Euro Club Cup: Easy wins for the favourites

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
10/2/2023 – The favourite teams in both sections of the European Club Cup had little trouble beating much lower-rated opposition in the first round of the seven-day event. In the open, none of the five top seeds (individually) — Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Richard Rapport, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave — played in round 1. | Pictured: Nino Batsiashvili (Superchess) | Photo: Sandra Schmidt

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Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, registered as the top board for Asnieres, recently defeated Magnus Carlsen in the sixth event of the Champions Chess Tour. Both MVL and Carlsen are in Durrës, but did not play in the first round — much like their elite colleagues Vishy Anand, Richard Rapport and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Their absence did not prevent their teams from grabbing clear wins over lower-rated opposition on opening day, though.

The clear favourites by rating in Albania are Superchess. Besides Anand and Rapport, the Romanians have two more 2700+ rated players in Bogdan-Daniel Deac and Jordan van Foreest. In round 2, they will face Rokaden, an all-Swedish squad with Erik Blomqvist on the top board. Will the 2-time Swedish champion get to face Anand on Monday?

In second place rating-wise are Novy Bor, the defending champions. Vincent Keymer, Nils Grandelius (who did not play in the first round) and David Navara are their top representatives. On Monday, they will face Werder Bremen, which fields 4 out of 6 players from Germany and has Dutch GM Roeland Pruijssers on the top board.

Standing third in the teams’ starting rank are Asnieres, with MVL, Haik Martirosyan and Grigoriy Oparin as their highest-rated representatives. The French team has a small rating advantage over Offerspill, whose average is heavily skewed by their 2839-rated leader.

Alexei Shirov, Christian Bauer

Alexei Shirov and Christian Bauer (Schachgesellschaft Zurich) | Photo: Sandra Schmidt

Pairings - Round 2

Team Team Res. : Res.
SK Rockaden Superchess :
Offerspill Sjakklubb *) Wood Green :
Novy Bor SV Werder Bremen :
Silla Chess Club Asnieres - Le Grand Echiquier :
KSK Rochade Schachclub Viernheim 1934 e.V. :
Turkish Airlines Sports Club Paul Keres 1 :
MRU - ROSK Consulting TAJFUN SK Ljubljana :
CE Le Cavalier Differdange *) Partizani :
Sentimento Ajka BSK SK Dunajska Streda :
CE Gambit Bonnevoie C' Chartres Echecs :

...42 boards

All available games - Round 1

Replay all games at

Monte Carlo favourites in the women’s cup

Once again, Monte Carlo are the clear rating favourites in the women’s cup, as they count with the only two 2500+ rated players in the field on their roster: Mariya and Anna Muzychuk. Having the highest rating average is no guarantee for victory, though, as the Monégasque team failed to win last year’s edition despite presenting a similarly strong lineup.

Superchess from Romania stand in second place, with four 2400+ rated players, while Garuda Ajka from Hungary are the third-seeded team, with a heavy hitter on the top board — Bella Khotenashvili — and three 2400+ rated players.

Monicka Socko, Antoaneta Stefanova

Monicka Socko and Antoaneta Stefanova playing for Teuta | Photo: Sandra Schmidt

Pairings - Round 2

Team Team Res. : Res.
Teuta *) Offerspill Chess Club :
Monte Carlo MSK Centar Asseco See :
Wood Green Superchess :
Garuda Ajka BSK Asnieres - Le Grand Echiquier :
Gokturk Chess Sport Club SP Gaz Ukraine :
TAJFUN SK Ljubljana Panevezys :
Schachgesellschaft Solingen SK Crvena zvezda Data Driven Lab :
ASD Pedone Isolano She plays to win :
UCD Rishon Lezion :
GSK Kumanovo Tirana :

...13 boards

All available games - Round 1

Replay all games at


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.