News
Monika Socko Wins European Women's Chess Championship
GM Monika Socko. Photo: European Chess Union.

Monika Socko Wins European Women's Chess Championship

PeterDoggers
| 16 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Monika Socko won the 22nd European Women's Chess Championship, held August 20-31, 2022 in Prague. The 44-year-old Polish grandmaster was the only player to score 8.5 out of 11 rounds in a field of 123 players.

Socko, the seventh seed, finished half a point ahead of a group of five players who scored eight points. Silver and bronze went to two young players from Azerbaijan: IM Gunay Mammadzada and WGM Ulviyya Fataliyeva, respectively.

Despite an early draw in the second round, Socko was in a tie for first place after round four and emerged as the sole leader after round five. She was briefly joined by Mammadzada in round seven, but then the Polish GM took sole lead again and held on to it until the very end, despite finishing with three draws.

A big game for the tournament was the one where Socko faced 2021 European Women's Champion GM Elina Danielian on the day before the rest day. The Armenian grandmaster slipped in the early middlegame:

Socko's most interesting game was played in the penultimate round against another player from Azerbaijan, who missed a huge chance to take the lead as she had a winning position for most of the game. 

Black's king made quite the journey, from e8 to b5, but only after the time-trouble phase, where crazy things happened, could the monarch feel safe there. 

In the final round, Socko agreed to a draw after just eight moves with IM Lilit Mkrtchian of Armenia, who could have caught her on 8.5 points with a win. Two others on 7.5 points played each other, and Mammadzada missed a chance there. She ended up having the better Buchholz tiebreak, so a win would have made her champion. However, if anyone should have won the game, it was Black. By drawing, the Polish IM Aleksandra Maltsevskaya did help her compatriot to the title:

Socko European Women 2022
Socko is flanked by the two players from Azerbaijan. Photo: European Chess Union..

A total of 123 players from 28 European federations participated, including 13 players from Ukraine. Also, there were six players from Bulgaria, including former women's world champion GM Antoaneta Stefanova, who participated under the ECU flag because the Bulgarian Chess Federation is still under suspension from the European Chess Union due to mismanagement. Stefanova and others are currently trying to set up a new chess federation in their country.

Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Fed Title Name Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3 rtg+/-
1 7 GM Socko, Monika 2423 8.5 0 68.5 73 18.6
2 5 IM Mammadzada, Gunay 2466 8 0 71 75.5 9.6
3 9 WGM Fataliyeva, Ulviyya 2413 8 0 69.5 74.5 13.5
4 24 IM Mkrtchian, Lilit 2362 8 0 67 72 16.9
5 25 IM Maltsevskaya, Aleksandra 2360 8 0 65.5 70 19.9
6 13 IM Bulmaga, Irina 2403 8 0 56 59.5 -0.4
7 8 GM Ushenina, Anna 2423 7.5 0 69.5 74.5 7.6
8 21 IM Sargsyan, Anna M. 2378 7.5 0 64 69 5.5
9 28 IM Brunello, Marina 2341 7.5 0 62.5 67 16.5
10 12 IM Salimova, Nurgyul 2404 7.5 0 61.5 66.5 1.2
11 15 WGM Injac, Teodora 2389 7.5 0 61.5 65.5 -0.5
12 2 IM Javakhishvili, Lela 2476 7.5 0 60 64 -11.2
13 33 Roebers, Eline 2324 7.5 0 59.5 64 16.4
14 6 GM Danielian, Elina 2441 7 0 74 79 4.9
15 20 IM Mammadova, Gulnar 2380 7 0 69 74.5 7.1
16 1 GM Dzagnidze, Nana 2531 7 0 69 74 -10.1
17 30 IM Gaponenko, Inna 2339 7 0 66.5 70 8.8
18 11 WGM Narva, Mai 2405 7 0 65.5 71 -2.1
19 31 WGM Beydullayeva, Govhar 2339 7 0 62.5 67.5 10
20 27 WGM Balajayeva, Khanim 2344 7 0 60 64 4.6

(Full final standings here.)

On the rest day, there was a Women in Chess conference where, among others, Danielian, Lilli Hahn, IM Eva Repkova, and IM Laura Unuk presented their chess life and their experiences in the chess community. Topics at the conference included women in the role of coaches or arbiters, how to attract girls to chess, and the scientific view of the gender gap in chess.

Women in Chess conference 2022
Participants of the Women in Chess conference. Photo: official website.

Correction: In an earlier version of this report, the players Mammadzada and Mammadova were mixed up.

PeterDoggers
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 Chess.com 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!


Company Contact and News Accreditation: 

Email: peter@chess.com FOR SUPPORT PLEASE USE chess.com/support!
Phone: 1 (800) 318-2827
Address: 877 E 1200 S #970397, Orem, UT 84097

More from PeterDoggers
Yakubboev Wins UzChess Cup On Tiebreaks Ahead Of Abdusattorov

Yakubboev Wins UzChess Cup On Tiebreaks Ahead Of Abdusattorov

Niemann Secures Funds For $1 Million Buy-In Tournament

Niemann Secures Funds For $1 Million Buy-In Tournament