Four rounds have been already played at the European Team Chess Championship 2023 and there is a three-way tie for the top of both Open and Women’s events.
No team remained perfect in the tournament, and Germany, Armenia and Poland score 7 match points (each) to share the top of the Open section, while France, Azerbaijan and Germany lead the Women’s championship with the same score.
The top-board match of the Open section between 3rd-seeded Germany and 11th-seeded Poland finished in a tie after four draws. GM Vincent Keymer (GER, 2721) had a decisive advantage against GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek (POL, 2668), but he missed his chances and the game transposed into a dead draw endgame. GM Rasmus Svane (GER, 2647) and GM Matthias Bluebaum (GER, 2670) had pretty solid games against GM Pawel Teclaf (POL, 2571) and GM Mateusz Bartel (POL, 2651) and signed draws around the 30th move. On the last board, GM Dmitrij Kollars (GER, 2642) hold a slightly worse position against GM Szymon Gumularz (POL, 2580) and the match finished with the final result of 2-2.
Armenia was convincing against Israel and won the match with the score of 3-1 to join the lead. GM Haik Martirosyan (ARM, 2708) scored against GM Maxim Rodshtein (ISR, 2582), and GM Hrant Melkumyan (ARM, 2650) earned a full point against GM Ori Kobo (ISR, 2556). GM Shant Sargsyan (ARM, 2625) and GM Tamir Nabaty (ISR, 2632) agreed to a draw in a very equal position, while GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (ARM, 2618) played until the bare kings against GM Ilia Smirin (ISR, 2578), missing his chances to get the better result.
Exciting games marked the other top matches of the Open section and a few finished with surprising results. Azerbaijan suffered their second loss in the tournament, narrowly losing to Croatia. Netherlands and the 2nd-seeded Romania finished the match in a tie after four draws, Greece defeated better rated Spain, while Italy won their match against favored France.
World No1 Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2829) scored his third tournament victory after defeating IM Toivo Keinanen (FIN, 2527), and the team of Norway won the match with a huge 3.5-0.5 score.
It was a real thriller on the top board of the Women’s section in the match between Azerbaijan and France, which eventually finished with a tied 2-2 score. IM Gunay Mammadzada (AZE, 2441) had a slightly worse position after the opening, but her opponent IM Deimante Daulyte-Cornette (FRA, 2369) missed the plan to improve her position. Mammadzada got clear advantage and never let go, eventually scoring a point for Azerbaijan. WGM Govhar Beydullayeva (AZE, 2383) missed the continuation for the decisive advantage against IM Sophie Milliet (FRA, 2375) and the game finished with a threefold repetition shortly after. WGM Mitra Hejazipour (FRA, 2323) defeated IM Khanim Balajayeva (AZE, 2328) after outplaying her from the early opening, while IM Pauline Guichard (FRA, 2347) missed dozens of chances to win her game and needed to sign a draw with IM Gulnar Mammadova (AZE, 2350).
The team of Germany narrowly defeated Hungary to score 7 match points and to tie for the top with Azerbaijan and France. GM Elisabeth Paehtz (GER, 2473) was victorious against GM Thanh Trang Hoang (HUN, 2393), while WGM Josefine Heinemann (GER, 2318) took a point against WIM Zsoka Gaal (HUN, 2304). WIM Julianna Terbe (HUN, 2269) scored for Hungary defeating WGM Jana Schneider (GER, 2265) but the game on the third board between WGM Hanna Marie Klek (GER, 2282) and WGM Petra Papp (HUN, 2283) finished in a draw and the match concluded with no match points for Hungary.
The other matches saw some upsets, as top-seeded Georgia played 2-2 against Netherlands, Serbia defeated better rated Poland, while England shared the match points with Israel.
Round 4 video-recap:
The fifth round is scheduled for 15:00 CET today, and features exciting matches.
The top board pairings of the Open section:
- Armenia (Rtg average 2667) vs Germany (Rtg average 2676)
- Moldova (Rtg average 2530) vs Norway* (Rtg average 2633)
- Azerbaijan (Rtg average 2701) vs Montenegro* (Rtg average 2536)
- Romania (Rtg average 2676) vs Poland (Rtg average 2618)
- England (Rtg average 2671) vs Greece (Rtg average 2590)
The top board pairings of the Women’s section:
- Azerbaijan (Rtg average 2392) vs Germany (Rtg average 2385)
- Armenia (Rtg average 2352) vs France (Rtg average 2357)
- Bulgaria (Rtg average 2362) vs Serbia (Rtg average 2280)
- Hungary (Rtg average 2312) vs Georgia (Rtg average 2471)
- Greece (Rtg average 2239) vs Ukraine (Rtg average 2365)
Live broadcast with commentaries by GM Alojzije Jankovic and Dragana Nikolovska can be followed through the ECU YouTube channel.
Photos by Mark Livshitz