ICCF Champions League

Champions League Newsletter
March 15, 2003
By Email Tournaments Commissioner Chris Lüers

Dear Chessfriends,
the CL groups 17-22 are the last to come in this fortuneteller story and here they are:

Group 17:

On the first view everything looks as expected so far: three of the top rated teams ("Slovan Bratislava", "Imperium Szachów - Polinia" and the "Chess Crystals" lead while the chessfriends from "Supernovae" have some problems to get into the race. Also no big surprises so far at the abaft end of the group where the lower rated "Chess Today Bishops" and "...e5xd4" can be found. They should have maybe named something like "exQf8" or "NxRf7#".

IM Sabaev the nominal favoruite already is on top of board 1 with a +2 score and no lost game. The most important victory he scored against his russian rival IM Aleksei Voll who also is rated +2500. Krabbe, Sjol, Marczell and Smith also have a positive performance so far SIM Calzolari and IM Novikovas both scored 4 draws and no clear result so far.

With 2/2 another SIM, Marek Kolcak, leads at board 2 being accompanied by quite a number of other players with also a +2 score: IM Poleshuk, Efendiyev and Michele Rinesi, the man behind the webtables of the Open Email Jubilee tournament where he does a remarkable work. Even better is Robert Jankowicz with the fabulous score of 5/7.

With also +3 James Monacell is the man to beat at board 3 and being new to ICCF you could not expected that from him. Kopelevich and IM Malác follow with a +2. Two ICCF Tournament Directors still fight for the point at this board and I´m not sure if IM Guido Bresadola can also find an amici sumus solution in this battle and Roberto Davide probably searches for other ways also. As both are italian they should also have the possibility to exchange some interesting cases of TD decisions besides the game.

With K.V.Liushnin and D.Povchanic two new ICCF players are on top of board 4. E.Andreassen also finished the tournament with 4 wins, 2 losses and the rest draws. The german Hartmann might be the thrid player with chances to overtake him in the end as he completes the cycle of players with positive scores so far. IM Sakadin has to fear for his 2461 rating points and he already accepted 3 draws.

So who's gonna make it? Maybe these 3:

  1. Slovan Bratislava
  2. Imperium Szachów - Polinia
  3. Chess Crystals

Group 18:

The "ChessBaseUserClub" is maybe the non-plus-ultra in the whole Champions League for the time being: 23.5 - 3.5 = 87%. Unbelievable. Who are these 4 heroes? SIM Hofstetter, Nyberg, Wallinger, Dr.Pauli - remember these names. There is no other group with so much distance bewteen the top team and the rest of the group. On 2nd place are currently the "Wicked Bishops" who even have a better average team rating, but anyway their 67% are not bad at all. "Gaia", the "Chess Allies" and "Zugzwang Bocholt IV" also play a good role at the moment and can hope for a good league qualification. The indian "Syopes" hopefully still have fun playing the tournament; together with "CXEB-I" and the "Knight Fighters" they adorn the end of the table, but this can of course change faster than imaginable.

Board 1: Hofstetter = 5.5/6. No comment. Stephen Kerr = 8/10. Comment: superb! Finally a FIDE rating that makes a difference. Except of Sakai all other players at this board already gave away at least one game. It really is a very interesting and wild board with 39 finished games, but only 14 of these were draws. Willy Mueller is the last player with a more than acceptable performance so far and he still fights with Hofstetter.

Board 2: Nyberg = 6/7. No comment. What a heavy game it must be for him against IM Mousessian who does what is necessary with 5/6. Also Nigel Burne (2116 elo) seems to be a tough nut for the leading player and his 5/8 indicate his strength. Tom Mirbach, one of the few CL Tournament Directors works concentrated and has a +2 score at this board which is also a remarkable result for him at the moment.

Board 3 is the only on where the CB Users currently not lead. Not yet. Wallinger has only completed 4 games so far and 3 points out of these is still a top performance in general. However Jacopo Negri (+5!) and Dibley Shane (+4!) are currently dominating the group and their game against Wallinger might be decisive for the group while they agreed to a draw in their own game already. Garcia Gallego must not be forgotten as he has gained 4/6 or his team "El Peón Travieso".

Board 4: Dr.Pauli = 9/10. Absolutely no comment. And what about Jason Bokar (7/9) and Michael Rohde (6/7)? They would be board 1 players as well on many other teams. This board was effected with so many replacements already that it is only fair to see some players gaining elo points a good ranking and surely a lot of fun from this group. I dare a bet and say that no player of this group will have more than 4 draws on his account in the end. The risky play of players like Brayman, Martinez- Cabanas Espanol, Pecis or Rose will surely attract many visitors to their games when they finally are available in our online database. It has never been easier to bet on the first place and also the second is not hard to guess. I really hope for the "Chess Allies" to continue their strong play as they have to live with a 1/10 performance on one of their boards, but with 56% they are doing brilliant. However I would congratulate any team making it to the bronze medal place:

  1. ChessBaseUserClub
  2. Wicked Bishops
  3. Chess Allies

Group 19:

"Penelopa" is in clear front with 77% and "Cebichess" and the "Vesuvian Chess Team" follow ight behind. The group's favourites "Petrochess" will come up more sooner or later probably. "Flanco Sur" and Chess Mail's self-appointed fun team "Muzio" fight from the other side of the table.

On board 1 Mrs Ricarda Fluegel ("Caissa and Friends") achieved a lady IM norm and she also gained a positive overall score so far with a win against Fister ("Les Chevaliers") who himself managed to get the full point against IM N.A.Muzyka (2527). IM Sosa Patino and Ernst Rosche (Chessfriends of "Huelzweiler") like the draws best at the moment and on the other hand Gronkowski won two games already against relatively lower rated players.

Board 2 seesBauer and Wiacek both with a 100% score so far, but they finished not more than one games. So Maksimov (4.5/7) and Matisson (3.5/5) should be regarded as the group's leaders at the moment. Ortiz from Peru will surely not leave these alone in the discussion about the first place and so won't Benti, the man from th volcano.

His companion Carlo Costanzo spits fire on board 3: 4.5/5! Enviable. IM Buczinski also does well with 3.5/4 and he still has to finishe his game against Costanzo and also against the group's highest rated player Yury A. Muzyka. Stefan Korosec showed up with a +2 on this board while Peru's Solari has not revealed any secrets yet and we still wait for his first results.

IM Figlio is ahead of the group at board 4 with 3.5/4. Pohlig, Onatsevich and Montella have not yet lost much of ground and follow more or less closely. Schumacher from the "Rochade 5171 - Wizards" equalled two losses with wins against Jurado Pérez from "Flanco Sur" and Chess Mail's Bernard Hanison.

Currently I would put my money on the teams:

  1. Penelopa
  2. Cebichess
  3. Petrochess

Group 20:

Nearly equal are "Forster SC 95" and the "Lithunania Chess Club "Baltijos Lyga" - both with the enviable score of about 82%. Per direct entry "The Beatles" entered the Champions League and it was a good decision to take part for the team which consists of 4 FIDE players plus one unknown player (at board 1!) follow with 70% and a clear 3rd place at the moment. Next places go to "SV Saxonia Bernsbach", the "Eridano Chess Team" and the "BR Knights" who have the most total points right now. I suppose the "Hamar Optimists" knew why to chose that name and so there´s no doubt they will increase there current 32%.

Board 1 is currently lead by IM Cipolli, but next to 4 wins that are the basis of his current 5 points he also had to accept a defeat against Djordje Petrovic, the only player of "The Beatles" who has no FIDE rating. Petrovic (4,5/7) himself however lost to Salvatore Giannetto who himself again lost to Cipolli. SIM F.Atakisi won his only finished game while ICCF newcomer Kenneth Frey Beckman did not come to a win yet, but has 3 draws against Mrs Saviano ("Partenope Scacchi Italia" and again Cipolli and Petrovic. Arnold Horst should be mentioned as the only left player with a positive result and no loss so far.

Thomas Steeger deserves first places at board 2 with 5/7. IM Alves and IM Skorna follow with a +2 performance while Carrettoni lost to Kulvietis (next to 2 wins). The almost 2400 FIDE rating points of Dusan Jesic were only good enough for 5 draws so far.

His team mate Micic does much better on board 4 with perfect 3/3. You cannot do better? Well, I wouldn´t care about a 4 wins, 5 wins,...but how shall someone comment on the 7/7 of Dr.Risard Kurylo? The only players that might destroy the dream of a 10/10 are SIM Krueger (remarkable 5/6 and therewith also chances on the group´s win), Zimolzak ("Szachowa Vistual Chess Monthly") and the mentioned Micic. Only 5 draws at 36 finished game mean that there must also be some victims in the group: Jan Misdom and Costa had to suffer while Oldrati and Wesely did equal their losses already by some full points.

Dirceu Cleto Jr. couldn´t do much better than 6/8 on board 4 particularly if you consider that he started with only 1995 rating points. Sakalauskas brings in 2424 FIDE elo points and gets 2,5/3 so far. Adamovic received the same present although he brought 200 less points to the party. Kaminski, Perina and de Lucia have ups and downs while Birk ("SV Saxonia Bernsbach") and Heite ("NBC Northern Pride") travel on the middle way all time with only draws.

Finally a bet that seems not too difficult:

  1. Lithuania Chess Club "Baltijos Lyga"
  2. Forster SC 95
  3. The Beatles

Group 21:

Lithuania has many strong teams in he Champions League and among these is "Margiris" that has 75% in the qualification group 21. Italy challenges them with the "Titanic Team" that has only titleholders AN BORD. Between these two "64for4" has settled with a 64% score. The "Schachfreunde St.Wendel" have a good debut with nearly 60% and are followed by "CSM CLUJ - Romania". The teams of this groups are still relatively close together and why should any of the teams on the places in the behind give up hope for a good league? "Blue Danube Rookies", "Imperium Szachów - Rzeszów", "Odenwaelder Bauern" and "Rochade 5171 Squirrels" could not realize their dreams so far.

Joerg Weber of "Capea II" finished already with a fabulous 7,5/10 on board 1. Amazing score for the only 2244 rated player. Four players occupy the 2nd place at the moment and these are IM Stuart, Talos, Gueth and Mikrut while the polish player might have the best basic position as he has not lost a game so far. We can also expect a good performance of A.Butnorius (2457 FIDE elo) in the end who has a +2 score so far like SIM Maurizio Sampieri.

Petraitis on board 2 defends his 2500 rating points with 5,5/8 and his biggest chaser is Albert Bost with 4/5. Vosselmann and IM Petrillo can be satisfied and again a mixed performance can be seen at the players Wornath, Sferle and Dr.Patocka. Galvez from the "Inka Chess Club" has unlucky results so far.

Albano Rivares (5,5) and Luksik have finished all their games on board 3 so far and there is even a closer connection between these two as Luksik took home his only half a point against the player of "Capea II". Hans van Unen must only survive against Lakatos somehow and then he can lean back after successful work (6,5/9). Michael Bach beat 5 opponents in his first ICCF tournament but he also lost two games while two others being still unfinished for him. I suppose Rauduve will even improve his current +2 at 3/4 and italians IM Cimmino should also do better soon. Matheis and Fernandez Ballon surprise the group with solid play.

I hope that not the workload is responsible for the poorer result of Email Tournament Office Controller Robert Felber on board 4. IM Mauro benefits at most of this with currently 5,5/8. Rupsys has less total points but a better percentage score with 5/6 and he should be regarded as top favourite on the group win at the moment (beating SIM Burgath for example, who himself might be a little bit disappointed). Daatselaar, Newrly, Diaz Vega and Lubas all have a +1 score.

My unofficial bet for the first 3 places:

  1. Margiris
  2. Titanic Team
  3. 64for4

Group 22:

The last qualification group of the ICCF Champions League is lead by "HSG Uni Rostock" which is a very big surprise at his moment as their average rating would put them in 8th position. Their 20-10 result is followed by the "Chess Composers" of the Rochade 5171 family with 63%. "Novokuznetsk" from Russia is in third position with a total +5 performance while "Zugzwang Bocholt I" has to wake up now in order to show why they have the highest average rating of the group. The "Brazilian Chessfriends" and team "Svitosi" are on the look-out.

Mikhail Emelyanov dominated board 1, but no-one knows what is happening in his last game against Scheuermann (2512 elo) who himself has 5,5/9. He lost to Hase before who has the same rating strength and who lost against Blauhut. The circle is not closed because Blauhut - Scheuermann finished in a draw and so the inner-german battle on the chessboard is over. Ferreira has reported only draws so far, 6 to be exact.

With +3 and no defeats three players are in front at board 2: Toivo from the "Chessclub Norma", SIM Bellmann ("Zugzwang Bocholt") and new ICCF player Schwenck for the university of Rostock (located at the north east of Germany more or less close to the east sea. IM Degerhammar concentrated on an invitational tournament before and players should be warned because he recently won the Heidenfeld Memorial. I expect him to do well in his remaining five games (currently +1). Patrick Mary sees bad times but at least he won against Peru´s Yepez ("Los Chalanes") who himself beat Bianchin. Povilas Pakenas might be able to jump into the discussion about the group win but we need more results of the 2419 rated player.

Schwetlick has taken advantage of his underdog image on board 3 -> 7/9 ! I am nevertheless sure that his last game against Volodarsky is his toughest nut. The Russian himself has 2,5/3 winning against Laffranchise and Martins. The name of U.Joppich also belongs to the groups of strong players on this board (+2 and no defeat so far) while Kloepping (2458) had a worse start. Raidaru from the Norma Chessclub and Ciucurel (team "C.S. Universitatea Craiova") play a solid tournament.

Mikhaylov being the first to finish all his games on board 4 and whether or not his score of 50% helps his team is unclear. Graziani surely did so already with 6,5/9 and his last game against Cinca might mean another step. The game between the two "(ex-)students" (Cinca and Roehl) from the two university teams ended in a draw already. Sanchez is in second position with 6/9 right ahead of Lohmann (5 points) who has one game more to play. Guenter Henrich was not so lucky with this board and he might lose some of his 2395 elo points. Nevertheless his current performance of 4/8 is not bad of course.

So who is it gonna be in the end? Maybe these 3:

  1. Rochade 5171 - Chess Composers
  2. USG Uni Rostock
  3. Brazilian Chessfriends

Hope this was entertaining for you!
Best regards, amici sumus,

Chris Lüers

Posted on 10-Feb-2004

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