Jerusalem To Welcome Europe's Best

Jerusalem To Welcome Europe's Best

| 21 | Chess Event Coverage

Many of Europe's strongest grandmasters will compete next month in Jerusalem, Israel.

Good news (which also serves as a disclaimer for's agreement with the organizers): the European Championship will be covered live on the official website and on!

Officially it's called the “European Individual Chess Championship.” It will be held in Jerusalem from February 23 to March 8, and is organized by the Israel Chess Federation and the Municipality of Jerusalemunder the auspices of the European Chess Union.

The tournament will be held at the Jerusalem Ramada Hotel, located at Ruppin Bridge at Herzl Blvd. This is also the official accommodating hotel.

The 2015 European Championship is open to all players representing chess federations in the European Chess Union (FIDE zones 1.1 to 1.10), regardless of their title or rating. There is also no limit of the number of participants per federation; however applications need to be sent by via national federations.

It will be a very strong and big open tournament, not least because the European Championship is a qualification event for the next FIDE World Cup, to be held later this year in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Currently no fewer than 86 grandmasters have confirmed their participation. The top 23 finishers will qualify.

2015 European Championship | Current List Of Participants (Top 20)

No. Title Name Fed Rtg
1 GM Vitiugov Nikita RUS 2735
2 GM Navara David CZE 2729
3 GM Eljanov Pavel UKR 2727
4 GM Nepomniachtchi Ian RUS 2714
5 GM Malakhov Vladimir RUS 2706
6 GM Matlakov Maxim RUS 2695
7 GM Naiditsch Arkadij GER 2694
8 GM Kryvoruchko Yuriy UKR 2692
9 GM Riazantsev Alexander RUS 2684
10 GM Zhigalko Sergei BLR 2681
11 GM Rodshtein Maxim ISR 2680
12 GM Alekseev Evgeny RUS 2679
13 GM Sjugirov Sanan RUS 2678
14 GM Inarkiev Ernesto RUS 2675
15 GM Grachev Boris RUS 2670
16 GM Laznicka Viktor CZE 2670
17 GM Fedoseev Vladimir RUS 2668
18 GM Saric Ivan CRO 2666
19 GM Motylev Alexander RUS 2665
20 GM Zvjaginsev Vadim RUS 2658

(Find the complete list of participants who have already registered here.)

It's also a long open: not nine, not 10 but 11 rounds will be played. The time control is the standard FIDE rate of play: 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.

2015 European Championship | Schedule

Day Date Event
Sunday-Monday 22-23 February Arrival of participants
Monday 23 February at 20:00 Opening ceremony
Tuesday 24 February at 10:00 Technical Meeting
Tuesday 24 February at 15:00 1st round
Wednesday 25 February at 15:00 2nd round
Thursday 26 February at 15:00 3rd round
Friday 27 February at 11:00 4th round
Saturday 28 February Rest day – A journey to the Dead Sea
Sunday 1 March at 15:00 5th round
Monday 2 March at 15:00 6th round
Tuesday 3 March at 15:00 7th round
Wednesday 4 March at 15:00 8th round
Thursday 5 March at 15:00 9th round
Friday 6 March at 11:00 10th round
Saturday 7 March Rest day – Guided tour in Jerusalem
Sunday 8 March at 13:00 11th round
Sunday 8 March at 20:30 Closing Ceremony
Monday 9 March Departure

Recently the organizers added a prize fund of 10,000 Euro for chess players above the age of 50. On top of that, there is another 10,000 Euro (20 additional prizes) dedicated exclusively to premium members of the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP).

2015 European Championship | Prizes

Rank Main prizes: 93,750 EUR Special Perfomance Prizes (Performance minus rating): 6,250 EUR Senior Prizes (born before 31.12.1965): 10,000 EUR
1 16,000 1,000 3,000
2 14,000 800 2,500
3 12,000 700 2,000
4 10,000 600 1,500
5 8,000 550 1,000
6 6,000 500
7 5,000 450
8 4,000 400
9 3,500 350
10 3,000 300
11 2,500 250
12 2,250 200
13 2,000 150
14 1,750
15 1,500
16 1,250
17 1,000

Participating in the European Championship is a unique chance to combine chess with a visit to the 3,000-year-old, holy city of Jerusalem.

It is also a city with a long chess tradition, as Yochanan Afek writes on the official website:

“There has been chess life in the Israeli capital for almost a whole century. In fact it was the cradle of chess in Israel (or Palestine-Eretz Israel before 1948) in the beginning of the 20th century. The country’s first chess club was the International Chess Club founded in Jerusalem in 1918 by Sir Ronald Storrs, the first military governor of Jerusalem and Judea following the conquest of Palestine by the British army under the command of General Allenby.”

As a final note, it's important to know that the final date for registration to this tournament is January 31! More information can be found on the official website.

As a chess fan you'll be able to follow the tournament from home. will be providing the live show (video stream) for the official website as well as, with commentary by GM Alon Greenfeld and GM Ronen Har-Zvi during all 11 rounds!

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

Between 2007 and 2013 Peter was running ChessVibes, a major source for chess news and videos acquired by in October 2013.

As our Director News & Events, Peter writes many of our news reports. In the summer of 2022, The Guardian’s Leonard Barden described him as “widely regarded as the world’s best chess journalist.”

In October, Peter's first book The Chess Revolution will be published!

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