Wednesday 29 September 1999
Reykjavik was last weekend host to one of the elimination tournaments in this season's European Club Cup with eight teams competing over three days in a knockout format to produce the one winner who will go on to the finals. They were three teams from Iceland - the hosts Hellir from Reykjavik and Reykjavik Chess Club itself and Akureyri; SK 34 from Nykobing in Denmark; Siberia Tomsk, Cardiff, Crumlin from Dublin and Invicta Knights from Maidstone.
The sensation of the weekend was the lousy form of the Tomsk top board and currently world number four Alexander Morozevich, who scored just 1/3. His miserable long weekend started with defeat against Reykjavik's Margueir Petursson and although he redeemed himself with a nice victory against the hosts' top board Hannes Stefansson he went down again on the final day to Invicta's Matthew Sadler.
This was in the deciding match for despite Morozevich's lapses, Tomsk had won through easily enough with 4-2 against Reykjavik followed by a massive 5.5-0.5 against the hosts, while Invicta beat Crumlin by 6-0 and then SK 34 3.5-2.5. Invicta put up a splendid show against Tomsk, to lose by the narrowest margin of just 3.5-2.5 with the results on the other boards being draws between Nunn and Pigusov, Flear and Filippov and Ledger and Landa; they lost only on the bottom two boards where they were heavily outgunned - McDonald to Fominyh and Dickenson to Khasin.
I'll give Matthew Sadler's win against Morozevich in a few days' time when I've had a chance to catch up with him, but here for the moment is a quick win by Andrew Ledger against the Danes.
White's opening looked plausible enough but although Black had to isolate his queen's pawn starting with 15 ...e6 (not 15 ...Nbxd5?? 16 Nxd5 Nxd5 17 Qxd5 Qxd5 18 Nxe7+!) in the absence of White squared bishops this was quite unimportant. White was in terrible trouble after 21 ...Nac3 and at the end 25 Qxb4 Nxf2+! 26 Rxf2 Rc1+ forces mate.
White: Mikkel Antonsen
Black: Andrew Ledger
1 d4 Nf6
2 c4 g6
3 Nc3 d5
4 Nf3 Bg7
5 e3 0-0
6 b4 b6
7 Qb3 c5
8 bxc5 bxc5
9 cxd5 Nbd7
10 Bd2 cxd4
11 Nxd4 Nb6
12 Bb5 Bb7
13 Bc6 Bxc6
14 Nxc6 Qd7
15 0-0 e6
16 Rad1 exd5
17 Na5 Rfc8
18 Ne2 Rab8
19 Qa3 Ne4
20 Bb4 Na4
21 Nd4 Nac3
22 Rd3 Bxd4
23 exd4 Ne2+
24 Kh1 Rxb4
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