Knappe Kämpfe für Deutsche Mannschaften

Close fights for German teams

The close battles we predicted in the first round of the European Team Championship in Budva, Montenegro, were real. Unlike at the Olympics, there aren't so many weaker teams that you can warm up against in the first rounds.

This was not the case at the European Championships, where Germany, seeded number 3, faced weaker teams, but these were by no means to be underestimated. At the same time, as described in the last report, the only German national player who is currently in good form is Vincent Keymer. All the others are currently lagging behind their best performances.

In the men's competition, the German players had to face the Swedish national team. Here, too, we were right in our first report when we predicted that Vincent with the black pieces would be able to live with a point split against Sweden's exceptional Nils Grandelius. And that's exactly what happened; the duel between the two ended in a draw without much of a fight.

Rasmus Svane's game with the white pieces on board 2 lasted much longer. But here too, neither side was able to gain a decisive advantage. The same was true for board 3. Matthias Blübaum, always a very solid player, was unable to achieve more than a draw with the black pieces. It was therefore up to Alexander Donchenko to win the team victory on the last board. He delivered.

It was the last game of a German player in the first round, a complicated but clearly better endgame, which Donchenko was able to win after a long fight.

The German men got off with a scare. Not so the German women. With 4 draws in 4 games, the match against Greece ended peacefully with 2-2.
In none of the games did either side have a decisive advantage and so an unspectacular fight ended without a winner.

Things aren't going quite right for the German team, even though there was no major catastrophe in round 1. You can fight your way into a tournament like this, try to get the best out of it round after round and then hope that some of the players get into good form.