European Championship: Korobov leads, Gledura in sole second place

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
3/10/2023 – Anton Korobov regained clear first place in the standings of the European Championship by beating Stamatis Kourkoulos-Arditis in Thursday’s seventh round. Meanwhile, Benjamin Gledura (pictured) climbed to sole second place with a win over Giga Quparadze. Thirteen players stand a half point behind Gledura with four rounds to go in Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia. | Photos: European Chess Union

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


A double-edged battle

Half the games on the top ten boards were draws lasting 29 or fewer moves in round 7 of the European Championship. The showdown between co-leaders, however, was a thrilling tactical battle. Anton Korobov and Stamatis Kourkoulos-Arditis have showcased creative play throughout the event, and played a magnificent game on Wednesday. Korobov, the higher-rated player, won with white to regain sole first place in the standings.

Out of the remaining four games that lasted more than 30 moves, two finished decisively. Benjamin Gledura got the better of Giga Quparadze to climb to sole second place with 6 out of 7 points, while Alexandr Predke, now representing Serbia, defeated Misratdin Iskandarov to join the large group with 5½ points standing in shared third place.

The highest-rated GMs among the fifteen players a half point behind Gledura are Predke, Boris Gelfand, Alexey Sarana and Kirill Shevchenko.

In round 8, Korobov will get a second white in a row as he will face Gledura, who himself won two consecutive games with white in the previous two rounds.

Anton Korobov

Anton Korobov continues to play creatively in Serbia

Much like in his round-6 game against Eltaj Safarli, when he also had the black pieces, Kourkoulos-Arditis castled queenside against Korobov. And like Safarli had done in that encounter, the Greek IM gave up a piece in a complex middlegame.


White is threatening to play f4-f5, capturing the bishop. Black, after thinking for 16 minutes — instead of playing 19...gxf4 or 19...Nb6 — went for the throat with 19...g4, further complicating matters. Korobov, not one to shy away from sharp fights, grabbed the bishop a few moves later.

Chances were missed by both players in the ensuing battle, but White never quite lost the thread. Black’s clearest opportunity to save the game presented itself on move 37.


The d7-knight and the c2-bishop are en prise, with Black needing to deal with the dangerous central passer on the e-file. As the time control approached, Kourkoulos-Arditis quickly played 37...Ne5 here, certainly a sharp idea, when the most precise continuation was 37...h2+ — a potential line following this check is 38.Qxh2 Qe1+ 39.Kg2 Qe2+ 40. Kg3 Qxe3+


Black gets to deal with White’s threats by combining queen checks with the pin along the g-file. Surely a tough line to find under such pressing circumstances!

None of this happened, though, and once the smoke had cleared, White still had a material advantage. However, even the superior endgame reached shortly after required Korobov to show good technique in an imbalanced position.


It was not easy, but Korobov eventually managed to consolidate his position and get yet another victory in a double-edged struggle. His TPR (tournament performance rating) after seven rounds is a whopping 2959.

European Chess Championship 2023

The top boards at the start of the seventh round

Standings - Round 7

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Korobov Anton 6,5 0
2 Gledura Benjamin 6 0
3 Kourkoulos-Arditis Stamatis 5,5 0
4 Ponomariov Ruslan 5,5 0
5 Nguyen Thai Dai Van 5,5 0
  Svane Frederik 5,5 0
7 Bacrot Etienne 5,5 0
  Santos Latasa Jaime 5,5 0
9 Sarana Alexey 5,5 0
10 Predke Alexandr 5,5 0
  Abasov Nijat 5,5 0
  Bernadskiy Vitaliy 5,5 0
13 Gelfand Boris 5,5 0
14 Kuzubov Yuriy 5,5 0
15 Shevchenko Kirill 5,5 0
16 Sargissian Gabriel 5 0
17 Azarov Sergei 5 0
18 Kadric Denis 5 0
19 Murzin Volodar 5 0
20 Grandelius Nils 5 0
21 Quparadze Giga 5 0
22 Cheparinov Ivan 5 0
23 Safarli Eltaj 5 0
24 Mastrovasilis Dimitrios 5 0
25 Subelj Jan 5 0

...484 players

All available games - Round 7


Replay games from all rounds on


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.