WASKO Katowice wins Polish "Extraliga"

by Keti Tsatsalashvili
9/8/2019 – The Polish Team Championship wrapped up this week with eight-time "Extraliga" champions WASKO Hetman Katowice and its star players GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek, GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda, GM David Navara, GM Bartosz, GM Monika Socko and others winning yet another title. WGM KETI TSATSALASHVILI was there. | Photo: David Llada / ekstraliga2019.pzszach.pl

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Star power prevails

The Polish team championship is a ten team round-robin tournament held in Silesian region of Poland from August 28th to September 5th. Arsenal Palace Hotel in Chorzow hosted the first five rounds, then the tournament moved for the last four rounds to the beautiful office building of Silesian Voivodeship (the regional government) in Katowice.

Each team consisted of six players, including a mandatory female board. The time control was 90 minutes for 40 moves then 30 minutes to the end of the game, with a 30-second increment from move one.

The favourites, WASKO Hetman Katowice, won the title, after scoring eight match wins and giving up only one draw.

closing ceremony

The closing ceremony | Photo: Keti Tsatsalashvili

Katowice "city of chess" hosted the World University Chess Championship 2014, European Blitz and Rapid chess championship in 2017 and 7 editions of Polish-Hungarian friendship chess tournament.

The Red carpet was followed by Gala dinner with all players, city officials, sponsors, and local artists were invited for the opening ceremony. As a show of the support from the local community, the Mayor of city Katowice, Marcin Krupa, visited the Polish Extraliaga multiple times. He made the ceremonial move (1.c4) on the game between GM Monika Socko and WGM Jolanta Zawadzka.

Mayor first move

Mayor Krupa playing the first move for GM Socko

The event was organized by local team WASKO Hetman Katowice and was supported by Coca-Cola Polska as a part of a cooperation agreement with FIDE; other main sponsors were WASKO, COIG and MOKATE.

The winning team, WASKO Hetman Katowice, gave up only one draw to the team of Wieża Pęgów in round eight, largely thanks to GM Wojciech Moranda's upset win — with the black pieces — against GM David Navara. 


Navara is on the attack but Moranda shuts it down with 26...e4! And it's White's kingside, with its weak point at h2 that is suddenly exposed! Black missed some key moves but eventually converted to a pawn-up rook endgame with a win in 62 moves.

Navara can certainly be an aggressive attacker when he wants to, as GM Daniel King recently explored in his Power Play Show, featuring another game from Katowice:

"VOTUM SA Polonia Wrocław" with GM Harikrishna Panpala (IND), GM Mateusz Bartel fought until the last rounds for the gold. In the most critical match in seventh round, they were defeated by WASKO Hetman Katowice by a score of 2½:3½.

VOTUM SA Polonia Wrocław

"VOTUM SA Polonia Wrocław" | Photo: Keti Tsatsalashvili

GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda (2730) played four games, winning two and drawing two, for the winning team. The vital victory against his national teammate Mateusz Bartel was decisive for WASKO Hetman Katowice in round seven.



Duda gets set for action | Photo: David Llada


GM Mateusz Bartel (2612) played for "VOTUM SA Polonia Wrocław" and scored 6½/9 | Photo: David Llada


Indian number 2 player GM Pantela Harikrishna (2738) had fantastic performance on the 1st board; he scored 5½ out of 7 games | Photo: Przemek Nikiel



Czech number 1  GM David Navara (2724) a member of champion team “WASKO Hetman Katowice” | Photo: David Llada


German GM  Niclas Huschenbeth (2620) played on the 1st board for “KSz Silesia Racibórz” | Photo: David Llada

Wieza Pegow

The bronze medal winner "Wieża Pęgów" was the only team which was capable of drawing against leader team | Photo: Przemek Nikiel

FM Antoni Szustakowski (2256) (right on the photo) achieved his IM norm in round 7, and GM norm in round 9 | Photo: Przemek Nikiel



IM Iulija Osmak (2414) from Ukraine had terrific performance and scored 5 points out of 8 | Photo: David Llada


Maria Leks

WFM Leks, Maria (2129) played for “KSz Dwie Wieże Kraków” but had a day off in round 8 and joined the live commentary team | Photo: David Llada

European Chess TV provided live broadcast on FIDE official YouTube channel with English commentary, interviews and daily reports. 

20190903 Katowice Polish Extraleague R7 006-25 Piotr an Nguyen Keti tsatsalashvili.jpg

Commentators: IM Piotr An Nguean (2409) also played one game for KSz Dwie Wieże Kraków, WGM Keti Tsatsalashvili (2372) from Georgia | Photo: David Llada

Final standings

Rank Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Round BP MP
Wasko HETMAN GKS Katowice
  3 4 5 4 9 35½ 17
VOTUM SA Polonia Wrocław
  4 5 9 34½ 16
Wieża Pęgów
3 2½/td>   2 3 3 4 9 30 11
KSz Silesia Racibórz
2 4   4 3 2 9 27 11
Akademia Szachowa Gliwice
3 2   4 5 4 3 9 29½ 10
KSz Stilon Gorzów
1 2 3 3 2   3 9 25½ 9
KSz Dwie Wieże Kraków
1 4 1   9 23 6
KSz Miedź Legnica
2 3   9 23½ 5
Baszta MOS Żnin
2   4 9 22½ 4
Biały Król Wisznia Mała
2 3 2   9 19 1

All games and commentary



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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