2011 European Rapid and Blitz – An event for everyone

12/19/2011 – When one thinks of events such as the European Rapid and Blitz championships, the names that come to mind are invariably part of the 2700 club. However, this event is one that also breaks the barriers of rating, age, and gender, ranging from 84-year-old Stanislaw Szczepaniec all the way down to five-year-old Helena Kucharska, who played in both tournaments. A pictorial overview.

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2011 European Rapid and Blitz – An event for everyone


The entrance to the European Rapid and Blitz Championships

The European Rapid championship, and the European Blitz championship just took place this weekend, December 16-18, in Warsaw, Poland. The event is singularly held under the auspices of Bronislaw Komorowski, the Polish president, as well as the European Parliament, reaffirming the prestigious status the noble game has there. The list of sponsors, led by MetLife Amplico Insurance, include a list of heavy-hitting names ranging from IBM, to local teelcommunications companies, hotels, and more. Impressive.


The playing hall with players anxious to get started

When one thinks of events such as the European Rapid and Blitz championships, the names that come to mind are invariably part of the 2700 club, and just as predictably, the top finishers are there. However, this event is one that also breaks (shatters) the barriers of rating, age, and gender, and while one will assuredly see players such as Ian Nepomniachtchi, Etienne Bacrot, Arkadij Naiditsch (who recently helped Germany win an unprecedented European Team championship), and Judit Polgar, who was third at the overall European Individual Championship earlier this year, the huge field had nearly 750 participants.


Judit Polgar, a regular participant, came 4th in the Blitz, and 15th in the Rapids


Top Polish player Radoslaw Wojtaszek took bronze in the European Blitz

The list also ranged from 84-year-old Stanislaw Szczepaniec, rated 2058, but who had a 2200 performance, all the way down to five-year-old Helena Kucharska! Note that she played in both the rapid and the blitz events, matching her 1250 rating to any and all, however, don't think for a minute think she was the only five-year-old. One last detail, she was not last in either event, or next-to-last.


A picture from the parallel children's event? There was none, this is a picture from
the main event!


Which led to scenes such as this

The European Rapid Championship, played at 15 minutes plus a ten-second increment, was won by Georgian GM Baadur Jobava, a Playchess regular, who took the title with an impressive 11.0/13 ahead of seven players tied at 10.5/13 who played a playoff to determine the silver and bronze medals. After the dust settled, Russian junior Sanan Sjugirov took Silver, and Polish GM Robert Kempinski took the Bronze.

Final standings of European Rapid

Rk
Name
Tit
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB1
TB2
TB3
1 Jobava, Baadur
GM
GEO
2678
11.0
100.00
117.50
10
2 Sjugirov, Sanan
GM
RUS
2622
10.5
101.00
117.50
8
3 Kempinski, Robert
GM
POL
2603
10.5
97.50
114.00
9
4 Korobov, Anton
GM
UKR
2660
10.5
103.00
119.00
9
5 Erdos, Viktor
GM
HUN
2623
10.5
104.00
122.00
8
6 Movsesian, Sergei
GM
ARM
2710
10.5
94.00
109.50
9
7 Olszewski, Michal
GM
POL
2539
10.5
90.00
106.00
10
8 Mista, Aleksander
GM
POL
2587
10.5
91.50
107.00
10
9 Volokitin, Andrei
GM
UKR
2695
10.0
102.00
118.50
8
10 Shirov, Alexei
GM
ESP
2705
10.0
99.50
116.50
8
11 Wojtaszek, Radoslaw
GM
POL
2705
10.0
97.50
115.00
9
12 Bacrot, Etienne
GM
FRA
2714
10.0
97.50
114.50
9
13 Tomczak, Jacek
IM
POL
2544
10.0
90.00
105.50
9


The competition was intense


One true pleasure for reporters, is the high quality photography provided by the official site

As to the European Blitz Championship, played at three minutes plus a two-second increment, the surprise winner was 22-year-old Armenian GM Hrant Melkumian, who tied first on 20.0/26with veteran Russian Alexey Dreev, and Polish star Radoslaw Wojtaszek, who has seconded Vishy Anand for the World Championship. In the playoffs between the three, Dreev took silver and Wojtaszek was bronze.

Final standings of European Blitz

Rk
Name
Tit
FED
Rtg
Pts
TB1
TB2
TB3
1 Melkumyan, Hrant GM ARM 2615 20.0 182.50 215.00 9
2 Dreev, Aleksey GM RUS 2710 20.0 191.00 223.00 10
3 Wojtaszek, Radoslaw GM POL 2705 20.0 190.50 224.00 9
4 Socko, Bartosz GM POL 2635 19.5 189.00 223.00 9
5 Korobov, Anton GM UKR 2660 19.0 186.00 218.00 9
6 Polgar, Judit GM HUN 2710 19.0 182.50 211.50 8
7 Riazantsev, Alexander GM RUS 2710 19.0 181.00 210.50 9
8 Moranda, Wojciech GM POL 2568 19.0 175.00 205.50 8
9 Jaracz, Pawel GM POL 2542 18.5 177.00 209.00 8
10 Volokitin, Andrei GM UKR 2695 18.0 177.50 208.50 7
11 Shimanov, Aleksandr GM RUS 2549 18.0 176.00 207.50 9
12 Timofeev, Artyom GM RUS 2659 18.0 175.50 203.00 6
13 Gajewski, Grzegorz GM POL 2616 18.0 174.00 206.00 8
14 Kravtsiv, Martyn GM UKR 2601 18.0 166.00 196.00 7

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client and get immediate access. Or you can get our latest Fritz 13 program, which includes six months free premium membership to Playchess.

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