Euro Club Cup: Monte Carlo give up a point in the women’s section

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
10/3/2023 – While there were a few upsets on individual boards at the open section of the European Club Cup, none of the big teams gave up match points in Monday’s second round, with Magnus Carlsen making his debut for Norway’s Offerspill. In the women’s section, on the other hand, top seeds Monte Carlo drew Centar Asseco See, the seventh seeds from North Macedonia. Stavroula Tsolakidou beat Mariya Muzychuk with black on the top board. | Photo: Gerd Densing

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Carlsen shows up

Offerspill, Magnus Carlsen’s club, is the fourth seed in the European Club Cup. Their lineup includes six Norwegian players and two young grandmasters from India, Raunak Sadhwani and Pranav V. The squad scored their second consecutive victory on Monday, with Carlsen making his debut and comfortably beating Wood Green’s Ravia Hari.

So far, 18 teams still have a perfect score in Durrës, including all those belonging to the top-10. The rating favourites, Superchess, did not field either Vishy Anand nor Richard Rapport in the first two rounds, but the two superstars are set to play in round 3, when Superchess is paired up against Azerbaijan’s Vugar Gashimov.

Matthias Bluebaum

Matthias Bluebaum is playing on board 3 for Turkish Airlines Sports Club — his team beat Paul Keres 1 from the Netherlands in the second round | Photo: Gerd Densing

Standings - Round 2

Rk. Team  TB1 
1 Superchess 4
Novy Bor 4
Asnieres - Le Grand Echiquier 4
Offerspill Sjakklubb 4
Schachclub Viernheim 1934 e.V. 4
Turkish Airlines Sports Club 4
TAJFUN SK Ljubljana 4
Sentimento Ajka BSK 4
C' Chartres Echecs 4
Vugar Gashimov 4
Beer Sheva Chess Club 4
Gokturk Chess Sport Club 4
SK Zmaj 4
Schachgesellschaft Zurich 4
Elektroprivreda 4
Schachgesellschaft Riehen 4
SK Javes Modra 4
Wasa SK 4

...84 teams

All available games - Round 2

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MSK Centar Asseco See draw Monte Carlo

The first important upset was seen in round 2 of the women’s tournament, as MSK Centar Asseco See drew Monte Carlo, the favourites by rating. The North Macedonian team scored a full point on the top board, where Stavroula Tsolakidou defeated Mariya Muzychuk with the black pieces. Elisabeth Paehtz tied the score for the Monégasque team, as she beat Marina Gajcin on board 4.

While the open section counts with 84 teams, ‘only’ 26 squads have registered to participate in the women’s event, which made for more evenly matched confrontations early on. After two rounds, only four teams have perfect scores: Superchess (2nd seeds), Garuda Ajka BSK (3rd), TAJFUN SK Ljubljana (5th) and Teuta (13th).

Teuta is representing Albania, where the tournament is taking place. Besides including two local players (rated 1697 and 1263), they count with Antoaneta Stefanova, Monika Socko and Karina Cyfka as their heavy hitters.

Elisabeth Paehtz, Sara Khadem

Elisabeth Paehtz and Sara Khadem (Monte Carlo) | Photo: Gerd Densing

Standings - Round 2

Rk. Team  TB1 
1 Superchess 4
Garuda Ajka BSK 4
TAJFUN SK Ljubljana 4
Teuta 4
5 Monte Carlo 3
SP Gaz Ukraine 3
SK Crvena zvezda Data Driven Lab 3
MSK Centar Asseco See 3
Gokturk Chess Sport Club 3
Schachgesellschaft Solingen 3
11 Wood Green 2
Asnieres - Le Grand Echiquier 2
Panevezys 2
Rishon Lezion 2
GSK Kumanovo 2

...26 teams

All available games - Round 2

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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.