Plovdiv: ten players with perfect scores

4/24/2008 – After three rounds of the European Individual Championships 2008 there are ten players in the men's section who have won all three games. 36 players have conceded a single draw. In the women's section five players have perfect scores, followed by 22 with a single draw so far. We bring you games and standings, and a insider impressions of the atmosphere in this pictorial report by Diana Mihajlova.

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The IX European Individual Chess Championship is taking place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, from April 21st to May 3rd 2008, with one free day, on Monday, April 28. The tournament halls are in the Novotel Plovdiv. The championship is an 11 round Swiss, playing time is 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 total prize fund in the men's section is 92,200 EUR (first 15,000, 2nd 10,000, third 8,000, fourth 6,500, fifth 5,500 etc.) and in the women's section 34,500 EUR (first 6,000, second 5,000, third 4,000, fourth 3,000, fifth 2,000, etc.). According to Bulgarian law all prizes are taxable (10%).

Round three report

Ten players have perfect 3.0/3 scores, and they are followed by 36 players who have conceded a single draw so far. You will find links to the games at the bottom of this page.

Top standings after three rounds (total 337 players)

1 GM Mamedov Rauf 2617 AZE 3.0
  GM Berg Emanuel 2601 SWE 3.0
  GM Grigoriants Sergey 2573 RUS 3.0
4 GM Pantsulaia Levan 2617 GEO 3.0
  GM Werle Jan 2581 NED 3.0
  IM Szabo Gergely 2516 ROU 3.0
7 GM Movsesian Sergei 2695 SVK 3.0
  GM Zelcic Robert 2591 CRO 3.0
9 GM Kurnosov Igor 2593 RUS 3.0
10 GM Sutovsky Emil 2630 ISR 3.0
11 GM Areshchenko Alexander 2650 UKR 2.5
  GM Sokolov Andrei 2596 FRA 2.5
13 GM Volkov Sergey 2633 RUS 2.5
14 GM Kovacevic Aleksandar 2616 SRB 2.5
  GM Galkin Alexander 2606 RUS 2.5
16 GM Fedorov Alexei 2603 BLR 2.5
17 GM Stevic Hrvoje 2571 CRO 2.5
18 GM Timofeev Artyom 2664 RUS 2.5
19 GM Kryvoruchko Yuriy 2612 UKR 2.5
  GM Kozul Zdenko 2583 CRO 2.5
  GM Kokarev Dmitry 2579 RUS 2.5
  GM Spasov Vasil 2579 BUL 2.5
  GM Laznicka Viktor 2578 CZE 2.5
 
  GM Papaioannou Ioannis 2566 GRE 2.5
  IM Saric Ivan 2500 CRO 2.5
26 GM Smirin Ilia 2630 ISR 2.5
  GM Pavasovic Dusko 2595 SLO 2.5
28 GM Tregubov Pavel V 2629 RUS 2.5
29 GM Tiviakov Sergei 2634 NED 2.5
  GM Macieja Bartlomiej 2599 POL 2.5
  GM Azarov Sergei 2584 BLR 2.5
32 GM Efimenko Zahar 2660 UKR 2.5
  GM Fressinet Laurent 2656 FRA 2.5
  GM Khalifman Alexander 2628 RUS 2.5
  GM Bocharov Dmitry 2569 RUS 2.5
  GM Dizdar Goran 2548 CRO 2.5
  GM Mastrovasilis Athanasios 2524 GRE 2.5
38 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco 2684 ESP 2.5
39 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2632 FRA 2.5
40 GM Najer Evgeniy 2627 RUS 2.5
  GM Erdos Viktor 2576 HUN 2.5
42 GM Guseinov Gadir 2625 AZE 2.5
43 GM Ivanisevic Ivan 2649 SRB 2.5
  GM Popov Ivan 2594 RUS 2.5
45 GM Grachev Boris 2610 RUS 2.5
  GM Perunovic Milos 2579 SRB 2.5

In the women's section there are five players with perfect scores, followed by 22 with a single draw so far. The two full GMs Stefanova and Lahno are in this top group, while GMs Pia Cramling and Hoang Thanh Trang have 2.0/3, while Dutch Champion GM Peng Zhaoqin is at 50%.

Top standings after three rounds (total 159 players)

1 IM Cmilyte Viktorija 2466 LTU 3.0
  IM Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2421 RUS 3.0
  IM Peptan Corina-Isabela 2415 ROU 3.0
4 WIM Nemcova Katerina 2344 CZE 3.0
5 IM Vasilevich Tatjana 2360 UKR 3.0
6 IM Mkrtchian Lilit 2413 ARM 2.5
  WGM Melia Salome 2413 GEO 2.5
  WGM Stepovaia Tatiana 2378 RUS 2.5
  Kazimova Narmin 2071 AZE 2.5
10 IM Ushenina Anna 2474 UKR 2.5
  WGM Zhukova Natalia 2450 UKR 2.5
  IM Ciuksyte Dagne 2380 ENG 2.5
13 IM Dzagnidze Nana 2443 GEO 2.5
 
14 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2538 BUL 2.5
  IM Muzychuk Anna 2486 SLO 2.5
  IM Matveeva Svetlana 2420 RUS 2.5
  IM Gvetadze Sopio 2350 GEO 2.5
18 IM Moser Eva 2395 AUT 2.5
  WGM Muzychuk Mariya 2387 UKR 2.5
20 IM Paehtz Elisabeth 2449 GER 2.5
  IM Vajda Szidonia 2413 HUN 2.5
  WGM Zawadzka Jolanta 2397 POL 2.5
  WIM Batsiashvili Nino 2304 GEO 2.5
24 IM Khukhashvili Sopiko 2371 GEO 2.5
25 GM Lahno Kateryna 2479 UKR 2.5
26 IM Lomineishvili Maia 2400 GEO 2.5
27 IM Repkova Eva 2381 SVK 2.5

Impressions from Plovdiv

By Diana Mihajlova

At the airport in Budapest (from left) GM Fabiano Caruana (ITA), IM Krisztian Szabo (HUN), WGM Iweta Rajlich (POL) and IM David Berczes (HUN). Destination – Sofia and then Plovdiv, a town in Bulgaria where the European Individual Chess Championships for Men and Women will run from 20 April to 4 May. The short flight from Budapest to Sofia was made even shorter in the pleasant company of my travelling companion Iweta (POL), who also temporarily lives in Budapest. She left her husband, IM Vasic Rajlich (USA), at home to swim alone with his chess program ‘Rybka’.

One can imagine Fabiano in this lonely position at many airports, even though his father who is regularly accompanying him, must be somewhere around. The young player, who is currently living in Budapest, has rarely missed an important international tournament lately. He has been generally sweeping victories, the most notable at the recent Corus in Wijk aan Zee (Group C). The European Individual Championship would be an obvious challenge for the unstoppable young GM. He is only 16.

Two more Polish players GM Mateusz Bartel and GM Marcin Dziuba have ended up, somewhat mysteriously, on the flight from Budapest. Mateusz has revealed the mystery: The Polish Chess Federation had confirmed quite some time ago that the registrations have been made and flights have been booked – from Warsaw, obviously – for all Polish players. But just a day or so before the scheduled departures Mateusz and Marcin discovered to their dismay that they, only the two of them, have been left without booked flights. The Federation has made a simple blunder. We know it can happen to anyone. They would be sent to the European Championship, no problem, but the best flying schedule the Federation could get on the last day would include a couple of transfers… and about a half day longer than the original journey would have been. They took it to their stride however and Mateusz jokes and sense of humour was not impaired.

Once at the Sofia airport the Bulgarian organisers’ efficiency started enfolding: registered names were neatly ticked off and players were dispatched in minibuses towards the final destination – Plovdiv. (in the left corner) GM Gawain Jones (ENG), (first row) Arne Hagesaether (NOR) and wife IM Jovanka Houska (ENG). Second row: Iweta Rajlich and last rowFM Alexander van Beek (NED) and IM Thomas Willemze (NED). The players were initially jovial but the heat and the exhaustion soon took their toll…

On the unexpectedly hot day and the extended journey this gentle oblivious slumber was understandable. Unfortunately, I did not get the name of our companion but will do so when he will be at the chess board, hopefully well awake.

Gawain is proudly sporting his souvenir from down under, which must have come quite handy against the early summer heat.

The hotel Novotel is where the tournaments will take place and where the majority of the players will be staying, although the high prices pushed off a big number of participants into privately arranged accommodation.

In the lobby of the hotel there was soon a big hubbub of players trying to finalise the registration and accommodation formalities as soon as possible. But IM Yelena Dembo (GRE) and IM Sopio Gvetadze (GEO) were a pleasant sight of calm and relaxation.

Not many players were able to attend the brief ‘welcome’ ceremony at 6 p.m. Many had just about arrived and needed to sort out their sleeping arrangements and still many more were yet on their way. But the ones that managed to be present were treated to lively Bulgarian folk songs and dances. The colourful hand-made and embroidered dresses are typical, as are the folk instruments gayda (bagpipe) and gadulka (vertical fiddle).

The men’s folklore garments are only slightly less ornamented than ladies’.

The most important item of men’s clothing is the kalzuni (knee-length embroidered socks) and crvuli (leather sandals).

One hour later, another reception was held with a slightly different folklore – only for selected and invited dignitaries.

Among the invitees the Bulgarian chess stars GM Antoaneta Stefanova...

…and GM Kiril Georgiev.

One of the arbiters of the men's section is Igor Botvinik from Russia. Botvinik? Yes. Mihail Botvinik was Igor’s uncle.

Fifteen minutes before the start of the first round. Early arrivals.

GM Pia Cramling (SWE) – the highest rated woman in the tournament. In professional manner she has taken her place on the first table well before anyone else is there, and is already pondering her first move.

IM Alexandar Colovic (MKD) and GM Dragan Kosic (MNE) at the entrance of the playing hall right before the start of the imminent battle.

Chief Arbiter Zdravko Nedev (BUL) and Gerry Walsh, Deputy President of the European Chess Union and President of the English Chess Federation, high on the stage in the men’s playing hall. Before anything else, an important announcement needed to be made: ‘Anyone who has not finalised any of the due payments, please see Mr Gerry Walsh’.

At the very start of the first round, IM Mihai-Lucian Grunberg (ROU) and GM Jan Gustafsson (GER). Next to Mihail-Lucian is GM Yuriy Kuzubov (UKR), using my pen. It happens every now and then than chess players arrive at their game missing an important item – a pen to write the moves. Yuriy arrived flustered at the entrance of the playing hall. At first he pointed plaintively at my pen but then, while I was wasting precious seconds considering that I needed it as well, he literally snatched it from my hand and hurriedly rushed to his seat. He probably sensed that I am an understanding soul. Never mind, his task was more important than mine.

Just about started. WIM Maria Komiagina (RUS) opposite GM Hoang Thanh Trang (HUN). Behind on the left is IM Elina Danielian (ARM) and to her left in the back WGM Elena Levushkina (GER).

The first move is made, and waiting for the opponent to arrive: IM Viktorija Cmilyte (LTU)

The men’s playing hall, with the first round in full swing. Visitors are filling slowly the well cordoned off space. The sharp sighted can notice GM Kobalia Mikhail (RUS), second row on the right, had given a free vent to the pressure and fatigue.

Very shortly after the beginning of the first round GM Sarunas Sulskis (LTU) was walking in the corridor conspicuously leisurely. ‘I got a plus’ – he told me as a matter-of-factly. ‘You mean… you won?’ ‘Yeah.’ ‘Who was your opponent?’ ‘I don’t know. I just know I got a plus.’ I guess that is all that matters.

All pictures by Diana Mihajlova

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