European Individual starts today

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
European ChToday the first round of the European Individual Men and Women's Chess Championship will be played. In Rijeka (Croatia), Almasi, Bacrot and Movsesian are the top seeds. In the women's section the favourites are Antoaneta Stefanova, Nadezhda Kosintseva and Anna Muzychuk.

The 11th European Individual Men and Women's Chess Championship will be held from 5th to 19th of March 2010 in Rijeka, in new sports hall „Center Zamet“.

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 will be based on Swiss system in accordance with the ECU Tournament Rules and FIDE Rules of Chess. The playing time will be 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.

Yesterday the opening ceremony was held at the Sports Centre Zamet in Rijeka. From the organizers' press release:

The Championship was officially opened with the symbolic first move by Rijeka's Mayor Vojko Obersnel who pointed out that the City of Rijeka, the neighbouring City of Opatija and the entire Region shall live the next two weeks in the rhythm of this Championship. He also said that the hosts can not wait to show their hospitality to all the chess enthusiasts. Obersnel wished good luck and a lot of success to all the players, wishing that this event will be unforgettable for them.

A warm welcome was also offered by the Executive Committee President Damir Vrhovnik who said that it is a special pleasure to host 590 chess players coming from 41 different European countries, among whom there are 246 grandmasters, and that this confirms that this Championship in Rijeka is the strongest male and female chess championship ever held in the organization of the European Chess Union. “I believe that this chess spectacle, along with invested efforts and our wish for its best possible organization will position Rijeka and Croatia on the European chess map”, Vrhovnik concluded.

Representing Croatian Chess Federation, its president Stjepan Šurlan greeted the guests and pointed out how this Championship is a great honour for Rijeka, as well as for the Federation, which is proud of its rich tradition and organization of chess competitions.

The President of European Chess Federation, Boris Kutin, pointed out that there is no need to be a chess expert to understand that in this moment Rijeka is the capital of the chess world. “I wish everyone a pleasant stay, good luck and success, but also to enjoy the competition“, Kutin said.

A musical introduction to the typical local atmospehere of the city and the region that hosts this competition was given by a fenale capella group singers Klapa Luka, and at the end, the ceremony was closed by the dance group Flash Dance Unit.

Today the 1st round starts at 15.30 PM. Live games here.


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