Elena Tomilova wins the 18th Mediterranean Flower

by Keti Tsatsalashvili
4/5/2018 – The Mediterranean Flower was a closed WGM tournament held from Feb 24th to March 3rd, 2018. The 10-player round-robin attracted players from six countries and was won by Russian WIM Elena Tomilova. Besides winning the tournament, Tomilova also scored her second WGM norm. Strong performances were also recorded by lower seeds like Patricija Vujnovic and Petra Kejza. WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili sends us a pictorial report. | Photo: Top three finishers (L to R): WIM Olga Prudnykova, WIM Elena Tomilova and WGM Evgeniya Doluhanova

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From Rijeka with love

The 18th edition of the Mediterranean Flower took place in Rijeka, Croatia and included players from six countries: Croatia, Georgia, Russia, Slovenia, Serbia and Ukraine. In this annual ladies event, ten female chess players were fighting for the top places. Top-seeded players WIM Elena Tomilova (RUS, 2331), WGM Evgeniya Doluhanova (UKR, 2319), WGM Keti Tsatsalshvili (GEO, 2307) and WIM Prudnykova Olga (UKR, 2282) finished as prize winners.

Port of Rijeka | Photo: Keti Tsatsalashvili

Rijeka is a port city in Croatia in the northern Adriatic Sea. It has beautiful streets with open cafes and shops. Sunny days are a treat here but due to bad luck with the weather, it was hard to catch any sunshine.

Hotel Continental, the venue of the Mediterranean Flower in Rijeka, Croatia

Players enjoyed beautiful city-side views from Hotel continental which is located between two rivers. | Photo: Keti Tsatsalashvili

Rijeka at night

Rijeka at night | Photo: Keti Tsatsalashvili

The opening ceremony of the event at the city hall of Rijeka

The opening ceremony of the event was held at the city hall of Rijeka | Photo: Keti Tsatsalashvili

At the conclusion of nine rounds, 32-year-old Russian WIM Elena Tomilova finished a full point ahead of her nearest rival to take first place with an undefeated 7½/9. Going into the final round, the race for the title was between Tomilova and the Ukrainian WGM Evgeniya Doluhanova. Tomilova was half a point ahead and took the title convincingly by winning her final game while Doluhanova could only draw. The win not only gave Tomilova the title prize but also her second WGM norm. Third place was taken by WIM Olga Prudnykova of Ukraine. 

WIM Elena Tomilova being presented her trophy by Tournament's organiser, Ivan Mandekic | Photo: Keti Tsatsalashvili

Tsatsalashvili (left) finished fourth on the leaderboard thanks in part to a win over Croatian WGM Mirjana Medic (right) | Photo: Keti Tsatsalashvili


Medic wasn't the only Croatian at the Mediterranean Flower. In fact, Croatia was well represented at the event with 40% of the participants coming from the host country, which attracted extensive coverage by the local media.

Patricija Vujnovic (rated 2089), came very close to scoring a WIM norm in the final round. Nevertheless, scoring 4½/9 was good enough for fifth place and a gain of 31.6 Elo rating points.

Petra Kejza from Slovenia (rated 2039) was another player who performed way above her rating, scoring 4.0/9, and finishing sixth with a 32 rating point gain.

Ana Berke and Ena Svitan

WIM Ana Berke and 17-year-old FM Ena Cvitan were two of four local players | Photo: Keti Tsatsalashvili

Patricija Vujnovic and Petra Kejza

Patricija Vujnovic and Petra Kejza also hail from Croatia | Photo: Keti Tsatsalashvili

Final standings

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Tomilova Elena 7,5 0,0
2 Doluhanova Evgeniya 6,5 0,0
3 Prudnykova Olga 5,5 0,0
4 Tsatsalashvili Keti 5,0 0,0
5 Vujnovic Patricija 4,5 0,0
6 Kejzar Petra 4,0 0,0
7 Berke Ana 3,5 0,0
8 Cvitan Ena 3,0 0,0
9 Velickovski-Nejkovic Maja 3,0 0,0
10 Medic Mirjana 2,5 0,0

Rijeka awaits to welcome the Mediterranean Flowers yet again next year | Photo: Keti Tsatsalashvili

Keti is a Georgian Woman Grandmaster and chess commentator. She is also a six-time medal winner at the European and World Youth Championships.


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