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The Battle is Heating Up in Antalya!
r 20171009_ecc_antalya_R2_2876Today’s comparatively even matchups promised a lot of close battles and the day certainly didn’t disappoint in terms of struggle. All matches were hard fought and there were some big surprises both in open and women sections but generally speaking the favourites mostly managed to overcome the underdogs.
All eyes of the chess community were set on the possibility of seeing Vladimir Kramnik in action today but Globus rested again their number one as well as Alexander Grischuk. Not like they needed them to win their matches so far but since Kramnik needs to raise his rating desperately he could have used today’s opportunity. Anyway perhaps this unpredictability of the moment they will start playing can be used to good effect for both the team and the players.
In the match of the top seeds versus Romanian team Csm Baia Mare, Globus again completely overpowered their opponents. They managed to strike in the last two boards where rating differences were greater than others and didn’t have any particular problems on top boards. The game of the round came from Mamedyarov-Nisipeanu matchup on the first board. The Azeri superstar played a fine attacking game:

Game of the Day: Mamedyarov-Nisipeanu

The biggest surprise came from the toughest matchup of the day: Alkaloid-Legacy Square Capital. The Macedonian team Alkaloid, last year’s champions, faltered early in the race against the 5th seeded Russian club. All it took was one horrible blunder by Eljanov as the rest of the games were drawn:



20.a3?? [Did Eljanov really miss the knight fork? There were no problems with both pawn captures: 20.Rxc4 b5 21.Rc5 Na6 22.Nc3! Nxc5 23.Nxd5 exd5 24.dxc5 and white is certainly not worse; 20.bxc4 Qxa4 21.cxd5 Nxd5=] 20...Nd3 and after a few moves the Ukrainian resigned.

The third seeds Mednyi Vsadnik won against Nice Alekhine thanks to two wins on top boards. Svidler had a nice win against Stevic thanks to better preparation and the panicky play by Croatian grandmaster. Instead of losing c7 pawn and play with an inferior structure GM Stevic chose to give up an exchange but c7 pawn was still doomed and not much of a compensation was there to be seen on the board so Peter Svidler gained an excellent win. It is absolutely recommended for you to have a look at the post-game analysis by probably the greatest entertainer in chess, Peter Svidler.

Novy Bor had a very close match but in the end a lone win by Bartel brought them the match win. The Azeri team Odlar Yurdu also destroyed Riga Technical University 4,5-1,5. The only win of Latvians came by WGM Laura Rogule who beat GM Guseinov in a fine game, punishing his strong opponent’s mistakes efficiently.
The longest game of the day was between IM Petenyi and GM Vacaturo in the match Sk Dunajska Streda-Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova, quite worthy of the long names of the clubs involved. Vacaturo, although probably having had easier and shorter wins finally managed to convert his exchange advantage into a winning pawn endgame and brought victory to his team with the score of 3,5-2,5. A nice example for a team player!
In the women section the biggest surprise came in the match of top seeds. The Georgian team, the heavy favourites against Azeri Odlar Yurdu, never seemed like winning at any point and the score could certainly be 4-2 at least if Nino Batsiashvili didn’t manage to overturn the tables from a lost position. Well to be fair, it was also the same scenario in Mamedjarova-Dzagnidze game. After having achieved a totally won position Nana Dzagnidze completely lost her head and even got into a mating net! When also WFM Balajayeva beat IM Salome Melia soundly the score in the match suddenly became 2-1 with Harika Dronavalli-Ulviyya Fataliyeva game remaining on the second board. Harika did her best for a win and almost created a miracle in a drawn endgame but a final mistake on 69th move made sure of the sensational result. A great result for Azeris and an early warning for Georgians who can still win the event if they win the remaining matches.

Second and thirds seeds Ugra and Legacy Square Capital, both from Russia exchanged one win apiece and ended the second round in a friendly manner. Now they can enjoy the pool party together!

The fifth and sixth seeds, Bossa Nova from Belarus and Cs Studentesc Medicina Timisoara played a very tough match which finally ended in a win for Belarusian club. For a long time it seemed like the Romanian team will win but since both Paehtz and Dragomirescu failed to win the scales were tipped for afficionados of Jobim and Gilberto.

The local team Anatolia got their first points with a 2,5-1,5 win over Beer Sheva Chess Club and can look for some more scalps in the coming rounds. 

The third round will start on Tuesday at 3 pm local time. The heavyweight battles AVE Novy Bor-Globus and Legacy Square Capital-Mednyi Vsadnik are definitely not to miss!

Report by: FM Tarik Selbes    Photos by: David Llada

r 20171009_ecc_antalya_R2_2833Anna Ushenina

r 20171009_ecc_antalya_R2_2841 Natalia Zhukova BOSSA NOVA
Natalia Zhukova 

r 20171009_ecc_antalya_R2_2868 Denis Khismatullin GLOBUS
Denis Khismatullin

r 20171009_ecc_antalya_R2_2876

r 20171009_ecc_antalya_R2_2911 Anish Giri GLOBUS
Anish Giri

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