European Club Cup starts in Eilat today

10/11/2012 – The 28th European Club Cup 2012, a seven-round Swiss, is taking place in Eilat from October 11 to 18. The average rating of the top five teams is 2700+, the top women's team is fielding the top three on the world's women's ratings. A total of 28 players are rated 2700 or higher – they include 110 GM and 10 WGM. And the venue on the southern tip of Israel has to be seen to be believed.

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The 28th European Club Cup 2012 is taking place in Eilat, Israel, as a seven-round Swiss from October 11 to 18 (no free day). The rounds starts at 15:00 local time. The time controls are 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one. The zero tolerance rule (6.6a of the FIDE Laws of Chess) will be applied: any player who arrives at the chessboard after the start of the session loses the game.

The location: Eilat, Israel


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Eilat has an excellent central location in the Middle East, between Taba in Egypt and the Jordanian city of Aqaba. Compared with similar tourist resorts in Australia and Central America, Eilat is located within a conveniently short distance of Europe's major cities, making it an attractive option for European tourists. It is also a "free trade zone" exempt from VAT and other taxes, making it a popular destination for international tourists.

The other reasons for Eilat's popularity are clear: the excellent weather, gorgeous beaches, and the aquamarine waters of the Red Sea, featuring a stunning natural coral reef. The climate is comfortable, even during the winter (28-30°Cin October), and the landscape is a unique meeting point between desert dunes and mountainous slopes. The city features amusement sites suitable for all the family, including the Kings City "biblical theme park", the Submarine Observatory, and an IMAX cinema.

Playing venue: the Isrotel Royal Beach Hotel in Eilat


The Royal Beach Hotel in Eilat, a seven-star deluxe part of the Isrotel chain


View of the swimming pools on the hotel compound


Close-up of swimming pool (temptation: quick draw and then take a dip...)

From the hotel web site: "Redefining the concept of luxury, it is clear to any visitor that the Royal Beach is far more than a mere hotel. It is a complete, unique worldview. Every single detail, from the pampering mattresses in each suite to the fine artwork adorning the walls, is tended to with the meticulous attention and dedication required to offer guests an experience, in accordance with the Isrotel luxury concept, that truly approaches perfection."

List of top teams

The 34 clubs of the open group are the very best in Europe, with average ratings of the players exceeding 2700 in five cases. A total of 28 players are rated 2700 or highter. The top women's club has a 2578 average and fields the world's top three on the women's rating list (Hou Yifan, Humpy Koneru, Anna Muzychuk). The teams are from 27 different federations and include 10 GM and 10 WGM.

  1. SOCAR Azerbaijan (Ø 2747)
1 GM Radjabov Teimour 2792 AZE
2 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2748 AZE
3 GM Topalov Veselin 2751 BUL
4 GM Grischuk Alexander 2752 RUS
5 GM Kamsky Gata 2755 USA
6 GM Sutovsky Emil 2685 ISR
7 GM Safarli Eltaj 2616 AZE
8 GM Guseinov Gadir 2608 AZE
  2. SHSM-64 (Ø 2722)
1 GM Gelfand Boris 2736 ISR
2 GM Wang Hao 2748 CHN
3 GM Leko Peter 2734 HUN
4 GM Giri Anish 2730 NED
5 GM Riazantsev Alexander 2712 RUS
6 GM Grachev Boris 2672 RUS
7 GM Najer Evgeniy 2664 RUS
8 GM Potkin Vladimir 2663 RUS
  3. Economist-SGSEU Saratov (Ø 2714 )
1 GM Andreikin Dmitry 2718 RUS
2 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2704 RUS
3 GM Alekseev Evgeny 2683 RUS
4 GM Morozevich Alexander 2758 RUS
5 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2720 RUS
6 GM Moiseenko Alexander 2700 UKR
7 GM Lysyj Igor 2628 RUS
  4. Saint-Petersburg CF (Ø 2706)
1 GM Svidler Peter 2747 RUS
2 GM Dominguez Perez Leinier 2734 CUB
3 GM Vitiugov Nikita 2691 RUS
4 GM Movsesian Sergei 2699 ARM
5 GM Efimenko Zahar 2689 UKR
6 GM Zvjaginsev Vadim 2678 RUS
7 GM Matlakov Maxim 2665 RUS
8 GM Khairullin Ildar 2639 RUS
  5. Ugra (Ø 2706)
1 GM Jakovenko Dmitry 2732 RUS
2 GM Shirov Alexei 2718 LAT
3 GM Malakhov Vladimir 2713 RUS
4 GM Korobov Anton 2705 UKR
5 GM Rublevsky Sergei 2693 RUS
6 GM Dreev Aleksey 2677 RUS
7 GM Pridorozhni Aleksei 2539 RUS
8 GM Kabanov Nikolai 2482 RUS
  6. OSG Baden-Baden e.V. (Ø 2690)
1 GM Adams Michael 2720 ENG
2 GM Bacrot Etienne 2705 FRA
3 GM Naiditsch Arkadij 2704 GER
4 GM Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2690 UZB
5 GM Nielsen Peter Heine 2662 DEN
6 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2661 ROU
7 GM Gustafsson Jan 2622 GER
  7. Tomsk-400 (Ø 2690)
1 GM Ponomariov Ruslan 2735 UKR
2 GM Areshchenko Alexander 2710 UKR
3 GM Bologan Viktor 2695 MDA
4 GM Inarkiev Ernesto 2683 RUS
5 GM Kurnosov Igor 2660 RUS
6 GM Motylev Alexander 2655 RUS
7 GM Khismatullin Denis 2638 RUS
  8. G-Team Novy Bor (Ø 2677)
1 GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw 2733 POL
2 GM Navara David 2722 CZE
3 GM Laznicka Viktor 2678 CZE
4 GM Sasikiran Krishnan 2680 IND
5 GM Bartel Mateusz 2635 POL
6 GM Hracek Zbynek 2612 CZE
7 GM Markos Jan 2581 SVK
8 GM Cvek Robert 2540 CZE
  9. Ashdod (Ø 2668)
1 GM Ivanchuk Vassily 2771 UKR
2 GM Volokitin Andrei 2724 UKR
3 GM Eljanov Pavel 2681 UKR
4 GM Smirin Ilia 2638 ISR
5 GM Romanov Evgeny 2611 RUS
6 GM Avrukh Boris 2585 ISR
7 GM Kogan Artur 2583 ISR
8 GM Golod Vitali 2565 ISR

Full list of all participants

 
  10. Beer Sheba (Ø 2603)
1 GM Roiz Michael 2618 ISR
2 GM Rodshtein Maxim 2616 ISR
3 GM Huzman Alexander 2591 ISR
4 GM Nabaty Tamir 2586 ISR
5 GM Postny Evgeny 2647 ISR
6 GM Greenfeld Alon 2559 ISR
  11. Obiettive Risarcimento (Ø 2566)
1 GM Nakamura Hikaru 2786 USA
2 GM Georgiev Kiril 2668 BUL
3 GM Godena Michele 2526 ITA
4 IM Bellini Fabio 2492 ITA
5 IM Collutiis Duilio 2501 ITA
6 GM Efimov Igor 2420 MNC
7 IM Valsecchi Alessio 2415 ITA
  12. Gros Xake Taldea (Ø 2553)
1 GM Van Wely Loek 2688 NED
2 GM Bauer Christian 2664 FRA
3 GM Landa Konstantin 2641 RUS
4 IM Franco Alonso Alejandro 2479 ESP
5 IM Gonzalez Santiago 2442 ESP
6 IM Argandona Riveiro Inigo 2402 ESP
  13. Rishon Le-Zion (Ø 2493)
1 GM Alterman Boris 2584 ISR
2 IM Popilski Gil 2475 ISR
3 GM Kosashvili Yona 2529 ISR
4 GM Baron Tal 2454 ISR
5 GM Liss Eran 2464 ISR
6 IM Caspi Israel 2451 ISR
7 IM Kaspi Alexander 2435 ISR
8 IM Klenburg Mikhail 2366 UKR

Women's section

  1. Cercle d'Echecs de Monte-Carlo (Ø 2578)
1 GM Hou Yifan 2605 CHN
2 GM Koneru Humpy 2607 IND
3 GM Muzychuk Anna 2587 SLO
4 GM Cramling Pia 2514 SWE
5 IM Skripchenko Almira 2437 FRA
  2. AVS (Ø 2512)
1 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2493 BUL
2 GM Lahno Kateryna 2551 UKR
3 GM Cmilyte Viktorija 2528 LTU
4 WGM Pogonina Natalija 2476 RUS
5 IM Muzychuk Mariya 2474 UKR
  3. Mika (Ø 2472)
1 GM Danielian Elina 2476 ARM
2 GM Harika Dronavalli 2512 IND
3 IM Mkrtchian Lilit 2456 ARM
4 IM Javakhishvili Lela 2444 GEO
5 WIM Hairapetian Anna 2185 ARM
  4. Ashdod (Ø 2228)
1 IM Klinova Masha 2324 ISR
2 IM Borsuk Angela 2260 ISR
3 WIM Vasiliev Olga 2240 ISR
4 WIM Tsifanskaya Ludmila A 2087 ISR
5 WFM Dotan Valeria 2064 ISR
  5. Chigorin Club (Ø 2277)
1 IM Bodnaruk Anastasia 2425 RUS
2 WIM Bronnikova Elizaveta 2244 RUS
3 WIM Ivkina Olga 2266 RUS
4 Ivanova-Skripova Tatiana 2173 RUS
  6. Rishon Le-Zion (Ø 2036)
1 WIM Efroimski Marsel 2162 ISR
2 Reprun Nadejda 2143 ISR
3 Vardi Shlomit 2010 ISR
4 Federovski Adi 1829 ISR
5 Lahav Michal 1732 ISR
  7. Ugra (Ø 2397)
1 WGM Kovanova Baira 2408 RUS
2 WGM Girya Olga 2454 RUS
3 IM Romanko Marina 2365 RUS
4 WGM Shadrina Tatiana 2361 RUS
5 WIM Bezgodova Maria 2177 RUS
  8. SHSM-Nashe Nasledie (Ø 2444)
1 GM Kosteniuk Alexandra 2490 RUS
2 IM Gunina Valentina 2514 RUS
3 IM Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2405 RUS
4 WGM Kashlinskaya Alina 2368 RUS
5 IM Savina Anastasia 2303 RUS

Usually the first round of a big Swiss event can be somewhat boring, due to the big difference in strength between competitors. Not this time. The ECU has decided to apply accelerated pairing, meaning that teams from the top half of the draw have to meet each other already at the first round.

For example, the top seed SOCAR of Azerbaijan, featuring an all-star team including Radjabov, Mamedyarov, Topalov and Grischuk, among others, have a far from easy match facing Ashdod, the highest rated team from the host country, whose lineup includes three members of the Ukrainian national team: Ivanchuk, Volokitin and Eljanov. No less fascinating will be the match between SHSM-64 Moscow and Beer-Sheba. The world championship challenger Boris Gelfand is sitting out against the team whose lineup includes his trainers Roiz, Rodshtein and Huzman, but with Peter Leko and Anish Giri playing the top two boards, Moscow are still the favorites, although not by that much.

Prizes

The first three teams receive trophies, with each member of the winning team (players, reserves and captain) receiving gold, silver and bronze medals. For the best placed teams and for the best individual results on each board in the men's competition, the organizer provide prizes to the value of 40,000 Euro, for the women's competition it is 9,000 Euro.

Dear Chess Enthusiasts,

It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Eilat, Israel's southernmost city, for the 2012 European Chess Club Cup.

Chess has enjoyed a resurgence in Israel in recent years, especially since the large influx of lews that came to Israel after the collapse of the former Soviet Union. Israeli players have been earning titles in international competitions, including a second place finish by Grandmaster Boris Gelfand at the recent World Chess Championship. The Government of Israel recently increased its investment in promoting the sport, and we look forward to strengthening Israeli chess in the coming years.

I wish the participants good luck in the tournament, and I invite you all to enjoy the wonderful resort city of Eilat, as well as the rich heritage, historical places and beautiful sites that Israel has to offer.


Chief Arbiter Almog Burstein (left) together with Tournament Director Malkiel Peretz


Preparing the sensor boards for the live broadcast

Watch it live here:


Links

The games will be 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 there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

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