Tenth European Individual Chess Championship in Budva

by ChessBase
3/13/2009 – The Mediterranean coastal town in Montenegro is just a stone's throw away from the venue of the Fischer-Spassky revenge match of 1992. The eleven-round Swiss event with 306 players has a prize fund of 120,000 Euros, with 22 places in the next World Cup at stake. After seven rounds Ukrainian GM Andrei Volokitin is in the sole lead. A 12-year-old is doing fine too. Big illustrated report.

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10th European Individual Chess Championship
in Budva, Montenegro, March 5-19th, 2009

This tournament is being organised by the Montenegro Chess Federation, the City of Budva and the European Chess Union. It is taking place in Budva, Montenegro, in the Congress Hall of the “Splendid Spa & Resort Hotel”. The event is an 11-round Swiss, with a playing rate of 90 minutes for 40 moves, then 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one.

The total prize fund of the Individual European Championship is 120,000 Euros. First prize is € 15,000, second is € 12,000, third € 10,000 up to 25th prize, which is € 1,000. According to Montenegro law all prizes are taxable (maximum 10%). The first 22 players will in addition qualify for the World Cup.

Budva, Montenegro

Budva is a coastal town in Montenegro, well known for its sandy beaches, diverse nightlife, and beautiful examples of Mediterranean architecture. Budva is 2,500 years old, which makes it one of the oldest settlements on the Adriatic sea coast. The woodcut on the right shows the old town in 1615. Today its population is around 15,000.

Budva has become popular amongst European tourists because of its beaches and its Mediterranean climate, with warm summers and mild winters. The area enjoys 230 sunny days in a year, and Budva claims to be among the warmest Mediterranean towns with an average temperature of 8°C in January and 27.9°C in July. The temperature of the sea reaches up to 24.7°C in the summer months, while it keeps between 18°C and 19°C in the autumn. We assume that the bravest of the players in the European Championship will be taking dips in the Mediterranean Sea.

You may be interested to know that the town is located just a few miles from Sveti Stefan, where Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky played their return match in 1992.

The venetian walls of Budva as depicted in a 1900 postcard

Budva today [photo Bratislav Tabaš]

The Hotel Splendid Conference & SPA Center, where the Championship is being held

Is the sea still too cold? The indoor pool area of Hotel Splendid is a fine alternative

Round seven of the tournament saw an important victory by Andrei Volokitin over the previous leader Ernesto Inarkiev of Russia. That put the Ukrainian GM into first place with 6.0/7 points, followed by nine players with 5.5 points each. Behind them is a group of 23 players with 5.0 points.

Top standings after seven rounds (5.0/7 and higher)

#   Player Pts Nat. Rtng Perf
1 GM Volokitin Andrei UKR 2671 6.0 2848
2 GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2656 5.5 2802
3 GM Sjugirov Sanan RUS 2562 5.5 2821
4 GM Meier Georg GER 2608 5.5 2802
5 GM Bocharov Dmitry RUS 2647 5.5 2768
6 GM Sokolov Ivan NED 2657 5.5 2790
7 GM Navara David CZE 2638 5.5 2746
8 GM Jobava Baadur GEO 2669 5.5 2778
9 GM Grachev Boris RUS 2655 5.5 2732
10 GM Papaioannou I. GRE 2609 5.5 2776
11 GM Naiditsch Arkadij GER 2693 5.0 2722
12 GM Banikas Hristos GRE 2582 5.0 2742
13 GM Bartel Mateusz POL 2594 5.0 2711
14 FM Rasulov Vugar AZE 2391 5.0 2742
15 GM Cheparinov Ivan BUL 2679 5.0 2696
16 GM Kobalia Mikhail RUS 2634 5.0 2733
17 GM Shomoev Anton RUS 2567 5.0 2715
18 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2664 5.0 2680
19 GM Guseinov Gadir AZE 2661 5.0 2688
20 GM Areshchenko Alex. UKR 2673 5.0 2667
21 GM Mamedov Rauf AZE 2638 5.0 2699
22 GM Mikhalevski Victor ISR 2608 5.0 2665
23 GM Timofeev Artyom RUS 2671 5.0 2727
24 GM Iljushin Alexei RUS 2564 5.0 2712
25 GM Kovacevic Aleksandar SRB 2543 5.0 2720
26 GM Malakhov Vladimir RUS 2692 5.0 2698
27 GM Popov Valerij RUS 2561 5.0 2704
28 GM Riazantsev Alexander RUS 2634 5.0 2680
29 GM Fressinet Laurent FRA 2666 5.0 2688
30 GM Wojtaszek Radoslaw POL 2608 5.0 2624
31 GM Nyback Tomi FIN 2644 5.0 2682
32 IM Chirila Ioan-Cristian ROU 2485 5.0 2619
33 GM Lysyj Igor RUS 2620 5.0 2635

A scene from the opening ceremony in of the European Championship in Budva

The playing hall in the Splendid Hotel

Historical pictures decorate the walls of the playing venue

An arial view of the action

Can you identify the spectator in this picture?

Did anyone ever claim that chess was a easy game?

Analysis after the game

Andrei Volokitin at the start of his sixth round game

A familiar face and old friend: Dutch chess legend Jan Timman

12-year-old Ukrainian IM Illya Nyzhnyk, rated 2503, one of the stars of the event.

In April 2008 Nyzhnyk scored his first GM norm, in September, at the age of 12, he won the European Youth Chess Championship for under 16. In December 2008 he finished 12th in the Ukrainian championship, with a performance rating of 2594, barely under the 2600 performance required for another GM norm. Take a look at what he did, with the black pieces, to a 2621 GM in round four in Budva:

Pashikian,A (2621) - Nyzhnyk,I (2504) [D27]
10th EICC Budva MNE (4), 09.03.2009
1.Nf3 d5 2.d4 Nf6 3.c4 dxc4 4.e3 e6 5.Bxc4 c5 6.0-0 a6 7.dxc5 Qxd1 8.Rxd1 Bxc5 9.Be2 Nbd7 10.Nbd2 b6 11.Nb3 Be7 12.Nfd4 Bb7 13.f3 Rc8 14.Bd2 0-0 15.Rac1 Rfd8 16.Kf2 Bf8 17.e4 Nc5 18.Nxc5 Bxc5 19.Be3 Ne8 20.a3

Rxd4 21.Rxc5 bxc5 22.Bxd4 cxd4 23.Rxd4 Rc6 24.b4 Kf8 25.e5 Ke7 26.b5 axb5 27.Bxb5 Rc2+ 28.Ke3 Bd5 29.Rd2 Rc3+ 30.Rd3 Rc5 31.a4 Nc7 0-1.

Photos by Nebojsa Baralic


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