women’s cup, Pamhagen, representing the host country, also has a 2-point lead in the standings. | Photos: Fiona Steil-Antoni

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Novy Bor two points ahead

Things could hardly have gone better for Novy Bor at the European Club Cup. The Czech team has scored six wins in a row and lost only one (out of 36) individual games so far in Mayrhofen — Pentala Harikrishna was defeated by Offerspill’s Magnus Carlsen in round 4, but immediately bounced back with a win over none other than Superbet’s Vishy Anand!

While Harikrishna held his own on the top board and David Anton scored 3½/4 points on boards 5 and 6, the real hero for Novy Bor has been Vidit Gujrathi. The 27-year-old from Nashik, India has won all six of his games, gaining no fewer than 19.3 rating points and climbing to the 20th spot in the live ratings list.

In Sunday’s seventh round, Vidit will face a final tough challenge, as he will play black against the ever-dangerous Andrey Esipenko. (The seventh round kicks off three hours earlier than usual, at 11:00 CEST).

A draw in round 7 will be enough for Novy Bor to get outright first place, but if they lose against Asnieres (Vachier-Lagrave, Esipenko, Moussard), up to two more teams could catch them atop the standings — besides Asnieres, of course, which would catch the leaders with the win. Clichy, Vugar Gashimov and Offerspill also stand two points behind the Czech squad, but Clichy and Offerspill face each other on board 2.

Clichy’s top scorers are Bassem Amin and Pavel Tregubov; Vugar Gashimov’s Kirill Shevchenko has excelled on board 2; while Offerspill’s star, Magnus Carlsen, has actually managed to gain rating points after scoring 4½/5 points despite having faced three players with ratings about 300 points lower than his (strong GMs nonetheless).

Round 7’s top pairings:

  • Novy Bor (Harikrishna, Vidit) - Asnieres (Vachier-Lagrave, Esipenko)
  • Clichy (Maghsoodloo, Van Foreest) - Offerspill (Carlsen, Tari)
  • Viernheim (Kryvoruchko, Kuzubov) - Vugar Gashimov (Mamedov, Shevchenko)
  • Superbet (Anand, Rapport) - Ljubljana (Arjun, Saric)

European Chess Club Cup 2022

Clichy defeated Bayern München with wins on boards 2 to 6 — Dutch GM Loek van Wely, who turned 50 years old on Friday, won his fourth game of the event on board 5!

Klaus Besenthal annotated Harikrishna’s win over Anand, the first-ever in Hari’s career!


Standings after round 6

Rk. Team  TB1 
1 Novy Bor Chess club 12
2 Clichy-Echecs-92 10
3 Vugar Gashimov 10
4 Offerspill Chess Club 10
5 Asnieres Le Grand Echiquier 10
6 CSU ASE Superbet 9
7 TAJFUN - SK Ljubljana 9
8 Schachclub Viernheim 1934e.V. 9
9 Beer Sheva Chess Club 8
10 Gokturk Satranc Spor Kulubu 8
11 Moravská Slavia Brno 8
12 Kfar Saba Chess Club 8
13 Sentimento Ajka BSK 8
14 Schach ohne Grenzen 8
15 FC Bayern München 8

...70 teams

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Pamhagen wins two crucial matches

Much like Novy Bor in the open, Pamhagen only needs a draw on Sunday to secure first place in the Women’s European Club Cup. After drawing Superbet in round 4, the Austrian squad grabbed back-to-back wins by the smallest of margins to get a 2-point lead over the top two seeds, Monte-Carlo and Superbet.

Both against Erste Bank Baden and Odlar Yurdu, Pamhagen’s opponents in rounds 5 and 6, the leaders scored two wins and lost one game to grab 2 match points in each confrontation.

The Austrian team entered the sixth round tied for first place with Superbet, but the Romanian squad led by Irina Bulmaga suffered its first defeat against the favourites from Monte Carlo, as the legendary Pia Cramling obtained the all-important win for the Monégasque team.

All three teams fighting for first place will face tough opponents in round 7:

  • Gwiazda Bydgoszcz (Kashlinskaya, Kiolbasa) - Pamhagen (Danielian, Ushenina)
  • Monte-Carlo (Anna Muzychuk, Stefanova) - Blue & Yellow (Buksa, Gaponenko)
  • Wood Green (Sukandar, Arakhamia-Grant) - Superbet (Bulmaga, Saduakassova)

European Chess Club Cup 2022

Philidor Mulhouse (Altan-Ulzii Enkhtuul, Hanna Marie Klek) facing Schachzentrum Seeblick (Haris, Dora, Mirjam and Sarah Peglau)

GM Karsten Müller analysed the endgame in Irina Bumaga’s win over Elina Danielian from the fourth round, a key victory for the Romanian star, which allowed her team to draw the match against the leaders.


Standings after round 6

Rk. Team  TB1 
1 ASVOe Pamhagen 11
2 CSU ASE Superbet 9
3 Cercle d'Echecs de Monte-Carlo 9
4 SK Erste Bank Baden 7
5 BGK KS Gwiazda Bydgoszcz 7
6 Wood Green 7
7 Blue & Yellow 7
8 Odlar Yurdu 6
9 TAJFUN - SK Ljubljana 6
10 Sirmium 6

...17 teams

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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.