Guildford are unbeaten in Britain’s national league, the 4NCL, for over eight years, scoring 81 wins and two draws and dominating opponents. This week, though, the juggernaut halted when the Surrey club was defeated by the continental elite in the online European Club Cup. 

The 91 competing teams included numerous high-class squads who made it the strongest ever entry for this long established event. Teams of four, with reserves, played using a fast time limit of half-hour games.

Guildford’s quintet, led by England No1 Michael Adams, are all experienced grandmasters, and were effectively the England national team plus a Bulgarian reserve. 

Deizisau were the surprise winners among 10 finalists, scoring 14/18. Sponsored by Grenke Bank, the Stuttgart team’s star performer was Vincent Keymer, 16. French and Russian clubs were close behind, with Guildford (+3=2-4) seventh.

Andrey Episenko, 19, who beat world champion Carlsen at Wijk in January, sacrificed rook and knight en route to a 21-move mating attack against France’s No2. After Black missed a chance to stay level by 14...Nf6, it was like watching the legendary Mikhail Tal reincarnated.

Major over the board tournaments in Norway and Sweden have recently been postponed due to the pandemic, so there will be anxious moments before the world title Candidates, abandoned at half-way, can resume in Ekaterinburg on 19 April.


Fabiano Caruana v Magnus Carlsen, Isle of Man 2017. Black to move. How did Norway’s world No 1 persuade the US world 2 to resign?

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