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  We have new European Champions!
18.07.2018 von KS

Congrats to Romania in the U18, Poland in the U18 female, Israel in the U12 and Germany in the U12 female! After 7 hard-fought days at the Landessportschule Bad Blankenburg the new, and in the U18 female old, European Champions have been announced. They all worked hard to win the title, were well prepared and rewarded for their efforts.
In the U18 Open Romania was the winner, as already mentioned in other reports, after defeating Germany 1 yesterday. Today it was no more than a 2-2 against Slovenia, but the winner has more than earned this little slip. Germany 1 against Austria became the expected exciting match. Vincent Keymer with the black stones, could once again quickly prove an advantage and put Felix Blohberger with his pair of bishops under great pressure until he collapsed under this pressure. A defeat by Julian Martin and a victory by Raphael Lagunow later, the mission was to secure the team victory at the German board 1 and thus possibly the silver medal. His opponent Dominik Horvath tried everything and actually managed to overcome Rosen's defense and got the full point, a strong fighting performance. So the eyes were pointed on Table 3, where Poland played against Belarus.
The Polish team had to play against Belarus. Olga Badelka gave the quality to Pawel Teclaf's Tarrash defense in the women's gambit and had to defend herself tenaciously afterwards. She managed that and so the game ended with the division of points. Board 4 was in for a surprise, because the Belarusian outsider was about to win the match with black against his superior opponent (Elo). He managed it, everyone else held draws and so Belarus won sensationally.
At table 4, Germany 2 celebrated a clear victory against the Turkish quartet, who were unable to continue their previous performances towards the end of the tournament. Nevertheless, a very remarkable performance of the Turks.
The Czech Republic won 2-2 against Hungary, Denmark and Israel separated with the same result.
Especially annoying from the German point of view was the defeat of the Germans on the last board against Slovakia. Because due to 2 white defeats of Alexander Rieß and Daniel Kopylov the hosts had to admit the team-defeat, even if Jakob Pajeken could win and Luis Engel contributed half a point.
At the end Austria came second and Germany 1 third!
In the U18 female the Polish selection defended their title in the same line-up, a great achievement for which we congratulate warmly. Today a solid 1.5: 0.5 against Croatia was enough, whereby Julia Antalok contributed the full point by simply taking all the material that the opponent provided and then skilfully defended the only threat. This was the signal for Oliwia Kiolbasa to sacrifice a figure and thus to force the permanent check. A very sovereign performance.
On the back boards it was all about silver, the most likely candidate before the round was the German team consisting of Fiona Sieber and Jana Schneider. Jana draws board 2 against Czech Republic, since Fiona had a clearly better position. Fiona deteriorated her position into a loss and ended up losing for the first time in this tournament.
At table 3, Serbia, who had recovered after a weak start, flashed their skills again and defeated Slovenia 1 with 1.5: 0.5. Slovenia 2 also had to accept this result. Teodora Rogozenco won her game at board 2, while Lara Schulze played a draw with black.
Romania scored 1.5: 0.5 against Israel, which means a great second place for the Romanian girls' team. Congratulations to probably the most successful federation of the tournament! Germany 3 beat Germany 4 2-0 and Turkey surprised again with a 1:1 against Slovakia at the last table. With all these results it was clear that Germany 1 still made it to the bronze rank despite defeat in the last round.

In the U12, Israel is the deserved winner of the competition! The Israelis had to accept a defeat against the German Bennet Hagner on board 1, but on the back three boards the Germans went away empty-handed. As Israel had started into the round one point ahead, they secured the tournament victory on their own. France again had to tremble hard against Germany 1. After Jeremy Hommer could win early against his French opponent, the other French players had to lay a tooth, they did and finally won the match with 2.5: 1.5.
Turkey did not get past a 2:2 against Hungary, while Belarus clearly defeated the Czech quartet with 3.5: 0.5. Especially bitter for Turkey: the Bosporus team dropped back to 4th place. France took a strong second place and Belarus fought their way back to a bronze medal from the lower half of the table.
The U12 female was won very convincingly by Germany in the end, also in the last round the girls didn't give themselves any nudity and beat their Czech opponents with 2:0. Even with a defeat the youngest would have become European Champions, because Germany 2 managed a 1:1 against Vice-European Champion Hungary. Germany 3 ended an unfortunate tournament with a defeat against the Czech Republic. Hungary won its only silver medal here, while France won bronze.

After many chess games and the award ceremony it is now time for the players to celebrate the last evening with music and delicious food. Special thanks go to the players who have always been fair, to the captains who accompanied their teams here, to the parents who support the young people on their way and also to Chessbase, who generously provided the winners with their products. We wish you all a safe journey home and hope to see you again soon at some tournament!


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