Wojtaszek and Socko win Polish Championships

by Johannes Fischer
4/7/2016 – Radoslaw Wojtaszek and Monika Socko were the rating favorites at the Polish Championships in Poznan and they both lived up to their roles. Wojtaszek won the "Lotto Men's Championship" with 6.5/9, half a point ahead of Kacper Piorun. Monika Socko won the "Budimex Women's Championship" with 7.0/9, a full point ahead of her closest rival Jolanta Zawadzka.

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Lotto Men's Championship

The Polish Championship took place from 29th March to 7th April and was a ten player round-robin tournament. Round eight, the penultimate one, turned out to be crucial. Before the round, top seed Radoslaw Wojtaszek had 5.0/7 and was half a point ahead of the field. In round eight he defended his lead by beating Marcel Kanarek with Black - and with entertaining play.


Radowlas Wojtaszek, Polish Champion 2016

Half a point behind Wojtaszek followed Kacper Piorun and Jan-Krzystzof Duda with 4.5/7. They both had hopes to finish on second place (with dreams of becoming first) which would help them to a guaranteed spot on the Polish national team in the Olympiad in Baku later this year. They played each other in round eight and in this important game Piorun showed how valuable good preparation can be.


Well prepared: Kacper Piorun

As chance would have it Wojtaszek and Piorun now faced each other in the final round and both were happy with a quick draw. For Wojtaszek a draw was enough to become Polish Champion 2016 and for Piorun a draw was enough to win silver and gain a spot on the national team.

With 5.5/9 Mateusz Bartel shared third and fourth place
with Jan-Krzysztof Duda but had the better tie-break.

Jan-Krzyzstof Duda

Final standings



Budimex Women's Championship

Monika Socko

In the women's tournament Monika Socko was top seed and clear favorite. She indeed dominated the tournament from beginning to end and before the ninth and final round she was first with 6.5/8, one point ahead of Jolanta Zawadska. However, these two were to play in the final round and with a win Zawadzka would catch up to Socko. Zawadzka tried hard to gain an advantage but could not overcome Socko's solide defense and after 57 moves had to agree to a draw. Thus, Socko finished first with 7.0/9 (six wins, two draws, one loss). while Jolanta Zawadzka won silver with 6.0/9. Bronze went to Iweta Rajlich who scored 5.0/9.

Final standings



Pictures: Polish Chess Federation

Official website...

Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".


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