NIC 2008-2009, Round one

NIC is short for National Interclub Competition. It’s an eleven round team competition between the clubs of the royal belgium chess federation, the national organisation of chess in Belgium. This competition has 5 divisions. One starts in division 5 (teams of four players), the highest division is the first (teams of eight players).

Two years ago my club’s first team won it’s serie in fourth division (teams of four players). I contributed with a 8.0/11 score on board three. That means that last year we played for the first time in clubhistory in third division. We didn’t do badly with a 4th place at the end of the competition 2007-2008 out of the twelve teams in our serie.

Our goal for this years NIC 2008-2009 is not to end on one of the two spots that will give us a ticket back to fourth division. This because our first board of last year, a 2300+ player, will only play a few rounds this year. This fact makes that our team is one of the teams with the lowest average rating in our third division serie.

The first round was played on oktober fifth. I played on board six and had the burden to win my game against Philipsen Mathias, rated 1666, since i sport a rating of 1916 elo. It didn’t help me that i had to play black. It didn’t help that my teammates on board four and five lost so that Geel 1, the team that we played, had a two points lead halfway the round. So extra stress was added to my restless mind.

Philipsen,Mathias (1666) – Verduyckt,Johan (1916) [B44]
NIC 2008-2009 (1),

1.e4 c5 2.Pf3 Pc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Pxd4 e6 5.Lc4 Lc5 6.Le3 Db6 7.Pxc6 Lxe3 8.fxe3 bxc6

Normally i play 8. … Qxe3+ and win a pawn after 9. Qe2 Qxe2+ 10. Kxe2 bxc6 but since i wanted to play it more quietly i decided to play it differently. I am not sure if that was the right choice.

9.Dd4 Pf6 10.Dxb6 axb6 11.Pd2 0-0 12.h3 d5 13.Ld3 La6 14.e5 Pd7 15.Pf3 Pc5 16.Kd2 Ta7 17.Pd4 Lb7 18.Thb1 Pd7 19.Pf3 h6 20.Te1 Td8 21.c3 Tda8 22.a3 Pc5 23.Kc2 Ta4

My plan is Nxd3, Re4 and Nd7 to win the pawn on e5. But then i saw that i couldn’t play Nd7 since i exchanged it for the bishop, so back to drawingboard it was for me. After awhile i came up with the idea to release my bishop with c5 and d4. Why i didn’t follow up on that plan i will never know.

24.Teb1 Pxd3 25.Kxd3 c5 26.Pe1 La6+ 27.Kd2 Lf1 28.b4 c4 29.Ta2 Tf8 30.Kd1 f6 31.exf6 Txf6 32.Tba1 Kf8 33.Pf3 Lxg2 34.Pe5 Tf1+ 35.Ke2 Txa1 36.Txa1 Lxh3 37.Tg1 Ta7

I didn’t grab the pawn on a3 because i disliked whites Nd7+ after which my b-pawn falls. So i decided to play Ra7 so Nd7+ was not possible. Afterall the white a-pawn isn’t running away.

38.Tg3 Lf5 39.Tf3 g5 40.a4 Kg7 41.a5 bxa5 42.bxa5 Txa5 43.e4 dxe4

I dont know what my opponent was thinking to achieve with playing 43. e4. Maybe he thought that i had to take with the bishop so that he could play Rf7+, but even after that i dont see a usefull follow up for white since black is already standing better.

In this position white resigned since he is either losing a knight or a rook.


Thanks to my victory and a beautiful game out of one piece by our first board player (2048 elo) against a 2100+ player and two draws on board two and three we managed to play 3.0-3.0 against the lowest rated team in our serie. Not a good start but the spirit in the team is still good since we didn’t lose and the competition is only started. Still ten rounds to play, so the worries and nail-biting can be postponed for a later round.


6 Comments on “NIC 2008-2009, Round one”

  1. Maybe your rating hypnotized him:) . I wish you well with the next rounds.

  2. chesstiger says:

    I can only say that he thought for a long time before he played e4 so maybe he was tired of all that thinking during the game and fell asleep and so my subconsious could hypnotize him by putting a mantra over him? Something like:’play the biggest blunder you can find in the position’. 🙂

  3. White could have safely resigned after move 37 already.

    Not a great start for your team, but at least it’s better than Kramnik.

  4. chesstiger says:

    There is still play after move 37 so i can understand my opponent playing further. But i agree that black is already standing better but i have to be still carefull not to make mistakes.

  5. Polly says:

    Are you sure I wasn’t playing that game? 🙂 It’s easy in a position like that think that the opponent is going to automatically play the move that doesn’t double the pawns. By not giving dxe4 serious thought he obviously missed the discovered attack on his knight along with the rook being attacked. Even without that blunder your position looks really good.

    Nice job! Team play adds a whole element of pressure that one may not feel playing as an individual. Losing sucks enough, but possibly costing the team the match with a loss makes it more painful.

  6. chesstiger says:

    @ Polly

    I am sure i wasn’t playing you Polly. Or else i must congratulate you for a superb disguise and speaking dutch fluently. 🙂

    I too think he assumed wrongly that i wouldn’t take with the pawn but that’s the only move i looked at. I saw immediatly that i would win a piece.

    It seems i play stronger when playing for a team. I am more concentrated then when i play for myself. Probably for the reason you give, not to let the team down.

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