European Championship: Shevchenko joins the lead

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
3/13/2023 – As the end of the European Championship approaches, two players share the lead on 8/10 points. Kirill Shevchenko joined Alexey Sarana atop the standings after beating Benjamin Gledura with the white pieces. Twelve players stand a half point behind with one round to go in Vrnjacka Banja. | Photos: European Chess Union

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One round to go

Eleven consecutive rounds with no rest day. The European Championship in Serbia is coming to an end, and a group of twenty-three — most likely exhausted — players will gain a spot in the next edition of the World Cup after Monday’s final round, with the winner of the event taking home €20,000 in prize money.

After ten rounds, two young players share first place on 8/10 points. Kirill Shevchenko joined Alexey Sarana in the lead on Sunday thanks to his victory over Benjamin Gledura with the white pieces. Sarana, who had defeated long-time leader Anton Korobov in the previous round, had to work hard to hold a draw against Andrey Esipenko.

Esipenko is one of twelve players standing a half point behind the co-leaders. Out of the twelve chasers, seven joined the group on 7½ points by collecting victories on Sunday — i.e. David Anton, Jaime Santos, Thai Dai Van Nguyen, Stamatis Kourkoulos-Arditis, Yuriy Kuzubov, Igor Janik and Daniel Dardha.

While the aforementioned players only need draws on Monday to secure a spot in the World Cup, the participants who currently have 6½ points are likely to go all-in in the final round. A few of the rating favourites belong to this group, including experienced GMs Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Vasyl Ivanchuk, who have not qualified for the World Cup in previous events.

David Anton

David Anton has won three games in a row to recover from his loss in round 5

Our in-house endgame expert, GM Karsten Müller, has been sending numerous instructive positions with on-point analyses. In Saturday’s ninth round, David Paravyan managed to demonstrate why Ivan Cheparinov’s decision to simplify into a king and pawns endgame had been a mistake.


Standings - Round 10

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Sarana Alexey 8 0
2 Shevchenko Kirill 8 0
3 Korobov Anton 7,5 0
4 Bacrot Etienne 7,5 0
5 Kourkoulos-Arditis Stamatis 7,5 0
6 Nguyen Thai Dai Van 7,5 0
7 Santos Latasa Jaime 7,5 0
8 Esipenko Andrey 7,5 0
9 Dragnev Valentin 7,5 0
10 Kuzubov Yuriy 7,5 0
11 Paravyan David 7,5 0
12 Dardha Daniel 7,5 0
13 Anton Guijarro David 7,5 0
14 Janik Igor 7,5 0
15 Predke Alexandr 7 0
16 Gledura Benjamin 7 0
17 Gelfand Boris 7 0
18 Gumularz Szymon 7 0
19 Svane Frederik 7 0
  Azarov Sergei 7 0
21 Brkic Ante 7 0
22 Grandelius Nils 7 0
  Vocaturo Daniele 7 0
24 Pechac Jergus 7 0
25 Svane Rasmus 7 0

...484 players

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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.