Alkaloid Wins European Club Cup

Alkaloid Wins European Club Cup
By Arvind Aaron

Second seed Alkaloid won the European Club Cup team event that took place in Novi Sad, Serbia from Nov 6-12. Alkaloid is from Skopje, the capital of Macedonia.

Alkaloid had in its ranks Ding Liren (Chn, 3/5), Andreikin (Rus, 4.5/7), Eljanov (Ukr, 4.5/6), Jakovenko (Rus, 3.5/6), Yu Yangyi (Chn, 5.5/7), Kryvoruchko (Ukr, 5/7), Nedev (Mkd, 1/2; Pancevski (Mkd, 2/2) and won five matches and drew two for the title by clear margin 12/14.

Each team had 8 players and it was a six board match. Top seed Syberia with Kramnik, Grischuk finished sixth. It again goes to confirm that Russians are over rated in team competitions.

Alkaloid beat opponents in the first five rounds and drew the sixth and seventh rounds matches against Syberia and Legacy Square Moscow. Draws were agreed on all six boards on both the matches. Ding Liren worked hard to draw Kramnik in the sixth round.

A fourth ranked team, Mednyi Vsadnik with Dominguez, Svidler, Vitiuogov, Bu, Fedoseev and Rodshtein finished second. The winning team, Syberia and Odlar Yurdu were the three undefeated team in the 62-team competition of seven rounds.

The fourth strongest player in the meet, Harikrishna, 30, played on top board for the Czech team Ave Novy Bor scoring 3.5/5. Harikrishna lost one game to Sjugirov (Rus) and won three games while drawing Mamedyarov (Aze). He gains one Elo. His fifth seeded team finished eighth place and disappointed.

Krishnan Sasikiran scored 5.5/6 for the same Ave Novy Bor team to gain 7.4 Elo. His performance rating was a super 2797.

The penultimate round defeat of Ave Novy Bor to Sveti Nikolaj spoilt their final placings. Sasikiran’s win on the bottom (sixth) board went in vain as Shirov and Wang Hao lost in the two previous boards. They had earlier lost to tenth seed Zhiguli by 2-4 in the third round.

Sethuraman played all seven games for his team Itaka which finished 36th. He scored 4.5/7 and loses 1.80 Elo points. A total of 145 GMs were present among the 442 players from 47 nations in a truly global competition. Russia had 42 players, more than hosts, Serbia, 38.

Final placings: 1 Alkaloid 12; 2-6. Mednyi Vsadnik, Legacy Square Moscow, Ashdod, Odlar Yurdu, Syberia 11 each; 7-10. Zhiguli, Ave Novy Bor, VSK Sveti Nikolaj Srpski, Schachgesellschaft Zurich and others 10 each…62 teams.