Matthias Blübaum wins European Championship 2022!

by Johannes Fischer
4/7/2022 – The German Grandmaster Matthias Blübaum is the new European Champion. In the final round of the European Championships he played against GM Ivan Saric from Croatia, who needed to win this crucial game to become European Champion, but a draw secured Blübaum the title. After eleven rounds he and GM Gabriel Sargissian from Armenia both had 8.5/11 but Blübaum had the better tiebreak and won the tournament. | Photos: ŠZS/Luka Rifelj

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Matthias Blübaum started the tournament with a draw but then scored six wins in a row to become sole leader. After three draws in rounds 8 to 10 Blübaum was caught by Sargissian, and before the last round both had 8.0/10 and shared first place. However, Blübaum was first on tiebreak.

The tournament hall

In the final round Blübaum played with White against Saric and Sargissian played with White against Jaime Santos. Sargissian decided to play it safe and drew after only six moves. After this quick draw of his closest rival Blübaum knew that he needed only a draw against Saric to win the title because he had the best tiebreak of all players who could theoretically reach a score of 8.5/11.

The decisive game: Blübaum against Saric

But Saric needed to win against Blübaum to become European Champion 2022. The Croatian Grandmaster tried to reach a double-edged position by going for the King's Indian but Blübaum quickly simplified by opting for the King's Indian Exchange Variation. This soon led to a drawish endgame and though Saric tried to get chances the game was drawn after 44 moves, which gave Blübaum the title.


In this game Blübaum showed a very professional approach against the King's Indian, but in round three he went for a sharper approach against the King's Indian.


Final standings after 11 rounds

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Bluebaum Matthias 8,5 2594
2 Sargissian Gabriel 8,5 2578
3 Saric Ivan 8,0 2589
4 Cheparinov Ivan 8,0 2585
5 Santos Latasa Jaime 8,0 2546
6 Yilmaz Mustafa 8,0 2530
7 Ponomariov Ruslan 8,0 2523
8 Durarbayli Vasif 8,0 2509
9 Gadimbayli Abdulla 7,5 2637
10 Iskandarov Misratdin 7,5 2631
11 Guseinov Gadir 7,5 2589
12 Ter-Sahakyan Samvel 7,5 2567
13 Sargsyan Shant 7,5 2567
14 Kobo Ori 7,5 2564
15 Moussard Jules 7,5 2558
16 Tari Aryan 7,5 2553
17 Anton Guijarro David 7,5 2551
18 Kuzubov Yuriy 7,5 2547
19 Kozul Zdenko 7,5 2545
20 Nesterov Arseniy 7,5 2540
21 Indjic Aleksandar 7,5 2536
22 Martirosyan Haik M. 7,5 2531
23 Bernadskiy Vitaliy 7,5 2530
24 Ragger Markus 7,5 2521
25 Lagarde Maxime 7,5 2518
26 Abasov Nijat 7,5 2518
27 Petrosyan Manuel 7,5 2518
28 Bartel Mateusz 7,5 2502
29 Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 7,5 2496
30 Brkic Ante 7,5 2483

...317 players

The first 20 players qualify for the World Cup.




Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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