Fabrizio Bellia becomes first Italian to win the European Senior Championship

by André Schulz
10/7/2021 – Four Senior European titles were awarded in Budoni, Sardinia. In the over-50 group, Fabrizio Bellia (photo) became the first Italian to win the title, while German GM Klaus Bischoff came second. The over-65 title went to Nathan Birnboim. Two-time GDR national champion Annett Wagner-Michel won the women’s title. | Photo: Scacchierando

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On the Italian coast

The 2021 European Senior Championships took place in Budoni, a small municipality on the east coast of Sardinia. Two tournaments were played, one for the over-65 seniors and one for the over-50 seniors. In addition to the two (open) Senior European titles, two Senior European women’s titles were up for grabs. The senior women played in the open tournaments and the titles were awarded to the best player in each event — only five women participated in the over-50 section, and three women in the over-65 section. According to the regulations, for separate tournaments to take place, a minimum of nine women participants were required.

All in all, 65 players took part in the two tournaments. In the over-50 tournament, Klaus Bischoff was the rating favourite. The man from Frankfurt, well known to all German chess fans thanks to his appearances as commentator, was the only GM in the field.

At first, Bischoff lived up to his role as favourite. However, his 7 points were only enough for second place. Bischoff remained undefeated and made a small final spurt towards the end of the tournament with two wins in the last two rounds, including one against his wife Ingrid Lauterbach.

IM Fabrizio Bellia, the player with the second-highest rating behind Bischoff, collected half a point more in the end. The Italian started his final spurt earlier than his German colleague, as he finished the event with four consecutive wins. Laszlo Krizsany came third, equal on points with Bischoff.

 

19.Nd2 Rhd8?! [19...c3 was okay for Black.]

20.Nxc4 Bxc4? The exchange of the bishop is a serious mistake, since the g4-c8 diagonal is now unguarded. [20...R8d7]

21.bxc4 Qb4 22.Rab1 Qa3 23.Qe2+– Qa4 [23...R8d7 24.Qf3 Rc7 25.Qxf7+–]

24.Qg4+ R8d7 25.Bf4 h5 26.Qf5 g6 27.e6

 

A pretty finish. [27...gxf5 28.Rb8#]

1–0

The women’s title went to Elena Krasenkova. She finished seventh overall as the best woman in the field. ChessBase author Thorsten Cmiel came twelfth.

In the over-65 age group, the title went to Nathan Birnboim from Israel. He was the only player to score 7 points. At times, his opponents gave him a hand:

 

33...e5 Weakens the f5-square. [33...Rhd8] 34.dxe5 Nxe5 35.Qxd5 Nxf3 36.Qxd6 The idea is to fork queen and king from f5, but the combination does not work. [After 36.Qxf3 White has a pawn for the exchange and very active minor pieces.]

36...Nh4+ Covers f5 with tempo. White loses the queen. [The idea was 36...Qxd6 37.Nf5+ Kf8 38.Nxd6] 0–1

Terry Chapman from England came second, ahead of Bengt Hammar from Sweden. The women’s title in the over-65 section went to former GDR national champion (in 1981 and 1983) Annett Wagner-Michel.

Annett Wagner-Michel | Photo: Official website

Final standings - Over 50

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Bellia Fabrizio 7,5 0,0
2 Bischoff Klaus 7,0 0,5
3 Krizsany Laszlo 7,0 0,5
4 Van Der Werf Mark 6,0 0,0
5 Druckenthaner Andreas 6,0 0,0
6 Burnett Andrew 6,0 0,0
7 Krasenkova Elena 5,5 0,0
8 Lornye Pylyp 5,5 0,0
9 Peist Juergen 5,0 0,0
10 Baliuniene Margarita 5,0 0,0
11 Cafolla Peter 5,0 0,0
12 Cmiel Thorsten 5,0 0,0
13 Borsuk Angela 5,0 0,0
14 Malinovsky Petr 5,0 0,0
15 Warnk Torsten 5,0 0,0
16 Neri Enzo 5,0 0,0
17 Boricsev Oleg 4,5 0,0
18 Lauterbach Ingrid 4,5 0,0
19 Hoffmann Michael 4,5 0,0
20 Messina Giuseppe Ottavio 4,5 0,0
21 Adams Mark 4,0 0,0
22 Hughes Anthony 4,0 0,0
23 Favier Alain 4,0 0,0
24 Sielicki Tomasz 4,0 0,0
25 Di Paolo Marco 4,0 0,0
26 Sirletti Sonia 4,0 0,0
27 Storkebaum Ulrike 4,0 0,0
28 Lasinskas Povilas 3,5 0,0
29 Dreke Frank 3,5 0,0
30 De Maria Isaia 3,5 0,0
31 Aird Ian 3,5 0,0
32 Mirza Gabriel 3,0 0,0
33 Di Pinto Vincenzo 3,0 0,0
34 Sotgiu Roberto 2,5 0,0
35 Pairotti Alberto 1,0 0,0
36 Varli Mehmet Fatih 0,0 0,0

All available games

 

Final standings - Over 65

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Birnboim Nathan 7,0 0,0
2 Chapman Terry P D 6,5 0,0
3 Hammar Bengt 6,0 0,0
4 Renman Nils-Gustaf 6,0 0,0
5 Fritsch Rolf 6,0 0,0
6 Syre Christian 5,5 0,0
7 Wagner-Michel Annett 5,5 0,0
8 Malmdin Nils-Ake 5,5 0,0
9 Kierzek Matthias Dr. 5,5 0,0
10 Gruzmann Boris 5,0 0,0
11 Buchal Stephan 5,0 0,0
12 Garcia Paolicchi Raul 5,0 0,0
13 Serra Olives Tomas 5,0 0,0
14 Schmuki Roman 5,0 0,0
15 Lederman Leon 4,5 0,0
16 Mcandrew Robert 4,5 0,0
17 Sciupokas Arunas 4,5 0,0
18 Schouten Nico 4,0 0,0
19 Alquist Erik 4,0 0,0
20 Battasi Antonio Domenico 4,0 0,0
21 Green Per 4,0 0,0
22 Kierzek Mira 3,5 0,0
23 Algars Olle 3,5 0,0
24 James Kevin 3,5 0,0
25 Marras Giuseppe 3,0 0,0
26 Ristoja Aulikki 3,0 0,0
27 Lindstrom Jan 2,5 0,0
28 Gardey Michel 1,5 0,0
29 Borras Julian Teodoro 0,5 0,0

All available games

 

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André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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goeland goeland 10/7/2021 10:54
wow, eyes, mouth, energy, something of Korchnoi or its my imagination ?
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