Euro Teams: Poland and Germany share the lead

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
11/14/2023 – Poland and Germany scored 2½-1½ victories on Monday to go into round 4 of the European Team Championship as co-leaders. Both teams had to compensate for an individual loss with two victories to keep their perfect scores. Meanwhile, Norway suffered a second upset loss in a row, this time against Iceland — despite Magnus Carlsen winning on the top board. In the women’s championship, France and Azerbaijan are tied for first place with 6/6 match points. | Photo: Paul Meyer-Dunker

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Norway struggling

All top-10 teams in the open section of the European Team Championship have scored 4 or more match points after three rounds in Budva — except for Norway, who have drawn once and lost twice for an overall 1/6 score.

Soon after Offerspill, the Norwegian club led by Magnus Carlsen, won the European Club Cup, the former world champion’s chances to collect a second consecutive triumph in a team competition have all but vanished. Despite having escaped a loss in round 2, Carlsen is now on a 2½/3 score after beating Iceland’s Hjorvar Steinn Gretarsson on Monday. The world number one has a 35-point lead over Fabiano Caruana in the live ratings list after this win.

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen beat Hjorvar Steinn Gretarsson | Photo: Mark Livshitz

As for the teams doing well, Germany (3rd seeds) and Poland (11th seeds) are now sharing the lead with 6/6 match points each. Alexander Donchenko and Mateusz Bartel have been the heroes for their teams so far, as they both grabbed two wins and a draw so far in Montenegro.

In round 3, Germany beat Serbia, with wins by Donchenko and Matthias Bluebaum compensating for Vincent Keymer’s loss against Alexandr Predke on the top board. Meanwhile, Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Bartosz Socko scored for Poland in a hard-fought match against France, which saw Maxime Lagarde beating Szymon Gumularz on board 4. Lagarde, by the way, is one of two players with a perfect 3/3 score in the tournament, together with Belgium’s 18-year-old grandmaster Daniel Dardha.

Standing a match point behind the leaders are four teams: Romania, Armenia, the Netherlands and Israel. Three players from the squads in the chasing pack have excelled in the first three rounds of the event: Jorden van Foreest and Max Warmerdam (Netherlands) and Tamir Nabaty (Israel) have all collected 2½ points since the tournament kicked off on Saturday.

Radoslaw Wojtaszek

Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland) defeated Etienne Bacrot (France) | Photo: Mark Livshitz

Predke 1 - 0 Keymer

Analysis by GM Karsten Müller

IM Robert Ris analyses Magnus Carlsen’s remarkable win

Standings after round 3

Rk. Team  TB1 
1 Poland 6
2 Germany 6
3 Israel 5
4 Netherlands 5
5 Armenia 5
6 Romania 5
7 Serbia 4
8 France 4
9 Croatia 4
10 England 4
11 Azerbaijan 4
12 Slovenia 4
13 Spain 4
14 Greece 4
15 Italy 4

...38 teams

All games - Round 3

Replay games from all rounds at

Women’s: France and Azerbaijan co-leaders

Similarly to the open section, two teams still have a perfect score in the women’s championship. France and Azerbaijan grabbed clear wins in round 3, over Poland and Spain respectively, to enter round 4 sharing the lead with 6/6 match points.

While Azerbaijan won thanks to victories by Ulviyya Fataliyeva and Khanim Balajayeva, the French squad defeated Spain with wins by Deimante Daulyte-Cornette, Mitra Hejazipour (the reigning French champion has a 3/3 score in Budva) and Pauline Guichard. As noted by Yosha Iglesias on X, France kicked off the event with three consecutive 3½-½ wins!

European Team Chess Championship 2023

The Azerbaijani team | Photo: Mark Livshitz

European Team Chess Championship 2023

France versus Spain | Photo: Mark Livshitz

Two teams make up the chasing pack with 5/6 match points in the women’s section: Germany and Hungary. While Hungarians Hoang Thanh Trang and Szidonia Lazarne Vajda both have 2/2 scores, Josefine Heinemann has been the strongest German representative with 2½/3 points to her name.

The lowest-rated squad in the 9-team pack with 4/6 match points is North Macedonia. In fact, the Macedonians have the lowest rating average in the tournament (1919), but that did not prevent them from beating Sweden and Montenegro in rounds 2 and 3.

European Team Chess Championship 2023

Josefine Heinemann, Yuri Yakovich (captain) and Hanna Marie Klek | Photo: Paul Meyer-Dunker

Standings after round 3

Rk. Team  TB1 
1 France 6
2 Azerbaijan 6
3 Germany 5
4 Hungary 5
5 Bulgaria 4
6 Serbia 4
7 Netherlands 4
8 Poland 4
9 Spain 4
10 Switzerland 4
11 Armenia 4
12 Georgia 4
13 North Macedonia 4
14 Slovakia 3
15 Greece 3

...32 teams

All games - Round 3

Replay games from all rounds 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.