Mouflon Chess Challenge April 2020: Damianou beats Savva

by Mark Bryan

by Mark Bryan

FIDE Instructor | FIDE Arbiter | ECU Certified School Chess Teacher

Defending Cyprus Chess Champion Ioannis Damianou became the first player to qualify for the Mouflon Chess Challenge April 2020 Semi-Final. Ioannis Damianou won against Marios Savva 5-1 in yesterday’s Quarter-Final Match. Ioannis Damianou dominated the match, as he secured match victory with two games to spare. On the other hand, Marios Savva missed quite a few winning opportunities. 

Game 1: Ioannis Damianou 1-0 Marios Savva

In the first match Ioannis played 1.e4 and Marios replied with the French Defence and soon we found ourselves in the McCutcheon Variation. White came out with a slight edge, but Black failed to find some important pawn breaks … d4 and then … f6. Ioannis went for a kingside attack which Marios defended poorly and lost the game.

Game 2: Marios Savva 1/2-1/2 Ioannis Damianou

A solid game from both players in which Ioannis Damianou had a slight advantage. Marios Savva found an amazing combination towards the end in which the advantage evaporated to a drawn Q+R endgame.

Game 3: Ioannis Damianou 1-0 Marios Savva

In the third game we saw again the French Defence but this time we had the Classical Variation 4.Bg5 Be7. Ioannis Damianou started attacking on the queenside, and Marios Savva on the kingside. The game was equal until Marios Savva misstepped against 21. f5 with 21. … Qa7 ? and then made an even bigger blunder after 22. f6 with 22. … gxf6 ??. 

Game 4: Marios Savva 0-1 Ioannis Damianou

Game 4 was the quickest game with only 13 moves! Both players did not play very accurately and in the end position Marios Savva resigned in a clearly better position as he did not find the crucial only move to save his piece. Try to find it.

Game 5: Ioannis Damianou 1-0 Marios Savva

Another French Defence and we are back to the McCutcheon Variation just like the first game. This time Marios Savva handled the opening better and equalized early. The game was equal until Ioannis went 21. Nh2 ?!. Marios punished Ioannis for the mistake and then tragically faltered at the finish line to gift Ioannis his 4th victory.

Game 6: Marios Savva 1/2-1/2 Ioannis Damianou

A last game quick draw rounds up the match.

# Flag Name Rating Club 1 2 3 4 5 6 Score
1 flag, country, cyprus-1040575 Ioannis Damianou 2212 Nicosia Chess Club 1 1/2 1 1 1 1/2 5 / 6
2 flag, country, cyprus-1040575 Marios Savva 1758 Paphos Chess Club 0 1/2 0 0 0 1/2 1 / 6

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