European Women’s Championship awarded to Tbilisi

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European Women’s Championship awarded to TbilisiThe European Chess Union (ECU) has awarded the European Women’s Championship to Tbilisi, Georgia. This was announced yesterday in the ECU newsletter. The decision is a big blow for the Turkish Chess Federation, who were intending to make history by, for the first time ever, providing a larger prize fund than at the Men's Championship.

Below is the announcement from the ECU newsletter #18, which was distributed on Monday:

EUROPEAN WOMEN’S INDIVIDUAL CHESS CHAMPIONSHIP 2011 IN TBILISI (GEORGIA) The ECU Office received three offers for the organization of the European Individual Women's Championship 2011 by the application deadline. The offer from Italy was not approved by the Italian Chess federation, so it was not taken into account.

The remaining two offers were from the Georgian Chess Federation (Tbilisi) and the Turkish Chess Federation (Gaziantep).

The President of the European Chess Union, Mr. Silvio Danailov, decided that the Championship would be held in Tbilisi. The competition will take place in "Sheraton Metechi Palace 5*" Hotel, May 6-19.

The prize money will be in the amount of 110,000€ (88,000€ for the players and 22,000€ for the ECU).

This news comes shortly after our previous report on the matter of last Friday. Then, we pointed out that FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov had urged Silvio Danailov to accept the bid of the Turkish Chess Federation:

For the first time in history, there have been offered prizes for the women’s championship, which are higher than the open championship and an agreement had been made for two years with these high prizes.

The Turkish bid included a prize fund of 140,000 Euro for the European Women Individual Chess Championship. Besides, the President of the Turkish Chess Federation, Ali Nihaz Yazici, had expressed his plans to simultaneously organize the European Women's Rapid and Blitz Championships. Both would have a 10,000 Euro prize fund. All in all the TCF was offering 160,000 Euro.

Already in the interview which we published last Thursday it became clear that Danailov recently flew to Tbilisi to speak about the Georgian bid. Apparently things have been finalized now, despite a bid that's 50,000 Euro less than what the Turkish Chess Federation offered.

The European Women's Championship will be held May 6-19. At the same time the men's Candidates matches are taking place in Kazan, Russia.
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