ICCF Champions League

Fortune Teller - 2nd installment
As of February 6, 2004
By ICCF-IM Valer Eugen Demian

Thanks go to GM-ICCF Arno Nickel for his help with this edition of the Fortune Teller.

This was a tough one because of groups 13-15. I continuously left out teams, or had to re-write my comments because of the snail pace teams with so many games left to play. It remains to be seen how many on-going games will be converted in vital points!

Group 9

A - Champagne Chess 29.0 (2) can pop up the corks. It is time to celebrate before the tough road of the new season must be travelled.

B - SK Essen Holsterhausen 28.5 (0) and Ratinger SK 28.5 (0) came oh, so close! They could not break the Maginot line this time, their one and only concern (with everyone else left in their dust behind…). These would have been league A results in some groups!

C - Antares 2002 22.5 (1), Chess Mail Bears 22.5 (0) and Austrian Chess Amateurs 20.5 (1) waltzed in the league C. They will need a far better performance next season to avoid being stuck there.

Rochade 5171 - Interstern 15.5 (1) desperately hold their place in line for the last league C ticket, with Chess Today Kings 14.5 (3) having the upper hand in case of a tiebreak.

D - Four Brave Englishmen 14.0 (0) and TGGT-b 11.5 (0) and Warmia i Mazury 9 (1) have fought bravely, but with very little to show for.

Group 10

A - SF Gerresheim 1986 30.5 (1) has no time to wonder how come their ridiculously high result is not good enough for league A just yet. Chess Rubbers 29.5 (1) will fire their last bullet for better or worst.

B - Sofia Chess 25.0 (0) could not compete with those two high-octane teams and settled for a comfortable place in league B.

C - Schlechter's Erben 20.0 (0) and Latvians 19.5 (3) have no worries but a better war plan for next season.

The struggle between The President's Chessmen 18.5 (2), MagnitChess 18.0 (1) and South Europe Chess Team 18.0 (1) will leave one of them out of league C. The Presidential team has no tiebreak hope, so they must hold onto their minimal lead. The other two are in a photo finish for the moment, so I will even hold my breath…

D - Zitadelle Spandau C 16.5 (0) and Caballeros 64 14.5 (1) fell short. Bergetti .com 5 (0) was completely outplayed and possibly dissolved.

Group 11

A - 2 teams with the original average rating over 2400 are fighting together for the top spot in this group. Estonia 25.5 (1) seems to have a much easier task than FIDES Bratislava 24.0 (2). A win by the first team and everything is settled. FIDES needs to win both remaining games to hope for a tiebreak decision at 26.0. It must be tough to get the short end of the stick for either team who squeezed every ˝ they could get so far.

B - Grupo de Xadres do Porto 24.5 (1) can only reach a maximum of 25.5, not enough to beat Estonia on tiebreak. They will get another shot at league A next season.

C - Zitadelle Spadau A 22.5 (2) will only decide the fate of their Slovak friends, since their place cannot be challenged anymore. Rochade 5171 - Chess Hunters 20.0 (2) and CLAPDAC 19.5 (3) with a chance to win the last 3 matches as consolation after their board 4 carried everyone on his back to league C, are in.

What I see is what I grab 18.5 (3) must grab now at least ˝ point from 3. Their direct match with the Italians on board 1 is somewhat important for 7th spot.

D - Italica Scacchi 13.0 (6) needs to win them all (especially their direct game vs the Spaniards on board 1) and hope their counterparts totally collapse right at the end. I find this scenario rather unlikely especially since it took me a few good minutes to figure out the situation here…

Schachfreunde Buer 21/74 15.5 (0), Discendo Discimus 1852 13.0 (2) and Szachowa Vistula 11.0 (4) have scored more than other league D teams from around the league. However it was still not enough.

Group 12

A - Kings of TCCMB 28.5 (0) edged the competition by the smallest diamond of their Crown: ˝ of a point. With 3 out of 4 members verbally active on TCCMB as well, there is little doubt left who really walks the walk and talks the talk today. Good luck in league A!

B - Zasilatelstvi Zeleznik Pardubice 28.0 (0) could consider following the leader by example and become more outspoken on TCCMB next season for a similar result as the Kings. Their long team name is a start, so there's hope. Rochade 5171 - Young Stars 22.5 (0) proved that age is a tiny bit better than beauty in any form (such as gambits…)

C - The Gambiteers Guild 22.0 (0) got in my opinion a good overall result, much better than a lot would have credited them at the beginning. Zugzwang Bocholt III 21.5 (0) and Diabolik Chess 21.0 (0) were average.

Tijuca Tenis Clube - Brasil 19.5 (0) can only watch from the stands now and see what result the European Latin encounter from board 3 will be. Their ˝ point advantage on the Romanian team goes together with a favourable tiebreak as assets. Will it be enough? Chimia Ramnicu Vilcea 19.0 (1) must find enough stamina left to score the full point and overpass the Brasilians, or their newest LGM on board 1 will have a tough choice to make: play in league D next season, or leave for another team and league…

D - En Passant 17.0 (0), USCAD 14.0 (0) and Hong Kong CC Club 6.0 (0) were passed by everyone else before the finish line.

Group 13

A/B - Very tight finish for this lucky/ unlucky number group. It is also the craziest to look at even now after 95% of the games are finished!

The Good Knights 22.0 (3), Blue Team 21.5 (4) and Telaxoza 21.5 (2) are surprisingly fighting for the top honours. The two Latin teams need minimum 1 point to relegate Polish Lions all the way to league C.

CC Slovakofarma Hlohovec 19.0 (5) is the original top team and theoretically can win the group, or can go all the way down to league C... I prefer not to venture much than saying that anyone emerging as a winner will have a huge task in front of them next season. Talk about being rewarded for a good result!

C - Will predict that Polish Lions 22.0 (0) have no chance at anything higher than this. Joining them in league C will be one original top team The Norsemen 21.5 (0).

FS-TSG Wismar 20.5 (2) holds the tiebreak over Malaga 19.0 (2), needing only ˝ points for the 7th spot.

D - Chessknights Tango 19.0 (0) and to some extend Israel Team 15.5 (1) were in the fight for more; however 13 proved unlucky for both this time around.

Rochade 5171 - Caissa's Finest 7.5 (3) managed just a tie match so far. Without wins it is very hard to move up the ladder.

Group 14

A/B - This is another complicated group. Safer Sacs Berlin 27.5 (5) have dropped very few points up to now. Their challengers seem to be Stamp-Kielce 24.0 (4) with an important game between them on board 4. Brevnov Knights 25.0 (2) and Chess Owls 24.5 (1) are in the fight for league B. Special mention goes here to the German Owls for their 8 matches won in this campaign! It would be a pity for them to go in league C. However if that happens, their stay there could be very short.

C - Povazske Podhradie 23.0 (0) - where do these names come from anyway? - Tuculca 19.0 (0) and ZIKUDA Liberec 17.5 (4) have no worries anymore.

D - Mitropa Schachfreunde 14.5 (0) were too friendly. International Pawn Chasers Unite 13.5 (4) and TGGT 13.0 (4) are playing only for personal glory. Rochade 5171 - Underdogs 6.5 (0) might force their club to substitute quantity for quality in the upcoming season.

Group 15

A/B - Flemish Queens 26.0 (0) hold a more fragile lead than it looks now. East Slovakia Chess 23.0 (7) with plenty of fuel left, Imperium Szachow - Wieruszow 25.5 (3) and Kazakh CC Federation - KCCF 22.5 (5) will decide their own destiny. One of them four will only be in league C next season...

C - DBV-Winterthur Stralsund 24.0 (1) has very little hope at anything better. Swiss 64 22.0 (1) joined them with a little disappointing result.

I Disuniti Chess Club 15.5 (7) holds a big upper hand over Latvian Knights 15.0 (3) and will most probably play in league C.

D - Another Rochade 5171 - Bears 12.0 (3) in the same zone as others from the same club. Resistance is Futile 9.0 (2) and CCI II Wiesbaden 7.5 (4) have played much too relaxed for anything serious.

Posted on 11-Feb-2004

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