Euro Teams: Serbia beat Romania to join the lead

by Carlos Alberto Colodro
11/19/2023 – The round-7 clash of co-leaders between England and Germany ended drawn in the open section of the European Team Championship, which allowed Serbia to join them in the lead thanks to a 2½-1½ victory over Romania — Alexey Sarana beat Bogdan-Daniel Deac in the one decisive game of the match. Meanwhile, Bulgaria grabbed the sole lead in the women’s section, as they inflicted France’s first loss of the event. | Pictured: Serbia’s Alexandr Predke | Photo: Mark Livshitz

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Sarana beats Deac

Only one of the four games in the Germany vs England match — the clash of co-leaders — lasted more than 32 moves, with Alexander Donchenko and Luke McShane playing 52 moves each before drawing their game on board 4 (the same result that had been seen on the remaining three boards earlier in the day).

Similarly, three rather quick draws were signed in the match facing Romania and Serbia. However, the one longer encounter finished decisively in this one, as Alexey Sarana outplayed Bogdan-Daniel Deac with the white pieces from a tricky position with five pawns, a queen, a knight and a bishop per side.

European Team Chess Championship 2023

Romania versus Serbia | Photo: Mark Livshitz

Carlsen misplays advantageous position, then escapes with a draw

In what turned out to be an entertaining, rollercoaster game, Magnus Carlsen split the point with Danish rising star Jonas Buhl Bjerre. Playing black, the former world champion could not make the most of his advantage in a sharp middlegame, and then survived an inferior position with queen and four pawns (for Bjerre) against two minor pieces and six pawns (for Carlsen).

Magnus Carlsen

Magnus Carlsen | Photo: Mark Livshitz

Standings after round 7

Rk. SNo Team Games   +    =    -   TB1   TB2   TB3   TB4   TB5 
1 Germany 11
2 England 11
3 Serbia 11
4 France 10
5 Armenia 10
6 Greece 10
7 Romania 9
8 Croatia 9
9 Netherlands 9
10 Poland 8
11 Czech Republic 8
12 Italy 8
13 Israel 8
14 Hungary 8
15 Lithuania 8

...38 teams

All games - Round 7

Replay games from all rounds at

Women’s: Bulgaria sole leaders

Bulgaria, the fifth seeds in the women’s tournament, are now the only undefeated team in the competition, as they defeated the in-form French squad to grab the sole lead with two rounds to go in Budva. The exciting match saw decisive results on all four boards, with wins for Antoaneta Stefanova, Nurgyul Salimova and Beloslava Kratseva giving the new sole leaders an all-important 3-1 victory.

Antoaneta Stefanova

Bulgaria’s Antoaneta Stefanova | Photo: Mark Livshitz

The Bulgarians lead two teams by a match point: France and Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani squad bounced back from their loss against Bulgaria by beating England 3-1 — Gunay Mammadzada and Gulnar Mammadova scored full points on boards 1 and 4, respectively. 

Still with chances of fighting for first place are Poland and Greece, which stand a match point behind France and Azerbaijan. Greece’s Stravoula Tsolakidou is having a great run on the top board, as she scored four consecutive wins after drawing her first three games to already secure a grandmaster norm!

European Team Chess Championship 2023

Hungary versus Greece | Photo: Mark Livshitz

Standings after round 7

Rk. SNo Team Games   +    =    -   TB1   TB2   TB3   TB4   TB5 
1 Bulgaria 12
2 France 11
3 Azerbaijan 11
4 Greece 10
5 Poland 10
6 Germany 9
7 Serbia 9
8 Armenia 9
9 Georgia 9
10 Ukraine 8
11 Spain 8
12 Switzerland 8
13 England 8
14 Netherlands 7
15 Hungary 7

...32 teams

All games - Round 7

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.