Kiolbasa beats Bulmaga, leads European Women’s Championship

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
3/25/2023 – The participants of the European Women’s Championship in Montenegro had a rest day on Friday. After six rounds in the 11-round Swiss tournament, Polish IM Oliwia Kiolbasa is leading the standings with 5⅕ points. Defending champion Monika Socko and Estonian IM Mai Narva stand a half point back, while fifteen players are still within close reach of the leader on 4⅕ points. | Photos: Official site

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Kiolbasa wins crucial matchup

Following a remarkable performance at the open section of the Romanian Championship, Irina Bulmaga made her way to Serbia, where she played at the European Championship. After 11 rounds of combative chess, she continued her busy schedule in Petrovac, Montenegro, where she is the seventh seed at the European Women’s Championship, yet another gruelling 11-rounder. Bulmaga kicked off the event in style, winning four games in a row.

As the sole leader, the Romanian IM faced defending champion Monika Socko on the top board in round 5, and signed a 60-move draw. In round 6, the last one before the rest day, she was paired up against another Polish star, 22-year-old Oliwia Kiolbasa. Kiolbasa, who made headlines by winning nine games in a row at the Chennai Olympiad, beat Bulmaga with white in an entertaining, double-edged struggle to become the sole leader with 5½ points.

Socko and Mai Narva also won in round 6 and went into the rest day sharing second place a half point behind the leader. In Saturday’s all-Polish matchup on the top board, Socko will get the white pieces against Kiolbasa.

Irina Bulmaga, Monika Socko

Irina Bulmaga playing white against Monika Socko in round 5


European Women's Chess Championship 2023

The playing hall during the fifth round

Standings - Round 6

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Kiolbasa, Oliwia 5,5 0
2 Socko, Monika 5 0
3 Narva, Mai 5 0
4 Bulmaga, Irina 4,5 0
5 Maltsevskaya, Aleksandra 4,5 0
6 Osmak, Yuliia 4,5 0
7 Mkrtchian, Lilit 4,5 0
8 Vega Gutierrez, Sabrina 4,5 0
9 Danielian, Elina 4,5 0
10 Khotenashvili, Bella 4,5 0
11 Wagner, Dinara 4,5 0
12 Garifullina, Leya 4,5 0
13 Mkrtchyan, Mariam 4,5 0
14 Buksa, Nataliya 4,5 0
15 Arabidze, Meri 4,5 0
16 Guichard, Pauline 4,5 0
  Unuk, Laura 4,5 0
18 Daulyte-Cornette, Deimante 4,5 0
19 Beydullayeva, Govhar 4 0
20 Efroimski, Marsel 4 0

...136 players

All games - Round 6


Find all available games from the tournament at


Carlos Colodro is a Hispanic Philologist from Bolivia. He works as a freelance translator and writer since 2012. A lot of his work is done in chess-related texts, as the game is one of his biggest interests, along with literature and music.