Azerbaijan wins European Team Championship

by ChessBase
11/7/2017 – Azerbaijan secured the European Team Championship gold on Monday with a draw against Ukraine. The Azerbaijani team scored a critical win over top-seeded Russia in Round 8, such that even a last round win for the Russians over Germany was only good enough for the silver medal. Ukraine, the third seed going in, took the bronze. In the European Women’s Team Championship, the favourites Russia, clinched gold with a round to spare, leaving Georgia and Ukraine battling for silver and bronze. In the end they finished exactly according to their starting rank. Fourth seed Poland was upset by ninth seed Romania and so just missed out on a medal. Analysis by IM Irene Sukandar | Photo:

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Azerbaijan wins the Open

Azerbaijan achieved a relatively quick 2 : 2 tie with Ukraine in the final Round 9, safe in the knowledge that even a shutout by Russia over Germany would not be enough to catch up on the board points tiebreak. In the end, Russia did win by a score of 3 : 1 — good enough for the silver medal — as both teams finished with 14 match points (out of a total possible 18).

Ukraine took the bronze with 13 match points, and an edge on board points over the Croatian team which finished fourth.

Top Results for Round 9 (Open)

Team MP Res. : Res. MP Team
Azerbaijan 13 2 : 2 12 Ukraine
Germany 11 1 : 3 12 Russia
Turkey 11 : 11 Croatia
England 10 ½ : 10 Hungary
Spain 10 : 10 Romania
Belarus 9 : 10 Israel
Slovenia 9 : 9 Netherlands
Poland 9 3 : 1 9 France
Serbia 8 2 : 2 9 Armenia
Slovakia 8 : 8 Greece 1

Final Standings (Top 10)

Rk. Team  TB1 
1 Azerbaijan 14
2 Russia 14
3 Ukraine 13
4 Croatia 13
5 Hungary 12
6 Israel 12
7 Romania 12
8 Germany 11
9 Netherlands 11
10 Poland 11

Ukraine in the foreground, Russian flanking them

Ukraine in the foreground, Russia right behind them | Photo:

The Azerbaijan team just needed to remain solid against Ukraine, as a drawn match would be enough to secure gold given their superior tiebreak score. All games ended in draws around move 40, but Naiditsch vs. Pomomariev, despite ending peacefully, was a tactical slugfest.


The Modern Pirc

The Modern Pirc is actually a mixture of the Caro-Kann and the Pirc. In many lines Black combines the ideas of the classical Pirc in which the fianchettoed bishop is important with the Caro-Kann idea to fight for the center with c6-d5.

Russia, planing on the adjacent table had a much longer day at the office, but secured the silver medal by beating Germany. Ian Nepomniachtchi ground down Georg Meier in a long rook and pawn ending that went to move 86. Next to him Nikitia Vitiugov outplayed his young opponent Matthias Bluebaum in a rook and knight endng before liquidating into his own winning rook and pawn ending which quickly prompted resignation. The win left Russia with one match point more than Ukraine. The latter tied with Croatia, whose fourth place finish should leave them satisfied. The 14th seeds at the outset were leading at the half-way point, and won their last round match against Turkey.

In fifth through seventh spots, Hungary, Israel and Romania. The Romanian team came in a number 20, so they significantly outperformed, and capped off a strong tournament with a small upset against Spain. Gergely-Andras-Gyula Szabo and Mircea-Emilian Parligras posted wins — the latter's being one of the standout games of the day.

Mircea-Emilian Parligras 1-0 Ivan Salgado Lopez (annotated by IM Irene Sukandar)

A waiting Game in the Queen's Indian 7...Na6

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The Polish team relaxing after a long week

The Polish team was all smiles at the closing ceremony | Photo:

Rounding out the top ten teams, with 11 match points, Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland, teams which ended almost where they started.

Georgia and Ukraine fill out Women's podium

Russia finished in as dominating style ast they played the entire tournament, winning 3½ : ½ over Armenia. Georgia and Ukraine both won handily as well to secure the silver and bronze medals respectively.

Top Results for Round 9 (Women)

Team MP Res. : Res. MP Team
Armenia 11 ½ : 15 Russia
Georgia 12 : ½ 10 Italy
Romania 10 3 : 1 12 Poland
Turkey 10 0 : 4 11 Ukraine
Netherlands 9 : 9 Israel
Azerbaijan 9 : 9 Serbia
Spain 9 4 : 0 9 Austria
Hungary 8 3 : 1 8 Czech Republic
Greece 1 8 : 8 Belarus
Germany 7 : 8 France

Final standings (Top 10)

Rk. Team  TB1 
1 Russia 17
2 Georgia 14
3 Ukraine 13
4 Poland 12
5 Romania 12
6 Spain 11
7 Israel 11
8 Azerbaijan 11
9 Armenia 11
10 Italy 10

Round 9 highlights

IM Irene Sukandar has selected a few highlights from the ninth round, a potpourri from both tournaments, including the "blunder of the day".


All games (Open)


All games (Women)



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