Martinovic wins Croatian Championship

by André Schulz
7/2/2020 – Sasa Martinovic is the new Croatian national champion. He won the championship - the first national championship since the coronavirus lockdown to be held as a "real" chess tournament - with 7.0/11, ahead of Zdenko Kozul, Robert Zelcic, Hrvoje Stevic and Ante Brkic who all finished on 6.5/11. | Photo: Tournament Website

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Following the worldwide coronavirus lockdown, the Croatian Championships were the first national championships to be held as an over-the-board chess tournament again, with all players in the same place and on real boards. The venue was Vinkovci, where Bobby Fischer shone in 1968, winning a tournament with a strong line-up.

Twelve players took part in the championship. The race for the title was close, but in the end Sasa Martinovic was victorious. The 29-year-old was the only player to score 7 points, beating four players into second place by half a point.

The championship was decided in the final round, with Kozul defeating the leading Brkic and Martinovic scoring a victory over Jovanovic.


19...Rac8 Better was 19...f5 20.Neg5 Rf6 21.Nh4 Ne5 22.Nxf5 Qd7 and black can still play on. 20.Neg5 f6 20...Bxf3+ 21.Nxf3 fxg6 22.Qe4. now follows a series of crushing moves. 21.Bxe6+ Kh8 22.Nf7+ Rxf7 23.Qf5 Kg8 24.gxf7+ Kf8 25.Nh4 1–0

Zelcic, Martinovic, Kozul



Finals standings

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Martinović Saša 7,0 4,0
2 Kožul Zdenko 6,5 3,5
3 Zelčić Robert 6,5 3,0
4 Stević Hrvoje 6,5 3,0
5 Brkić Ante 6,5 2,5
6 Šarić Ante 6,0 2,0
7 Jovanić Ognjen 5,5 3,0
8 Palac Mladen 5,0 3,5
9 Bosiočić Marin 5,0 2,5
10 Rogić Davor 5,0 1,5
11 Plenča Jadranko 3,5 2,0
12 Kovačević Blažimir 3,0 2,0


Translation from German: Nick Murphy

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.