Halkias wins Open Greek Ch in Kavala

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Stelios Halkias has won the 17th Greek Open held in Kavala, Greece. Finishing shared first with Alexander Graf, the Greek GM had a better tiebreak.

By Dejan Bojkov

The seventeenth edition of one of the strongest Greek Open Tournaments was also the 18th Open Greek Championship. The field was typically strong -35 GMs and 41 IMs, while 33 of them were rated over 2500.

The reason for the strong participants list is not only the prize fund, but also the nice conditions offered by the organizers. Before the tournament, a special cross-table is kept up for all of the chess players willing to take part, and after reading the announcement you can decide if it is worth in visiting Kavala or not.

For example, there are discounts from the hotels for all players between 2350-2449, and above that rating line, the conditions are even better. According to this table, top seeded GM Kiril Georgiev should receive a nine-day accommodation in a single room, full board and travelling compensation of 500 Euros for his rating. Everything is clear, and known long before the competition.

Kavala is the fifth in a total of nine tournaments included in the Greek Summer Tournaments series. It also consists of the competitions in Ikaria, Porto Carras, Lesvos Iceland, Chania, Athens, Piraeus, Thessaloniki, and should end at the middle of September with the tournament in Veria.

Google Map: Kavala, Greece

The event was held July 30-August 7 in the foyer of the Kavala Prefecture Amphitheatre. The 9-round Swiss (groups above 2000 and under 2100) had a first prize of 2,500 Euros and a total prize fund of 13,000 Euros.

The tournament started excellently for the young Armenian GM Tigran Kotanjian, who scored five consecutive wins. However, in round five he was stopped by GM Alexander Graf. After that there was a big tie for the lead until the penultimate round, when both local hero GM Stelios Halkias and GM Alexander Graf scored important wins as Black. They created a half a point gap to the rest of the field.

A quick draw secured them at least shared first. Many tried to catch up with them in the last round, but no one could. Stelios claimed the win due to his better tie-break. A month ago he was semi-complaining, semi-joking for his board at the champion's team of Kavala - only fourth - ?¢‚Ǩ?ìPlease, tell them that I can do better?¢‚Ǩ¬¶?¢‚Ǩ?

Well, Stelios, I am happy that you told them yourself!


Here's a selection of interesting games played in Kavala:

Nikola Sedlak (SRB)

Alberto David (LUX)

Elina Danielian (ARM)

Nelly Aginian (ARM)

Oleg Romanishin (UKR)

One of the winners - Stelios Halkias (GRE)

Tamaz Gelashvili (GEO) and Inna Gaponenko (UKR)

Top seeded Kiril Georgiev (BUL)

Vladimir Burmakin (RUS)

Mihajlo Oleksienko (UKR)

Ruud Janssen (NED)

Photos provided by IM,FST Jovan Petronic, Giannis Liogkas and


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