Euro Club Cup: Carlsen beats Keymer, Offerspill and Superchess co-leaders

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
10/6/2023 – Magnus Carlsen’s Offerspill and Vishy Anand’s Superchess are sharing the lead in the open section of the European Club Cup. Both teams have a perfect 10/10 score after beating Novy Bor and Asnieres in closely contested matches. Meanwhile, SP Gaz Ukraine grabbed the lead in the women’s tournament after beating former sole leaders TAJFUN SK Ljubljana. | Photo: Niki Riga

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Carlsen on 4/4

It was all about the top two matches in round 5 of the European Club Cup. Finally, one of the favourites failed to win after all four top seeds reached the fifth round with perfect scores, as Magnus Carlsen’s Offerspill (4th seeds) defeated defending champions Novy Bor (2nd seeds).

Out of the six games, five finished drawn in this match, with Carlsen scoring the deciding victory on the top board, where he faced Vincent Keymer — who had beaten the Norwegian in a classical game in round 4 of the FIDE World Cup.

Meanwhile, Superchess, the team with the highest rating average in the field, got the better of Asnieres. Similarly to Offerspill’s victory, a single decisive game tipped the balance in Superchess’ favour. It was Vladimir Fedoseev who gave the Romanian team overall victory, by beating Sergei Movsesian on board 5.

The top performer so far in Durrës is none other than Carlsen, who collected four wins in as many games to gain 8.7 rating points — and now stands over 62 points ahead of Fabiano Caruana in the live ratings list!

IM Robert Ris analysed Carlsen’s victory.

Curiously, both matches were inches away from ending draws, as Novy Bor’s Thai Dai Van Nguyen and Asniere’s Maxime Vachier-Lagrave both missed chances to make the most of big advantages in their games against Pranav V and Richard Rapport, respectively.

In the following position, Nguyen had already lost some of his advantage, but his two passers on the queenside continue to give him the upper hand. Pranav, however, found the one trick that could potentially lead to a miraculous escape.

48...Bxh3 49.gxh3 e4 is a clever way to create counterplay. Grabbing the pawn with 50.Qxe4, for example, fails to 50...Qg5, threatening mate on g1 and attacking the rook on d2.

The only move that keeps White’s advantage is 50.Qc3, while Nguyen’s 50.Qb2 is bad due to the good-looking 50...Rh1+

Now White cannot escape the perpetual check after 51.Kxh1 Qxh3+, etcetera. Note that 50.Qc3 would have prevented this idea. A narrow escape!

European Chess Club Cup 2023

Offerspill beat Novy Bor, the defending champions | Photo: Niki Riga

Standings - Round 5

Rk. Team  TB1 
1 Offerspill Sjakklubb 10
2 Superchess 10
3 Asnieres - Le Grand Echiquier 8
4 Vugar Gashimov 8
5 Turkish Airlines Sports Club 8
6 Novy Bor 8
7 Schachclub Viernheim 1934 e.V. 8
8 Sentimento Ajka BSK 8
9 Gokturk Chess Sport Club 8
10 TAJFUN SK Ljubljana 8
11 Beer Sheva Chess Club 8
12 Rishon Lezion A 8
13 Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova 8
14 SK Zmaj 8
15 Elektroprivreda 8

...84 teams

All available games - Round 5

Replay all games at

Women’s: SP Gaz Ukraine leapfrog TAJFUN SK Ljubljana

A new leader emerged in the women’s tournament, as SP Gaz Ukraine beat former sole leaders TAJFUN SK Ljubljana, with wins for Lela Javakhishvili and Deimante Daulyte-Cornette on boards 2 and 3.

Now three teams are sharing second place a match point behind. Besides Ljubljana, Garuda Ajka BSK and Superchess now stand on 8/10 points. It will be Superchess who will face the new leaders in Friday’s sixth round.

European Chess Club Cup 2023

SP Gaz Ukraine defeated TAJFUN SK Ljubljana | Photo: Niki Riga

Standings - Round 5

Rk. Team  TB1 
1 SP Gaz Ukraine 9
2 Garuda Ajka BSK 8
3 TAJFUN SK Ljubljana 8
4 Superchess 8
5 Monte Carlo 7
6 Gokturk Chess Sport Club 7
7 Schachgesellschaft Solingen 7
8 SK Crvena zvezda Data Driven Lab 6
9 Wood Green 6
10 MSK Centar Asseco See 6
11 GSK Kumanovo 6
12 Gostivar 5
13 Asnieres - Le Grand Echiquier 5
14 Galaxias Sports Club 5
15 Rishon Lezion 5

...26 teams

All available games - Round 5

Replay all games at


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.