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Estonia Horses advanced to playoffs

The Pro chess league  had the final round in the preliminary tournament this last Wednesday. In the Eastern division the long waited match between Estonia Horses and Norway Gnomes took place. World champion Magnus Carlsen was playing for Gnomes and only winning the match could help Gnomes to qualify. Estonia Horses needed only to draw the  match to advance. Throughout the season Estonia Horses lost few matches when in the last moment the luck was on their opponent’s side. This time it seemed in the beginning that again everything is going wrong. In the second round Avital Boruchovsky trapped his opponent Borki Predojevic in the opening and got a winning position. Norwegian player also had barely any time left.

In the second round I was not able to defend against the World Champion. My first round game against Grandelius was very shaky and ended in a draw. Against World Champion I tried to keep the pace playing fast, but in several moments I could not use my chances.

Instead of 4-4 after two rounds it was 3-5. In the next round Horses managed to win back one point, but before the last round the score was 5,5-6,5. The last round did not go well in the beginning, Magnus quickly got winning advantage against Boruchovsky and also even against their weakest link Elham Abdrlauf our player Sander Kukk had lost position. This influenced my play and in position where I already outplayed my opponent Predojevic I started to make questionable decisions and managed to save the game only due to my opponent’s time scramble. Somehow Kukk managed to trick his not so experienced opponent and now it was all about the last game.

This was a big blow to Magnus’s fans. The commentators could not hide their disappointment.

We are obliged to qualify to the finals after this success.

Jaan Ehlvest