36th Mitropa Cup – 8th round

8th round

Open Section

In the penultimate round Croatia collected one more match victory, this time a 3:1 against Slovenia. Since their closest rival, Hungary, lost against France 2½:1½, they even increased their lead to 2 match points with only one round to go. Keeping in mind they are playing Slovakia in the last round and even a tie would secure their first place – they are on a good track winning the tournament. There are 2 teams on the second spot – the before mentioned France and Czech Republic as well after beating Switzerland. Hungary trailing Czech Republic by one match point and they are playing against each other in the last round. This is going to be a crucial match to decide the remaining spot on the podium. Italy scored a confident 3½:½ victory over Slovakia while Austria also won against Germany with the score of 2½:1½.

Highlights section at the bottom features:

Results

Open
1. Germany (2493) Austria (2477)
2. France (2501) Hungary (2545)
3. Czech Republic (2502) Switzerland (2446)
4. Italy (2474) ½ Slovakia (2472)
5. Croatia (2486) 3 1 Slovenia (2409)

Standings

Rk. Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 TB1 TB2 TB3
1 Croatia * 2 2 3 3 3 3 14 21,0 0
2 Czech Republic 2 * 1 2 3 12 20,0 0
3 France 3 * 2 2 3 3 12 19,5 0
4 Hungary 2 * 2 2 11 18,5 0
5 Austria ½ * 2 2 8 15,0 0
6 Italy 1 2 2 * 6 15,5 0
7 Germany 1 ½ 2 * 5 13,0 0
8 Slovenia 1 2 ½ 2 * 2 5 13,0 0
9 Slovakia 1 1 2 2 ½ * 2 5 12,5 0
10 Switzerland 1 1 2 2 * 2 12,0 0

Women Section

Approaching the end of the tournament France seems to be running out of steam and suffered their second loss in a row this time against another main rival, Hungary. This resulted 3 teams sharing 11 match points: the already mentioned Hungary and France and Poland as well after beating Czech Republic. All of these 3 teams are playing someone else in the last round, so it is possible to see a 3 way tie on the top at the end of the tournament and deciding the winners might come down to the tiebreaks. Croatia is following 1 match point behind after winning against Slovenia 3:1. Theoretically speaking they can also win the tournament if none of the leading teams would win in the last round while Croatia would collect 2 points. Even though they will have their chances against Slovakia in the last round, but still the likelihood is obviously very low for a failure for all the leading teams. Germany beat Austria 3:1, and the matchup between Italy and Slovakia ended in a tie.

Highlights section at the bottom features:

Results

Women
1. Germany (2228) 3 1 Austria (2155)
2. France (2144) Hungary (2280)
3. Czech Republic (2079) Poland (2215)
4. Italy (2221) 2 2 Slovakia (2098)
5. Croatia (2180) 3 1 Slovenia (2167)

Standings

Rk. Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 TB1 TB2 TB3
1 Hungary * 3 3 3 4 2 11 20,5 0
2 France * 3 3 2 11 19,5 0
3 Poland * 2 2 2 3 11 18,0 0
4 Croatia * 1 3 3 1 10 18,0 0
5 Germany 1 1 2 3 * 1 2 3 4 8 17,0 0
6 Slovenia 1 2 1 * 7 16,5 0
7 Czech Republic ½ ½ 3 ½ * 2 7 13,0 0
8 Italy 1 1 1 2 2 * 2 2 6 13,5 1
9 Austria 0 2 3 1 2 * 6 13,5 1
10 Slovakia 2 2 1 0 ½ 2 * 3 10,5 0

Highlights

A nice motif from the Croatia – Slovenia match:

Drnovsek,Gal (2421) – Jovanovic,Zoran (2534) [B07]

Mitropa Cup – Open (8.2), 24.09.2017

Position after 43.Qe2

Black to move and win

43…cxb6? [43…Rxa4!! 44.Rxa4 Bxa4 45.b7 (45.bxc7 Bd1!! is the same) 45…Bd1!! 46.b8Q Qh5+ 47.Kg1 Bxe2–+ there is no defense against the mate on h2]

44.Nxd6 Rxa4 45.Rxa4 Bxa4 46.Nc4? [46.Qb2!? Bd1 47.Kg2 Qh5 48.Kxg3 Qxf3+ 49.Kh2 Qf4+ could have led to a draw]

Position after 46.Nc4

Black to move and win

46…Bd1!! Black didn’t miss his second chance 47.Qb2 [47.Qxd1 Qh5+ 48.Kg1 Qh2+ 49.Kf1 Qf2#]

47…Bxf3+ 48.Kg1 Kh7 49.Nxe5 Qe3+ 50.Kf1 g2+

0–1

After oscillating between having a lost and for some moment having a drawn queen endgame, the following situation arisen on the 3rd board of France-Hungary:

Loiseau,Quentin (2424) – Hoang,Thanh Trang (2459) [C14]

Mitropa Cup – Open (8.3), 24.09.2017

Position after 63.c6

Black to move and draw

63…Qf1? [63…Kd6! leads to a fairly easy draw as black king will manage to step in front of white c pawn (getting the king in front of the pawn was the defense neglected by black in some of the previous positions of this same endgame) – white queen is torn apart, she has to defend the pawn on c6 and defend against perpetual checks as well. For example 64.c7+ Kd7 65.Qc5 Kc8 66.Qd6 Qg1+ 67.Kf6 Qf2+ 68.Ke6 Qe2+ 69.Qe5 Qd3= white cannot make any progress]

64.Qc7+ [and it is all over, the c pawn cannot be stopped, the black king is chased away from the surroundings]

64…Ke6 65.Qd7+ Ke5 66.Qd4+ Ke6 67.Qd7+ Ke5 68.Qe7+ Kd5 69.c7 Qd3+ 70.Kg7 Qg3+ 71.Kf8 Qh3 72.Qd8+ Ke5 73.Qd4+

1–0

A very complicated position from the match Austria- Germany in the women section:

Hapala,Elisabeth (2048) – Heinemann,Josefine (2292) [B80]

Mitropa Cup – Women (8.2), 24.09.2017

Position after 19.Nh5

How should black continue?

19…Nd5! a very nice way of stopping any kind of a trouble along the d-file 20.Bd4! [20.exd5 Bxd5–+ is the point]

20…Rd8? [20…Rg8! is the calm solution of the computer with an unclear position – as a human player I would be much less enthusiastic about such a move but it is very hard to argue with our silicon friend.]

21.exd5! [now, since the rook left the c-file, this is possible]

21…Bxd5

Position after 21.-Bd5

White to move. How can she secure the advantage?

22.Qe3? [22.Kc1! this calm king moves solves all white’s problems 22…Bxa2 (22…Qxa2 23.Nxg7+ wins for white) 23.Qe3± would have been similar to the game with the exception that white avoided Q:a2 and here not so easy for black to prove the counter play for the sacrificed material – white is better; 22.c4 bxc3 23.Bxc3 Bxa2+ 24.Ka1 Rxd2 25.Bxa5 Rxd1+ 26.Kxa2 is another funny line consisting of strictly only moves after 22.c4 and leading to a situation with about equal chances in an unclear position]

22…Qxa2+ 23.Kc1 Rc8? [23…b3! 24.Bd3 bxc2 25.Bxc2 Ba3+ 26.Kd2 Bb4+ and white is in trouble]

24.Rg2? [24.Rd2! is vital to make some room for the king on d1 24…b3 25.c4 Ba3+ 26.Kd1 is the key 26…b2 27.Bd3 Bxc4 28.Ke2+–]

24…b3!–+ and now it is all over 25.Bb2 Ba3 26.Bxa3 Rxc2+

0–1