European Individual Chess Championship

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View of the tournament hall from the Men's (Zegrze) 2005 event

The European Individual Chess Championship is a chess tournament organized by the European Chess Union. It was established in 2000 and has since then taken place on a yearly basis. Apart from determining the European Champion, another object of this tournament is to determine a number of players who qualify for the FIDE world championship.

European Championship 1942[edit]

A tournament purporting to be the first European Championship (Europameisterschaft) was held in Munich, 14–26 September 1942, organised by Ehrhardt Post, the Chief Executive of Nazi Grossdeutscher Schachbund. But given that players from Germany's enemies (Soviet Union, Great Britain and Poland) were unable to participate (because of World War II), and Jewish players barred (because of Nazi policy), this tournament was simply a manifestation of Nazi propaganda and has never received any form of official recognition as a championship. Reuben Fine commented in Chess Marches On (1945), page 136: "Alekhine has participated in a number of European shindigs, including one so-called 'European Championship' ....his competitors were at best second-rate second-raters." This last opinion is curious as Alekhine (World Champion), Keres (pretendent for the title), Bogoljubow (former World Champion challenger), Stoltz (winner, ahead of Alekhine, at Munich 1941), and Junge (co-winner, with Alekhine, at Prague 1942) made Munich 1942 the world's strongest tournament in 1942. The next-strongest tournaments were Salzburg 1942, New York (US Championship) 1942, Mar del Plata 1942, Prague (Duras Memorial) 1942, and Moscow (Championship) 1942.[1]

The line-up at Munich 1942 was as follows:[2]

# Player 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total
1  Alexander Alekhine (France) x 1 ½ ½ 1 1 1 0 1 ½ 1 1
2  Paul Keres (Estonia) 0 x 1 ½ 0 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1
3  Jan Foltys (Bohemia and Moravia) ½ 0 x 1 ½ 1 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 7
4  Efim Bogoljubow (Germany) ½ ½ 0 x 1 0 1 1 ½ 1 ½ 1 7
5  Kurt Richter (Germany) 0 1 ½ 0 x ½ ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 7
6  Gedeon Barcza (Hungary) 0 0 0 1 ½ x ½ 0 1 ½ 1 1
7  Klaus Junge (Germany) 0 ½ 1 0 ½ ½ x 1 ½ 0 0 1 5
8  Ludwig Rellstab (Germany) 1 0 ½ 0 0 1 0 x 0 ½ 1 ½
9  Gösta Stoltz (Sweden) 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 x 0 0 1 4
10  Ivan Vladimir Rohaček (Slovakia) ½ 0 0 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 x ½ 0 4
11  Mario Napolitano (Italy) 0 0 ½ ½ 0 0 1 0 1 ½ x 0
12  Braslav Rabar (Croatia) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ½ 0 1 1 x

Wertungsturnier – Qualification Tournament

# Player 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total
1  Gösta Danielsson (Sweden) x ½ 0 ½ 1 1 ½ 1 1 1 ½ 1 8
2  József Szily (Hungary) ½ x ½ ½ ½ ½ 1 0 1 1 ½ 1 7
3–5  Hans Müller (Germany) 1 ½ x ½ ½ 1 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 6.5
3–5  Géza Füster (Hungary) ½ ½ ½ x 1 0 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 6.5
3–5  Federico Norcia (Italy) 0 ½ ½ 0 x 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 1 6.5
6  Vincenzo Nestler (Italy) 0 ½ 0 1 0 x 0 1 1 ½ 1 1 6
7–8  Alexander Tsvetkov (Bulgaria) ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ 1 x ½ 0 ½ 1 0 5.5
7–8  Sergiu Samarian (Romania) 0 1 1 ½ ½ 0 ½ x 0 1 0 1 5.5
9  Mladen Šubarić (Croatia) 0 0 ½ 0 ½ 0 1 1 x 0 1 1 5
10  Carl Ahues (Germany) 0 0 ½ ½ 0 ½ ½ 0 1 x ½ 1 4.5
11  Charles Roele (Netherlands) ½ ½ ½ 0 0 0 0 1 0 ½ x 1 4
12  Olof Kinnmark (Sweden) 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 x 1

Two books have appeared to date on this event. They are: Europa-Schach-Rundschau: Band 1 Europameisterschaft Munchen 1942 by Alfred Brinckmann (probably published 1943), and A müncheni sakkmesterverseny Európa bajnokságáért 1942 (Kecskemét 1942) by Gedeon Barcza. The games of the second group (Wertungsturnier – Qualification Tournament) were, in the main, published in a small booklet by Erich Friebel, published in Bruck an der Leitha in 1990.[3]

Mode of play[edit]

The tournament is held separately for men and women as a Swiss system tournament, with a varying number of rounds. The only exception was the first Women's Championship tournament in 2000, which was held as a knock-out-tournament. As with all chess competitions, the "men's" section is in fact an open tournament in which female players may participate, but not vice versa. In 2002, Judit Polgár narrowly missed the bronze medal in the men's competition by losing a play-off match against Zurab Azmaiparashvili. In 2011, Polgar won the bronze medal in the men's competition at Aix-les-Bains, France.

Apart from the first edition in 2000, where in case of a tie the Buchholz-Rating was used as a tie-breaker, rapid-play play-off matches were used to determine the medal winners as well as the world championship qualifiers.

Controversy[edit]

A number of recurrent issues have been marring the event from the very beginning:

  • At most venues, participants and accompanying persons were obliged to accommodate at the "official hotel", appointed by the local organizers. The room rates, however, would be significantly higher than for other hotel guests.[4][5] This in fact triggered the founding of the ACP. Also the standard of the hotels as well as of the food has been a focus of complaints by players and journalists.
  • As the European Championships are part of the FIDE World Championship cycle, starting with the 2001 edition, the new, faster FIDE time control was used. This led to many complaints by the participants about increased stress, incessant time trouble and a steep deterioration of the quality of the games.[6][7]
  • A more indirect problem is the uncertainty whether a player's qualification for the World Championship will be of any value at all due to the inconsistent staging of the World Championship Tournaments since the change of the tournament format in 1999. For example, the 2002 European Championships provided five qualifying spots for the 2003 World Championship which in fact never took place.

Overview of results (Men)[edit]

Year Venue Gold Silver Bronze Players/rounds
2000 Saint-Vincent, Italy  Pavel Tregubov (RUS)  Aleksej Aleksandrov (BLR)  Tomasz Markowski (POL) 120 / 11
2001 Ohrid, Macedonia  Emil Sutovsky (ISR)  Ruslan Ponomariov (UKR)  Zurab Azmaiparashvili (GEO) 203 / 13
2002 Batumi, Georgia  Bartłomiej Macieja (POL)  Mikhail Gurevich (BEL)  Sergey Volkov (RUS) 101 / 13
2003 Istanbul, Turkey  Zurab Azmaiparashvili (GEO)  Vladimir Malakhov (RUS)  Alexander Graf (GER) 207 / 13
2004 Antalya, Turkey  Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR)  Predrag Nikolić (BIH)  Levon Aronian (ARM) 74 / 13
2005 Zegrze, Poland  Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (ROM)  Teimour Radjabov (AZE)  Levon Aronian (ARM) 229 / 13
2006 Kuşadası, Turkey  Zdenko Kozul (CRO)  Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR)  Kiril Georgiev (BUL) 138 / 11
2007 Dresden, Germany  Vladislav Tkachiev (FRA)  Emil Sutovsky (ISR)  Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS) 403 / 11
2008 Plovdiv, Bulgaria  Sergei Tiviakov (NED)  Sergei Movsesian (SVK)  Sergey Volkov (RUS) 323 / 11
2009 Budva, Montenegro  Evgeny Tomashevsky (RUS)  Vladimir Malakhov (RUS)  Baadur Jobava (GEO) 306 / 11
2010 Rijeka, Croatia  Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS)  Baadur Jobava (GEO)  Artyom Timofeev (RUS) 408 / 11
2011 Aix-les-Bains, France  Vladimir Potkin (RUS)  Radosław Wojtaszek (POL)  Judit Polgár (HUN) 393 / 11
2012 Plovdiv, Bulgaria  Dmitry Jakovenko (RUS)  Laurent Fressinet (FRA)  Vladimir Malakhov (RUS) 348 / 11
2013 Legnica, Poland  Alexander Moiseenko (UKR)  Evgeny Alekseev (RUS)  Evgeny Romanov (RUS) 286 / 11
2014 Yerevan, Armenia  Alexander Motylev (RUS)  David Anton Guijarro (ESP)  Vladimir Fedoseev (RUS) 257 / 11

Overview of results (Women)[edit]

Year Venue Gold Silver Bronze Players/rounds
2000 Batumi, Georgia  Natalia Zhukova (UKR)  Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (RUS)  Maia Chiburdanidze (GEO)

 Tatiana Stepovaya (RUS)

32 / K.O.
2001 Warsaw, Poland  Almira Skripchenko (MDA)  Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (RUS)  Ketevan Arakhamia (GEO) 157 / 11
2002 Varna, Bulgaria  Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL)  Lilit Mkrtchian (ARM)  Alisa Galliamova (RUS) 114 / 11
2003 Istanbul, Turkey  Pia Cramling (SWE)  Viktorija Čmilytė (LTU)  Tatiana Kosintseva (RUS) 113 / 11
2004 Dresden, Germany  Alexandra Kosteniuk (RUS)  Zhaoqin Peng (NED)  Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL) 108 / 12
2005 Chișinău, Moldova  Kateryna Lahno (UKR)  Nadezhda Kosintseva (RUS)  Yelena Dembo (GRE) 164 / 12
2006 Kuşadası, Turkey  Ekaterina Atalik (TUR)  Tea Bosboom-Lanchava (NED)  Lilit Mkrtchian (ARM) 96 / 11
2007 Dresden, Germany  Tatiana Kosintseva (RUS)  Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL)  Nadezhda Kosintseva (RUS) 150 / 11
2008 Plovdiv, Bulgaria  Kateryna Lahno (UKR)  Viktorija Čmilytė (LTU)  Anna Ushenina (UKR) 157 / 11
2009 Saint Petersburg, Russia  Tatiana Kosintseva (RUS)  Lilit Mkrtchian (ARM)  Natalia Pogonina (RUS) 168 / 11
2010 Rijeka, Croatia  Pia Cramling (SWE)  Viktorija Čmilytė (LTU)  Monika Soćko (POL) 158 / 11
2011 Tbilisi, Georgia  Viktorija Čmilytė (LTU)  Antoaneta Stefanova (BUL)  Elina Danielian (ARM) 158 / 11
2012 Gaziantep, Turkey  Valentina Gunina (RUS)  Tatiana Kosintseva (RUS)  Anna Muzychuk (SLO) 103 / 11
2013 Belgrade, Serbia  Hoang Thanh Trang (HUN)  Salome Melia (GEO)  Lilit Mkrtchian (ARM) 169 / 11
2014 Plovdiv, Bulgaria

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Strongest Tournament between 1942 and 1943 at chessmetrics.com
  2. ^ Roger Paige's Chess Site – 1942
  3. ^ Gillam, Anthony J.; Swift, A J (2001), 1st European championship Munich 1942, Nottingham: The Chess Player, ISBN 1-901034-46-1 
  4. ^ Krasenkow, Michal, "Youth on top in Batumi", New in Chess Magazine 2002 (6): 69–79, OCLC 20735159 
  5. ^ Geuzendam, Ten; Jan, Dirk, ""Azmai" fourth European Champion", New in Chess Magazine 2003 (5): 26–45, OCLC 20735159 
  6. ^ Tischbierek, Raj, "Himmelhoch jauchzend, zu Tode betrübt", Schach 2001 (7): 4–31, ISSN 0048-9328 
  7. ^ Van Wely, Loek, "Sometimes the King Wore no Clothes", New in Chess Magazine 2001 (5): 52–57, OCLC 20735159 

External links[edit]

For complete tables / results, refer to the The Week in Chess-website: