Ural Sverdlovskaya wins European Club Cup

10/24/2008 – The level of participation was a new record for the ECC history: 64 teams in the men’s and 18 in the women's section, for a total number of 600 participants. The winners fielded Radjabov Shirov, Kamsky and Grischuk, the runners up OSG Baden-Baden had Svidler, Bacrot, Nisipeanu and Naiditsch. The women's section was won by the Cercle d’Echecs Monte Carlo. Giant pictorial report.

Pictorial Report from Kalithea

By Özgür Akman

The European Club Cup 2008 was held from the 16th to the 24th of October in Kallithea, a beautiful village (literally meaning “beautiful view”) in Halkidiki, close to Thessaloniki. The venue was the Athos Palace and Pallini Beach. Both hotels have already hosted numerous chess events, but never one this strong.

Vassily Ivanchuk, Magnus Carlsen, Teimour Radjabov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Alexei Shirov, Peter Svidler, Levon Aronian, Michael Adams were some of the top players in the event, 22 of them rated higher than 2700 and 78 higher than 2600. The women’s section was also very strong, with Koneru Humpy, Hou Yifan, Anotaneta Stefanova, Pia Cramling, Zhao Xue, Tatiana Kosintseva, Viktorija Cmilyte, Kateryna Lahno and Anna Muzychuk. Ten players are rated over 2500 and 30 over 2400.

In the press conference before the first round of the ECC GM Teimour Rajdabov joined ECU President Boris Kutin and the CEO of the ECC 20008 Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou to reflect on the possible consequences of the global economic crisis on chess.

Results and final standings

Open section

Rnk Team
+
=
MP
Pts.
BH.
SB.
BHm
1 URAL Sverdlovskaya
6
0
1
12
32
159
135,00
114½
2 OSG Baden-Baden e.V.
5
2
0
12
27½
185
155,00
132½
3 PVK Kiev Chess
4
3
0
11
30
168
126,75
121
4 CC “Bosna” Sarajevo
5
1
1
11
30
157½
119,75
113
5 Economist SGSEU-1 Saratov
5
1
1
11
28
178
139,50
127
6 TPS Saransk
5
1
1
11
28
166½
124,00
118
7 Bank King
5
0
2
10
27½
139½
97,00
97
8 Ashdod Illit Chess Club
4
2
1
10
27
186
125,00
133
9 FINEK Gazprombank
5
0
2
10
26
168½
110,50
120
10 1. Novoborsky SK
5
0
2
10
25½
152
102,00
109½
11 SV Muelheim Nord
5
0
2
10
25
169½
114,00
122½
12 MIKA Chess Club
5
0
2
10
24
186
130,50
133
13 CC Zagreb
5
0
2
10
22½
184½
124,50
132½
14 Alkaloid
4
1
2
9
27
134
74,50
94½
15 Vilnius Chess-Bridge Club
4
1
2
9
25
137½
80,50
97½
16 Beer Sheba Chess Club
4
1
2
9
24
168½
102,75
117½
17 Clichy Echecs 92
3
3
1
9
23½
161
99,75
118½
18 Linex Magic
4
0
3
8
28
152½
76,00
107
19 Circolo Scacchi R.Fischer Chieti
4
0
3
8
27
137½
70,00
100
20 FIMA
4
0
3
8
25½
138
62,50
99½
21 Iretza Gros
4
0
3
8
24
146½
70,50
103
22 Betsson.com
3
2
2
8
23
146
74,50
102½
23 SK Advisory Invest Baden
4
0
3
8
22½
159½
82,50
115
24 Werder Bremen
4
0
3
8
21½
178½
97,00
128
25 Rochade Eupen
4
0
3
8
21½
160½
77,50
112
26 SK Hohenems
3
2
2
8
21
164
85,50
115½
27 Schachfreunde Reichenstein
4
0
3
8
21
140½
67,00
102½
28 Haladas-Szova Szombathely
4
0
3
8
20
163
80,50
118
29 Eynatten
4
0
3
8
19
172
91,00
124
30 Siroki Brijeg - Hering
4
0
3
8
17½
186½
96,50
134
31 Aarhus Skakklub / Skolerne
3
1
3
7
24
130
56,75
96½
32 SK Rockaden Stockholm
3
1
3
7
22½
125½
48,00
92
33 Barbican
3
1
3
7
21½
152
60,50
107½
34 OSS
3
1
3
7
21½
147
62,25
109
35 Panevezys Chess Club
3
1
3
7
21
137½
61,50
97½
36 Bolungarvik Chess Club
3
1
3
7
18
161
74,50
114½

Women section

Rnk Team
+
=
MP
Pts.
BH.
SB.
BHm
1 Cercle d’Echecs Monte Carlo
5
2
0
12
19
114½
95,25
82½
2 Spartak Vidnoe
4
2
1
10
19½
107½
73,50
76½
3 T-com Podgorica
4
2
1
10
19
111½
77,25
80
4 Economist SGSEU Saratov
4
2
1
10
16½
111½
78,75
80½
5 MIKA Yerevan
4
1
2
9
17½
112½
70,50
81
6 EPAM
3
3
1
9
16
116½
71,50
88
7 CS Cotnari-Politehnica Iasi
4
0
3
8
17½
89
33,00
65
8 Rudar Ugljevik
4
0
3
8
15
85
37,50
61½
9 Aspropirgos Attikis
4
0
3
8
12½
105
47,50
80½
10 Finek St. Petersburg
3
1
3
7
16
107
46,00
79
11 Radnicki Rudovci
3
1
3
7
14
92
31,25
68
12 Panevezys Chess Club
3
0
4
6
15
87
25,50
63
13 Madatech Haifa Chess Club
2
2
3
6
12½
90½
32,50
68½
14 SK Gross-Lehna
2
1
4
5
12
87
15,75
63
15 Vandoeuvre Echecs
2
1
4
5
11½
95
25,25
72½
16 Herzliya Chess Club
2
0
5
4
9
85½
9,50
65
17 Bischwiller
1
0
6
2
85
5,00
62½
18 Galaxias Thessaloniki
0
0
7
0
5
82
0,00
60

Picture gallery


Athos Palace, where the men's event is being held, from a view from the Pallini Beach. The men were not exactly happy about having women's competition in a different venue, even though they were part of the same tourism complex.


The swimming pool of Pallini Beach.

A problem at the outset: the Italian prodigy Fabiano Caruana was not allowed to play for his team, the defending champions, Linex Magic, owing to the fact that he has not played two games in the domestic leagues. The Spanish Chess Federation was late in clarifying Caruana's status, therefore it was not clear whether he could participate or not. In the captain's meeting Boris Kutin suggested if there was a solid vote in favour of Fabiano's participation he could play. But it was rejected by three votes. Still Fabiano is staying in Kallithea to support his team and have a short holiday.


The president of Linex Magic, Manuel Rodriguez, is not exactly happy with the decision


Indian GM Pentala Harikrishna, rated 2659, playing from Baden-Baden


Etienne Bacrot, top French player, rated 2705, playing for the Bundesliga Champions Baden-Baden


Bulgarian GM Ivan Cheparinov, 2696, the second of Veselin Topalov, is now joining the elite himself. He contributed a great deal last year in Kemer to Linex Magic, which had a very happy ending for the Spanish side.


Michael Adams, top British Grandmaster, rated 2734, is also on the Linex Magic team


Ni Hua, one of the newcomer Chinese grandmasters rated 2710, playing for Economist Saratov


Krisnan Sasikiran, rated 2694, is the number two player of India (perhaps some of you can guess who the number one is). "Sasi" is playing for the Zagreb Chess Club and in the picture is pondering his move against Vassily Ivanchuk.


Braveheart! Silje Bjerke is one of the few female players to play in open ("men's") competition with her native team Schakklubben av 1911.


A Slovakian GM in a Hawaian shirt: Sergei Movsesian should be happy about entering the top ten live rating list for the first time, after defeating Magnus Carlsen playing for Bosna Sarajevo.


Magnus Carlsen, the world number four rated player (at 2786), playing for MIKA Yerevan together with Aronian


MIKA Yerevan's top board Magnus Carlsen, right, playing next to top Armenian GM Levon Aronian, who is moonlighting as a ChessBase commentator for the World Championship in Bonn. Next to Levon you can spot Israeli GM Boris Gelfand


"Shakh" Mamedyarov in action, one of the minority of the players remaining in the same team as last year, Alkaloid. Next to him GM colleague Vadim Milov.


Journalists surroung the Ural Ekaterinburg team, with Radjabov, Kamsky and Shirov.


Alexei Shirov and Gata Gamsky playing for Ural Sverdlovsk, the team that took the second place in the 2007 edition


Gata Kamsky, who is scheduled to play Veselin Topalov later this year

Kamsky won the FIDE World Cup Khanty-Mansiysk last December, would normally be the next challenger to play the World Champion. But a special FIDE rule requires him to play a qualification match against Veselin Topalov before he does so. This match was originally supposed to take place in Lvov, Ukraine, but it is currently uncertain where and when it will be staged. In fact FIDE officials are in Kallithea to discuss the situation with Kamsky.


Vassily Ivanchuk, rated 2786, the world number three, playing for TPS Saransk

Women's section


WGM Nataliya Zhukova, playing for the Russian champions Finec St.Petersburg

Spartak Vidnoe won the silver medal in Russian Team Championship 2008. They are the second seed but missing the Chinese stars Hou Yifan and Zhao Xue, who were in Beijing for World Mind Sports Games. Stefanova, Tatiana and Nadezhda Kosintseva and Evgenija Ovod are playing, while former Garry Kasparov second GM Yuri Dokhoian, now the coach of the Kosintseva sisters, kibitzes.


Antoaneta Stefanova, 2548, ex-world champion playing for
Spartak Vidnoe, looking as glamorous as ever.


GM Kateryna Lahno, the reigning European Individual Champion, now a university student in Russia


Top German women player IM Elizabeth Paehtz, playing for Economist Saratov, speaks fluent Russian and can easily communicate with her teammates.


IM Anna Ushenina playing for Economist Saratov


Anna Sharevich, who contributed to her team's crucial 2.5-1.5 victory against T-com Podgorica's by defeating IM Ekaterina Kovalevskaya

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