Novy Bor and ASVOe Pamhagen are the European Club Cup champions

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
10/10/2022 – A 3½-2½ victory over Asnieres allowed Novy Bor to end the European Club Cup (open section) with a perfect 14/14 score. The team led by Pentala Harikrishna thus won the tournament in style. Clichy and Viernheim scored wins in the final round to get second and third place respectively. In the women’s cup, ASVOe Pamhagen drew on Sunday to grab clear first place in the final standings. | Photos: Fiona Steil-Antoni

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Harikrishna leads the way

Chess culture has taken root in Prague thanks in part to the constant work made by the Novy Bor Chess Club. Since 2019, the club organizes the Prague Chess Festival, which has become a fixture in the yearly calendar, with a format looking to mimic the successful scheme put forth by the long-standing events in Wijk aan Zee.

Petr Boleslav, the festival’s tournament director who also served as team captain in the European Club Cup, thus described his motivation to keep working hard as an organizer:

I like chess and all the things that are linked to chess — literature, film, art, sport and much more. And since chess fascinates me, but I’m not a strong player myself, I became an organizer.

The enthusiasm and work have borne fruits at the European Club Cup in Mayrhofen, as the Czech team got outright victory in the open section with a perfect 14/14 final score. Novy Bor only lost two individual games (out of 42) at the 7-round event, with an 8-player featuring the two highest-rated Czech players — David Navara and Thai Dai Van Nguyen — and six international representatives.

Indian stars Pentala Harikrishna and Vidit Gujrathi played on the top boards.Vidit remarkably won his six first games before suffering a defeat against Andrey Esipenko on Sunday. Harikrishna also lost once, against Magnus Carlsen, but scored 2½/3 points in a strong final run which saw him facing three elite GMs in a row — Vishy Anand, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

Harikrishna and Vidit took home individual silver medals for their efforts, much like David Anton, who scored 4½/5 points on board 6 for a remarkable 2907 tournament performance rating (TPR) — the Spaniard was only outscored by Ljubljana’s Matej Sebenik, who ended the event with a perfect 4/4.

European Chess Club Cup 2022

Time to celebrate!

Clichy-Echecs-92 and Schachclub Viernheim 1934 completed the podium, as both teams won their final-round games to finish ahead of Superbet (top seeds) and Asnieres (third seeds), among others.

The top scorer for Clichy was Egyptian GM Bassem Amin on board 4, who collected 6 points in 7 games and scored a crucial victory over Eric Hansen in the seventh round. Meanwhile, Viernheim’s hero was Ukrainian GM Sergey Fedorchuk, who got a 5/6 score and a 2792 TPR. Fedorchuk also won his final game in Mayrhofen.

A well-known name topped the list of individual gold-medal winners, as Offerspill’s Magnus Carlsen got the best TPR among all the board-1 players once the tournament came to an end. Carlsen managed to gain 2.8 rating points in the team event.

European Chess Club Cup 2022

Individual gold medal winners — Magnus Carlsen, Andrey Esipenko, Bassem Amin, Andrey Volokitin, Loek van Wely, Matej Sebenik

All the individual medal winners in the open section

Board 1

  • Gold: Magnus Carlsen - Offerspill
  • Silver: Pentala Harikrishna - Novy Bor
  • Bronze: Parham Maghsoodloo - Clichy

Board 2

  • Gold: Andrey Esipenko - Asnieres
  • Silver: Vidit Gujrathi - Novy Bor
  • Bronze: Kirill Shevchenko - Vugar Gashimov

Board 3

  • Gold: Bassem Amin - Clichy
  • Silver: Bogdan-Daniel Deac - Superbet
  • Bronze: Pouya Idani - Silla Valencia

Board 4

  • Gold: Andrey Volokitin - Ljubljana
  • Silver: Sergey Fedorchuk - Viernheim
  • Bronze: Daniele Vocaturo - Clichy

Board 5

  • Gold: Loek van Wely - Clichy
  • Silver: Daniel Forcen - Silla Valencia
  • Bronze: Dennis Wagner - Viernheim

Boards 6-8

  • Gold: Matej Sebenik - Ljubljana
  • Silver: David Anton - Novy Bor
  • Bronze: Konstantin Tarlev - Viernheim

Final standings

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

...70 teams

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Pamhagen wins women’s cup

There was no need to resort to tiebreak criteria to decide who gets gold in the women’s cup, either. ASVOe Pamhagen, a team representing the host country of Austria, got outright victory after collecting five wins and two drawns throughout the event. Pamhagen drew Gwiazda Bydgoszcz in the final round to secure first place.

Armenian star Elina Danielian played on first board for the champions, and finished the event with a 3/7 score. Her teammates more than compensated for her subpar performance, though, as Aleksandra Maltsevskaya (5½/7), Anna Ushenina (5/7) and Yuliia Osmak (5/7) all ended the tournament with 2500+ TPRs. Osmak grabbed the crucial final-round win for Pamhagen, as she defeated Polish WGM Julia Antolak with the black pieces in a 53-move encounter.

European Chess Club Cup 2022

The winning squad — Yuliia Osmak, Anna Ushenina, Elina Danielian and Aleksandra Maltsevskaya

The top two seeded teams in the women’s section won in round 7 to climb to second and third places. CSU ASE Superbet and Cercle d’Echecs Monte-Carlo defeated Blue & Yellow and Wood Green respectively to reach the podium, both with 11/14 match points.

Israeli IM Marsel Efroimski was Superbet’s strongest representative and took home an individual gold medal for her performance on board 4. Monte-Carlo’s Pia Cramling and Elizabeth Paehtz also had strong showings, as they both grabbed bronze medals on boards 3 and 4, respectively.

European Chess Club Cup 2022

Individual gold medal winners — Alina Kashlinskaya, Anna Ushenina, Dinara Wagner and Marsel Efroimski

All the individual medal winners in the women’s section

Board 1

  • Gold: Alina Kashlinskya - Gwiazda Bydgoszcz
  • Silver: Mariya Muzychuk - Ljubljana
  • Bronze: Irina Bulmaga - Superbet

Board 2

  • Gold: Anna Ushenina - Pamhagen
  • Silver: Oliwia Kiolbasa - Gwiazda Bydgoszcz
  • Bronze: Eline Roebers - Erste Bank Baden

Board 3

  • Gold: Dinara Wagner - Erste Bank Baden
  • Silver: Yuliia Osmak - Pamhagen
  • Bronze: Pia Cramling - Monte-Carlo

Board 4

  • Gold: Marsel Efroimski - Superbet
  • Silver: Aleksandra Maltsevskaya - Pamhagen
  • Bronze: Elisabeth Paehtz - Monte-Carlo

Final standings

Rk. Team  TB1 
1 ASVOe Pamhagen 12
2 CSU ASE Superbet 11
3 Cercle d'Echecs de Monte-Carlo 11
4 BGK KS Gwiazda Bydgoszcz 8
5 SK Erste Bank Baden 8
6 Odlar Yurdu 8
7 TAJFUN - SK Ljubljana 7
8 Wood Green 7
9 Blue & Yellow 7
10 Philidor Mulhouse 7

...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.