European Individual Championships 2008 in Plovdiv

by ChessBase
4/22/2008 – Remember how impressed we all were with the 90 GMs at the Russian Team Championships in Sochi earlier this month. 16 of them were rated over 2600, we enthusiastically reported. Well, at the European Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, we count 96 grandmasters, with 70 in the "Super-GM" category of 2600 rating points or higher. And 105 IMs, as opposed to three in Sochi. First report.

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The IX European Individual Chess Championship is taking place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, from April 21st to May 3rd 2008, with one free day, on Monday, April 28. The tournament halls are in the Novotel Plovdiv. The championship is an 11 round Swiss, playing time is 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one. The total prize fund in the men's section is 92,200 EUR (first 15,000, 2nd 10,000, third 8,000, fourth 6,500, fifth 5,500 etc.) and in the women's section 34,500 EUR (first 6,000, second 5,000, third 4,000, fourth 3,000, fifth 2,000, etc.). According to Bulgarian law all prizes are taxable (10%).

Special rules (note especially the last one) state:

  • Any player who doesn’t shake hands with his/her opponent before the game starts (and doesn’t do it after being asked to do so by the arbiter) or deliberately insults his/her opponent or the officials of the event, will immediately and finally lose the relevant game.
  • Players are not allowed to leave the playing venue (Playing area, Refreshment area, Players restrooms, Smoking area) without permission of the arbiter. Violation of this rule could be punished up to declaring the game to be lost.
  • It is strictly forbidden to bring a mobile phone, not authorized by the chief arbiter, into the playing hall. If a player’s mobile phone rings in the playing venue during play, that player shall lose the game.
  • As long as the game is in progress a player may talk only to an arbiter or with his opponent.
  • In case of pre-arranged results the chief arbiter has to decide that the result of the respective game is 0-0.

The Championships are qualification events for the next World Cup and the next World Championship for Women: 22 players from the men's section and 13 players from the women's section will qualify.


We have counted 96 grandmasters in the field, with 70 in the "Super-GM" category of 2600 rating points or higher. Compare that to the recent Russian Team Championships in Sochi: there we had 90 GMs, with 16 sporting ratings over 2700 (which took our breath away at the time). In Plovdiv There are 105 IMs (in Sochi there were three) and a bunch of WGMs, WIMs and WFMs. Very nearly 500 strong chess players, together with their seconds, partners, relatives, friends – how does Plovdiv, the Bulgarian Chess Federation and the European Chess Union do it?

Top players (2600 and higher) of 337 men

1 GM Movsesian Sergei 2695 SVK
2 GM Vallejo Pons Francisco 2684 ESP
3 GM Volokitin Andrei 2684 UKR
4 GM Almasi Zoltan 2674 HUN
5 GM Nikolic Predrag 2674 BIH
6 GM Akopian Vladimir 2673 ARM
7 GM Fedorchuk Sergey 2671 UKR
8 GM Motylev Alexander 2666 RUS
9 GM Bologan Viktor 2665 MDA
10 GM Georgiev Kiril 2665 BUL
11 GM Timofeev Artyom 2664 RUS
12 GM Efimenko Zahar 2660 UKR
13 GM Roiz Michael 2659 ISR
14 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny 2658 RUS
15 GM Fressinet Laurent 2656 FRA
16 GM Predojevic Borki 2651 BIH
17 GM Areshchenko Alexander 2650 UKR
18 GM Moiseenko Alexander 2650 UKR
19 GM Ivanisevic Ivan 2649 SRB
20 GM Sakaev Konstantin 2649 RUS
21 GM Baklan Vladimir 2647 UKR
22 GM Socko Bartosz 2644 POL
23 GM Sargissian Gabriel 2643 ARM
24 GM Miroshnichenko Evgenij 2642 UKR
25 GM Beliavsky Alexander 2641 SLO
26 GM Fridman Daniel 2640 GER
27 GM Delchev Aleksander 2639 BUL
28 GM Riazantsev Alexander 2638 RUS
29 GM Mchedlishvili Mikheil 2635 GEO
30 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian 2634 RUS
31 GM Tiviakov Sergei 2634 NED
32 GM Volkov Sergey 2633 RUS
33 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2632 FRA
34 GM Asrian Karen 2630 ARM
35 GM Smirin Ilia 2630 ISR
36 GM Solak Dragan 2630 SRB
37 GM Sutovsky Emil 2630 ISR
38 GM Nielsen Peter Heine 2629 DEN
39 GM Tregubov Pavel V 2629 RUS
40 GM Istratescu Andrei 2628 ROU
41 GM Khalifman Alexander 2628 RUS
42 GM Kobalia Mikhail 2627 RUS
43 GM Najer Evgeniy 2627 RUS
44 GM Rodshtein Maxim 2626 ISR
45 GM Guseinov Gadir 2625 AZE
46 GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw 2625 POL
47 GM Caruana Fabiano 2620 ITA
48 GM Miton Kamil 2620 POL
49 GM Mamedov Rauf 2617 AZE
50 GM Pantsulaia Levan 2617 GEO
51 GM Potkin Vladimir 2617 RUS
52 GM Vitiugov Nikita 2617 RUS
53 GM Kovacevic Aleksandar 2616 SRB
54 GM Petrosian Tigran 2615 ARM
55 GM Hracek Zbynek 2613 CZE
56 GM Kryvoruchko Yuriy 2612 UKR
57 GM Gurevich Mikhail 2611 TUR
58 GM Grachev Boris 2610 RUS
59 GM Kritz Leonid 2609 GER
60 GM Pelletier Yannick 2607 SUI
61 GM Galkin Alexander 2606 RUS
62 GM Golod Vitali 2606 ISR
63 GM Fedorov Alexei 2603 BLR
64 GM Gustafsson Jan 2603 GER
65 GM Kuzubov Yuriy 2603 UKR
66 GM Huzman Alexander 2602 ISR
67 GM Berg Emanuel 2601 SWE
68 GM Gajewski Grzegorz 2601 POL
69 GM Banikas Hristos 2600 GRE
70 GM L'Ami Erwin 2600 NED

Top players (2400 and higher) of 159 women

1 GM Cramling Pia 2539 SWE
2 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2538 BUL
3 IM Socko Monika 2505 POL
4 IM Muzychuk Anna 2486 SLO
5 GM Lahno Kateryna 2479 UKR
6 IM Danielian Elina 2479 ARM
7 GM Hoang Thanh Trang 2477 HUN
8 IM Ushenina Anna 2474 UKR
9 WGM Pogonina Natalija 2470 RUS
10 IM Cmilyte Viktorija 2466 LTU
11 IM Javakhishvili Lela 2466 GEO
12 GM Peng Zhaoqin 2455 NED
13 IM Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan 2452 SCO
14 WGM Zhukova Natalia 2450 UKR
15 IM Paehtz Elisabeth 2449 GER
16 IM Dzagnidze Nana 2443 GEO
17 IM Skripchenko Almira 2443 FRA
18 IM Ovod Evgenija 2437 RUS
19 IM Bojkovic Natasa 2434 SRB
20 IM Dembo Yelena 2429 GRE
21 IM Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2421 RUS
22 IM Matveeva Svetlana 2420 RUS
23 IM Peptan Corina-Isabela 2415 ROU
24 IM Mkrtchian Lilit 2413 ARM
25 IM Vajda Szidonia 2413 HUN
26 WGM Melia Salome 2413 GEO
27 IM Tairova Elena 2412 RUS
28 IM Rajlich Iweta 2411 POL
29 IM Atalik Ekaterina 2409 TUR
30 IM Lomineishvili Maia 2400 GEO

Results and standings for the first two rounds will be provided here later tonight.

Picture Gallery

Plovdiv, the second-largest city in Bulgaria (after Sofia), with a population of 380,000

Saints Cyril and Methodius church

The two saints Cyril and Methodius were Byzantine Greek brothers born in the 9th century. They became Christian missionaries among the Slavs and are credited with devising the Glagolitic alphabet, the first alphabet used to transcribe the Old Church Slavonic language. The Cyrillic alphabet, which was based on the Glagolitic alphabet, is still used in a number of Slavic and other languages. You will know all of this if you have been paying attention.

Plovdiv at night

The men's section in the ’Plovdiv’’ hall of the Novotel Plovdiv

Top seed Sergei Movsesian (left), 2695, SVK, won his first round game against *
Bulgarian GM Krasimir Rusev, 2516, convincingly in 36 moves

GM Julian Radulsky or Bulgaria, 2514, against Zoltan Almasi of Hungary, 2674 (Almasi won)

Hey, but who is behind the camera? Our photo reporter IM Dejan Bojkov, playing in Plovdiv

The women's section of the European Individual Championships

GM Antoaneta Stefanova, second seed in the women's section (Elo 2538)

All pictures by IM Dejan Bojkov


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