- Group 11:
The group's favourites
did lead the group for the first months, but recently team "Estonia"
had to accept some defeats and now they are down to 61% of the
possible points. "Grupo de Xadrez do Porto" has now taken the
lead (65%) which is a surprise at this time of the tournament
as the 4 Portuguese have an average rating of 2212 far behind
the 2400 of "FIDES Bratislava" who occupy 2nd place at the moment.
With 14,5 points the "Rochade Chess Hunters" have scored the most
points so far, but according to percentage they are only ranked
at 6th place. "Italica Scacchi" holds the red lantern at the moment
and it will be hard to make up the critical result of their 4th
board. Last two teams in good position are the Germans of "Zitadelle
Spandau A" with 60% so far and not far behind the 4 marksman of
Board 1 sees the most
risky player in Hoynck van Papendrecht. However his interesting
style with unusual openings has cost him games already, but his
team "Discendo Discimus 1852" can still be proud of him as he
drawed with 2500 rated Pavel Eiben. The 300 rating points between
him and his opponent did not prevent Delavekouras from beating
Alvar Kangur who meanwhile was replaced by Hans Tomson for the
Estonians. Nowak, one of the two new ICCF players, currently has
the best performance with 3 out of 4 and "Szachowa Vistula" can
Even 4/5 has Baumgardt
on board 2. He still has to stand the pressure of the only 2 persons
with more elo points at this board - Raul Kuck and Pedro Hegoburu,
ICCF's acting General Secretary. Polakovich also has good results
so far while FIDE player Szczecina had to give away 4 games already.
Well he probably concantrates on the rest...and might end at 6/10?
Again a score of 4/5
means the top result on board 3: J.Kolár from Slovakia ahead of
Brondts who can be satisfied with 3,5/4 in his first serious CC
tournament. "What I See Is What I Grab" is maybe not only the
name of his team - Carlos Moreno Carretero took advantage from
this strategy with 2,5/3. Michael Schulz completes the team of
top scorers at the moment while Dlugolecki from South Africa must
be a little bit disappointed. Come on Grzegorz - it´s your first
tournament and you will see better times.
IMs on board 4 have
sometimes already been the meal of newcomers, but Schuster is
a bad snack: his incredible score of 7,5/9 will surely mean one
of the top performances in the whole Champions league at the end.
The position of the runner-up is currently between de Pinho and
Sören Peschardt who both achieved 3 victories already. Go, CLAPDAC,
go! Sparnacini could not improve from his underdog position and
scored his only draw against L.Heiermann. Hens plays a so-so tournament
so far with 3/7.
At the very end the
first 3 places could be occupied by:
- FIDES Bratislava
- Grupo de Xadrez
- Group 12:
Oh, they did not roar
too much at the beginning: The "Kings of TCCMB" really play strong
and fully deserve 1st place a the moment with 19-8 points. However
they are still in contest with 4 young boys from Germany, who
might become a real danger for him. The "Rochade Young Stars"
all are famous junior players in the national area and with 66%
they have entered the international scene now with great play.
These two teams are followed by a group of 4 teams all having
scored more than 60% so far: "The Gambiteers Guild", "Diabolik
Chess" from Italy, "Chimia Ramnicu Valcea" and the winners of
witty-team-name-contest "Zasilatelstvi Zeleznik Pardubice". "USCAD"
and the "Hong Kong CC Club" are the ones that had to suffer so
Another 1,5 points
from her remaining games and Mrs Caravan-Plass fulfills the Women
GM norm on board 1; with 2.5/4 she already scored an IM norm.
Belegotti is the only one who has still chances for the men's
GM norm; he must add another 4.5 points to his current 3.5/4.
He nevertheless already plays a good tournament! Peter Coleman
already has the SIM title, but will most probably fulfill another
norm in this group; 5.5/8 is oustanding. Gary Ruben and Chris
Champion are not far behind with 3.5/5 while IM and Africa-/Asia-Champion
Mekki Samraoui must win his remaining two games to score positively.
A strong, strong board!
Both sons of ICCF Zonal
Director Med Samraoui are national junior champions of Germany
and Mekki's brother Karim tells us why with 5/8 on board 2. Mario
Versili has nevertheless the better performance with 4/5 and SIM
Hotting can also be envied for his score of 4.5/6.
H.Lohmann in his first
ICCF tournament is the phenomenon on board 3: 5 out of 5! What
will his result be against Stephen Ham who impresses not less
with 5/6? The other unbeaten players here are Latronico and J.Alexa
who both have a +2 score so far.
6 out of 7 is a dream
coming true for Vicente de Brito in his first ICCF tournament
at board 4. They seem to play a lot of chess besides their tennis
matches at the "Tijuca Tenis Clube - Brasil"... . SIM Behling
goes from heaven to hell with 4 wins, but also 3 defeats. Gary
Good and Schoepe complete the cycle of good performers at this
Currently I would put
my money on the following teams:
- Kings of TCCMB
- Rochade 5171 - Young
- Diabolik Chess
Except of "Rochade
5171 - Caissa's Finest" all teams romp about the 50% performance
at the moment and so it is hard to point out some of them. Oh
wait, no: "The Good Knights" scored 11-5 so far and yes, this
is the clear first place. The "Polish lions" have already completed
35 games taking 20 points and this is also not bad at all for
the 4 guys who could also have decided for the name "The Marcinkiewicz"
as all 4 members are named like this. Italians "Blue Team" is
aso worth mentioning and it is on the whole very problematic to
have a guess on the first 3 places of the group. Well, I nevertheless
had a try (see below).
The two titleholders
play a good role on board 1, but IM A.Marcinkiewicz already lost
a game to Huuskonen who did well so far with 4/6. SIM Hefka (team
"CC Slovakofarma Hlohovec") still has to fight with these two,
but he already shared the point with Munoz Moreno who can be happy
about his 3.5/5.
With 5.5/8 Norway's
Klausen dominates board 2 at the moment. IM Peli had to hoist
the white flag against him while the game against SIM Rákay ended
in a draw. Tanis from "Chessknights' Tango" and Koegler are the
other unbeaten persons on the board.
has already finished all his games on board 3 and he could be
satisfied with 4 wins, but he also has 2 losses. It looks like
romanian Chiru from team "Telaxoza" will overtake him in the end
as he has 3.5/4 now! IM Norevall scored 100% so far, but at only
1 game this is not yet superb. Andreas Schinke had to report no
loss so far to his team "FS-TSG Wismar" and he even won the battle
with the Senior IM of the board already mentioned.
Again 'the Marcinkiewicz'
has finished all his games at the next board and he did acceptale
with 5.5 points. Except of Andrea Pinna no player can show a really
good performance so far at this board while also no-one is doing
significantly bad. Piet van der Houwen has a +2 and that another
tango for his team.
Hard to say, but I
can imagine the follwing teams:
- The Godd Knights
- CC Slovakofarma
A very hard battle
for the first places at the moment. "Stamp-Kielce" and "Safer
Sacs Berlin" currently lead the group, but the "Chess-Owls", the
"Brevnov Knights" and "Tuculca" follow close behind. A surprise
is the current negative score of "TGGT" and "ZIKUDA Liberec";
they surely were more optimistic in the beginning. The "Rochade
5171 - Underdogs" were wise when chosing their name. Now no-one
can critize them and they can play without pressure.
Ruggeri Laderchi leads
at board 1 for his italian monster "Tuculca" with 3.5/5. IM Gunnlaugsson
and Makovsky scored satisfactory. The board does not show much
results so far and the group is surely very curious to see the
first results of GM Burger (elo 2568) and also IM Svoboda. Miss
Anja Schmidt has reached the women IM norm with 3.5/6 - congratulations.
With 5.5/8 Anton Neder
plays a fine first tournament for him. I imagine that his open
game against GM Arno Nickel (elo 2586) is of another category
and I would love to have a look at the current position. Nickel
himself finished two games with draws so far. V.Hybl is in second
position with 3.5/5.
6.5/8! - Andreas Schmelz
is top player on board 3 while having only the provisional rating
of 2200. Bartosik with a +3 score and Trani with 3/4 follow. Surely
the board's favourite Albrecht (elo 2498) is in an unlucky position,
meeting only players with an elo distance of at least -200.
Board 4 shows only
10 results so far, but only one of these is a draw. Stefaniak
(2/2), Miss Laura Hartmann and Simon (both 2.5/3) had the best
start. 7 players at this board are new to ICCF.
Again a hard choice
but I think the Germans will dominate quite clearly in the end:
- Safer Sacs Berlin
- Brevnov Knights
One of the best performances
in the whole Champions League so far comes from "East Slovakia
Chess" at group 15 - 77% at 13 finished games is a top number.
"Imperium Szachów Wieruszów" however holds the contact with 75%
and a score of 15-5. As usual an italian team plays better than
it average rating would indicate it: "I Disinuti Chess Club" with
75%. DBV-Winterthur Stralsund" lie in wait with 68% and the group's
favourites "Kazakh CC Federation" (2475 average rating!) surely
have methods to improve the current 63%. Other teams like "CCI
II Wiesbaden", the "Rochade Bears" or "Resistance is Futile" were
not able too surprise and are a little bit cannon fodder: all
our hearts are with you - fight!
Mortarini against Lelenko
is the most interesting result still to come. The Italian has
the nice result of 6/8 - absolutely top for someone who plays
his first CC tournament! Lelenko on the other side has scored
100% so far with 2/2. Sanner and IM Ernazarov might be the only
once to challenge for 1st place in the end.
Mrázik, Palmkoeck from
the "Flemish Queens" and Niewiadomski are the names you should
remember for board 3. All three show a +3 score with no defeat
so far and all have at least 4 unfinished games. They should nevertheless
pay enough attention to Farit Balabaev. Farit is no GM yet, but
how do you think did he get his almost 2700 elo points!? This
is by far the absolute highest rating that you can meet in the
Champions League. Dariusz Domagala is another eample for a new
player surprising his group: at board 3 he has 4.5/5 so far beating
the runner-up Marcel van tricht who has 5/7. Isigkeit must feel
satisfied with 5.5/8, but unfortunately he had to resign against
Kevicky who has 2/2 like Luca Saviozzi at the same board.
Well what can you say
to Wolfgang Standke at board 4? You simply cannot improve a 5/5.
His biggest rivals are Sergei Kim who has not finished a single
game yet, but he has the most elo points, and Plenkovs from the
"Latvian Knights" who has +4. Polish Chmiel has also overscored
his expected results so far (+2 at 3.5/5) and according to the
rating Filipek could be close to some wins now, but so far he
has only scored 3 draws.
Again a tough group,
but I think those 3 could make it:
- East Slovakia Chess
- DBV Winterthur Stralsund
As I don´t want to write an extra report for 2 groups at the end
this and the following fortuneteller contains a report about 6 groups.
So here is what I see in group 16:
- Group 16:
Team "CCI I" follows
the unwritten Champios League rule that the little mices annoy
the big elephants. The largest elephant, team "Pegas" got so scared
that they forgot 60% of the points in their games. The "Rochade
Connection", "Sagttarius" and the "King's Defenders" did better
with 60% on the have-it-side. "The men from U.N.C.L.E" made no
enemies so far by scoring exactly 50% and "Email Chess Krosno"
can be seen with strong performances on board 1 and 4, but unlucky
ones at the other boards.
Very rarely a board
is that much clearly led by one player - W.Krol with 5/7 means
the ultimate No.1. His rating of not more than 2121 seems not
to comply with his playing strength and Vesko Spaso (2552) from
Bulgaria was one who had to learn this. Guerrini is the only other
player with a positive performance so far, but we have to see
more results from him. This board is nominally led by a group
of 4 players, next to Spasov it´s Nyvlt from the Czech Republic,
Chris Sergel from the USA and IM Koesebay from Turkey, the player
who recently show up in the World Championships with great results.
Totally different is
what board 2 has to offer as really some players are unbeaten
but already obtain victories. Of these Obando (2), De Sa (2.5/3)
and Vosahlik (3.5/5) have the best score in percent while IM Tay,
IM Bauer and Schwertel currently form the group of haunters. Mrs
Sergeeva from Kazakhstan should come at least to this group soon
- a FIDE rating of 2328 is an obvious argument.
J. Rodriguez Landers
had a good start at board 3, but he still has to face strong opponents
which sometimes have alsmost 500 more rating points! Between these
already one battel was already decided when M.P. Santosh won against
P.Petkov. Ryska and Loeffler both have scored 2 victories next
to some draws.
Again a 2200 is in
front at board 4 - Borowiec from "Email Chess - Krosno" with the
marvellous score of 7/9! Beating Parushev (2534) surely was most
pleasable for him. Jensen, Moncher from the "Pangea Chess Club)
and Bode gain some ground with good results while Mrs Litvinenko,
German Castillo, Baumann and K.Glaser already had to surrender
in at least one game; however all 4 have also won at least 2 games.
A very interesting
group for me - maybe those 3 end up first in the end:
- Rochade 5171 - Chess
- CCI I