The ninth and final round of the European team chess championships which are taking place in Montenegro, and precisely in Budva, ended a short while ago. Serbia wins the continental Open title by beating Greece 3-1 and, in this way, maintaining a better technical play-off over Germany (2.5-1.5 to Croatia) on the tie-break called Sonneborg-Berger, with equal points (15). Armenia is third, alone with 13 points. In the women’s field, Bulgaria triumphs with 16 points, ahead of Azerbaijan with 15 and France, who with 12 defeat Ukraine, Greece and Poland in that order through a technical play-off.
The Italy Open finds a 2-2 which is practically worth as much as a victory against Azerbaijan, who is also playing one of the worst recent editions of the European Team Championships. Above all, there are two results of great value. First, the flap of Daniele Vocaturo against Teimour Radjabov, but after the half point snatched from Magnus Carlsen at the chess Olympics in Chennai and reaching the fourth round in the World Cup his confidence is now at very high levels. And, indeed, Italy’s number 1 finds himself ahead on the board for a long time, before Radjabov patiently manages to put everything back on track for the divided half point. But this day will be remembered forever Francesco Sonis, who beats Nijat Abasov, fourth at the World Cup and de facto qualified for the 2024 Candidates Tournament thanks to that result. The Azeri falls in an endgame in which, with a rook and a knight on each side, Sonis, with Black, has an extra pawn. And, to put it in simple terms, Abasov is guilty of greed, demonstrating less knowledge of this final than the blue who thus collected a very heavy victory. This, however, does not correspond to the team’s success because, given the draw (in 117 moves and after being pardoned in a desperate situation shortly after the opening) Lorenzo Lodici with Vasif Durarbayli, Luca Moroni he badly loses his bearings in the finale of Donna and Alfieri’s pact against each other Rauf Mamedovmaking two mistakes in a row and abandoning at the 64th.
As for the women, the redemption arrives against Belgium to close the event. In this case, it’s wins by Marina Brunello on Daria Vanduyfhus and by Tea Gueci with Nele Vanhuyse. Very The first goes from the critical position to victory in a single move, the thirty-ninth, in which the Belgian, with Black, simply puts herself in exactly the right position to lose the rook with a queen’s fork which, at the same time, is also check. In the case of Gueci, however, the game was dominated practically from the start. Pattano Olga Zimina and Elisa Cassi against Tyani De Ricke and Wiebke Barbier. Curiously, both the Italy Open and the women’s finish in the same position, sixteenth.
These are the winners on the individual boards. In the Open: first board Magnus Carlsen (Norway), second Alexey Sarana (Serbia, but he is Russian), third Baadur Jobava (Georgia), fourth Maxime Lagarde (France), fifth Velimir Ivic (Serbia). In the women’s competition: first Teodora Injac (Serbia), second Nurgyul Salimova (Bulgaria), third Meri Arabidze (Georgia), fourth Pauline Guichard (France), fifth Tijana Mandura (Serbia).
Photo: FIDE / Stev Bonhage