Novy Bor won the 2022 European Club Cup on Sunday after beating Asnieres Le Grand Echiquier in the final round. The Czech team won the tournament nine years after their first European gold in 2013. Third-seeded ASVOe Pamhagen became the surprise winners of the women’s tournament as the only team to finish the competition undefeated.
GM Magnus Carlsen scored an excellent 5/6 on board one of Offerspill, the seventh seeded team that also finished in seventh place. GM Viswanathan Anand ended on a decent 3.5/6 but his team CSU ASE Superbet, the top seed in the tournament, missed out on the medals.
As we’re covering the final three rounds of the event in this report, we pick up the action after round four. At that point, Novy Bor was the only team to have started with four victories.
The key match was played in round five, when the Czech team faced the powerhouse from Romania sponsored by the sports betting and gambling company Superbet. Playing with Anand and GM Richard Rapport on top boards, the favorites couldn’t score a single win in this match, which ended in a resounding victory for Novy Bor: 4.5-1.5.
GM Pentala Harikrishna won a fine game against his legendary compatriot:
The other wins for Novy Bor were scored by GM Vidit Gujrathi vs. Rapport and GM Nils Grandelius vs. GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu. All in all, quite a disappointing appearance for Superbet.
In this round, Carlsen improved his score to 3.5/4 thanks to an impressive win with the black pieces against GM Anton Korobov. Remarkably, the game already left theory on move five.
The game was part of Offerspill’s 3.5-2.5 victory against Silla (Valencia), which meant that the Norwegians could still hope for a medal—especially after their 4.5-1.5 win vs. Schach ohne Grenzen (“chess without borders,” from Switzerland) in the next round.
Perhaps inspired by Korobov, it was Carlsen’s turn to try out a Colle System with the white pieces—a setup with d4, Nf3, b3, and Bb2 named after the Belgian master Edgar Colle. The world champion won another game where he made it look so easy:
Novy Bor defeated the Viernheim Chess Club (Germany) and with one round to go, the Czech team was already two match points ahead of Offerspill (Norway) Vugar Gashimov (Azerbaijan), Clichy-Echecs-92, and Asnieres Le Grand Echiquier (both France).
Needing only a 3-3 for the gold medals, Novy Bor finished in style with a 3.5-2.5 victory vs. Asnieres Le Grand Echiquier. A key game was Harikrishna’s win vs. GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, who got tricked late in the endgame after some very deep theory in the Grunfeld.
It was Clichy that won the silver medals by beating Offerspill. Carlsen couldn’t complain after getting away with a draw GM Parham Maghsoodloo but Clichy decided matters as GM Bassem Amin and Daniele Vocaturo won their games vs. GMs Eric Hansen and Johan-Sebastian Christiansen, respectively.
The Superbet team finished in a disappointing sixth place after failing to beat Ljubljana chess club (Slovenia) in the final round. The match, which ended in 3-3, saw Anand playing another compatriot, and winning this time:
Superbet’s GM Gukesh D., however, lost his game to GM Andrei Volokitin, who had a fantastic tournament. The Ukrainian grandmaster scored 6.5/7 or a 2931 performance and won 18 rating points. It’s somewhat comforting to know Volokitin could forget about the war for just a few hours each day, and managed to concentrate on chess, but now it’s back to the sad reality that the Ukrainians have to deal with, already for 7.5 months.
While I am sitting at the Warsaw airport, the terrorist country is now bombing all Ukrainian cities, including my native Lviv. All family and friends are in shock. https://t.co/ejw7KcJnYG
— Andriy Volokitin (@AndriyVolokitin) October 10, 2022
Meanwhile, Asnieres’s board two GM Andrey Esipenko (who plays under the FIDE flag, like some of Russia’s grandmasters, who don’t want to represent their country since the start of the war) had a great week as well, scoring 6/7, a 2897 performance and a 17.8 Elo gain.
Rapport probably expected something else from his first tournament under the Romanian flag. He scored only 2.5/6, which cost him 14.2 rating points.
2022 European Club Cup | Final Standings (Top 20)
|1||2||Novy Bor Chess club||14||244,5||30,5||174,5||174,5|
|3||6||Schachclub Viernheim 1934e.V.||11||206||27||176||132,8|
|4||3||Asnieres Le Grand Echiquier||10||214||27||179||120|
|5||10||Beer Sheva Chess Club||10||206||27||159||101,5|
|6||1||CSU ASE Superbet||10||205,5||25,5||186,5||128|
|7||7||Offerspill Chess Club||10||202,5||27,5||174,5||112,5|
|8||4||TAJFUN – SK Ljubljana||10||200,5||29||169,5||115,3|
|9||14||Kfar Saba Chess Club||10||190||26,5||153||105|
|11||13||Gokturk Satranc Spor Kulubu||10||178||26||161,5||107,8|
|12||19||SK Dunajska Streda||10||138||22,5||158||105,5|
|13||8||Silla – València Origin of Chess||9||194,5||29||158,5||91|
|14||16||Moravská Slavia Brno||9||183||27,5||157,5||97,3|
|15||11||Sentimento Ajka BSK||9||171||25,5||167,5||98,3|
|18||12||FC Bayern München||8||149||22,5||168,5||85,5|
|20||21||Schach ohne Grenzen||8||136||21||164||83,5|
ASVOe Pamhagen victory in round three against top seed Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo proved to be the sign on the wall that this was going to be their week. The winners are a local team (with international players, but that’s the case for most top teams): Pamhagen is an Austrian town about 60 km south-west of Vienna, close to the Hungarian border.
After that excellent third round, Pahmagen held the Superbet women’s team to 2-2 in round four, before beating SK Erste Bank Baden (also Austria) and Odlar Yurdu (Azerbaijan) both with 2.5-1.5. Leading with two match points, another 2-2 in the final round vs. BGK KS Gwiazda Bydgoszcz secured the gold medals for Pamhagen.
An interesting detail was that the same four players played in all seven rounds. GM Elina Danielian‘s tournament (3/7) was not outstanding but the other three players did well: both Ukrainians GM Anna Ushenina and IM Yuliia Osmak scored 5/7, and IM Aleksandra Maltsevskaya of Poland made 5.5/7.
Osmak scored a good win in the final round with the black pieces:
Although Danielian scored minus one overall, her quick win in the penultimate round was an important one. The players followed 54-year-old theory but when they deviated from a GM Miguel Najdorf game, Black was already lost:
2022 European Women’s Club Cup | Final Standings
|2||2||CSU ASE Superbet||11||121,5||17,5||109,5||83,8|
|3||1||Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo||11||118||16,5||112,5||86,3|
|4||5||BGK KS Gwiazda Bydgoszcz||8||110,5||15,5||110,5||60,3|
|5||6||SK Erste Bank Baden||8||109||15,5||104,5||52|
|7||9||TAJFUN – SK Ljubljana||7||93,5||16,5||97,5||42,8|
|9||8||Blue & Yellow||7||84,5||15||98||45,5|
|11||11||Gambit Asseco See||7||52,5||15,5||79||28,5|
|14||16||Rishon Lezion Chess Club||5||48,5||13||71||15,5|
|17||17||Schachzentrum Seeblick e.V.||1||21,5||6,5||78,5||0|
The 37th European Club Cup and the 26th European Women’s Chess Club Cup took place October 3-9, 2022 in Mayrhofen, Austria. Both events were a seven-round Swiss with teams of six players in the open section and teams of four in the women’s section. The time control was 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one.