onsdag 8 februari 2012

Germany: Emsdetten!

Our team, with a few players missing.  Photo: Alexander Ipatov

Last weekend I was in Germany, playing for my German team SK Turm Emsdetten in rounds 8 and 9. Before the weekend we had not been doing very well at all, with only 4p out of 14. Therefore we really needed to win at least one of the matches, in order to feel a little bit safer in the leauge. Out of the 16 teams in the Bundesliga, 4 will drop out to 1st division.

The first match was against SV Mülheim Nord, certainly one of the stronger teams in the leauge. This weekend they were expected to play with a very good team as their other match was against Werder Bremen, one of the top contenders. As expected they came with nr. 1-7 on their list, with the German GM Hausrath on 8th board. On board 3 I got to play black against the current European Champion Vladimir Potkin (RUS). In the opening he surprised me by going into an ending which I thought was equal, but with the new move 18.b4! it was nevertheless dangerous for me. After thinking for a long time I entered the critical line with 18-a5 and 20-b6, and pretty much by force we got a very interesting ending in which he had sacrificed a pawn for long-term compensation. The position turned out to be very difficult to play for me, and after missing some tactics around move 32-35 I ended up in an ending which should be lost. He didn't have to show his technique though, as I quickly blundered a pawn and went down without a fight.

While I lost pretty convincingly, the other games in the match went much better! Anish Giri on the first board played confidently in the opening, perhaps too confindently, and allowed a very dangerous piece-sacrifice. The position looked very dangerous, on the verge to lost, but somehow Anish managed to defend and made a draw. 2nd board, Mchedlishvili as white against Motylev, seemed to be a fairly correct draw. The strangest thing in the match definately happened on board 4. As white my good friend Jonny Hector got a slight advantage against Grachev (whom I by the way played in the bughouse tournament in Pardubice a couple of years ago...) but Grachev equalized and got a drawish ending. Then suddenly he fell for some childish trick and lost a piece! On board 5 Brandenburg once again played the depressing Tarrasch Defense and got a slightly worse ending against Daniel Fridman. It was a long game and perhaps Brandenburg had some good drawing chances, but in the end he lost in which seemed to be a fairly normal game. Board 6 saw Pruissers outplaying Landa in a Sicilian Tajmanov. I am not 100% sure where Landa went wrong - perhaps 30-a4 was just a dubious strategic decision. On the 7th board our dutch IM Twan Burg played a very complicated Slav as black against Tregubov. I do not dare to say what happened, as it was very very complicated, but in the end Twan secured the match victory with the draw. Board 8 was the only board where two Germans met, even though it was in the Bundesliga! Dennis Breder played an almost forgotten line of the Hyperaccelerated Dragon, in which he got the bishop pair but not necessarily the advantage. However, Hausrath played a few moves too many with his queen, and after the provocative 15-Ng4? he was just lost after 16.f4! Nfg4 17.Nd5! With an extra piece Breder won very safely, not even getting into the for him very typical time trouble :-)

Matchwinner once again: Roeland Pruijssers Photo: Alexander Ipatov

If Saturday's match against Mülheim was one of our best, the Sundaymorning match against Katernberg could well be described as our worst. I played GM Firman and quickly got a big advantage wih my opponents pieces stuck in the last 3 ranks. However, somehow I managed to miss a cheap trick and my advantage turned into a clearly inferior position. I felt very lucky when my opponents incidentally repeated moves, allowing me to claim a threefold repetition. By that time a part of his advantage had already vanished, but still the position was very difficult for me. The other players in the team didn't do better than me, and in the end we even managed to lose the match with 3.5-4.5. Not a lot of fun to talk about, so I'll leave the readers to check out the games themselves, on http://bundesliga.liveschach.net/


This is my 2nd season for SK Turm Emsdetten. In the summer of 2010 I got contacted by Reinhard Lüke, the team captain, and we quickly agreed that it would be nice for everyone if I played. As Jonny Hector (now living in Helsingör) also played, it was a natural choice to pick another Swede. However, from the 8 games I played the first season I didn't manage to win a single game! The club managed to do very well even with my horrible score, so therefore they felt that I could get another chance :-) The current season is going a bit better for me. With 4/9 I haven't done good, but not bad either. The team has a pretty tough time though. With the win against Mülheim we manage to pick the important 12th place - thus avoiding last four - but we still have to fight hard in order to keep the position. The end of the season will (unfortunately?) be very exciting!

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