Plovdiv: Three players lead in men's and women's section

4/30/2008 – 6.5 points from eight games – that is the score shared by three grandmasters in the men's section and two grandmasters and an IM in the women's section. Emil Sutovsky, Pavel Tregubov and Sergei Movsesian lead in the former, Kateryna Lahno, Anna Ushenina and Pia Cramling in the latter. Three rounds are left in the European Individual Championships 2008. Illustrated report.

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The IX European Individual Chess Championship is taking place in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, from April 21st to May 3rd 2008, with one free day, on Monday, April 28. The tournament halls are in the Novotel Plovdiv. The championship is an 11 round Swiss, playing time is 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one. The total prize fund in the men's section is 92,200 EUR (first 15,000, 2nd 10,000, third 8,000, fourth 6,500, fifth 5,500 etc.) and in the women's section 34,500 EUR (first 6,000, second 5,000, third 4,000, fourth 3,000, fifth 2,000, etc.). According to Bulgarian law all prizes are taxable (10%).

Round eight report

After eight rounds of the European Individual Championship three players are in the lead with 6.5/8 points, followed by 14 players with 6.0 points each. Note the two youngsters in the group: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave of France, who is 17, and Fabiano Caruana of Italy, who is all of fifteen years old.


The leader Emil Sutovsky of Israel

Top standings after eight rounds (total 337 players)

1 GM Sutovsky Emil 2630 ISR 6.5
2 GM Tregubov Pavel V 2629 RUS 6.5
3 GM Movsesian Sergei 2695 SVK 6.5
4 GM Laznicka Viktor 2578 CZE 6.0
5 GM Iotov Valentin 2531 BUL 6.0
6 GM Efimenko Zahar 2660 UKR 6.0
7 GM Pantsulaia Levan 2617 GEO 6.0
8 GM Volkov Sergey 2633 RUS 6.0
9 GM Tiviakov Sergei 2634 NED 6.0
10 GM L'Ami Erwin 2600 NED 6.0
11 GM Motylev Alexander 2666 RUS 6.0
12 GM Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2632 FRA 6.0
13 GM Lupulescu Constantin 2558 ROU 6.0
14 GM Grachev Boris 2610 RUS 6.0
15 GM Damljanovic Branko 2595 SRB 6.0
16 GM Caruana Fabiano 2620 ITA 6.0
17 GM Baklan Vladimir 2647 UKR 6.0

In the women's section Ukrainian talent Kateryna Lahno, who is a full grandmaster, defeated Lithuanian IM Viktorija Cmilyte in round eight. Kateryna shares the lead with her compatriot IM Anna Ushenina and veteran Swedish grandmaster Pia Cramling. Half a point behind the trio we have four players, and then a group of 14 players with 5.5/8 points.


Leading in the women's section: Kateryna Lahno

Top standings after eight rounds (total 159 players)

1 GM Lahno Kateryna 2479 UKR 6.5
2 IM Ushenina Anna 2474 UKR 6.5
3 GM Cramling Pia 2539 SWE 6.5
4 IM Muzychuk Anna 2486 SLO 6.0
5 WGM Zhukova Natalia 2450 UKR 6.0
6 IM Dembo Yelena 2429 GRE 6.0
7 IM Skripchenko Almira 2443 FRA 6.0
8 GM Stefanova Antoaneta 2538 BUL 5.5
9 IM Cmilyte Viktorija 2466 LTU 5.5
10 IM Dzagnidze Nana 2443 GEO 5.5
11 IM Houska Jovanka 2390 ENG 5.5
12 IM Kovalevskaya Ekaterina 2421 RUS 5.5
13 IM Danielian Elina 2479 ARM 5.5
14 WGM Voiska Margarita 2339 BUL 5.5
15 IM Javakhishvili Lela 2466 GEO 5.5
16 WIM Batsiashvili Nino 2304 GEO 5.5
17 WGM Melia Salome 2413 GEO 5.5
18 WGM Pogonina Natalija 2470 RUS 5.5
19 WGM Zawadzka Jolanta 2397 POL 5.5
20 IM Gvetadze Sopio 2350 GEO 5.5
21 IM Moser Eva 2395 AUT 5.5

Impressions from Plovdiv

By Diana Mihajlova


The women's section, with WGM Anjelija Stojanovic (SRB) v Stefi Bednikova (BUL)


WFM Margarida Coimbra (POR) v Marie Boyarchenko (LUX)


WGM Nelly Aginian (ARM) v IM Eva Repkova (SVK)


The hall is empty, the last two pairs remain: IM Ekaterina Atalik (TUR) vs IM Elina Danielian (ARM); back row left GM Hoang Thanh Trang (HUN)


GM Carlsson Pontus (SWE) and IM Dejan Bojkov (BUL)


Mystery solved. Our sleeping companion in the mini bus (see report one) was GM Cao Sang (HUN). He is from Vietnam but has been living in Budapest for many years. He took my sneaky photo with good humour.

Levon Ovanezov, the chess benefactor from Varna, visits the Championship in Plovdiv as a guest of honour. A player in his own right who has reached the level of a candidate master, later an international arbiter, today, at 81 years of age, Levon dedicates his time, work and his entire house to chess. For more then 35 years his house has been an open "chess home", a club where, apart from daily friendly meetings and games, there are rapid and blitz tournaments, held twice monthly. No membership or entry fees apply. All is free. But neither are there prizes –- only moral victory. Veselin Topalov is a honorary member and he presented the club with an electronic digital clock.

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