Emil Sutovsky is European Internet Champion

11/10/2003 – Emil Sutovsky from Israel is the first European Internet Champion. After an exciting tournament he managed to beat Etienne Bacrot in the final, witnessed by an audience of about 800 chess fans on the playchess.com server. The sympathetic Champion got a lot of applause after the final when he analysed the most exciting game for the viewers. The tournament was organized in partnership with the European Chess Union. More...

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After five qualification tournaments, open to all chessfriends in Europe, it was showtime this weekend. On Saturday all qualifiers and seated Grandmasters got together for the Candidates Tournament to decide 20 qualifiers to competed with 12 seeded players for the title.

The final on Sunday showed a prominent field, including top Grandmasters Michael Adams, Teimour Radjabov, Viorel Bologan, Loek van Wely, John Nunn, Etienne Bacrot, and many others. Germany was represented by the German Internet Champion Klaus Bischoff and his Vice Robert Rabiega. The price-fund consisted of 6000 Euro, 2400 Euro for first place.

The event was organized by tournament director Martin Fischer. A lawyer in real life, Martin and his server tournaments keep getting a higher profile. He started with regular blitz tournaments, later followed by the official Internet Championship of the German Chess Federation and this Sunday it was the first European Internet Championship. Well, what could be next?

The two other Tournament Directors came from the ECU: Werner Stubenvoll, who is also Chairman of the FIDE Technical Committee, and Dr. Dirk de Ridder expertly supervised the event. The only negative aspect was the disqualification of two players from the Candidate Tournament on Saturday, who played with the help of computer-assistence. After careful analysis the judgment of the Tournament Directors, who were assisted by Grandmaster Rainer Knaak, was unanimous: clear cheating.

Many Grandmasters had to experience in a painful way that routined internet blitzplayers form dangerous opponents, even when their over-the-board ELO is much lower. Dortmund Winner Viorel Bologan for example was knocked out in the first round by FM Geoffrey Borg from Malta. Geoffrey is General Secretary of the Mediterranean Chess Association. In the next round he had to succumb to GM Klaus Bisshoff. But in the quarter-finals the German Internet Champion was then eliminated on his turn by Nikolai Vlassov. The same destiny awaited the second German participant, Robert Rabiega against Etienne Bacrot.

In the semi-finals Bacrot won against Michael Adams and Sutovsky beat Vlassov. The 2001 European Champion decided the exciting final with 4:2 in his favour. The knock out matches were played with a time-control of 5 minutes per game, with an increment of 1 second per move. The first round (32 players), the second round (16 players) and the quarter-finals consisted of four games each. The semi-finals and the final consisted of six games each. In case of a tie (2:2 or 3:3) a tie-break game was played, with white six minutes and black five minutes, while for black a draw was enough. Almost 800 spectators watched the final match, a new record for a single game played on the server.
The new European Internet Champion got a lot of respect when he afterwards analyzed his most exciting game of the final with about 200 fans.
 

Two nice combinations:


White to move.


 

White to move.

Solutions...

Table of the final:

 

 

 

Games of the Final...

Games of the candidate...

Playoffs...

 

 

André Schulz

 


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