Riazantsev and Andreikin are new European Rapid and Blitz Champions

by André Schulz
12/20/2016 – With 7.0/7 Alexei Shirov had the best start in the rapid tournament of the European Rapid and Blitz Championships that were played from 15th to 17th December in Tallinn, Estonia. But then Shirov lost steam and Alexander Riazantsev won the tournament on tie-break. The blitz tournament was dominated by Dmitry Andreikin: he scored 22.0/26 and did not lose a single game.

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The Estonian Chess Federation was host of the European Rapid- and Blitz Championships which were played from 15th to 17th December in Tallinn. The event celebrated the 100th birthday of Paul Keres, Estonia's greatest chessplayer, who was born on January 7th 1916 in Narva and died on June 5, in Helsinki.

Celebrating the 100th birthday of  Paul Keres

Chess - a sport for the masses

The rapid tournament was played over two days as an 11 round Swiss Open with 541 participants. Alexei Shirov had the best start - he simply won his first seven games and led with 7.0/7. But then he lost steam and in round 8 he had to concede a draw to Rauf Mamedov.

Alexei Shirov (right, with Black) had the best start

In round 9 Shirov lost against Vladimir Onischuk and this allowed Mamedov - who had won against Wojtaszek - to pass Shirov and to take the sole lead. But in the last round Mamedov lost against Riazantsev while Matlakov won against Shirov. Riazantsev and Matlakov both finished with 9.5/11 but Riazantsev had the better tie-break and became European Rapid Champion 2016.

The three winners with their trophies (from left to right): Maxim Matlakov, Alexander Riazantsev, Rauf Mamedov

Final standings after 11 rounds

Rg. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Riazantsev Alexander 9,5 0,0
2 Matlakov Maxim 9,5 0,0
3 Mamedov Rauf 9,0 2,0
4 Onischuk Vladimir 9,0 0,0
5 Wojtaszek Radoslaw 9,0 0,0
6 Anton Guijarro David 8,5 0,0
7 Shirov Alexei 8,5 0,0
8 Ponomariov Ruslan 8,5 0,0
9 Leko Peter 8,5 0,0
10 Zhigalko Sergei 8,5 0,0

... 541 players

Complete standings at chess-results...


Officials (from left to right): Gennadi Nesis (European Chess Union), Kirsan Ilyumzhinov,
Ken Koort (Estonian CF), Aris Ozolins (FIDE Baltic zone), Juri Tamm, Stephane Escafre

Rapid games


European Blitz Championship

After rapid followed blitz. 570 players started in the European Blitz Championship which was a 13 round open Swiss tournament with two games against the same opponent per round - one with White, the other with Black.

Dmitry Andreikin dominated from beginning to end. He started with 9.0/9, did not lose a single game in the whole tournament and finished with 22.0/26 to become European Blitz Champion 2016. Rauf Mamedov won silver, Sergei Zhigalko bronze.

The top tables: Vallejo, Mamedov, Andreikin, Zhigalko, Matlakov, Navara


Final Ranking after 26 rounds

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Andreikin Dmitry 22,0 0,0
2 Mamedov Rauf 20,5 0,0
3 Zhigalko Sergei 19,5 0,0
4 Matlakov Maxim 19,5 0,0
5 Leko Peter 19,0 0,0
6 Andriasian Zaven 19,0 0,0
7 Bortnyk Olexandr 19,0 0,0
8 Bologan Victor 19,0 0,0
9 Navara David 19,0 0,0
10 Anton Guijarro David 19,0 0,0
11 Vitiugov Nikita 18,5 0,0
12 Jovanovic Zoran 18,5 0,0
13 Wojtaszek Radoslaw 18,5 0,0
14 Vallejo Pons Francisco 18,0 0,0
15 Kovalenko Igor 18,0 0,0
16 Ponkratov Pavel 18,0 0,0
17 Grandelius Nils 18,0 0,0
18 Onischuk Vladimir 18,0 0,0
19 Jankovic Alojzije 18,0 0,0
20 Huzman Alexander 18,0 0,0

... 570 players

Complete list at chess-results...


The winners (from left to right): Mamedov, Andreikin, Zhigalko

Blitz games



Photos: Tournament page (Oleg Hartsenko)

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


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