Efimenko and Jobava lead in Rijeka

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Efimenko and Jobava lead in RijekaZahar Efimenko (Ukraine) and Baadur Jobava (Georgia) are sharing the lead at the European Individual Championship after seven rounds of play. The two are both on 6 out of 7.

The 11th European Individual Men and Women's Chess Championship is held from 5th to 19th of March 2010 in Rijeka, in new Zamet Centre sports hall. The event is organized by chess club "Rijeka", in agreement with the Croatian Chess Federation under the auspices of the City of Rijeka and the European Chess Union. It is open to all players representing the chess federations which comprise the European Chess Union (FIDE zones 1.1 to 1.9) regardless of their title or rating. There is also no limit of participants per federation.

The championship is based on Swiss system in accordance with the ECU Tournament Rules and FIDE Rules of Chess. The rate of play is 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one. As always, the European Championship is a qualification event for the next World Cup. According to FIDE regulations and the decision of the ECU Board, 22 players will qualify.

Rounds 6-7

The four players on 4.5/5 obviously met in the sixth round on Thursday. Baadur Jobava reached a better ending which suddenly turned into an easily winning one, when his opponent exchanged a pair of knights.

Timofeev-Jobava Position after 39...Kd7Timofeev-Jobava
After 40.Ne3?! Nxe3 41.Kxe3 Bb7! the b3 pawn was just too weak, and it kept the White knight passive on c1. Black didn't even have to put his bishop on d5; the threat was enough.

After winnin a few nice White games, Nisipeanu was on the wrong side of a devastating attack in round 6. Efimenko was in a killing mood:

Efimenko-Nisipeanu Position after 15...Rd8Efimenko-Nisipeanu

White is better developed than Black, who desperately needs more space, but won't get it in this game. 16.g4! Nhf6 17.Bf4 Qb6 18.g5!? The more quiet 18.h3 also gives White a clear plus. 18...Nh5 Perhaps 18...hxg5 19.Nxg5+ Kg8 was the lesser evil, but it looks very dangerous too. 19.Ne4 Nxf4 20.Qf4 Rf8 Efimenko-Nisipeanu 22.c5! Qxb2 23.Bc4 This extra piece pointing at the opponent's kingside position decided the game.
In the women's section Monica Socko is the only player on 6/7. Today is a rest day in Rijeka. We brought the news unofficially last week already, and now according to the official website Karpov has now officially announced his candidacy for FIDE President:

Grandmaster Karpov annonced his candidacy for the president of the World Chess Federation and pointed out that he is ready to use his chess fame around the world. He said that if he became the president, his first step will be the Federation' reorganization as well as finding a major sponsors that will allow accoure more efficient FIDE activities. Karpov considers that it is necessary to remove the current negative FIDE image in the world, and that the main thing is to respect our own rules.

He note that by now he founded numerous chess schools and clubs all over the world, and than he recalled the times when he was the world's leading chess player. On the question of how to restore the old glory of chess, Karpov said that the national federations must highlight the big names of world chess so they could obtain new sponsors.

"I was at Croatia 30 years ago, and the organization of this Championship in Rijeka delighted me. The organizers provided ideal conditions for a large number of players and so I congratulate them for the excellent organization“, Karpov said.


European Championship 2010 | Round 7 Standings (top 40)
European Championship 2010 | Round 5 Standings
Full standings here



Selection of games rounds 6-7



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Efimenko

Zahar Efimenko, in shared first place, here in his round 6 game, beating Nisipeanu



Baadur Jobava, also on 6/7

Baadur Jobava, also on 6/7



Photos courtesy of the official website, more here



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