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  Fireworks in Bad Blankenburg
14.07.2018 von KS

No it is not New Year's Eve yet and there is also nothing to celebrate (yet). But according to Alexei Shirov's motto, there was "fire on board". The teams are so close together that every victory since round 1 is hard earned, every point has to be fought for and no opponents can really be described as easy. As a local spectator, but certainly also as a fan of the countries and a friend on the laptop, I am quickly captivated by the many interesting tactical twists and surprises.
In the U-18, Germany 3 played against Poland today. The Germans were hoping for their underdog chance, but it didn't come. The Polish selection was at its peak. First Luis Engel was caught at board 1, who overlooked an impact at h7 and could only delay the defeat from now on.
Alexander Rieß initially had a good position on board 2, but Szymon Gulumarz had a clear goal: Alex king! He followed it with a strong attack and made the full point. Also at board 3 Pawel Teclaf had everything under control and played a strong game. So it was 3-0, indicative of the unsatisfactory day of Germany 3, that Daniel Kopylov accepted his opponent's draw offer in a winning position.
Similarly, Germany 2 had no chance against Romania:
The first one who had to quit his defeat was Jonas Roseneck, after his opponent Victor Vasiesiu made a strong sacrifice on f7. The other boards also gave no cause for hope. Konstantin Urban was the only one in the team who never got into huge problems, but in the end he didn't make it beyond a draw either. Valentin Buckels also defended the game without gaining any real advantages, even though his e-pawn came dangerously close to the basic row. In the end he could live with the draw very well. On board 1 Emil Schmidek faced David Gavrilesco, who convinced with a very good game and didn't give Emil a chance. 3-1 for Romania. In the encounter between Hungary and Austria, our German-speaking neighbor was very solid, 3 draws and 1 victory, usually called German efficiency.
Germany 1 played against Israel, who have 4 very strong players:
The match was correspondingly close, while Roven Vogel and Raphael Lagunow won, Julian Martin had the worse end for himself. Vincent did not let anything burn, made draws and brought the 2 team points over the finish line. Belarus, Denmark and Slovenia each won 2.5 against Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Turkey. With the exception of the first two tables, all matches were 2.5:1.5.
In the U18 female was the biggest excitement! At table 1 Germany 2 had the Polish team on the brink of defeat, both Teodora Rogozenco and Lara Schulze were very good. But Teodora missed an impact on f2 and had to give up shortly afterwards. Lara played the longest game of the day and had a winning position on the board. But she missed a tricky stalemate and only managed a draw. A very annoying defeat, but Germany 2, with coach Tatjana Melamed, will probably recover quickly.
The round was particularly bitter for Serbia's 1st seed, who suffered a defeat against Hungary, while Germany 1, with Fiona Sieber and Jana Schneider could win sovereignly. Germany 3 was in good form again and could win 1:1 against the strong Croatians, this time Ann-Marie Mütsch contributed the point.
At table 2 Turkey put up a lot of resistance against their supposedly superior opponent from Slovenia, but in the end this resistance was broken and Slovenia 1 could win with 1.5:0.5. Germany 4 had the walk-through, while Romania won 2-0 against the Czech Republic and Israel and Slovakia separated 1:1.
In the U12 Israel won the next match and this time very convincingly, with a 3.5: 0.5 the Czech Republic was sent back to their rooms. Competitor France did not go beyond a 2-2 draw with Belarus. Also because a final on Board 3, which was subsequently analyzed by the captains of the participating teams, was not won by the French side. Especially bitter from the German point of view was the defeat of Germany 2 against Turkey, a clear 1-3 defeat. But Coach Tom George will find the right words to get the team back on track. Always at German-German duel there was no winner, but the young team around top board Bennet Hagner presented itself very strong. So Bennet and Magnus Ermitsch won their games. Jeremy Hommer won for Germany 1 after losing a pawn in the opening and Leonardo Costa.
The biggest comeback of the round was Zsoka Gaal in the U12 female match against Lucie Fizerova. In a seemingly hopeless game, she managed to fight her way back and even win the game! A draw on board 2 was enough to win. Germany 2 scored a team point against France thanks to a victory by Charis Peglau. The clash between Germany 1 and 3 was, however, a clear matter. Germany 1 won 2-0
So it remains very exciting, all tournaments are as open as they can be and you can't get rid of the feeling that everyone can beat anyone here!

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