Top players at European Club Cup

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
This Tuesday and Wednesday the football players already gathered for their second round and yesterday the international club chess players started their own little Champions League. Well, little, 56 men's teams are participating and 18 teams in the women's section. And not the weakest players you can imagine.

The European Club Cup is taking place from the 2nd till the 10th of this month in Kemer, Antalya, Turkey.

It's undoubtedly one of the strongest event ever held to date, as the incredibly active president of the Turkish Chess Federation Ali Nihat Yaz?Ѭ±c?Ѭ± points out on the official website. The top eight registered players work out at an average rating of 2747, just 4 points short of the WCC in Mexico. To mention a few strong teams:

Ural, Russia: Radjabov, Shirov, Akopian, Grischuk, Malakhov, Dreev, Motylev, Rashkovsky Tomsk-400, Russia: Morozevich, Jakovenko, Kasimdzhanov, Karjakin, Inarkiev, Tkachiev, Bologan, Smirnov OSC Baden-Baden, Germany: Svidler, Carlsen, Bacrot, Nisipeanu, Harikrishna, Nielsen, Schlosser Keystone, Ukraine: Topalov, Ponomariov, Onischuk, Areshchenko, Miroshnichenko, Efimenko, Baklan, Vysochin

But also e.g. Ivanchuk, Kamsky, Adams, Rublevsky, Eljanov, Van Wely, Alekseev and Mamedyarov are playing. The top favourite in the women's section seems to be Monaco Club, with Koneru, Cramling, Zhu Chen, Socko and Skripchenko. The reigning champions are Tomsk-400 (men) and Mika Yerevan (women) and both teams are in Kemer to defend their titles.

Here's a video of the opening ceremony, by Erman Uskudarli:

In the first round, most of the results saw 6-0's and 5?Ǭ?-?Ǭ?'s just like in regular Swiss tournament first rounds. But there was also a surprise: the Kosovian Club Prishtina winning against Strasbourg Chess Club, despite having much lower ratings. Furthermore, among the individual results there were some upsets such as former World Champion GM Kas?Ѭ±mdzhanov and former contenders GM Short and GM Kamsky who drew their games against IM Maki (2405), Briscoe (2273) and GM Johannessen (2536) respectively. In the women's section Utrecht lost to Mika Yerevan with ?Ǭ?-3?Ǭ? but on board one the Dutch WIM Marlies Bensdorp (2263) managed to draw to former World Champion GM Maia Chiburdanidze (2500).

The opening ceremony

The playing hall

Vassily Ivanchuk (Bosna Sarajevo)

Rustam Kasimdzhanov (Tomsk-400)

Magnus Carlsen (OSC Baden-Baden)

Gata Kamsky (Linex Magic)

Kateryna Lahno, Yifan Hou and Ekaterina Kovalevskaya (Southern Ural Cheliabinsk)

Photos (by Ozgur Akman) courtesy of the tournament website; more photos here.
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