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.