Italy Open defeated by Turkey, equal female with the Czech Republic. Russia already first among women – OA Sport

Penultimate round of the 2021 European Team Championships in Slovenia: continental chess already has a female champion team, namely Russia, which by virtue of today’s success against Ukraine for 3-1 flies to 16 in the standings, with 8 wins in 8 fights, can no longer be achieved. Second place was also awarded to Georgia, while there is a frightening seven-man fight for third position. All open instead among men, where the tie between Azerbaijan and Ukraine (2-2) and the simultaneous victory of France over Russia for 2.5-1.5 (decisive not Vachier-Lagrave or Firouzja, stopped on the draw, but Lagarde on Esipenko) mean that there are still many open scenarios.

As for Italy, a furious fight that went on until the evening with Turkey. The only game with a semblance of definition of “short” is also bitter, that is, the defeat of Lorenzo Lodici with Black against Vahap Virtual, which is among the fittest of the Turkish team. The two start from the Nimzowitsch-Lasker variant of the Réti opening (1. Cf3 d5 2. b3 Ag4 3. Ab2 e6), whose best known example of use is a Nakamura-Caruana of St. Louis 2018. Out of the theory already after four moves, Sanal manages to gain a very solid position. Lodici manages to repel the first offensive, but loses his way not far from the control of time (placed at the 40th leg), allowing the pawn d to reach the eighth rank, thus causing a second queen to appear on the board. Black too, in truth, reaches the goal, but at that point the attack of Donna and Torre del Bianco is too strong: in the end Sanal is allowed to checkmate in 49 moves.

The other three games were very long, but insufficient to give victory to the Azzurri, who lost 1.5-2.5 by virtue of the same number of pacts. Between Daniele Vocaturo e Mustafa Yilmaz a hard fight based on Sicilian defense ends with only the Kings on the board after 74 moves, a factor that automatically causes the draw. 73 also the sections between Francesco Sonis ed Emre Can, with the Italian who, in full time problems like the Turkish, does not exploit an error in the final of Towers and pedestrians (3 against 2) by his opponent which was however difficult to notice in such conditions. Luca Moroni e Muhammet Bahutan Dastan, however, they exaggerate: the blue, with the Black, is not able to find the way to victory in a final of rook, bishop and a black pawn against knight, bishop and two white pawns. Situation in theory advantageous for Moroni, but in practice difficult to convert into victory. In fact, it ends in a draw, but not before desperate attempts by the Italian in any way. In fact, the two stop only after 177 moves and with only the black rook on one side and the white bishop on the other (king apart, of course).

As for women’s Italy, it is 2-2 with the Czech Republic. Four games, four draws. On the first board the fastest, between Marina Brunello e Karolina Pilsova, with a huge error of the Italian not seen by the Czech on the twenty-fifth move (the gain of a net Tower was at stake, in the long run). Olga Zimina fails to realize a good positional advantage in the final of Donna e Torre against Kristyna Petrova: even after 69 moves because there are two chains of identical pawns facing each other and the white king cannot break through with the black one which adequately protects his board area. He risks big, but he saves himself, Tea Gueci with Black against Magdalena Miturova, finding the half point in 60 strokes, while Daniela Movileanu ends up leveling with Karin Nemtsova after a battle in which the Czech, essentially, can say that she has held out defensively.

The blues still have hopes of entering the top ten (they are currently in 14th place), but they will have to beat Slovakia in the last round. In terms of individual boards, possible podium in the second position for Olga Zimina. The Open formation, on the other hand, aims to enter the top 20, and will look for it against the Slovenian team. In the meantime, France-Azerbaijan and Ukraine-Armenia will determine the winners and losers of the European Championships, as these are the four teams on equal points (12), with Russia unable to win and Spain, Holland and Poland able to enter in the event of a possible big group at 13.

Foto: k_samurskas /

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