April 16, 2024

European Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship 2023 kicked off in Zagreb

The European Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship 2023 commenced today in Zagreb, Croatia with the Rapid event.

The Opening ceremony took place shortly before the start of the first round, with the attendance of the ECU President Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili, ECU Vice President Mr. Alojzije Jankovic, the President of the Croatian Chess Federation Mr. Ivica Brkic, FIDE Vice President Mr. Joran Aulin-Jansson, FIDE Secretary General Mr Lukasz Turlej, representative of the Croatian Government State Secretary of Ministry of Tourism and Sports Mr. Josip Pavic and other distinguished guests.

The ceremony started with the intonations of Croatian and ECU anthems.

The President of the Croatian Chess Federation Mr. Ivica Brkic addressed the guests and welcomed the players. He emphasized his gratitude to European Chess Union for entrusting the organization of the European Rapid and Blitz Championship to Croatian Chess Federation.

The ECU President Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili welcomed the participants to Zagreb, stressing that Croatia is one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. He thanked the Croatian Chess Federation for organizing the event on the highest level and officially declared the event open.

The ECU Vice President and the Secretary General of the Croatian Chess Federation Mr. Alojzije Jankovic then took the floor and thanked players and guests for coming. He also thanked the Croatian Government for supporting the organization of the European Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship 2023. Jankovic emphasized that the Croatian Chess Federation aims to host more European chess events in the future and invited the players to come to the European Amateur Chess Championship 2024 which will take place in August on the island of Losinj, Croatia.

The participants and guests then watched the video welcoming message from the Croatian successful sportsmen who explained their connection to chess and wished everyone a nice stay in Zagreb.

The State Secretary of the Croatian Ministry of Tourism and Sports Mr. Josip Pavic expressed his joy that Zagreb hosts a European chess event that gathers 700 participants. “Let the best player win”, added Pavic after wishing good luck to all the players.

The European Rapid Chess Championship 2023 officially started after Mr. Josip Pavic played the first ceremonial move in the top board game between GM David Navara and Alexandros Rigopoulos-Tsigkos.

The busy schedule of the first day featured six rounds of the European Rapid Chess Championship 2023. GM Haik Martirosyan (ARM, 2634 Rapid rtg) emerged as the sole leader of the event scoring perfect 6/6 points! He is followed by GM Rauf Mamedov (AZE, 2622 Rapid rtg), GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac (ROU, 2623 Rapid rtg), GM Alexey Sarana (SRB, 2649 Rapid rtg) and IM Novak Cabarkapa (SRB, 2491 Rapid rtg) follow with the score of 5.5 points.

GM Haik Martirosyan (ARM) in the sole lead with perfect score 6/6

Day 1 video recap:

The event continues tomorrow at 11:00 CET with the 7th round. The top-board pairings are:

  1. GM Alexey Sarana (SRB, 2649) vs GM Haik Martirosyan (ARM, 2634)
  2. GM Rauf Mamedov (AZE, 2622) vs GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac (ROU, 2623)
  3. GM Ivan Saric (CRO, 2623) vs IM Novak Cabarkapa (SRB, 2941)
  4. GM Denis Kadric (BIH, 2502) vs GM Etienne Bacrot (FRA, 2674)
  5. GM Laurent Fressinet (FRA, 2652) vs GM Nikita Petrov (MNE, 2509)

Pairings, results & rankings

Live broadcast with commentaries by GM Alojzije Jankovic and Dragana Nikolovska can be followed through the ECU YouTube channel.

Rich photo gallery of the European Rapid Chess Championship 2023 – Day 1 can be found on the official Facebook page of the event.