The defending champion SOCAR emerged clear leader after the fifth round in the Open section of European Club Cup.
G-Team Novy Bor assumed the second place after defeating SK 47 Eynatten by 4,5:1,5, while the young team of Odlar Yurdu held the powerful Malachite to a tie.
Saint-Petersburg and O.R. Padova had a very tense encounter. Hikaru Nakamura and Daniele Vocaturo won for the Italians, but the former European champions struck back and finally won the match by 3,5:2,5.
Sergei Movsesian of Saint-Petersburg talked about his game with Michele Godena. Movsesian said that he had a difficult task with black pieces as Godena is known for his cautious play and rock-solid opening repertoire. The Armenian tried to create some imbalances and catch his opponent on the wrong foot. Godena run into big time trouble and his position gradually dissolved into loss.
Movsesian added that his team, as former European champion and reigning Russian champion, is quite ambitious in the European Club Cup, but there are many good clubs here and the tournament is short so it is impossible to make predictions.
Moldovan Grandmaster Vasile Sanduleac is the only titled player in the group of amateurs from club Adare, Ireland. Today they had a difficult match against Chess Club Velhot from Finland. Velhot significantly out-rated Adare but the Irish succeeded in tying the match.
Sanduleac is pleased with his team’s performance here on Rhodes. They started as 48th seed (of 53 teams) but they won one match and drew two to share the 31st place after five rounds.
Sanduleac also added that he is not competing actively as before because he is working as trainer in the specialized chess school in Balti, Moldova. He started coaching in 2004-2006 when he worked with talented players from Bajmok and Subotica in Serbia.
Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo is getting closer to another trophy in the Women section after beating CS Politechnica-Antibiotice Iasi 2,5:1,5. Anna Muzychuk won the decisive point in the game against Irina Bulmaga.
Monte-Carlo is still with the perfect score, running three points ahead of Ugra.
In the all-Russian derby Ugra and SHSM Nashe Nasledie have split the points 2:2. Natalija Pogonina won for Ugra but Anastasia Savina struck back for the Moscow team.
Mika Chess Club narrowly edged Chess Club BAS, MRU – Vilniaus Fortas was successful against Rudar Prijedor, while Fischer Chieti won their first points against ASVOE Pamhagen.
Baira Kovanova believes that the tournament is so far going well for Ugra, except that earlier they lost to Monaco by 0-4. She couldn’t explain what happened, Ugra had good positions on all boards and then suddenly they started losing one after another.
The ambition of Ugra is to finish in top three. Last year they took bronze medal and this time they brought two new players – Anna Ushenina and Natalija Pogonina.
As for her own results this year, Kovanova was disappointed with the Russian Superfinal, where she had a lead but then lost three games in a row. However, she feels that it is important that she qualified for the Women’s World Chess Championship 2014.
Marina Brunello felt happy that her team Fischer Chieti finally won a match. Brunello explained that the club is quite popular and with massive membership, but she cannot be involved in daily activities as she lives in a different region of Italy.
Marina Brunello was a champion of Italy at the age of 15, and her elder sister Roberta also won the national title once. Nowadays she is mostly training with her brother GM Sabino Brunello, but the family also used to practice with GM Jacob Aagaard.