Artemiev Wins European Chess Championship
Vladislav Artemiev is the new European Champion. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

Artemiev Wins European Chess Championship

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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15 | Chess Event Coverage

After winning in Gibraltar, Vladislav Artemiev scored his second big victory of the year at the European Individual Chess Championship in Skopje, North Macedonia. The Russian GM edged out Nils Grandelius on tiebreak after both finished on 8.5/11. Both earned €17,500.

We left the tournament after five rounds, when the players enjoyed a rest day. Six more rounds were played, with the last round on Friday.

Artemiev played his tournament in solid Russian style, winning all his white games and drawing his black games (except for the first round, when he beat his opponent as Black). All these white games were highly interesting.

First, round six, against one of his compatriots from the same generation, 20-year-old David Paravyan. What a wonderful battle, not without mistakes but with great fighting spirit from both sides.

Two days later Artemiev got the opportunity to play a combination that will reach magazines and books for sure. His opponent was the experienced Czech grandmaster Zbynek Hracek.

Can you calculate all the lines?

Also in the penultimate round Artemiev faced a rising star from his own country, 17-year-old Andrey Esipenko. With what seemed to be a deeper knowledge of this particular line of the Fianchetto Gruenfeld, the winner played a rather smooth game here:

Artemiev Esipenko European Championship. | Photo: Patricia Claros/EICC2019.
Artemiev vs Esipenko. | Photo: Patricia Claros/EICC2019.

Two days before Esipenko had beaten former world championship contender Boris Gelfand, an opponent 33 years older than himself. Gelfand returned to playing the Sveshnikov in his match with Vishy Anand in 2012, and it was interesting to see how he dealt with Fabiano Caruana's line 7.Nd5. Black never fully equalized, it seems:

Nils Grandelius played a great tournament as well and finished on the same number of points as Artemiev, with only one loss. Sergei Azarov managed to outwit him in a sharp and theoretical Najdorf:

The next day Grandelius was on the winning side of another theoretical Najdorf, against rising star Vincent Keymer of Germany, who will make his debut in a super tournament next month at Grenke.

Vincent Keymer chess
Vincent Keymer. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/Chess.com.

In the final round Grandelius caught Artemiev with this win:

There were many more interesting games played in this tournament with 361 players from 42 federations, including 143 grandmasters. Here's a few more nice ones.

Miguel Santos should have known better perhaps when he entered the sharp complications of a French game, against the known theoretician Romain Edouard. The latter found a nice finish for his overwhelming attack:

In the same round we saw the interesting endgame BB vs N in the game between 17-year-old Polish IM Szymon Gumularz and 27-year-old Armenian grandmaster Robert Hovhannisyan. From the start it was a forced mate in 36, but in the game it went a bit faster. 

Somewhere in the middle of the playing hall, in a rather anonymous corner, a small drama took place for Belarusian GM Sergei Zhigalko in round eight. His opponent, IM Petro Golubka of Ukraine, decided to postpone his resignation a few moves, until he suddenly escaped.

It has been reported that Zhigalko's head and the wall of his hotel room had a rendez-vous that night.

It was good to see another Russian rising star of the other gender also participating: Aleksandra Goryachkina. (The European Championship for women starts April 10 in Antalya, Turkey.) 27 more female players participated, but the Goryachkina was the only one to finish in the top 100.

Her biggest win was in round eight. Rauf Mamedov's only victory in this game was to trade the dark-squared bishops, but it didn't bring him much relief:

On Thursday one of the top boards saw a fascinating dance of four knights between Nils Grandelius and David Anton. Why the Swedish GM missed the chance to draw with a lone king against two horsies remains a mystery.

Anton Grandelius European Championship 2019
Grandelius vs Anton. | Photo: Patricia Claros/EICC2019.

Below are the final standings and the (unofficial) qualifiers for the World Cup according to Chess.com's calculations.

2019 European Championship | Final Standings (Top 30)

Rk. SNo FED Title Name Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 rtg+/-
1 1 GM Artemiev Vladislav 2736 8,5 2600 70,0 76,0 8,5
2 9 GM Grandelius Nils* 2694 8,5 2595 71,5 77,5 13,5
3 37 GM Piorun Kacper 2631 8,0 2626 72,5 77,0 21,5
4 13 GM Rodshtein Maxim 2673 8,0 2622 69,5 74,5 15,0
5 16 GM Berkes Ferenc 2666 8,0 2595 67,5 72,5 12,2
6 28 GM Anton Guijarro David* 2643 8,0 2577 67,0 72,5 13,1
7 14 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter 2670 8,0 2569 67,0 71,0 8,5
8 41 GM Movsesian Sergei 2627 8,0 2539 62,5 68,0 10,3
9 76 GM Huschenbeth Niclas 2594 8,0 2531 62,0 67,0 13,6
10 58 GM Oparin Grigoriy 2613 8,0 2528 62,5 67,0 10,6
11 18 GM Safarli Eltaj* 2662 8,0 2515 62,5 67,5 2,8
12 110 GM Christiansen Johan-Sebastian 2539 7,5 2619 68,5 71,5 27,2
13 91 GM Aleksandrov Aleksej 2574 7,5 2604 70,0 74,5 20,5
14 11 GM Cheparinov Ivan* 2683 7,5 2603 69,0 74,0 5,8
15 186 IM Pultinevicius Paulius 2439 7,5 2600 62,0 66,5 38,1
16 69 GM Esipenko Andrey 2603 7,5 2591 70,0 74,5 15,4
17 79 GM Petrov Nikita 2591 7,5 2586 65,0 69,0 16,1
18 23 GM Gelfand Boris 2655 7,5 2585 66,5 71,5 7,3
19 38 GM Gledura Benjamin 2630 7,5 2583 68,5 74,0 10,6
20 63 GM Predke Alexandr 2611 7,5 2581 68,0 73,0 13,0
21 39 GM Rakhmanov Aleksandr 2629 7,5 2580 67,0 72,5 10,3
22 73 GM Bartel Mateusz 2600 7,5 2576 67,0 71,5 14,0
23 3 GM Dubov Daniil 2703 7,5 2569 67,0 71,5 -1,9
24 32 GM Lysyj Igor 2635 7,5 2564 68,0 73,5 7,4
25 15 GM Ponomariov Ruslan 2667 7,5 2562 65,5 70,5 2,8
26 61 GM Lupulescu Constantin 2611 7,5 2558 66,5 71,5 9,8
27 30 GM Alekseev Evgeny 2640 7,5 2556 65,5 70,0 5,5
28 29 GM Zvjaginsev Vadim 2642 7,5 2554 68,0 73,5 5,1
29 8 GM Ragger Markus 2696 7,5 2552 65,5 71,0 -2,4
30 27 GM Kuzubov Yuriy 2644 7,5 2538 63,5 68,5 2,7

(Full final standings here.)
*Already qualified for World Cup last year

The European Individual Championship was held for the 20th time this year. It was an 11-round Swiss held March 18-29 in Skopje, North Macedonia. It was organised by the government of North Macedonia together with the Agency for Youth and Sport and the North Macedonia Chess Federation under the auspices of the European Chess Union.

Games via TWIC.


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