ICCF Champions League

Champions League Newsletter
December 24, 2002
By Email Tournaments Commissioner Chris Lüers

Dear Chessfriends,

fortuneteller the 2nd. This time I focus on the qualification groups 6-10 of the ICCF Champions League. Due to computer problems we had no updated webtables for a week or two, but meanwhile the problem is solved.

Group 6:

The group is currently lead by the group's favourites "Latvian Gambit" who have scored 13-6 points. The team´s average rating is almost 2500 and they are followed by 2387 of "Dutchess". Unfortunately the 3rd board of our friends from the Netherlands had some unlucky results so far and the team must go some risk now if they want talk with the other top teams about the first places. Better play of "Aljechin`s Erben" (Aljechin´s heirs) with 10-5 points. While their 2nd and 4rd board have negative scores, the other two players are doing very well. Another german team, "SV Signal-Iduna", also managed to score more than 60% so far. The spanish "Ajemail" lately came up with more results and now they start to establish themselves in the top group with 6,5-2,5.

Currently the 1st board has a clear situation. Mats Larsson who fights for glory in the name of the "Chess Mail Chigorin" just took the lead with 4/5 and a heir of Aljechin, Helge Verhoef, follows with 3,5/5. Only one of the three SIMs on the board, Uldis Strautins, has a positive score (2/3); Jonathan Tait and also the old master from the Netherlands, Adri de Groot, met strong counterplay and surely currently fight for better results.

The players of the second board are still one group; no runaway so far although some extra-ordinary ratings are seen here: Ron Langeveld with 2524 and SIM Vilnis Strautins 2498 have positive scores nevertheless. Stan Grayland already has two wins in his in-box, but unfortunately he also had to report 2 losses to his team "BCCA". Was a "Mysterious Rook" the reason for the 4 losses of Bodo Wagner? Betker currently leads with impressive 4/5; he should give some deep analysis to the game against Cecilio Hernaez Fernandez, TD in the Open Email Jubilee tournament, who has 3/4 already.

23 results and only 5 draws on board 3 - especially Gerhard Bartsch is responsible for this with incredible 4,5/5. SIM Aivars Kazoks also makes no prisoners: 5 victories for him already. I can confirm that the 2 losses which are also on his score-table are sort of an exception: he just beat the author of these lines in the Jubilee Official´s tournament. The chief of the ICCF Online Archive, Wes Green, is someone with his feet on the ground; solid play and 2,5/3 points. Tom Makowski recently had to accept a number of defeats - no concentration in the pre- christmas time? Olano Aizpura keeps up to Kazoks and Bartsch with 2,5/3.

Ulrich Beyer (also new to ICCF) has a simple strategy on board 4: fast and clear results; but successful: 5 wins and 2 defeats. Afraid of a team consisting of 4 SIMs? The 4th board of the "Latvian Gambit" (Artis Gaujens, 3/4) even and still has 2500 elo points - where else would new players meet such opponents in their first tournament? Also worth mentioning is Alan Sutton who has 3 out of 4 like Gaujens with whome he shared the point already.

I will continue to bet on the first 3 places of each group:

  1. Latvian Gambit
  2. Aljechin's Erben
  3. BCCA

Group 7:

Friendship must be more than a word: "The Chessfriends" prove that it can be of advantage for your chessgames, too. Amazing 19,5-6,5 points for them and a clear fisrt place at the moment. Concerning the performance in percentage only the "International Bishops - CC Team" (75%) and "Roszada - Polska" (71%) can keep up with them, but they have less total points. The "Randaberg Vikings" are doing well, but not as much as their average rating would tell it. The "U.K. Black Knights", the "Chess Today Knights" and the "Rotary - Gambit" team were not able to surprise so far; they adorn the group's last places for the time being.

SIM Wolfgang Schneider deserves first place at the first board with 5/7. Let´s see what Ireland's O'Connor does in the rest of his games - he won his only finished game so far, but this was against SIM Arild Haugen (3,5/6) who has to defend 2570 rating points. IM Dariusz Sczcepankiewicz and IM Satici ("Partenopae International Chess Team") are both on a good way with 2,5/4.

On board No.2 Klaus Keuter impresses with 4,5/6. I would love to have a look at his game against ICCF treasurer Carlos Flores Gutierrez; the IM who plays for the "Old Masters" has 3/4 so far. Most other results are draws on this board.

The opposite on the next board. The "Caballeros del Tablero" are probably satisfied with their 3rd board: Soto Conde from Peru has taken all 3 points in his finished games. But strong players keep up with him: IM Raymond Boger and Witoslaw Sczcepankiewicz both with 3,5/4 and W.Bauer with even 5/6! At this board the ratings really reflect the player´s performances.

Board 4 waits for us with a very interesting situation: nearly no players with intermediate performances so far; you either surprise in a positive or a negative way. Mendez Raynalte and Email Tournaments Administrator Rudolf Hofer (both 3/3), Dr.Voetter (5/7), Werner (5,5/7) and Ciborowski (3/4) belong to the first group. Thor Harestad, Stephane Fombonne and Derek Coope cannot be too happy at the moment, but the games they play against each other are still unfinished and there is no reason to lose the concentration: their team might need every half point in the end for a better league.

My bet for the first 3 places:

  1. The Chessfriends
  2. Roszada - Polska
  3. International Bishops - CC Team

Group 8:

The "Zeitnot Chess Team" is the only team that lost the contact to the group a little bit; all others fight around the 50% mark. On the whole the "White Bishop Chess Team" has the lead at the moment, which is kind of a surprise. Many teams have balanced scores right now. "Potaissa Turda" raised their voices long before the tournament start, saying that they would be met in the CL A the next time. The "ALFA Team" is summarized in a rating of nearly 2500, but so far they have only finished 4 games (nevertheless 75%).

More than 2600 elo points - Rudolf Sevecek teaches chess on board 1. So far only Miss Arline Taffijn ("Stansco.com NetChess Knights") got a lesson, while Nowak from the "September Malbork Cup" and Bellmann (whose team "Zugzwang Bocholt V" is on a good way) reached a draw against the Grandmaster. Panman is the only one to score two wins already, but he already had to accept a defeat against Flores from "E.C. da Benedita".

On board 2 Ray Wuerzebesser who plays for the "FARM" team of the german CC club "Rochade 5171" can be satisfied with his 2,5/3 so far. One draw he reached (or had to accept?) against IM Demian, who will soon come up in a new position at the Email Tournament Office. FIDE player G.Agomeri even has 2/2; IM Svacek still has all his 10 games unfinished.

Giancarlo Marcotulli just sent in THE surprise: a win over +2400-FIDE player Marius Ceteras on board 3. Marcotulli himself obtains an ICCF rating of 1980 meanwhile. Marius on the other site accepted this defeat like a gentleman (see discussion on The CC Message Board) and his answer is a win against the current group leader McLeod (3,5/5) who plays his first ICCF tournament. The groups favourite Sedlacek has a clean slate (1/1).

Board 4 shows no results so far for Michalek and Toma who can both be expected at the top in the end. All other results are more or less unspectacular, though the games behind them might have been thrilling.

Currently I would put my money on the teams:

  1. ALFA Team
  2. Chess Club Potaissa Turda
  3. CC-Salzburg

Group 9:

Finally favourites who walk at the front from the beginning on: "Champagne Chess" - it tastes good with 7-3 points. Strong german teams follow the french; "SK Essen - Holsterhausen" and the "Ratinger SK" have currently an even better score than "Antares 2002", the italians nevertheless don´t have to get nervous with their 60% performance. The "Chess Mail Bears" might give sleepless nights to manager Tim Harding, but their individual strength can make him optimistic. The "Four Brave Englishmen", already a legend in ICCF team tournaments, have a little crisis.

Svavar Viktorsson from "TGGT-b" is the greenhorn on board 1, but he plays like a professional already: 2,5/3. IM Spitz with 2542 has 3/4 with two draws against the board´s FIDE players, Daus and Klengel. Daus knows this result and he has six more of them. Klengel also shared the point six times already but he also won his game against Draba from polish team "Warmia i Mazury". The other IMs on the board (Siviero, Albano, Chambers) are doing okay.

Thomas Neuer writes the rules for board 2 with fantastic 6,5 out of 8. This is his first ICCF tournament, but meanwhile he has also started an Email Higher Class section. Neuer won against IM Knebel who himself cannot complain because of his 5/7 - congratulations. IM Sowden becomes the draw king of the board. SIM Vinot is the only player who has not yet finished a game, while Liban Van Damme sends his team from sunshine to rain with 2 wins, 2 losses and 3 draws.

On board 3 Murlasits and Schramm play a good tournament with 3 wins already and 4 respectively 3 draws. Diotallevi follows with 3,5/5 and Muller has 2,5/4. This looks like a relatively strong third board and I hope that former ICCF General Secretary Alan Rawlings is not too angry with the tournament's organizer. Correa de Almeida, Ingolfsson and Tegi had to give away all their finished games so far while argentinian IM Alvarez Villar should be able to defend his scalp.

Castellano, Vossenkuhl and Bee lead the board 4 which is not a surprise at all, but IM Viard is on their track. Bradley, Neatherway and Galazka play their first ICCF tournament and got to know the playing level, but meanwhile they should be acclimatized and work on their first points.

Unofficial bet on the first 3 places:

  1. SK Essen - Holsterhausen
  2. Champagne Chess
  3. Ratinger SK

Group 10:

Again two german teams are at the front: the "SF Gerresheim 1986" and the "Chess Rubbers". "Sofia Chess" also has scored 75%, but with less games. The "Latvians" and "The President's Chessmen" complete the top group. The last mentioned team consists of four ICCF senior officials with the president himself on board 4.

Board 1 only shows 9 results so far. Philippe St.Amour from "Bergetti.com" lost 5 games already; well there are almost 300 rating points between him and the rest of the group if you exclude FIDE and new players. The two SIMs, Sapundiev and E.Lüers, still fight in all their games. Top rated player IM Ruemmele won against Lüers in the german national league before, but the position in this game here looks balanced. Dmitry Morozov from Russia (team "MagnitChess") has no published ICCF rating yet, but the nine results which are in for him so far are only wins (in the Open Email Jubilee P/198)!

SIM Bergmann leads the board 2 with 3,5/5. Eberl, 350 elo points behind reached a draw against him. IM Christov from Bulgaria won his only finished game against Zunke from "Zitadelle Spandau C". ICCF Title Tournaments Commissioner Josef Mrkvicka successfully holds contact to the title holders with 2/3.

The new players dominate the board 3. Wolfgang Utesch 4,5/6, Schneider 3/4, Petricci 1/1 and Felzmann 1,5/2 all have a positive score until now. Gobleja who plays his first tournament outside Latvia does everything that is possible = 2/2. ICCF Qualification Commissioner George Pyrich's is probably closely watched by the president on board 4. Has George already gambled away his credit from his win against Murray Marchant with the loss against the newcomer Utesch?

But no, the president is a person of mercy. At least concerning ICCF officials: his opponents on board 4 learn that he can also carry things through - 2,6 out of 3 for IM Alan Borwell. It´s no board for blitz players: Rivest has already finished all his games, but overshoot the mark (0,5 points). Funke has one game left (2 points) and so does Petruzelli but the italian at least has 2 more points on his score card. Baum can be more happy, if he wins his last remaining game, he would finsih the tournament with a remarkable total score of 8 points. Böcher lost his game against the "Chess Rubber", but he still has all the chances because he already scored 5 wins! Dimov might be the one to challenge them concerning the first place in the group with current 4,5/6. Jesus Sanchez Carol ("Caballeros 64") has really concentrated on the layout and updating of the ICCF webtables in recent months. I´m sure his next performances will be much better than his current score in the Champions League. Thanks for your work, Jesus!

My bet for the first 3 places:

  1. Chess Rubbers
  2. Sofia Chess
  3. Latvians

Posted on 9-Feb-2004

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