The game of the weekend!
(A report by Andreas Jagodzinsky, 13.04.2022)
After the players from Hemer and some of the many helpers, about whom we will report elsewhere, had recovered at the Chinese restaurant on Saturday evening, the match against the German champions from Bad Königshofen continued on Sunday.
The defending champions had brought the championship trophy with them and some took pictures of or with the trophy.
In the meantime, Catriona Dartmann Aubanell had arrived, making her fourth Bundesliga appearance at board six. With that, Valerija Naumenko moved up to board five.
As on the previous day, boards two to four were occupied by Alisa Frey, Katharina Ricken and Kathrin Sewald.
And on the top board Carmen Voicu-Jagodzinsky took her place again, who had to deal with the reigning European Vice-Champion Iulija Osmak from Ukraine.
To say it in advance: in this match there was more in it than the day before.
Alisa had a hard time against WGM Tatiana Melamed from the beginning and was in a clearly worse position for a long time,
But suddenly her experienced opponent made a mistake, so that Alisa suddenly had a win. Only one more precise move and our player should have won with one more piece. But a careless exchange of minor pieces didn't work, so Tatiana was able to mate. The chance was lost.
If this game, which was now the first to end, had ended at about the same time with a 1-0 lead instead of a 0-1 deficit, then something would have been possible here.
Katharina Ricken also had chances for the full point in the course of her game. In the end she scored a strong draw against WGM Belenkaya.
Whether Catriona, Kathrin or Valerija could have avoided their defeats is not known. All in all, the experienced and clearly higher-ranked opponents prevailed in these games.
But then there was the best Hemeran game of the weekend, in which our best player delivered a brilliant performance.
While she had no chance the day before, she showed in Sunday's match against the young top player from Kiev, who is certainly not yet at the end of her development, why she has played for the Romanian national team for so many years.
In the preparation, Carmen had noticed that Osmak has a very large opening repertoire. So it was clear that with Black she would determine which opening would come on the board. It was impossible to prepare all conceivable openings again!
The European Vice-Champion chose French, whereas Carmen played a supposedly undemanding variation.
However, the top player of the German Champion continued imprecisely. After only ten moves, the commentator Marcus Schmücker, who once again led the day with great humour, announced that the position was now clearly better for our player.
As Marcus then explained to the spectators, the position was not only objectively better for Carmen, but also corresponded exactly to her style of play.
A beautiful positional quality sacrifice increased the advantage. And although there were no easy-to-calculate variations that led to a simple winning position, but many small intermediate goals had to be achieved to preserve or increase the advantage, Carmen never strayed from the right path.
After the game, in an interview with Marcus, she explained how she had encountered difficulties at individual points in the game for which she had to seek solutions. It was clear to her at any point in the game that she had an advantage. But it was also clear to her that a player as strong as Iulija Osmak would have waited at any time for an opportunity to turn the game around, even in a difficult position.
But Carmen did not let anything go to waste.
The moment her opponent gave up, Bad Königshofen's team manager Jürgen Müller was one of the first to congratulate her. It was obvious to all spectators how well our player had played that day. And of course it did all Hemerans good that we were able to win at least one match this weekend despite the expected superiority of the two top teams.
First game in Bundeliga for Valerija Naumenko
The Bundesliga premiere in Hemer was also a very special day for Valerija Naumenko. The 19-year-old high school graduate made her debut in the Bundesliga.
Together with Kim Drees and Julia Manus, she formed the core of the U14 team and the school team that learned chess from Carmen Voicu-Jagodzinsky at Woeste-Gymnasium and took part together in the German Club Championships (DVM) U14w in 2016.
Valerija was the one of the three youth players who was most involved with chess and pursues it as her main hobby. She qualified for the 2018 German Youth Championships at U16w as the NRW runner-up. In 2020, she then went to the German Championships again. There she finished fifth in the U18w and only missed the bronze medal by half a point.
In the U16 team in the open division, she qualified twice with the team for the DVM and was the team's highest-scoring player in both 2017 and 2018. Of course, she was also part of the U20 team's promotion squad to the Bundesliga, where she is also playing this season.
To this day, she goes to the chess club to work with her coach.
In the meantime, she is also active as a coach in the club for the youngsters and has been responsible for the association squad training in South Westphalia with Moritz Runte since this season.
After her debut, she answered a few questions for us.
What was it like for you to compete in the national league?
It was a very exciting experience to compete in the Bundesliga because you got to experience playing against the top players in the world. You realised that you are at a very high level right now. Of course, this can put you off at first, but it also makes you want to do your best.
How was the match on Saturday? Did you realise that you had a chance to win?
Click here for the game: http://cloudserver.chessbase.com/MjcxNjAxOTU=/replay.html
At the beginning of the game I thought to myself "I just have to hold the position". This worked well, but at some point my opponent let up, which is why I was suddenly much more active and knew "now I have the chance". Upon realising this, I became more nervous and unfortunately had far too little time. That's why I couldn't calculate the variations long enough and missed the winning move. In the end, we ended up in an even endgame, which I did not play correctly and thus the experienced player took the point. Despite the defeat, I was able to learn a lot from my game and realise that it is not impossible to keep up at this level.
What does the Bundesliga premiere mean for your future chess career?
The Bundesliga premiere means for me that I have to train more and play more tournaments to gain more experience. Because especially after Saturday's game there is definitely still room for improvement.
Is it special to play your first Bundesliga match here at your school, where you started chess?
Of course it's special! I associate school with chess because I learned chess there from Carmen and also got to know many nice people, without whom it wouldn't have been possible to organise the home match in the first place. Besides, I'm in my last year at school and about to take my final exams, so the Bundesliga is another nice farewell to the place where it all began and hopefully will never end.
Hemer wins in the women's Bundesliga!
(Andreas Jagodzinsky, 19.03.2022)
In the third match, SV Hemer wins its first point match in the Frauenbundesliga.
Against Leipzig we kept the upper hand with 4-2. And it was the youth players who gave us two team points.
On Thursday, I had to change the team at short notice. Iozefina Werle, WGM from the Netherlands, had to cancel for understandable reasons. Fortunately, Catriona Dartmann Aubanell was able to step in.
But of course this changed the situation completely. Instead of competing with four grandmasters, our draw average dropped by almost 100 points.
Leipzig was suddenly favored.
Unfortunately, Iulia Ionica, who was the favorite on board four, failed the opening, so she was under pressure early on the board and the clock. Eventually she had to give up. Luminita Cosma on board one was by no means in a better position either, and after 20 moves had only one minute left for another 20 moves.
Catriona and the newly crowned Romanian Women's Champion Alessia Ciolacu (with 17 years probably the youngest two-time Women's Champion in Romania) stood better. But at least in Catriona's case, it was not necessarily clear whether this advantage would be enough against an experienced FIDE Master.
Fortunately, Carmen gained advantages, which at least reassured the team captain. However, the game against an experienced Polish national player remained complicated.
Lisa-Marie Möller also played against an experienced FIDE Master and gained advantages.
After about four hours, Luminita had not only solved her time problems but also had real chances for a draw. Unfortunately, Carmen had lost a lot of time and allowed a move repetition at the end.
But that was not so bad anymore, because Catriona and Lisa-Marie had a clear advantage in the meantime and Luminita had drawn. Alessia, on the other hand, had squandered part of her advantage and found herself in a rook ending with an extra pawn, her two remaining pawns being marginal pawns.
Catriona finally equalized at 2-2.
Lisa-Marie had some anxious moments in the second time trouble phase before she finally won to 3-2.
Alessia could now simply draw. But it is the mark of a good player that she still plays for the whole point in a situation where she cannot lose under any circumstances. After more than six hours and 125 moves, she forced her opponent's surrender and ensured the first Bundesliga victory for the chess club in its 90th year of existence.
Tomorrow at 09:00 the match continues against the hosts from SG Löberitz.
On the first four boards there will be an international match between Latvia and Romania, because the SG Löberitz has four Latvian national players around the current FIDE Managing Director and former Latvian Minister of Finance Dana Reizniece-Ozola and we have four Romanian top players.
These games will again be broadcast live.
Luminita Cosma is player of the month June
(A report by Andreas Jagodzinsky, 19.07.2020)
In these times it is not always easy to make the election for player of the month, because the chess activities are only online.
And to count five players who have scored the most points in the quarantine league in one month would also be somewhat unimaginative.
For June, however, an election is also unnecessary, because the result would have been pretty clear anyway.
With a sovereign victory at the Romanian online championships, Grandmaster Luminita Cosma became Player of the Month June.
Luminita will also participate for Romania in the first Online Olympics in August.
For this we wish her good luck.
Until then she can continue to collect playing practice in the quarantine league.
On the last matchday Carmen Voicu-Jagodzinsky and she were our most successful players: https://lichess.org/tournament/GnT6Vrb5.
Luminita Cosma is the first Romanian online champion
(A report by Andreas Jagodzinsky, 11.06.2020)
Last Sunday Luminita Cosma won the final of the first Romanian online championships with a 1.5-0.5 victory over Andreea Cosman.
Luminita has been playing for our club since 2016 and is undefeated there in two appearances on the top board of the Verbandsliga (1.5/2), two achieved victories and four wins without a fight in the women's Regionalliga and four played, one victory without playing and two draws in the 2nd Bundesliga.
From these statistics you can already see that Luminita loses relatively rarely. And since she had already lost a game in the first game of the tournament, the statistics spoke for her just as much as the higher Elo. In the interview after the final she also pointed out that due to her play for her club in the quarantine league in the past weeks she now has some playing practice online and with short times.
In both games her opponent could keep up well. With white, Luminita could not gain an advantage in the first game, so in the end it was a draw.
Also in the second game there was no difference in playing strength for a long time. Eventually, Luminita offered a repetition. Maybe this was done trusting in her blitz qualities. But her opponent deviated and was in great need of time. In an endgame Luminita found tactical possibilities and reached a won position which she certainly used.
This made Luminita the first Romanian online champion.
At this point one has to emphasize once again the high quality of the event. The live broadcast with high-class commentary offered the best entertainment.
Only 30 minutes after the winning interview Luminita was online again and had her share in keeping the SV Hemer class in the fourth quarantine league.
(A report by Andreas Jagodzinsky, 06.06.2020)
Our strongest player Luminita Cosma has reached the final of the Romanian online championships, where she will meet Andreea Marioara Cosman on Sunday afternoon (17.00 in Germany, 18.00 in Romania).
Last Monday the tournament started with the preliminary round. 16 players met in groups of four and played two games against each group opponent (15 minutes + 10 seconds increment).
Besides Luminita, WGM Carmen Voicu-Jagodzinsky and WFM Alessia Ciolacu were also in the tournament. They had by far the toughest group of the preliminary round, in which WGM Mihaela Sandu, another grandmaster, was the strongest in the seedings.
With three players, the Hemer chess club probably had one of the largest contingents at this tournament.
Right from the start, it became clear that the championship was very professionally organised. The games were commented live on Facebook. In addition to the national coaches of the women (GM Ciprian Nanu) and men (GM Alin Berescu) there were changing guests.
Just like in the club tournament, which we organized more than two months ago in the same mode, it became apparent right at the beginning of the Romanian national championship that the younger players were better able to cope with the mode.
Luminita lost the first game right away. Alessia won against WGM Sandu in a great match. And Carmen had to wait until the endgame before she could outplay her opponent. In round two, she was clearly worse at times and only saved herself in the endgame, which she could even win.
Luminita won her second leg. And also in Alessia's game the experience prevailed in the end. Another victory for Alessia would probably have changed the history of the tournament significantly from the Hemeraner point of view.
On the second day of the tournament, Alessia defeated her same-aged opponent without any problems 2-0 and Luminita also „arrived“ in the tournament and won 2-0.
Carmen was up against Sandu, for whom a defeat against Carmen would have meant that she would not be able to reach the next round on her own.
Carmen had her chances in rack one, but she missed them. Afterwards, she was even worse before she saved herself for the draw. In the second leg, she again showed problems with her time management and in the decisive phase, she had no time to find the moves that would have held the game together.
Luminita won the first game on the last day of the preliminary round and then drew.
Carmen and Alessia played in a direct duel for a place in the quarter-finals.
Since Alessia had one point, it might have been worth a try to draw in the black game with solid play and then bet everything on the white game. But soon a complicated position emerged, which the computer preferred for white, but which had sufficient counter chances.
But again it was time that Carmen ran away. Alessia, who had played online a lot during the last months, looked for the tactical strike at the right time and won.
So Carmen was practically out of the tournament, unless a surprise happened in the parallel meeting of the group. Let's get this straight: there was no surprise.
In the second leg Carmen showed her best performance. She aimed for a calm position with all her pieces, gave her opponent the opportunity to make mistakes and overplayed her safely in the endgame.
Alessia then had to play a deciding match against Sandu for the group win, which she lost despite having the best chances of winning.
In the quarter-finals Alessia met WIM Raluca Sgircea, against whom she reached an almost winning position in her first match, but then, according to her own statement, played four bad moves in a row and still lost. Since the return match was also lost, Alessia was out.
The quarterfinal between Luminita Cosma and WGM Corina Peptan was an early final. Peptan is the best Romanian player ever. Four times she was Junior World Champion (among others in 1991 in the U12, when Carmen was U10 World Champion), twelve times Romanian Champion (last time in 2019).
She reached the quarter finals of three women's world championships in 2000.
In 2003 she was No. 8 in the women's world rankings.
For the most part of her career she played on the first board for the national team.
And in almost all of these national team events our top player Luminita Cosma was one of her team mates.
In 1997 they won silver together and in 1999 bronze at the European Team Championships.
Luminita, who was also youth world champion, showed her best performance in this match. After a victory in the first leg, some difficult situations arose in the second leg. But in the end, she kept the overview in the entanglements and won 2-0.
Especially impressive was that shortly after, she entered the quarantine league, where she played her part to advance to the fourth league.
In the semi-finals, she then played Alessia's defeater WIM Sgircea. Both games ended in a draw, so Luminita had to win the deciding blitzgame with white. Alessia could still see the end of the game together with Moritz Runte and Timo Leonard at the online club training. Luminita won and reached the final.
Between the semi-final and the final there is a rest day, where the women and men play for third place.
We wish Luminita all the best for the final!
Interview with Carmen Voicu-Jagodzinsky
Anyone who has read the interviews with our Bundesliga promoted players carefully will have noticed that one player has not yet answered any questions.
And that is the player without whom SV Hemer's upswing in recent years would have been unthinkable. On her birthday she will answer a few questions.
Carmen, congratulations on your promotion with the women's team and on your birthday. What does this promotion mean for you?
It's a dream come true. That was the idea when we started building the team. We should have been promoted to the 2nd Bundesliga a year earlier.
At the moment it's not clear when chess will continue. How do you feel about this uncertainty?
This is a disaster. As soon as this is over, I'm going to play a tournament.
All the players we interviewed emphasize your part in the success. How do you see your role in the development of the team?
It is true that I have worked with many players. And some of my friends also play in a team with me. I enjoy that. I want others to say something about my role. Andreas plays a big role because it was actually his idea to form this team.
Can you tell us briefly how you felt about the season? What were the decisive factors for your promotion?
We were simply the strongest team. We won all games very confidently. The atmosphere was great. All the players were diligent and wanted to improve.
Can you characterize your teammates?
Luminita: She is super professional and has so much experience. We are always sure that she will get her points.
Iulia: Luminita and Iulia are my best friends. It was clear that Iulia belongs to this team. She is a grandmaster and has a lot of experience.
Alessia: She is a very strong young player with a lot of potential, who can play on board 1 in a few years if she continues like this.
Kathrin: Kathrin is a great fighter. She is also funny and important for the atmosphere.
Lisa-Marie: She also has a lot of talent and was always there when we needed her.
Catriona: Just like the other players she always wants to improve. Especially at the Open German Championships she showed what she is capable of.
Valerija: I have known Valerija for so long. She learned chess with me and spent so many hours with me at the Gymnasium in the chess club. She has achieved so much in so short time.
Linda: She is our youngest player. She has every chance to become a very strong player if she continues to work.
With Iozefina Werle another strong grandmaster joins the team. Do you think it's important that more grandmasters join the team?
No, we train the next grandmasters ourselves. Perhaps we already have them in the team.
What do you expect from next season in the Bundesliga?
The most important thing is that we keep our class. Maybe we can create a surprise somewhere. If the young players continue to develop in this way, we'll see what's possible at some point.
Today is the international match between Romania and Germany. You have both citizenships. Which team are you rooting for?
The better one should win. But when you've played for Romania for so long, it's hard to be neutral.
Interview with Iulia Ionica
(from Andreas Jagodzinsky 03.04.2020)
Today we speak with Iulia Ionica, another member of Hemer´s Women Bundesliga Team.
Congratulations for reaching Bundesliga with Schachverein Hemer. Can you tell us why you play for the club?
Thank you! I would like to congratulate the whole team for this important performance! Congratulations to Carmen and Andreas who made everything possible to make this dream come true.
I like very much to play for this team not only because Carmen is my bestfriend since ever but also for the atmosphere inside the team. The girls are very nice and friendly.
Have you played in Bundesliga before?
I only played once for the team Großlehna
You have your own team in Romanian superleague. Can you tell us about the differences between German and Romanian team-championship?
Yes, I have my own team in Romania – ARNIA ChessIT- and actually we took bronze medal in Romanian Superleaque last year.
There are a lot of differences between German and Romanian team-championship. In Romania the system should be like this: 2 teams should qualify from Division A to Superleaque, in Superleaque should play 10 teams in closed tournament.
In Romania the team is composed by 4 players -3 seniors and 1 junior, not 6 players like in Germany. But even so, because women chess doesn’t get enough support and all the chess clubs have money issues, at this moment, we don’t even have 10 women teams in our country. Any new team will play directly in the Superleaque.
The team of Hemer has a lot of young players. What do you think about the team composition?
The Hemer’s team is indeed very young and includes several of Carmen’s students. I like this concept: not building a team and use just foreign players but to also use players you raised. It is very important to support the new generation.
What do you expect for the next season in Bundesliga?
Bundesliga is for sure a big challenge but I am confident that the team will have a word to say at this level as well.
Hemer advances to the women's Bundesliga!
Liveticker for the last game against Lübeck on 16.02.2020
Luminita plays a draw. We win 5-1 and move up to the Bundesliga without losing any points.
We say goodbye for today and thank all readers!
Lisa-Marie keeps - perhaps for the last time - the upper hand against her talented and young opponent. 4.5-0.5 for Hemer. The way the players around Carmen Voicu-Jagodzinsky presented themselves today was first league ready.
Interesting remains Luminita's game. The opponent has one quality less, but a far advanced passed pawn. But with her last move Luminita indicates that also on this level the knowledge of how to checkmate with two towers is important. She has the second row under control. Now she threatens to mate on the first row. Let's see how it continues here. And above all, how long?
Lisa-Marie has survived the lack of time and is a healthy bishop up. There won't be anything left to burn. In the last game Hemer makes his best fight of the season and shows that we are rightfully at the top.
Alessia's opponent notices at two seconds remaining that she has to move, but does not make it. But the position was already good for our player. 3.5-0.5. Luminita has a strange position. Should there be a sensation in her game?
Catriona draws. She was an exchange down, but still stood up well. If you had played that a little more energetically, it might have been a fine attacking victory, where you could have been praised for the beautiful positional exchange sacrifice in the end. Catriona remains unbeaten.
2.5-0.5 for us. We will not lose this to clear any more.
Carmen up to 2-0.
Just praised, Carmen is now looking for the decision. The opponent is under time pressure and must constantly parry tactical threats.
Catriona, on the other hand, is problematic.
Most diligently Dominik congratulates, who is greeted from here!
The first congratulations arrive. DSB President Ullrich Krause, who as a Lübecker had naturally hoped for a different outcome, was the first.
But feedback is also coming from our own club. Detlev Zuleger emphasizes the outstanding contribution of Carmen!
Carmen now has a veritable time advantage in addition to the already abundant space advantage.
No position gives cause for concern.
And here is the evidence picture:
11:24 a.m.: This is the Bundesliga promotion!
Kathrin Sewald wins with a beautiful queen's sacrifice, puts Hemer 1-0 in the lead and provides an unassailable lead in the table.
For the first time in the history of the club, Hemer thus advances to the 1st Bundesliga, which is considered the best first league in the world!
Of course, we are still ticking away.
After I analyzed her game from yesterday with Linda, now back to the running games.
Alessia Ciolacu takes more and more the initiative on her board. Here the game is now slowly developing more and more in our favour.
Alessia is travelling to the games from Bucharest. But she is now well integrated into the club, wasn't too bad for the fun 14 days ago when she played the U16 team championships with Timo Leonard, Alex Poggemann, Linda Becker and Miriam Marinescu. When she comes to the matchdays, she takes part in youth training and occasionally trains online with other of our youth players.
Lisa-Marie Möller and Kathrin Sewald play with guest player permission for SV Hemer. This is intended to give players who do not have enough women in their own club the opportunity to play for another club in the women's field without forcing them to change clubs completely. However, both have trained with Carmen in the past, so that there is a clear connection to SV Hemer. Interestingly enough, they both missed their debut for SVH. They record the only defeats of our team so far this season.
And now back to the action on the boards.
Kathrin has thrown the g-pawn forward. Although both sides smoked briefly, Kathrin seems to have the impression that now is the time for a tactical exchange of blows. We already had a reference to boxing in the text yesterday. In Kathrin's games, one gets the impression that she may not have the greatest technique, but that she is not afraid to exchange blows. Hit, get hit and then look for the KO. For me already now the audience player of the weekend!
Carmen, on the other hand, takes a more strategic approach and relies on her spatial advantage. This reminds more of Mask or Klitschko: you use the range advantage, get your opponent in line and hit without getting hit yourself. Let's hope it works for both players today.
We spoke earlier about the different concepts in the first and second women's Bundesliga. Lübeck does it very much like us. In the front are two experienced players with strong playing skills. Behind them are players from the young generation.
By the way, the personnel on board five is quite interesting: Lübeck's Katerina Bräutigam (born 2008) is a junior national player of the German Chess Federation and is seeded for the European Team Championship U12w in summer. In 2019 she took part in a training course of the DSB in Berlin and was coached there by Carmen, who coached the U12w national team to win the European Championship in 2018. And Carmen plays today against Irina Bräutigam, the mother of Katerina.
How small the world is.
We had already reported that Alessia's opponent has brought her knight to f5 and is trying to play on the king's wing. Alessia knows, of course, that according to the textbooks, you should react to a wing attack with a counter-attack in the centre and so she consequently ...d6-d5.
Linda and Alex Becker have also just arrived. After Linda fulfilled her task brilliantly this season, she had earned the extra sleep.
An hour is played
Time for a short view over the boards:
On board one, Luminita Cosma might have already made the decision because a move replay was within the realm of possibility. But the position offers no reason to make a quick draw. We want to play seriously here and not beg for half a point.
On board two, Carmen has an enormous space advantage. But this is part of the black concept of waiting to see if White might miss a counter.
Alessia has a typical Spanish position on board three. White has maneuvered his knight to f5. But as long as the other pieces don't rush to help, that's not worrying.
Kathrin also has a normal Italian position. After the exchange of the d-pawn, the d-line is opened and the center tension is resolved.
With Lisa-Marie I like the position quite well for our player, who probably neutralized white´s first move advantage.
And Catriona also stands pleasantly, without me wanting to claim an objective advantage for our player.
There are quite different models in the first and second Bundesliga. Some clubs rely on their own young talent. However, in the best case scenario, this may well enable them to reach the first division. That's a pity, because a lot of commitment is put into training the players.
Other clubs spend five-figure sums on player fees and sometimes play without a single female player who has learned to play chess within a radius of 1,000 km. If the patron loses interest, the team is finished. In any case, the club members have no interest in this "project", as a famous former football coach and Bundesliga coach would probably describe it. In the end all that remains is scorched earth.
In between there are of course also mixed forms with real sponsors and sustainable work for the whole club.
The idea of building up a women's team developed in our company when Carmen got more and more interested students of the Woeste-Gymnasium into her club. Right from the start, the rule was that at least 50% of the players must be local junior players.
With the exception of last season's decisive regional league match in Porz, we were able to meet this quota.
Valerija Naumenko is certainly the most "native". The 17-year-old learnt the rules of chess from Carmen, improved quickly and qualified for the German Youth Championships U16w as NRW runner-up in 2018.
She came to four games this season, all of which she won.
We already reported about our youngest player Linda Becker.
But also the majority of the other players are - in some cases significantly - younger than 20. Catriona Dartmann Aubanell and Alessia Ciolacu are 15. Both already have international experience. In 2018 Catriona took part in the European Championships U14 in Riga. Even more experienced is Alessia, who participates in European Youth Championships or World Youth Championships every year and is an integral part of the Romanian U18 girls' national team, with which she became Vice European Champion in Bad Blankenburg in 2018. There she also caught the eye of Carmen Voicu-Jagodzinsky, who became European Champion with the German U12 girls team.
Catriona has scored three points in three appearances in the second Bundesliga so far.
Alessia currently stands at 4.5/5. Yesterday it was she who had a clearly advantageous position early on and who, with her victory, ensured calm in a phase when the fight was a cause for concern.
We don't have to worry about Alessia's Bundesliga suitability.
To make it a bit more vivid for those who are not quite so deeply into the subtleties of chess, here is a little about the chances that Hemer will not rise today. In the world ranking ELO, the players from Hemer have significantly more points on each board than their opponents. Of course, this does not mean that not every single player from Lübeck has her chances to win the game anyway.
But Lübeck must win every single game.
Already now one can say that something is brewing here. Stormy Victoria should keep us busy even after the game.
On the boards it is still quite calm so far.
We had already mentioned Linda Becker, who is going on a break today.
She looks back on an excellent debut season in Germany's second highest league. She was used five times and scored four and a half points. Her game against Mülheim on the second day was particularly strong, when she started the team win with a beautiful attacking game, which was rightly voted the most beautiful Hemeraner game of the weekend.
One must not forget that Linda is only 13.
The games have begun.
On board one, there is a Queen's Gambit on the board. Luminita's opponent has chosen the substitution option. Just as classic is the opening in the game on board three, where 1.e4 e5 came. Alessia's opponent played Spanish.
English with 1...e5 is on the board with Lisa-Marie.
Three times 1.e4 came at Carmen, Kathrin and Catriona, where 1...c6 followed at boards two and six and 1...e5 at board four.
By the way, if you want to see the players back on the board after this round without having to travel too far, you don't have to wait until the new season. We will see them both in the remaining team matches in the Verbands and Bezirksliga.
In summer some of them will also compete in the Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Trophy: https://sparkassen-chess-trophy.de/de/de/
The Internet is new territory for some people. My technical skills are also limited. But somehow I've successfully managed the hotspot and now I'm reporting instead of Marcus, who has to play today.
We just handed in the line-ups.
Hemer will substitute five Lisa-Marie Möller on board. Catriona Dartmann Aubanell slides to board six. Linda Becker is allowed to sleep.
At 08:45 we have to hand in the line-up to the referee.
Will Hemer compete twice in a row with the same line-up for the first time this season, or is there a change?
WGM Iulia Ionica, Valerija Naumenko and Julia Manus have already been on missions this season.
However, we only have one nine-seater and three male participants.
At 08:30 the departure to the venue is scheduled.
The team bus has been kindly provided by the Block & Kirchhoff driving school (https://www.fs-block-kirchhoff.de/), which has also supported our young athlete Linda Becker in the past.
On this occasion, I'd like to take this opportunity to put aside the thought of the costs that travelling in the first Bundesliga would cause. First hunt down the Lübeck bear and then we'll see if we can afford the knife for stripping the fur for later distribution.
The feedback on yesterday's live ticker shows that our fight for advancement is meeting with interest.
Shortly before the game, our mayor Michael Heilmann contacted us and sent greetings to the team.
And shortly after the game, his predecessor Michael Esken (now mayor of Verl in East Westphalia) wished us good luck for the last game.
We could rely on the support of local politics and administration in the last years, which is also shown by the numerous visitors from the city council during our first home game weekend in December at Woeste-Gymnasium.
We are reporting live from Kiel, where the last game of the 2019/20 season in the 2nd Bundesliga will be played in just over one and a half hours.
A look at the table shows the following picture:
For those who are not quite so familiar with the rules: A team win is two team points. For each game win there is one board point, for a draw a half board point.
Hemer is ahead with two team points and five and a half board points.
Pursuer Lübeck would equalize with a win in terms of team points. But to overtake Hemer, a 6-0 would be necessary.
In other words: Lübeck would have to win every game today. As soon as the first game is decided and not lost for Hemer, Hemer would be uncatchable in front.
Interview with Valerija Naumenko (25.02.2020)
Valerija, even though you didn't play last weekend, we congratulate you on your promotion to the Bundesliga. How did you experience the promotion?
First of all, many thanks! I have experienced the promotion full of joy. During the last round, I updated the live ticker on our homepage several times, as well as the results service of the 2nd Bundesliga and when I saw that Kathrin won, it was of course immediately clear that we can't be caught up anymore and that the Bundesliga is coming up next season. Especially the mate in Kathrin´s game was very nice to look at.
It was your first season in the 2nd Bundesliga. When did you realize that it could be enough to advance to the 1st Bundesliga in the first year?
I was aware right from the start that we had chances to advance because we only played with grandmasters and one fidemaster at the first boards, who all played at international level. We also got guest players who have the same experience and have played several times at German championships.
How important is the Woeste-Gymnasium, your school for your chess development?
My school is very important for my chess development, because without it I would never have come to play chess and I would never have met Carmen, who trains me and other youth players. Carmen has been coaching me for six years now and without her I would not have played in the German championships and certainly not in the German national league.
You play in a team with former youth world champions who have experience as national players at the highest international level. Do they give you support for your own game?
In any case, they give me support for my games. Now, apart from the preparations and training, it's an indescribable feeling to have grandmasters in your team, which of course motivates you to give your all in your games.
You're the only player who could win all games this season. Did you expect that?
Not really, because my last season didn't go so well, but I'm even more happy that I was able to do a little better this season and especially at the right time.
Is there an opponent in the Bundesliga you would like to play against?
I can't say exactly. All the players are worth a match, because you get much stronger opponents in the Bundesliga and you can gain the experience you need to improve.
What are you looking forward to most when you think about next season?
Of course the 1st Bundesliga and another season with my great team.
Interview with Alessia Ciolacu (24.02.2020)
Alessia, congratulations for reaching Bundesliga. You are living in Bucharest. How did you come to "Schachverein Hemer"
Thank you! I have first met WGM Carmen Voicu-Jagodzinsky in 2018, at the European Team Chess Championship in Germany. Later on, she talked with her husband, the head of our team, Andreas Jagodzinsky and my coach WGM Luminita Cosma and chose me to be part of their beautiful team. I was extremely happy.
What are your greatest results in chess? How important is winning 2nd Bundesliga for you?
Some of my greatest results in chess are represented by winning medals in the European Championships. For me, it has also been important reaching 2200 ELO. Winning the 2nd Bundesliga has a huge importance because we are qualified to play the most important league of the world. It is going to be an unique experience!
You are playing for the woman-team in Hemer. Do you also know players of the other teams or are you only focussed on the woman-team?
I do know players from other teams and also had the pleasure to play beside them, even in the man-team. They are not only talented players but also nice people and I am glad I have them as my friends.
What are the differences between the romanian team-championship and 2nd Bundesliga?
The Woman Romanian Team Championship and Woman Bundesliga are really different from each other. In Romania, there are not many woman-teams so that we only have a single championship that claims the winning teams.
Do you speak German? If not, how is your communication with your team?
I do not speak German but I know a little bit of it and I intend to learn more; I mainly communicate with my team in English.
What are you doing when you are not playing chess?
During the period when I don't play any tournements, I train in chess. School is also important for me. In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my friends and listening to music.
What is the most attractive thing in Bundesliga you are looking forward?
Bundesliga is a big challenge for our team. The thing that makes me the happiest is having the chance to create memorable games against strong opponents in the most important league in the world.
Interview with Catriona Dartmann Aubanell (23.02.2020)
Today we talk to Catriona Dartmann Aubanell (15), who has been playing for Hemer's women's team since 2018.
Catriona, we congratulate you on your promotion to the Bundesliga. How do you get from Barcelona to Hemer?
Thanks a lot. I will probably study in Aachen and I would like to continue with my hobby. So I started looking for a club in Germany. I had already seen Carmen at the Münsterland Open (since women are always in the eye at chess tournaments). Besides, my family on my father's side lives in Menden and Halingen and so I came across Hemer. Since then I play for Hemer!
It was your first season in the 2nd Bundesliga. And immediately you were promoted. Did you expect that?
I didn't expect that. I was very happy when we moved up to the 2nd Bundesliga last season. Because „Regionalliga“, where I probably didn't play a game, where the opposing team played completely, was a bit strange. This season, I'm sure all the players believed that we could move up in the future. But the fact that we have already achieved this this year is of course great!
If you only travel to the matches, how do you manage to keep in touch with the other players?
It's difficult, but especially before and after the games we have enough time to get to know each other better. Besides, everyone in the club is very open and friendly, which helps a lot. And I had already met almost all the youth players of our team in Willingen, where I played ODEM.
What are your next plans for tournaments in Germany?
After Easter I will definitely play in the NRW Championship U16w. In summer I might do my pre-study internship and therefore I can't make any big plans yet. However, it's possible that I'll still play one or the other tournament.
How did you like the atmosphere at the home doubles round in Hemer in December?
The home doubles round was my first appearance in the 2nd women's Bundesliga. So I was already very happy and excited. The doubles round in Kiel, for example, was also very well organized, but the weekend in Hemer with the spectators and the match commentary was something special.
What are you most looking forward to when you think about next season?
It will be very nice to see all my teammates again and hopefully keep the class with them. I am also especially looking forward to the finals in Berlin to see some of the best players in the world. Hopefully I will see the best players earlier!
Interview with Linda Becker (22.02.2020)
Linda Becker is the youngest player on the women's team. The 13-year-old has answered a few questions.
Linda, first of all congratulations on your promotion to the 1st Bundesliga. How did you experience the last match weekend?
I thought the last game weekend was very nice. The atmosphere in the team was very good and it was a very successful and yet fun weekend.
You have never played in the 2nd Bundesliga before. What expectations did you have before the season? Were they fulfilled?
Before the season I hoped to get a lot of points and I did. For the team I hoped that we would achieve a good ranking, but I didn't think that we would be so sovereign first.
There are also players from Romania and Spain in your team. How does the communication work or are there smaller groups that stay together?
That worked out very well. There were no small groups at all, we mainly spoke English within the team.
Next season you will be one of the youngest players in the women's Bundesliga. Probably you will be an outsider in every game after ELO. How do you approach the task?
I just watch from game to game and try to learn more and more. I also think that my coaches Carmen and Andreas prepare me in such a way that I might be able to trip up one or the other opponent.
What are you looking forward to most in the Bundesliga?
I'm looking forward above all to seeing the whole team again. I'm also looking forward to the new experiences and especially to the final round in Berlin.
Interview with Luminita Cosma
Luminita Cosma is Grandmaster and has participated in the last 12 Chess Olympiads for Romania. This year she will celebrate her 13th Olympic participation in Moscow.
She has been registered for Hemer for several years. Since 2018/19 she has played every game in the women's team.
Congratulations on your promotion with SV Hemer to the 1st Bundesliga. You are a strong grandmaster, regular national player and former youth world champion. How come you play for Hemer?
Thanks, but that was a victory for the whole team. Carmen Voicu-Jagodzinsky and I have been friends for a long time. Through her I got to know her husband Andreas and other club members. When I learned that they wanted to build a women's team, I was happy to help.
What do you like about the city of Hemer? Or have you not had the opportunity to get to know the town yet?
What I like above all is that Hemer is a quiet town with nice people. This is especially true compared to my hometown Bucharest, where everything is crowded and loud. Hemer and the whole surroundings are beautiful.
The team is very young. How do you estimate the girls' performance?
I observe a steady improvement. The work of Carmen and Andreas is crucial for this development. By that I don't just mean the girls, but also the boys in the club. Of course the 1st Bundesliga is a big challenge. It is the strongest league in the world. The girls must continue to improve in order to meet this challenge. I am confident that they will be able to keep up.
Have you already played in the Women's Premier League?
Yes, I played for the team of Großlehna together with Carmen for several years until the team disbanded.
What do you expect for the next season?
I hope that we can keep the class.
How did you like the atmosphere at the home game weekend in December at the high school?
I liked it very much. I have played for different teams all over Europe. But never before have I experienced such professional organisation and reporting as here. The matches were broadcast live, there was commentary, and so many club members helped with the organisation.