Juni 13, 2024

European Team Chess Championship 2023 officially opened in Budva, Montenegro

The 2023 European Team Chess Championship was officially opened yesterday evening. The Opening ceremony took place in Hotel Splendid, the official hotel and the playing venue of the tournament.

The ceremony was inaugurated with the intonations of the ECU and Montenegro anthems. The President of the Chess Federation of Montenegro Mr. Jovan Milovic then took the floor and welcomed the players and distinguished guests. “I am very proud that we organize the European Team Chess Championship two months before the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Chess Federation of Montenegro. This is the best gift of all: chess players, chess enthusiasts and friends of chess, Montenegro”, said Milovic.

The President of the European Chess Union Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili addressed the players and guests and expressed his gratitude to the Montenegro Chess Federation for hospitality. “I believe that Montenegro is becoming the number one chess destination in Europe. I would like to praise the overall work of the current leadership of the Chess Federation of Montenegro, as well as their efforts regarding the Chess in School projects”, emphasized Azmaiparashvili.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Youth and Sports of Montenegro, Mr. Dragoslav Scekic wished the competitors a nice stay in Montenegro. “I would like to thank the European Chess Union for entrusting our country the organization of one of the biggest European chess events. I admire their work and believe we will have a successful cooperation”, said Scekic.

The Opening ceremony was enriched with musical performances and a short historical movie about the development of chess in Montenegro.

World No1 Magnus Carlsen attended the opening ceremony of the event and kindly accepted to pose for photos with fans.

The Technical meeting took place after the opening ceremony, with the attendance of the team captains. The Chief Arbiter of the event Nenad Doric addressed the captains and introduced them to the tournament rules together with his colleagues: Fair Play Officer Tania Karali and Deputy Chief Arbiter Igor Vujacic.

70 teams from 39 European federations will participate in the event, with 38 teams in the Open section, and 32 teams in the Women’s event. Azerbaijan (Rtg average 2701) headlines the Open tournament, and Georgia (Rtg average 2471) is the top seed of the Women’s event.

Top European players will represent their federations at the championship including the World No1 GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2829), GM Richard Rapport (ROU, 2748), GM Teimour Radjabov (AZE, 2745), GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE, 2734), GM Vincent Keymer (GER, 2721), and  GM Alexandra Kosteniuk (SUI, 2526), GM Bella Khotenashvili (GEO, 2488), GM Nino Batsiashvili (GEO, 2487), GM Elisabeth Paehtz (GER, 2473), and WGM Dinara Wagner (GER, 2467) in Women’s section.

The first round starts tomorrow at 15:00 CET, and live broadcast with commentaries by GM Alojzije Jankovic and Dragana Nikolovska can be followed through the ECU YouTube channel.

Photos by Mark Livshitz and ECU Press