Double gold for Germany at the Mitropa Cup

by André Schulz
2/23/2024 – As expected after the penultimate round, the German teams obtained a double victory at the Mitropa Cup and the Women’s Mitropa Cup. Germany competed with almost all of their best players and had a successful dress rehearsal for the upcoming Chess Olympiad in Budapest in September. | Photos: Frank Hoppe, Katharina Reinecke (German Chess Federation)

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Going for gold

The German Chess Federation celebrated a double victory at the Mitropa Cup 2024. As the host country, the federation organised the team event in Apolda, Central Thuringia. Ten teams from the extended Central European region took part in the open competition and the women’s tournament.

With its line-ups, the sports management of the German Chess Federation aimed to win both tournaments. Many associations, including the German Chess Federation in the past, have used and continue to use the Mitropa Cup as a training ground for young players. However, some countries throughout the years have opted to use their top players, especially when they have hosted the event.

The German Chess Federation took the tournament very seriously and entered the open competition almost with its entire national team. The only exception was the absence of number one Vincent Keymer, who was playing at the Freestyle G.O.A.T. Challenge in Weissenhaus. In the women’s competition, the two highest-rated players were missing, Elisabeth Paehtz and Dinara Wagner.

With the Chess Olympiad coming up in Budapest in September, it made sense to use the Mitropa Cup as a dress rehearsal for the big team tournament. Two years ago, the German teams fell somewhat short of expectations.

Both German teams lived up to their role as favourites and secured a start-to-finish victory. The German men, who were ranked first to fifth in the starting rank, won all of their matches in style and finished in first place with a 4-point team lead.

The last day of action, which began in the morning, saw plenty of hard-fought encounters. The German grandmasters defeated the Czech Republic 2½-1½ in the open competition. Alexander Donchenko lost his game against Richard Stallmach — in fact, a German player lost a game in almost every round — but Dmitij Kollars and Frederik Svane put their team in the lead. Rasmus Svane contributed a draw on the top board.

With 6 wins in 7 games, Dmitrij Kollars was the best German player with an Tournament Performance Rating of over 2700.

Switzerland was hot on the heels of the German team throughout the tournament and only let up towards the end. The Swiss finished second, ahead of the Czech Republic with 14 points.

The German women also finished the tournament with a victory. Jana Schneider and Kateryna Dolzhykova won their games. Josefine Heinemann and Hanna Marie Klek drew to get the final 3-1 victory. The German women’s team needed a little more patience and time to pull away at the top. For a long time, France and Switzerland were on an equal footing as the locals. Like the men, the women also remained undefeated and only conceded two draws in between. The team’s best player was Lara Schulze with 6 out of 7 and a TPR of over 2400.

France won silver ahead of Switzerland.

Kollars (Germany) 1 - 0 Lavrencic (Slovenia)

Analysis by André Schulz

Final standings - Open

Rg. Snr Team Anz   +    =    -   Wtg1   Wtg2   Wtg3 
1 Germany 18
2 Switzerland 14
3 Czech Republic 12
4 Italy 9
5 Slovenia 8
6 Slovakia 8
7 France 7
8 Hungary 6
9 Austria 6
10 Croatia 2

All games - Open

Final standings - Women’s

Rg. Snr Team Anz   +    =    -   Wtg1   Wtg2   Wtg3 
1 Germany 16
2 France 14
3 Switzerland 12
4 Italy 11
5 Slovenia 11
6 Hungary 9
7 Croatia 5
Austria 5
9 Czech Republic 4
10 Slovakia 3

All games - Women’s


André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.