European Club Championship: Kasparov in Crete

by ChessBase
9/16/2003 – What does a player to do when his shot at the FIDE world title gets cancelled? Some would be glad for the unexpected break. Not Garry Kasparov, who has agreed to take part in the European Club Championship in Crete. He will also play a match against the European champion Azmaiparashvili. Details...

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The city of Rethymnon, Crete is preparing to host the 2003 European Clubs Cup, scheduled to begin on 28 September.

Organised by the national chess champion Club of Kydon (from the neighbouring city of Chania), the competition is part of the "Venizeleia" multi-sport event held annually on Greece's largest island.

The venue is the Creta Star Hotel in the city of Rethymnon.

Here is the schedule:

27 Sept. 2003 Arrival of Participants
28 Sept. 2003 10:00 Captains' meeting
13:30 Opening Ceremony
14:00 Round 1 Men & Women
29 Sept. 2003 14:00 Round 2 Men & Women
30 Sept. 2003 14:00 Round 3 Men & Women
 1 Oct. 2003 14:00 Round 4 Men & Women
 2 Oct. 2003 14:00 Round 5 Men & Women
 3 Oct. 2003 14:00 Round 6 Men & Women
 4 Oct. 2003 14:00 Round 7 Men & Women
21:00 Closing Ceremony
 5 Oct. 2003 Departure of Participants

The official web site gives a record number of 52 men's and 18 women's teams that have been entered in the 2003 European Chess Clubs Cup. A late addition to the field is Garry Kasparov, who will spend two weeks in Rethymnon as a guest of Kydon S.C. Chania, the club that has won the last four Greek national championships, and the Municipality of Geropotamos.

Kasparov will take part in the European Clubs Cup as a member of the Russian team of Ladia-Kazan-1000, which is also fielding Sergei Rublevsky (2672), Ilia Smirin (2656), Viktor Bologan (2650) and Alisa Galliamova (2502). The French NAO Chess Club of Paris is also fielding an exceptionally strong team, comprising of Alexander Grischuk (2732), Peter Svidler (2723), Michael Adams (2719), Joel Lautler (2677), Vallejo Pons Francisco (2662), Etienne Bacrot (2645), Laurent Fressinet (2640) and Igor-Alexandre Nataf (2549).

A view of Rethymnon (photo from

Other favourites are the defending champion of Bosna Sarajevo, Polonia Plus of Warsaw and the 2001 European champion, Norilsky Nikel. With several clubs still to announce their team lists, there are now more that 150 Grand Masters, 80 International Masters, 35 FIDE Masters and 3 Women's Grand Masters entered in the competition. The full list of participating teams may be found here.

Here are the top 16 players at the European Clubs Cup:






Kasparov Garry

RUS 2830 Ladia-Kazan

Grischuk, Alexander

RUS 2732 NAO Chess

Shirov, Alexei

ESP 2732 Bosna

Svidler, Peter

RUS 2723 NAO Chess

Bareev, Evgeny

RUS 2721 Bosna

Adams, Michael

ENG 2719 NAO Chess

Ivanchuk, Vasyl

UKR 2710 Polonia

Akopian, Vladimir

ARM 2703 Alkaloid

Azmaiparashvili, Zurab

GEO 2702 Kiseljak

Dreev, Alexey

RUS 2698 Norilsky

Malakhov, Vladimir

RUS 2696 Norilsky

Gelfand, Boris

ISR 2695 Polonia

Sokolov, Ivan

NED 2693 Bosna

Morozevich, Alexander

RUS 2679 Tomsk-400

Khalifman, Alexander

RUS 2678 Tomsk-400

Lautier, Joel

FRA 2677 NAO Chess

Official web site
Travel Information – getting there
The Crete city of Rethymnon

Kasparov vs Azmaiparashvili

In addition to the European Clubs Cup, Kasparov will play four rapid and four blitz matches against Zurab Azmaiparashvili on 22nd September to 25th September in Geropotamos, Crete. Azmaiparashvili was crowned the European Champion in Turkey in June this year.

The Kasparov vs. Azmaiparashvili games will be played at the Panormos, located on the coastal road, 20 kilometres east of Rethymnon and 55 kilometres west of Herakleion. The modern-day village of Panormos, which boasts a 10th-century Byzantine basilica, is built on the site where, according to Homer, lay the ancient city of Panormos.

The playing site. No, not really. This is the 10th-century Byzantine basilica

Kasparov- Azmaiparashvili clash in Crete
Travel information on Panormos

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