European Blitz and Rapid Championships

by Alejandro Ramirez
12/29/2014 – The European Rapid and Blitz Championships were held in Wroclaw, Poland. A marathon of chess was contained in only three days, despite the players displaying their skills in 33 games (22 of them blitz and 11 rapids)! At the end of the day David Navara from the Czech Republic took gold in the blitz, while in the rapid it was local wunderkind Jan-Krzysztof Duda that took gold.

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The European and Blitz Rapid Chess Championships took place in Wroclaw, Poland. The Centennial Hall saw some of the best blitz and rapid players duke it out for the titles of European Champion. Although the elite was generally missing, there were some very big names participating, such as Vitiugov, Vallejo, Bologan, Korobov, Navara... and that is only to name a few!

The event kicked off with the blitz tournament, an eleven double round event (the players faced their opponents twice) with three minutes plus two second increment as time control. This marathon was somehow fit into only one day.

As usual, the blitz tournament was riddled with mistakes, exciting chess and more mistakes... but that only made it more fun! Even strong grandmasters overlook simple thinks in this treacherous time control:

[Event "European Blitz 2014"] [Site "Wroclaw POL"] [Date "2014.12.19"] [Round "11.1"] [White "Bologan, Viktor"] [Black "Mista, Aleksander"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C50"] [WhiteElo "2643"] [BlackElo "2614"] [PlyCount "21"] [EventDate "2014.12.19"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d3 Nf6 5. O-O O-O 6. h3 h6 7. c3 Re8 8. b4 Bf8 9. Qb3 Qe7 10. Nh4 Nd8 11. Nf5 1-0

The most exciting game perhaps goes to the duel between Jaracz and Korobov. In the first game between th em the Ukrainian crushed the Polish player easily with White, but with Black things were much more complex:

[Event "European Blitz 2014"] [Site "Wroclaw POL"] [Date "2014.12.19"] [Round "11.2"] [White "Jaracz, Pawel"] [Black "Korobov, Anton"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A00"] [WhiteElo "2503"] [BlackElo "2693"] [PlyCount "72"] [EventDate "2014.12.19"] 1. b4 e5 2. Bb2 Bxb4 3. Bxe5 Nf6 4. e3 O-O 5. Nf3 d5 6. Bb2 c5 7. c4 d4 8. exd4 cxd4 9. Bxd4 Nc6 10. Be3 Ng4 11. a3 Ba5 12. Be2 Nxe3 13. fxe3 f5 14. g3 g5 15. Qc2 g4 16. Nh4 f4 17. Bd3 fxe3 $5 {Nerves of steel, though protecting with Rf7 was probably better.} 18. Bxh7+ Kg7 19. Qg6+ Kh8 20. Bg8 $6 (20. Qh5 $1 Bxd2+ 21. Kd1 Rf2 $1 $13) 20... Bxd2+ 21. Kd1 e2+ $1 {Key! The bishop now controls h6!} 22. Kc2 Rxg8 23. Qh5+ Kg7 24. Nxd2 Nd4+ $2 (24... Qe8 {challenging the queen would soon end White's attack and the endgame would be very unpleasant.} ) 25. Kc3 Be6 $2 26. Qe5+ {Now white is back on the initiative.} Qf6 27. Qxf6+ Kxf6 28. Kxd4 Rad8+ 29. Ke3 Rge8 30. Ne4+ Kg7 31. Rac1 (31. Rhc1 $1 Bd7 32. c5 Bc6 33. Nf5+ Kg6 34. Nfd6 $16) 31... Bd7 32. Kf4 $2 (32. c5 Rxe4+ 33. Kxe4 Bc6+ 34. Ke3 Bxh1 35. Rxh1 $2 (35. Kxe2 $14) 35... Rd1 $19) 32... Rf8+ 33. Kg5 $6 Rde8 34. Ng6 {The final blunder.} Rf5+ 35. Kxg4 Rxe4+ 36. Nf4 Rfxf4+ 0-1

Navara was the ultimate winner of the blitz portion, with a great 19.0/22. A big tie for second left local wonder-boy Duda in second place with Salgado also in the podium, though Savchenko, Alekseev, Anton Guijarro a nd Efimenko all tied with 17.0/22. Not to mention the truckload of people with 16.5!

Karina Szczepkowska-Horowska obtained second in the
female category in the blitz, just behind Anatasia Bodnaruk

Antonio Guijarro from Spain was off the podium only due to tiebreaks

The Blitz podium: Navara, Duda, Salgado

Replay Blitz Games

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Final Standings - Blitz

Place Title Name Fed. FIDE (Blz) Total  
1 GM NAVARA, David CZE B 2705 19,0  
2 GM DUDA, Jan-Krzysztof POL B 2525 17,0  
3 GM SALGADO Lopez, Ivan ESP B 2522 17,0  
4 GM SAVCHENKO, Boris RUS B 2733 17,0  
5 GM ALEKSEEV, Evgeny RUS B 2624 17,0  
6 GM ANTON Guijarro, David ESP B 2664 17,0  
7 GM EFIMENKO, Zahar UKR B 2640 17,0  
8 IM BORTNYK, Olexandr UKR B 2679 16,5  
9 GM KOROBOV, Anton UKR B 2752 16,5  
10 GM KOVALENKO, Igor LAT B 2682 16,5  
11 GM VITIUGOV, Nikita RUS B 2695 16,5  
12 GM LYSYJ, Igor RUS B 2577 16,5  
13 GM BOLOGAN, Viktor MDA B 2601 16,5  
14 GM BARTEL, Mateusz POL B 2585 16,0  
15 GM MATLAKOV, Maxim RUS B 2683 16,0  
16 IM DOURERASSOU, Jonathan FRA B 2523 16,0  
17 GM KEMPINSKI, Robert POL B 2637 16,0  
18 IM GEORGIADIS, Nico SUI 2465 16,0  
19 GM GAJEWSKI, Grzegorz POL B 2560 16,0  
20 GM MITON, Kamil POL B 2621 15,5


The Rapid portion of the tournament was held over two days. The elevent round tournament had a relatively fast time control for a rapid; fifteen minutes with ten seconds increment. It was Jan-Krzysztof Duda, the current hope of Polish chess, that took the gold on t iebreaks. Tied with him on points were Volokitin, who took second, Gajewski, third and just off the podium by the magic of numbers was Kovalev.

Winner of the rapid: Jan-Krzysztof Duda.

Monica Socko won best female player

One of the top seeds: Francisco "Paco" Vallejo Pons

Replay Rapid Games

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Final Standings

Place Title Name Fed. ELO (Rpd) Total
1 GM DUDA, Jan-Krzysztof POL R 2467 9,5
2 GM VOLOKITIN, Andrei UKR R 2643 9,5
3 GM GAJEWSKI, Grzegorz POL R 2633 9,5
4 GM KOVALEV, Vladislav BLR R 2618 9,5
5 GM WOJTASZEK, Radoslaw POL R 2684 9,0
6 IM WARAKOMSKI, Tomasz POL R 2491 9,0
7 GM KOROBOV, Anton UKR R 2673 9,0
8 GM LYSYJ, Igor RUS R 2613 9,0
9 GM NEIKSANS, Arturs LAT R 2581 9,0
10 IM BORTNYK, Olexandr UKR R 2559 8,5
11 GM KOVALENKO, Igor LAT R 2721 8,5
12 GM VALLEJO PONS, Francisco ESP R 2689 8,5
13 GM MOISEENKO, Alexander UKR R 2670 8,5
14 FM ALEKSEENKO, Kirill RUS R 2520 8,5
15 GM INARKIEV, Ernesto RUS R 2653 8,5
16 GM FEDORCHUK, Sergey A. UKR R 2664 8,5
17 GM NAVARA, David CZE R 2633 8,5
18 GM DEVIATKIN, Andrei RUS R 2587 8,5
19 GM MATLAKOV, Maxim RUS R 2684 8,5
20 GM BARTEL, Mateusz POL R 2674 8,5

Photos by Marta Wolska from the official website


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Topics: ECC

Grandmaster Alejandro Ramirez has been playing tournament chess since 1998. His accomplishments include qualifying for the 2004 and 2013 World Cups as well as playing for Costa Rica in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Olympiads. He currently has a rating of 2583 and is author of a number of popular and critically acclaimed ChessBase-DVDs.
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