Article provided by: Thed Klauner
Luxembourg is one of the smallest members of ICCF. In just about 999 square miles live about 500,000 people.
Although a small Federation, Luxembourg has 2 GM Norbert Stull, Jean-Marie Weber 3 SIM Carlo Mengi, Thed Klauner, Nico Daubenfeld, 2 IM Bernard Simon, Marc Mertens.
The best result so far was the European title of N.Stull in the 33rd European Championship.
At the ICCF Congress in Bad Neuenahr in Germany, Thed Klauner was awarded the title of International arbiter. For ten years, he was the guide of Luxembourgish CC. In these years, Luxembourg started to achieve good results and became a dangerous opponent in Olympiad tournaments. In 1996, Fränk Riva took his place and in Luxembourg a first championship of CC was organised which ended with two winners: J.C. Schuller and F. Schmit.
The history of Luxembourgish CC is very scanty, as nobody in Luxembourg had the idea to play CC. The first known match was the participation of the city of Dudelange in the Belgium Championship in 1961 and the way to the title of Belgium Championship! In that time, only one or two players competed in international CC. However, a new era of CC began in 1993 when Luxembourg entered the third European team championship.
The most important tournament for a small country are the CC Olympiads.:
Olympiad XI Preliminaries Section 3. Team: Stull, Goerens, Klauner, Simon, Riva, and Philippe. Luxembourg scored 27½/54 and took 5th place, winning against Austria, Bulgaria, Wales, Iceland and Algeria, but losing to DDR, Denmark, Germany and Canada.
Olympiad XII Preliminaries Section 2. Team: Goerens, Simon, Riva, Klauner, Daubenfeld, Weber. Luxembourg got 37/66 and took the 6th place: won against Italy, Mexico, Wales, South-Africa, Algeria and New-Zealand, lost against Sweden, Slovenia, Lithuania, Germany and Hungary.
3rd European Team Championship. Team: Feller/Riva, Stull, Christen, Bastian, Goerens, Simon, Klauner, Ludewig, Kirsch; Daubenfeld, David; Schuller. Luxembourg scored 47½ points and took 5th place, winning against Spain, Switzerland, Finland and Wales, and losing to Poland, Germany, Netherlands and Denmark.
4th European Championship. Team: Goerens, Simon, Klauner, Riva, Piscitelli, Gengler, Wealer, Schuller, Feller, Daubenfeld, Schockmel, Hentges. Luxembourg scored 29½ points and took last place, losing all matches against Netherlands, Poland, DDR, Switzerland, Hungary, Belgium, England and Iceland.
6th European Team Championship. Team: Simon, Weber, Mertens, Schuller, Klauner, Stull, Riva, Kayser, Daubenfeld, Schartz, Rasquin, and Kirsch. Until now, Luxembourg scored 65 ½ points out of 120 with wins against Yugoslavia, Estonia, Portugal, and Greece and losses against France, Italy and Germany, and draws with Latvia, Belgium and Israel.
Luxembourg vs. Hungary 15½-24½; vs. Ukraine 12-28; vs. Finland 18-12: vs. North Ireland 13-7; vs. Scotland 3½-8½; vs. Germany (Rheinland-Pfalz) 12-8; vs. Latvia 14-6; vs. Portugal 14-2; vs. Norway 16-8; vs. Sweden 8-8; vs. Ireland 12-6; vs. England 8½-7½; vs. Japan 6½-5½; vs. Canada 2½-3½.
Several players competed in the World Championship Cycle. Additionally, some Luxemburgish players have also competed in European Championships. Finally, a big number of Luxemburgish CC players participated in Memorial tournaments all over the World, and in World Cup Preliminaries and semi-finals.
1st Luxembourg National CC Championship, 1996-1999. Schuller and Schmit took joint first place with 8½ points in 9 games, with Kayser taking third place with 6 points.
The last 10 years Luxembourg had to report some amazing success stories.
Indeed, preliminary group 2 of the 13th Olympiad had at 2408 marginally the highest rating average of the 4 groups. Tim Harding quoted in his Chess Mail magazine 6/1998 that with Argentina, England, Poland, Portugal and Croatia this group is what they call in soccer tournaments “the group of death”. Our team, with only one player having a title at the start of the event managed to win the group! What a fantastic result!! For the first time in our history we qualified for the final.
In 2004 we aligned the following team in this final:
Marc Mertens. Jean-Marie Weber, Thed Klauner, Jean-Claude Schuller, Bernard Simon, Fränk Riva ( due to illness was substituted in 2006 by Frank Obertin).
At the start the teams aligned 19 GM, 25 SIM and 17 IM. With 29 points out of 60 games we realised again a noteworthy score. The victory 4-2 over Russia is up to now the greatest achievement by a national chess team. 4 draws and 2 victories M. Mertens – A.S. Dronov , (22. World Champion in 2010) and J.-M. Weber – A.A: Makarov)
In 2009 we entered the preliminaries of XVIII Olympiad and believe it or not we managed to repeat our triumph and we won the preliminary.
The main difference with the team of 1998 was that this time we aligned 2 GM’s (J.M. Weber, N. Stull) 2 SIM’s (N. Daubenfeld, T. Klauner), and 1 IM (M. Mertens) and 1 IM (F. Berend) in OTB-chess.
So the journey will continue!
In 2011 we participated in the 9th European team championship (N.Daubenfeld, T.Klauner, M.Mertens, J.C.Schuller, G.Daubenfeld, A.Bürger, G.Kirsch, P.Kayer).
Individual results and active title holders.
Norbert Stull, who started CC-chess in 1967 was awarded the GM title in 2003. He qualified ( 2nd place in ¾ final XX) for the individual 19. World Championship in 2004 and got a remarkable 6th place. This is the best individual performance in our cc-chess history. Not to forget that Norbert won the 33rd European Championship). He participates e.a. In the Memorial Bernstein and recently in World Championship cycle (WCCC30CT05 + WCCC31CT05). Will he go once more to the final? Let’s wait and see!
Jean-Marie Weber archived his GM title in 2004, he participated e.a in the XXX Aniversario LIPEAP, Esteban Canal Memorial, best result on board 2 in the XIII Olympiad final, and in recent times he entered the Jubilee Tournament 25 Years Swiss CC as he also participates in the World Championship Candidates tournament (WCCC31CT04).
Nico Daubenfeld won the BFCC-45 tournament ( 2007-2009) and the 175ème anniversaire Londres – Paris tournament ( 2009-2011). He is SIM since 2009, plays actually in e.a. Nikola Baharov Memorial and Jubilee Tournament 25 Years Swiss CC.
Thed Klauner (SIM since 2008) team captain again since 2006 (Fränk Riva has retired due to illness in 2006) and International Arbiter and Tournament Director since 1996. Active as player in WCCC35SF03, Nikola Baharov Memorial and Jubilee Tournament 25 Years Swiss CC.
Marc Mertens (IM since 2001) made a short break but since 2 years he participates again in individual tournaments: WCCC35SF01 and Memorial and Jubilee Tournament 25 Years Swiss CC.
Last but not least I want to highlight that Elvira Berend won the Ladies World Championship 9 section 2 realized a first Ladies GM-norm and qualified for the 9. Ladies World Championship Final. ( February 2011).
To close this report I want to add some picture and games of our players.
The winning team of 13th Olympiad preliminaries: F.Riva, M.Mertens, J.-C.Schuller, T.Klauner, N. Stull, B.Simon
The winning team of 18th Olympiad preliminaries: N.Daubenfeld, N.Stull, J.-M.Weber, T.Klauner, F.Berend, M.Mertens