Large (pictorial) report Dresden

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0 | Chess Event Coverage
Last week our editor Manuel Weeks dropped by at the European Chess Championships in Dresden. Here is his report with many photos.

The European Chess Championships is proving a great success for the German organizers. Taking place from April 2nd to 16th, 2007 in the International Congress Center located in the center of town with participants able to play while looking at the river. The event is an 11 round Swiss, with time controls at the new FIDE official control of 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. This was suggested by the ACP after the previous faster time control of 90 minutes plus 30 second increments was condemned by most players as too fast.

The tournament is one of the largest events at this level ever staged. There are over 600 participants from 43 European federations, with the biggest contingent coming from the German Chess Federation (150 participants), followed by Russia with 90. What is interesting is whether this trend of tournament will continue to flourish. In three of the biggest tournaments of the year, (Gibraltar, Aeroflot and Dresden) there has been an increase in prize money while starting conditions for the players has virtually disappeared. With so many grandmasters playing it is becoming impossible for the tournament organizers to offer conditions to all the GM's. Now with an increase in prize money the top players are been asked to prove themselves. With the prize list totaling 200,000 euros it has become an attractive tournament for the top players. The top prize is 20,000 for the Open section and 10.000 for the women but the prize list goes down to 30th for men and 20th for women where they will earn 1000 euros so there is depth in the prize list so there is hope of being rewarded for playing good chess even though you may not be amongst the top few.

Enough of the background. Who is winning these events? At the moment of writing the rest day has arrived and the men have a clear leader in Andrei Volikitin, who seems very determined to make up for a disappointing Aeroflot. He is on an impressive 6/7 but the chasing pack comprises of Tkachiev, Eljanov, Moiseenko as well as the new kid on the block, Evgeny Tomashevsky. An extra half a point less than them and the pack is huge, with Dimitry Jakovenko lurking waiting to pounce. Jakovenko has proved to be one of the form players in the world over the last few months, the next question to be asked will be when will he get he chance at a super GM event.

In the Women's section the field has been blown away by Tatiana Kosintseva who is on the amazing perfect score of 7/7. It seems that the coaching the Kosintseva sisters have been given by Yuri Dokhoian, formely Kasparov's second and trainer has started to pay off! She is 1.5 points ahead of her nearest competitor and seems to be unstoppable.

The chief organizer of the event, Dr. Dirk Jordan, is very pleased with the tournament which is also being used as a trail for the larger Chess Olympiad which will be played in the same venue in late 2008. There are obvious advantages to the event being held in a central European town, as opposed to the many FIDE events which have been recently held in far out of the way places. With such a large field it is hoped that this trend continues.

There are many famous players who would not like to be called veterans who are playing, Ulf Anderson, Rafael Vaganian, Artur Jussupow who are all proving they are not spent forces. The group of players who are not playing but acting as seconds is also very strong. The strongest spectator is certainly the amicable Armenian Levon Aronian. He is based these days in Berlin and has come to Dresden to support his fellow Armenians. He told me he enjoys watching the games as he can feel the pressure of the players while he can relax and just watch. He is not sure if he is a good second though as he joked that they might sack him if they continue to do badly as a group! It really is a strength that they are so close knit as a group.

The venue: the International Congress Center

Andrei Volokitin-Tigran Petrosian 'junior'

Gabriel Sargissian, glorious winner of the Ruy Lopez Chess Festival

Dmitry Jakovenko

Aronian dropping by at the tournament...

...relaxed and enjoying himself

One of the great names: Alexander Beliavsky

Another great name, Ulf Andersson, with White against Evgeny Postny

And another golden oldie: Oleg Romanishin, with White against Topalov's second Ivan Cheparinov

Vladimir Epishin with in the background Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu

Nicholas Pert-Aleksej Aleksandrov

Michael Roiz-Florian Jenni, with Ian Nepomniachtchi

Pavel Smirnov-Zoran Jovanovic

Jiri Stocek

Emil Sutovsky

Rafael Vaganian-Tiger Hillarp Persson

Tatiana Kononenko-Nadezhda Kosintseva

Antoaneta Stefanova-Jovanka Houska

Some Dutchies now. This is Van Wely-D. Mastrovasilis

Robert Ris

Jan Werle

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