Spanish Team Championship, Round 2: Extremadura upsets Beniajan

by André Schulz
9/25/2020 – Duochess Beniajan is the heavy Elo-favourite in the Spanish Team Championship. But the top team unexpectedly lost in round two against Magic Extremadura. The other two top teams managed to win just barely. Shirov worked his magic. | Fotos: FEDA

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In the second round of the Spanish team championship Duochess Beniajan, with the highest rating average one of the favourites to win the title, unexpectedly lost to the former top team Magic Extremadura.

David Navara (left, with Black) and Ivan Cheparinov

The players of Duochess could not convert their nominal advantage into a point on any of the first five boards, but lost at the only board where Extremadura had the higher rating. Emilio Moren won against the several times Women's National Spanish Champion Sabrina Vega.


28.Nf3 Bf6 The black king is somewhat unsafe. On the other hand, Black has the pair of bishops and the a3-pawn could prove useful down the line. The position is roughly equal.

29.exf4?! More cautious was 29.Rh6.

29...Qg4 30.Qe2+ Re7 31.Rxg8+ Too confident.

Correct was 31.Rg1 Qxg1+ 32.Nxg1 Rxe2 33.Rxg8+ Kd7 34.Rxa8 Re1+ 35.Kd2 Rxg1 36.Rxa3 Bxd4 37.f3 Rg2+ 38.Re2 and the game will probably end in a draw.

31...Qxg8 32.Ne5 0–0–0 33.Qd2 Kb8 34.Qb4 First and foremost threatens Nxc6. Black gives back the exchange.

34...Bxe5 Also fine was 34...Rc7 35.Qxa3 Qg2 36.Qb2 Rf8

35.Qxe7 Bxf4+ 36.Kb1 Bd6 37.Qf6 Qf8 Exchanging queens would be bad for White because she has too many weak pawns - but even with the queens remaining this game ends soon.


38.Qh4 Re8 39.Qh5 Ka7 40.Rf1 Re6 41.Qg4 Rf6 42.Qe2 Rf3 43.Qd2 Bb4 44.Qe2 Qf4 45.Bc2 Qxd4 46.Bd1 Rd3 0–1

A women's board is mandatory at the Spanish Team Championship. However, it is up to each team where to locate this slot. Antoaneta Stefanova played on board five for Extremadura and drew against GM Jose Ibarra.

Antoaneta Stefanova (right, with White)

The other two top teams won their matches. Andreu Paterna narrowly won 3.5:2.5 against Jaima Casas. Yuryi Kuzobov scored for Jaima Casas with a win over Francisco Vallejo, but Daniil Yuffa and Marta Garcia won their games for Paterna.

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Silla Bosch Serinsys also won 3.5:2.5 against Solvay. Alexei Shirov was the match winner against Bartosz Socko.


21.Nxe5! Fire on board!

21...Rxe5 22.Nxh6+ gxh6 23.Qg3+


23... Ng4! 23...Kh7 is too costly: 24.Bxe5 Qe7 25.Qf4 Bg7 26.Bxf6 Qxf6 27.Qxf6 Bxf6 28.Rd6

24.Bxe5 24.hxg4? Re7

24...Qxe5 25.Qxg4+ Bg7 26.Rd3 White plays with two pawns and a rook against two pieces.

26...h5 27.Qd1 Re8 27...c4!?

28.Rd6 Nc8 29.Rd5 White grabs a few pawns.

29...Qxe4 30.Rxc5 h4 31.Rxa5 Qc6 32.Rb5 Nd6 33.Rxb4 Ne4 34.Qf3 Qd5 35.Re1 Every move is right.

35...f5 36.Rb5 Qd2 37.Rd1 Qxc2 38.Rxf5 Nc3 39.Rd7 Re6


40.Rxg7+ The viewers expected 40.Rf8+ Bxf8 41.Qf7+ Kh8 42.Qxf8#.

40...Kxg7 41.Qg4+ Black is getting mated anyway.

41...Rg6 42.Qd4+ Kh7 43.Qxh4+ Kg8 44.Qd8+ Kh7 45.Qe7+ Kh8 46.Qf8+ 1–0

All other games between Silla Bosch Serinsys and Solvay were drawn. Gros Xake Taldea defeated Collado Villalba in a close match. Elisabeth Pähtz lost to Jesus Martin. 

Elisabeth Pähtz has to play a lost endgame.


58.... Be6 59.Rf8 Rc8 60.Rxc8? The rooks have to stay on the board, because the bishop endgame is clearly losing. 60...Bxc8 61.Kf3 Kh5 62.Kg3 Bg4 63.Bc4 Bd1 64.Bd3 g4 Zugzwang. 65.Kf2 Kh4 66.Ke1 g3 67.Kf1 Kg4 68.Kg2 Kf4 0–1

Nonetheless, Etienne Bacrot, Akadij Naiditsch and Santiago Gonzales won their games, securing a 4-2 win in the match.


1 C.A. MAGIC EXTREMADURA 0.0 2572 ESP 3.5 - 2.5 C.A.C. BENIAJÁN - DUOCHESS 2.0 2623 ESP
2 GROS XAKE TALDEA 0.0 2480 ESP 4.0 - 2.0 C.A. COLLADO VILLALBA 0.0 2404 ESP
3 C.A. ANDREU PATERNA 1.0 2582 ESP 3.5 - 2.5 C.A. JAIME CASAS 2.0 2532 ESP
4 C.A. SOLVAY 2.0 2516 ESP 2.5 - 3.5 C.A. SILLA - BOSCH SERINSYS 1.0 2608 ESP




1 2 C.A. SILLA - BOSCH SERINSYS ESP 3.0 6.5 1 16 2608 Silla (Valencia) VAL
2 7 C.A. ANDREU PATERNA ESP 3.0 6.5 1 16 2582 Paterna (Valencia) VAL
3 3 C.A. JAIME CASAS ESP 2.0 7 0 16.5 2532 Monzón (Huesca) ARA
4 5 C.A.C. BENIAJÁN - DUOCHESS ESP 2.0 7 0 5 2623 Beniaján (Murcia) MUR
5 1 C.A. SOLVAY ESP 2.0 6 2 14.5 2516 Torrelavega (Cantabria) CNT
6 8 C.A. MAGIC EXTREMADURA ESP 2.0 6 0 12 2572 Mérida (Badajoz) EXT
7 6 GROS XAKE TALDEA ESP 2.0 5.5 0 3 2480 San Sebastián (Guipúzcoa) EUS
8 4 C.A. COLLADO VILLALBA ESP 0.0 3.5 0 7 2404 Collado Villalba (Madrid) MAD                     


Translation from German: Arthur Paul


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.


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