6th consecutive title for Baden-Baden
Last weekend OSC Baden-Baden secured its sixth consecutive championship in the Schachbundesliga. On the day that their star player became a father, Baden-Baden defeated Werder Bremen 5-3 which more or less secured the title, and a day later they smashed Delmenhorst 1-7.
Photo © Christian Bossert
Baden-Baden is a German town of about 55,000 inhabitants in the Karlsruhe region, close to the French border. It's also the town of the strongest chess team of the German league, on its turn the strongest league in the world.
Last Saturday the reigning champions were hosting the important 14th, penultimate round of the 2010-2011 Schachbundesliga season. It was an important round because Baden-Baden, who were defending their 5th consecutive title, would be facing Werder Bremen, who has been their most dangerous rival for years.
The venue for the match of the year was the Kulturhaus LA8 in Baden-Baden, a building that mixes culture, gastronomy and chess. It was built a few years ago with the (financial) help of Wolfgang Grenke, the founder of hardware and software leasing company Grenkeleasing and also the sponsor of the chess club in Baden-Baden.
Despite the nice and warm sun outside, dozens of spectators could be seen inside the playing hall to witness the meeting of the two strongest German teams. Both the playing hall (the Kristalsaal of the LA8) and the commentary room, where GM Fabian Döttling was explaining the games, were packed with people.
The match started smoothly for the host team, with nice advantages especially at the boards where they were playing with the white pieces. However, at some point everything changed and with 2-2 on the leaderboard and time trouble approaching, any result was possible.
Then, finally Baden-Baden felt some relief when Mickey Adams scored the first full point against his compatriot Luke McShane.
32...f4!-+ Opens the f-file decisively, to start an attack against the white king. 40.gxf4 40.Rxf4 Bxe2+-+ 40...Qb7 41.Kg1 41.Ke1 Qh1+ 42.Rf1 Qxh2-+ 41...Rg6 42.Rg2 Bh3 43.Rxg6 Kxg6 44.f5+ Kh7 45.Kf2
45...Qh1 46.e4 Qf1+ 47.Kg3 Qxd3+ 0-1
IM Georgios Souleidis interviewed Adams after the game.
Werder Bremen's Alexander Areshchenko equalled the score with a win against Peter Heine Nielsen.
53...e3! 54.g6 54.fxe3 Qxe3+ 55.Kd1 Qg1+ 56.Kc2 Qf2+ 57.Kb1 Qe1+ 58.Kc2 Qd2+ 59.Kb1 Qd1# 54...Qd2+! 55.Qxd2 cxd2+ and White resigned because of 56.Ke2 exf2 57.g7 d1Q+ 58.Kxd1 f1Q+.
In the remaining two games Tomi Nyback had to beat Arkadij Naiditsch, and Vugar Gashimov had to hold a worse position against Peter Svidler. However, the 'Green-White Wonder' would not be. Svidler won technical endgame and Naiditsch survived a lost position to even beat Nyback. You can play through these games in the viewer below.
Photos © Christian Bossert, more here
This basically decided matters. Baden-Baden was now two match points ahead of SC Eppingen and had to play tailender SK Delmenhorster, whom they duly beat 1-7 on Sunday. Bremen and Eppingen eventually shared second place, with most board points for Bremen.
And so the Ooser Schachgesellschaft won its 6th consecutive title, but this year things could have finished differently. The 2010-2011 season was quite exciting and let's hope that the other teams can strengthen even further to make the fight even tougher.
Baden-Baden games, last weekend
Game viewer by ChessTempo
|5||SV Mülheim Nord||15||7||4||4||18||63|
|6||SK Turm Emsdetten||15||7||4||4||18||62|
|10||SV Wattenscheid 1930||15||5||4||6||14||56|
|11||SC 1950 Remagen||15||4||3||8||11||60|
|13||SF Berlin 1903||15||3||4||8||10||52.5|
|14||ESV Nickelhütte Aue||15||3||0||12||6||45.5|
|15||FC Bayern München||15||2||1||12||5||42|
Thanks to Georgios Souleidis as this article was largely based on his report for the official site.
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