European Seniors Championship in Rogaška Slatina

4/5/2012 – This event, staged in an idyllically beautiful spa town in Slovenia, was open to any player who had reached his 59th birthday by January 1st 2012 – and to females who had reached their 49th birthday on that day. Seniors, says tournament director GM Adrian Mikhalchishin, are being generally neglected in favour of youth, although chess can provide invaluable mental therapy for the aged.

ChessBase 14 Download ChessBase 14 Download

Everyone uses ChessBase, from the World Champion to the amateur next door. Start your personal success story with ChessBase 14 and enjoy your chess even more!


Along with the ChessBase 14 program you can access the Live Database of 8 million games, and receive three months of free ChesssBase Account Premium membership and all of our online apps! Have a look today!

More...

Report by tournament director GM Adrian Mikhalchishin

Rogaška Slatina (German: Rohitsch-Sauerbrunn) is famous for its curative mineral water, spa and crystal glass. For centuries the curative mineral water, rich in magnesium, the picturesque countryside and other local attractions have drawn visitors to the area. Roman inscriptions referring to the spa waters have been found.


View Larger Map


The Grand Hotel in Rogaška Slatina. Here are some impressions of the town, sent to us in
2009 by the German GM Uwe Bönsch:


This final picture is of Hotel Sava, the venue of the Mitropacup 2009

Rogaska Slatina is fighting for its place as a center of European chess centre. Since 1990s the Vidmar Memorial was held here, the Slovenian Leagues, the National Youth Championship, and last year the European Club Cup. European players soon discovered the fantastic values of this beautiful place – mountains air, thermal baths, fantastic food and the most important – the well-known healing water! The resort is nowadays completely full, with most of the visitors Italians and Russians.A hundred years ago the Austrian-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef the Second was spending summers here, as was the great Hungarian grandmaster Geza Maroczy. So all conditions for veterans were well prepared, and they felt at home in the venue. Organizers prepared excursions, lessons of the FIDE Trainers Commission Chairman IGM Adrian Mikhalchishin, and a visit to the famous Rogaska glass factory, which had supplied the organizers with beatifull crystal prizes for the winners of the tournament. GM Hans Hecht of Germany went on a special trip by car, visiting small historical towns like Ptuj, a 2000-year-old Roman camp base.


Wine tasting – with some of the famous red and white Slovenian wines

The tournament was played in marvelous Crystal Hall, where the great Akiba Rubinstein played his last tournament win in first International tournament in Slovenia in 1927! A few years ago the European Individual Seniors Championship was conducted here, but players did not appear in masses. The winner was the late legendary Russian GM Vitaly Tseshkovsky.


The Crystal Hall, where the games were played


A round of the Seniors Championship under way


Teams of four players facing each other

This time there were 46 teams at the start, one of them, the Russian women’s team with the current World Women’s Senior Champion Galina Strutinskaya and the legendary WGM Elena Fatalibekova, daughter of the former World Champion Olga Rubzova. All together 220 players, among others and first of all the great Victor Lvovich Korchnoi, former candidate Wolfgang Uhlmann, former World Correspondence Champions Joern Sloth and Fritz Baumbach, grandmasters like Evgeny Vasjukov, Hekki Westerinen, Stefano Tatai, Sergio Mariotti and many others . GM Bozidar Ivanovic from Montenegro was a Minister of Sport of his country a few years ago – the highest position of a chess grandmaster in civil life! The oldest participant was 85-year-old Austrian IM Andreas Dukistein, who beat Mikhail Botvinnik in a game 60 years ago!


Round nine, with GM Evgeni Vasiukov leading the winners Russia 1


In round four Viktor Korchnoi suffered his only defeat, against Evgeni Vasiukov


WGM Ludmila Saunina, rated 2300, drew IM Nikolay Monin, 2332, in round nine

Why are seniors’ championships so important? Old players love chess tremendously – they analyse the games massively, hours after the rounds, often until midnight. They don’t use computers for preparation and enjoy chess in fantastic old-fashioned way.


Analysing in the sun on the balcony

The soul of the European Seniors organization is IM Per Ofstad from Norway. Northern countries seriously support senior activities and have their own Senior Championship.

Chess is also very important for seniors for social reasons, and very useful to fight Alzheimer, as recent medical research has shown. It seems that the chess community has not fully succeeded in explaining to government agencies the importance of chess not just for the youth, but for seniors first and foremost.

For these reasons the FIDE Trainers Commission is fighting to make Seniors competition more important and to introduce a separate category from 50 to 60 years, to attract former top GMs to participate, and in addition to introduce a Super-Senior category for players over 70 years.

From the sporting point of view the clear favourites were the Russians, with their Veterans Commission chairman GM Evgeny Vasiukov. But it appeared that more teams , like St.Petersburg, Montenegro and Germany made the favourite’s fate unclear right until the end. But in the end they triumphed

Final ranking after nine rounds

Rk.

SNo

Team

+

=

TB1

TB2

TB3

1

1

Russia 1

6

3

0

15

25.0

185.0

2

3

Russia-Saint Petersburg

6

3

0

15

22.5

184.0

3

4

Montenegro

5

4

0

14

23.0

186.5

4

6

Switzerland

5

2

2

12

22.0

187.5

5

8

Italy 1

5

2

2

12

21.0

189.0

6

7

Denmark 1

5

2

2

12

20.5

173.0

7

9

Germany - Hessen

5

1

3

11

21.5

166.5

8

13

Spain - Catalonia

5

1

3

11

21.5

163.0

9

10

Russia 2

5

1

3

11

20.5

174.5

10

11

Finland 1

3

5

1

11

20.5

167.5

11

12

Sweden 1

5

1

3

11

19.5

170.0

12

19

Austria - Steiermark 1

5

1

3

11

19.5

166.0

13

14

Austria - Wien 1

4

3

2

11

19.0

185.0

14

17

England 1

5

1

3

11

19.0

171.5

15

16

Norway 1

4

3

2

11

18.5

184.0

16

5

Austria 1

4

2

3

10

20.5

156.0

17

2

Germany 1

5

0

4

10

19.5

187.0

18

43

Belgium

4

2

3

10

19.0

161.5

19

22

England 2

4

2

3

10

19.0

152.5

20

23

Germany-Cc Oberursel

4

2

3

10

19.0

152.5

A fierce fight for the best result on board one was decided in favour of the great legend Victor Korchnoi, who scored 7.5 points out of nine games. Second was GM Evgeny Vasiukov with 6.5 out of eight, winning a crucial game against Korchnoi. A fantastic result on the first board was showed by World Women’s Seniors Champion WIGM Galina Strutinskaya, who scored 6.0/ 8.

There were, of course, a few funny stories, as when one of the player was watching another game when his false teeth fell on the board and gobbled up some pawns, as in the pacman computer game! There were a lot of excursions , communication among the old friends – so the seniors were extremely satisfied with friendly resort of Rogaska Slatina.

Links

Copyright Mikhalchishin/ChessBase


Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register