Dnipro dominates Ukrainian Team Championships

by Mikhail Golubev
10/30/2023 – From 14 to 22 October, the Ukraine 2023 National Club Championships took place in Vinnytsia (Ukraine). It was the first championship since 2021: in 2022 there was no championship due to the war and in 2020 it was cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic. This year, despite the war, Ukrainian chess players came together to compete for their team championships in classical, rapid and blitz chess. The team from the Dnipro Region Chess Federation was crowned champion in all disciplines. Grandmaster Mikhail Golubev reports. | All photos courtesy of Lana Chess Photography

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Dnipro Region Chess Federation wins all gold medals

The Ukrainian Club Championships were held on 14-22 October in the beautiful city of Vinnytsia.

The previous Ukrainian Team Championships were in 2021 (no 2022 because of the war) and 2019 (no 2020 because of Covid). So organising these tournaments this year should already be considered an achievement. Vinnytsia (where, by the way, I have never played in the past) was not known as a serious chess centre in the past. But things are changing and these days they have a really impressive chess school in the city centre where the championships took place.

Los árbitros en plena faena | Foto: Mikhail Golubev (LanaChessPhotographer)

Arbiters at work | Photo: Lana Chess Photography

The classical event turned out to be dramatically less representative than rapid and blitz: teams from most regions only came for the rapid events. Thus there were 10 teams in the classical all-play-all tournament on 14-20 October (almost all of them representing the Vinnytsia region!), but as many as 26 teams in the rapid championship on 21 October and 22 teams in the blitz championship on 22 October.

Eight grandmasters played for different teams in both rapid and blitz, which is not bad considering that some Ukrainian grandmasters are abroad this time, while some others are fighting in our army against the Russian invaders.

GM Lubomir Mikhaletz| Foto: Mikhail Golubev (LanaChessPhotographer)

GM Lubomir Mikhaletz (Khmelnytsky) | Photo: Lana Chess Photography

The games were neither transmitted nor published by the organisers. (Questions about this already long-term practice or policy can be addressed to the leaders of the Ukrainian Chess Federation; from my side I would not like to emphasise such minor issues here).


With the help of several players, to whom I'm grateful, I collected 20 games for this report, including the 1st game from the decisive match of the classical championship.

GM Dmitry Maximov of CFDR Dnipro, playing with White, found himself out-prepared by the 20-year-old talented FM Vladyslav Sydoryka of the main Vinnytsia team. White had been completely lost, but Sydoryka spoiled the game and Dnipro won against their only serious rivals in the classical championship with a score of 3½-2½.

GM Dmitry Maximov | Foto: Mikhail Golubev (LanaChessPhotographer)

GM Dmitry Maximov (Dnipro) | Photo: Lana Chess Photography

The fight was much tougher in the fast disciplines because many more teams arrived, including clubs from Kyiv, Lviv and my home city of Odesa. (This was my first and probably last over-the-board competition this year). All three were serious rivals for Dnipro, but the winners of the classic eventually managed to win the rapid and blitz as well!

At this stage of the Russo-Ukrainian war, Dnipro is almost certainly the most insecure of the Ukrainian cities represented at the championship. So I would say they needed wins the most and I'm happy for them that despite all our efforts they beat us twice, 3½-2½ in rapid and 4-2 in blitz. Now we Ukrainians not only know, but feel every day, and sometimes every hour, that some things are certainly more important than just chess.

Dnipro players in all three tournaments were: Grandmasters Dmitry Maximov and Alexey Kislinsky, IM Vladislav Bakhmatsky, FMs Volodymyr Sakun, Artem Koval (the latter didn't participate in Blitz, though) and also Oleg Budnikov (probably the strongest Ukrainian player among those who don't have an international title), Artem Marchenko and Vasiliy Lyakh.

The medalists:

Dnipro | Foto: Mikhail Golubev (LanaChessPhotographer)

The winners in all three disciplines: Classical, rapid and blitz chess | Photo: Lana Chess Photography

Classical: 1. CFDR Dnipro - 18, 2. Vinnytsia - 16, 3. Vinnytsia Chess School - 14 (10 teams).

Rapid: 1. CFDR Dnipro - 15, 2. Equites Iustitiae Kyiv - 15 (second due to a worse tiebreak) 3.Lviv Chess School Debut 1 - 14 (26 teams).

Blitz: 1. CFDR Dnipro - 20, 2. Equites Iustitiae Kyiv - 18, 3. BVR Odesa - 16 (we were third due to a higher tiebreak than Lviv Chess School Debut 1 and Vinnytsia). 22 teams.

Equipo Lviv Chess School | Foto: Mikhail Golubev (LanaChessPhotographer)

Lviv Chess School | Photo: Lana Chess Photography

Kiev | Foto: Mikhail Golubev (LanaChessPhotographer)

Equites Iustitiae Kiev | Photo: Lana Chess Photography

El equipo BVR Odesa | Foto: Mikhail Golubev (LanaChessPhotographer)

BVR Odesa | Photo: Lana Chess Photography

El ajedrez rápido o relámpago siempre es emotivo | Foto: Mikhail Golubev (LanaChessPhotographer)

Fast chess is always fun! | Photo: Lana Chess Photography

Pavlov vs. Golubev El ajedrez rápido o relámpago siempre es emotivo | Foto: Mikhail Golubev (LanaChessPhotographer)

Pavlov vs. Mikhail Golubev (Odessa) | Photo: Lana Chess Photography


Mikhail Golubev is a Ukrainian grandmaster, chess journalist and organizer. In 1996 he won the Ukrainian national championship in Yalta.