16-16. This was the final outcome of the top match in the last round of the Belgium league between the favourites KSK Rochade 1 KSK47-Eynatten 1. The first time of Eynathen had though secured the title long time ago. But what kind of result is that 16-16? Or 21-11, the largest win in the final round which my team Amay had achieved? Especially when there are only eight players in each team? Well, the system in Belgium this year is changed. The individual points are calculated as follows- 3 points for a win, 2 points for a draw, 1 point for a loss. Yes, a loss is awarded with a point, but if a player does not appear, he receives a zero. And that makes sense. Theoretically, a match can be tide 4-4, but if player from one of the teams does not appear, that team will lose the match 15-16 according to the new systems. And, if there were teams willing to save money from their expensive foreigners before they are no longer willing to do so. A match win is counted first and none is willing to lose due a sheer default of a player.
Belgium Interclubs is an all-play all 11 round Championship. Games are played on Sundays throughout the whole year. In total there are 5 Leagues, but starting from second league there are also groups. Fifth division for instance has groups A-M. The teams in second and third divisions consist of 6 players, and fourth and fifth divisions count on four players.
The last two teams from 1-st division relegate into second, and the top three qualify for the Champion’s League.
For many years a dominant force in Belgium is the Eynathen team. Khenkin, Van der Doel, Lutz, Sulskis, Horvath, Hausrath, these are only some of the GMs that the team can use in their matches. They also have a strong backbone of masters willing to prove themselves. If they want though, they can easily compose a team only of Grandmaster power. Their opponents can hardly do the same, although, the silver medalists Ans 1 have M. Hoffman and Luc Winants in their team, while the bronze winners KSK Rochade 1 can count on R. Vaganian, Berelovitsch, Feigin and Glek. Apart from the local players, the Belgium Interclubs recruits many foreigners, mainly from the countries in the neighborhood. Netherlands, Germany and France are well represented in the team squads. Top players include the names of Ivan Sokolov (NED), Georg Meier (GER), Tigran Gharamian (FRA). Players from other continents like Parimadjan Negi(IND) and Irina Krush(USA) also compete in the league.
Till Sunday the matches were always played in the home town of the hosting time. However this year an exception was made, and all the teams gathered together for the final round in Charleroi, in the hall where the traditional open tournament takes place in summer. This was made as an attempt to provoke the general interest towards our game in Belgium. The top three boards in each match were transmitted live, and despite the fact that the EICC is still in progress, 15 GMs and many IMs took part in the battles. The top match was KSK Rochade 1 KSK47-Eynatten 1, was tied as I mentioned before after a tough battle. In exciting games GMs Luts and Sulskis scored for Eynathen 1 on the top boards against colleagues Vaganian and Berelovitsch respectively, but Feigin and Coenen managed to level the score edging out Hausrath and Polaczek in return.
Namur 1 and Crelel 1 lost their spots in the top division.