Lokomotiv Sofia wins open and women's team championships

6/17/2009 – Even without Topalov and Cheparinov it was the strongest team competition ever in Bulgaria. The team of Lokomotiv Sofia scored a double victory, winning in both groups. The Team Championships for men and women was held from 8-14 June 2009 at Sunny Beach, a resort with a remarkable mixture of styles. GM Dejan Bojkov, who played in the event, has sent us a report and pictures.

Lokomotiv Sofia with a double

By GM Dejan Bojkov

The Bulgarian Team Championships for men and women (first and second divisions) took place in Sunny Beach from 8-14 June. This was the strongest team competition that I have ever seen in our country. With the exception of Veselin Topalov and Ivan Cheparinov, all the best Bulgarian players took part in the event. Some of our players represent other countries – Vladimir Georgiev plays for Macedonia, Evgeny Ermenkov for Palestina, and Silvia Collas represents France. But all of them were here, taking part in the event. Except for these “foreigners” some teams were strengthened by the real thing from Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Germany and Ukraine – the family Vlad Nevednichy and Gabriela Olarashu from Romania represented CSKA, M. Manolache played for Vidin, Dejan Antic (Serbia) fought well for Shumen, Sebbie Bogner for Lukoil.


Atanas Kolev leading CSKA


Momchil Nikolov (Pleven) facing Kiril Georgiev (Lokomotiv Sofia)


One of the perspective Bulgarian hopefuls: Donika Shivacheva, right


Kiril Georgiev, playing for Lokomotiv Sofia


Milen Vasilev from Lukoil


Sebbie Bogner


Sebastian Bogner


The Women's A group


Antoaneta Stefanova, male board of Lokomotiv Sofia


Svetla Yordanova


Emilia Djingarova, Lokomotiv Sofia


Veneta Petkova

After some years of experiments with the playing system in which various preliminary groups, open Swiss championships and even knock-outs were tried it looks like that we found the best formula for a small country like Bulgaria. It is a round-robin tournament with the best eight teams, where the last two withdraw from the Master group to second division. The men teams are represented by six players plus two reserves, while in the ladies section three women are supported by one substitute. This tournament had the status of a qualification for the World Club Cup that will take place in Plovdiv the next year, and it is no wonder that the men field brought together 22 GMs and 16 IMs (six WGMs and eight WIMs respectively for the women championship).

The average Elo of the rating favourite, Lokomotiv Sofia, was 2512. We played according to the Dresden rules, when all the players had to be at the boards at the start of the round. Also the Sofia rules were applied, and draws could only be offered after the thirtieth move (except with an arbiter’s permission). The captain’s arrangements were forbidden. Match points were counted.

In the men section three teams competed for the medals Lokomotiv Sofia (K. Georgiev, N. Ninov, A. Stefanova, P. Genov, P. Velikov , Kr. Georgiev, substitutes B. Andonov and J. Ivanov), “Lukoil Neftohimik” Burgas (V. Iotov, Vl. Georgiev, D. Bojkov, S. Bogner, V. Lilov, M. Vasilev, A. Angelov, Zh. Zhekov) and “CSKA” Sofia (V. Spasov, A. Kolev, V. Nevednichy, I. Enchev, E. Ermenkov, G. Filev, I. Tsvetkov, A. Jovchev). All these teams were composed mainly of GMs, and they were the rating favourites. Lokomotiv Sofia managed to win both the crucial matches with optimal score 3.5-2.5 and became champions, while “Lukoil” won the direct match against “CSKA” to grab silver. The underdogs “Pleven 21” and “Shumen 2005” had to leave the Master Group. Here the final rankings:

Men's section                 1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8  MP Pts. 
1 Lokomotiv, Sofia            *  3,5 3,5 3,0 3,5 3,0 4,0 4,5 12 25,0 
2 Lukoil-Neftohimik, Burgas  2,5  *  3,5 3,5 4,5 3,0 3,5 3,5 11 24,0 
3 CSKA, Sofia                2,5 2,5  *  4,0 3,5 3,5 3,0 3,5 9  22,5 
4 Lokomotiv, Plovdiv         3,0 2,5 2,0  *  4,5 3,0 3,5 4,0 8  22,5 
5 Nayden Voynov, Vidin       2,5 1,5 2,5 1,5  *  3,5 4,0 4,5 6  20,0 
6 Lokomotiv 2000, Plovdiv    3,0 3,0 2,5 3,0 2,5  *  2,5 5,0 5  21,5 
7 Shumen 2005, Shumen        2,0 2,5 3,0 2,5 2,0 3,5  *  1,5 3  17,0 
8 Spartak Pleven XXI, Pleven 1,5 2,5 2,5 2,0 1,5 1,0 4,5  *  2  15,5 

Board winners:

1st board – V. Iotov (Lukoil) and A. Delchev (Vidin) 4.5/ 7
2nd board – N. Ninov (Lokomotiv- Sofia) 4/6
3rd board – M. Mrdja (“Lokomotiv”- Plovdiv) 4.5/7
4th board – I. Enchev (CSKA) 5.5/7
5th board – S. Kozhuharov (“Lokomotiv 2000” Plovdiv) 5/7
6th board – Kr. Georgiev (“Lokomotiv”-Sofia) 5/ 7


The team of Lukoil Neftohimik Burgas in second place


Part of the Nayden Voynov Vidin team

As usual the fight in the ladies’ group was tenser. Except for the winners “Lokomotiv Sofia” (L. Genova, E. Djingarova, E. Collas, St. Bednikova) who practically secured the win within a spare round, only the final round determined the silver and bronze medallists – and those who had to leave the group. The young and perspective team of “Lokomotiv 2000 Plovdiv” (I. Videnova, A. Nikolova, D. Sirkova, M. Yaneva) won their last match with a perfect score 3-0 to grab Silver, and in the big tie for the third place succeeded “Lokomotiv” Plovdiv (M. Voiska, S. Maksimovic, P. Chilingirova, T. Baninska). From the final twist suffered the team of “G. Daskalov”- Varna who withdrew together with “Rokada”- Plovdiv. Here the final rankings:

Women's section              1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8  MP Pts. 
1 Lokomotiv, Sofia           *  2,0 1,5 1,5 1,5 2,5 2,0 2,0 11 13,0 
2 Lokomotiv 2000, Plovdiv   1,0  *  1,5 0,5 2,0 2,5 3,0 2,5 9  13,0 
3 Lokomotiv, Plovdiv        1,5 1,5  *  1,0 1,0 3,0 2,0 2,0 8  12,0 
4 Shah XXI, Sofia           1,5 2,5 2,0  *  1,5 1,0 1,5 1,5 8  11,5 
5 CSKA, Sofia               1,5 1,0 2,0 1,5  *  1,0 2,0 2,5 8  11,5 
6 Spartak Pleven XXI,Pleven 0,5 0,5 0,0 2,0 2,0  *  1,0 3,0 6  9,0  
7 Georgi Daskalov, Varna    1,0 0,0 1,0 1,5 1,0 2,0  *  2,5 5  9,0  
8 Rokada, Plovdiv           1,0 0,5 1,0 1,5 0,5 0,0 0,5  *  1  5,0  

Board winners:

1st board – D. Artyonova (Spartak Pleven) 5.0/7,
2nd board – E. Djingarova (“Lokomotiv” Sofia) 5.0/7,
3rd board – Silvia Collas (“Lokomotiv” Sofia) 5.5/6.


The Champions

The president of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, Dr Stefan Sergiev, covered the championship daily for the official site of the BCF.

The resort Sunny Beach is a remarkable mixture of styles. For the past ten years it grew enormously, and many new luxury hotels were built. The variety of styles is seen everywhere – from typical folklore motives, to oriental, eastern (Russian orientated), European (English and Irish pubs) – all of these can be seen in the resort. Live music can be heard everywhere. There is a vast variety from bars and restaurants, and exclusive number of touristic attractions (mini-golf, water-skiing, cruises, extreme jumping, carting, parachute jumping – anything you may think of you may find here. It might look a bit overcrowded, but young people adore it.


Sunny Beach


The recreational pool


Unusual figures at the pool-side


Really unusual figures


Tennis is a very popular between-game activity

The traditional Sunny Beach tournament Memorial Georgiev-Kesarovski (part of the Balkan Gran-Prix) will take place in September 7-13 at the same Hotel Continental. Be free to join it.


Our author Dejan Bojkov, playing for Lukoil (visit Dejan's Blogspot)


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