Tuesday 27 September 2016

National club championships are very popular and they exist in practically every country in Europe. The best teams from each country gain the right to compete at the European level. (The Irish Club Championship in April saw Adare and Gonzaga win two spots at the European Club Cup in October in Skopje.)

Published 17/05/2015 | 02:30

National club championships are very popular and they exist in practically every country in Europe. The best teams from each country gain the right to compete at the European level. (The Irish Club Championship in April saw Adare and Gonzaga win two spots at the European Club Cup in October in Skopje.)

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The strongest leagues are in Germany, Russia and France, but many other club championships attract strong players from around the world - such as the Italian club championship, which was held in early May. IM Mark Quinn, who speaks fluent Italian and has many friends in that country, played for one of the Italian clubs. In the following game he defeated a leading Italian Grandmaster.

Vocaturo - Quinn

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6

3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qb6

5.Nb3 e6 6.Nc3 a6

7.Bd3 Nf6 8.Be3 Qc7

9.f4 d6 10.Qf3 Bd7

11.0-0 Be7 12.a4 Rc8

13.a5 Nb4 14.Bb6 Qb8

15.Rae1 e5 16.Nd5 Nxd3

17.cxd3 Nxd5 18.exd5 0-0

19.d4? (D)

It was better to play 19.fxe5 dxe5 20.Rc1, with roughly equal chances. But White clearly counted on his last move, missing Mark's clever response:

19...e4!

This positional pawn sacrifice leaves White's minor pieces out of play as the d4-pawn blocks them out.

20.Rxe4 Bf6

21.Rf2 Rc4 22.g4?!

White is seeking counterplay, but only weakens his position.

22...h6

23.Nd2?! Rc1+ 24.Kg2 Bh4

25.Rfe2 Bb5 26.R2e3 Rc2

27.Qd1 Qc8 28.Kh3 Bf2

29.Rf3 Rxd2! 0-1

Sunday Independent

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