European Championship starts with many upsets (and a dress code)
The European Championship started on Tuesday in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. There was quite a number of upsets in the first round: IM Filiop Pancevski beat GM Andrei Volokitin, FM David Klein won against GM Ivan Saric and IM Evgenija Ovod defeated GM Eltaj Safarli, to name a few. Besides, the new ECU dress code is in effect at the tournament.
A scene from the opening ceremony of the European Championship | All photos courtesy of the official website, more here
The 13th European Individual Chess Championship started yesterday. It is open to all players representing chess federations which comprise the European Chess Union (FIDE zones 1.1 to 1.10) regardless of their title or rating. There is also no limit in the number of participants per federation. There is a total prize fund of € 100,000 with a € 14,000 first prize.
As always, the tournament is a qualifier event for the next World Cup. According to FIDE regulations and the decision of the ECU Board, 23 players will qualify. After last year's issues with the tiebreak rules, the organizers are now doing it as follows:
The order of players that finish with the same number of points shall be determined by application of the following tie-breaking procedures in sequence, proceeding from (a) to (b) to (c) to (d) the extent required:
(a) Performance Rating, the highest number wins;
(b) Buchholz cut-1, the highest number wins;
(c) Buchholz, the highest number wins;
(d) Number of wins, the highest number wins.
The opening ceremony took place on Monday night in the "Bendida" Hall of the Novotel Plovdiv.
Among the official guests were Svilen Neykov (Minister of Physical Education and Sports), Mrs. Menda Stoyanova (Member of Parliament and Chairman of the "Budget and Finance" Commission), Zdravko Dimitrov (Regional Governor of Plovdiv) and Ivan Totev (Mayor of Plovdiv)
Zdravko Dimitrov announced a gift to the chess community: the creation of a Chess House in the Old Town.
The cultural program of the ceremony included dances of the Ensemble"Trakia"
In the absence of top seed Fabiano Caruana of Italy, the drawing of lots (well, the color for board 1 in the first round) was done by reigning European Champion Vladimir Potkin of Russia, who picked the black pieces in the form of a stylized bottle of red wine
The championship is an 11-round Swiss with games from March 20 to 25 and March 27 to 31, starting 3 pm local time. The rate of play is 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.
There are no less than fifteen 2700 players in Plovdiv: Fabiano Caruana, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Dmitry Jakovenko, Anish Giri, Alexander Riazantsev, Nikita Vitiugov, Etienne Bacrot, Baadur Jobava, Boris Grachev, Vladimir Malakhov, Viktor Laznicka, Sergei Movsesian, Arkadij Naiditsch, David Navara and Emil Sutovsky.
There are some special rules in effect in Plovdiv. To start with, communication between players (the offer of draw) is forbidden until the 40th move has been played. The zero tolerance rule will apply, meaning that all participants must have taken their places in the playing hall before the start of chess game.
Ad then there is the much discussed dress code. For sake of completeness, we'll give it in full here:
13. Dress Code for the participants and the officials (excluding Youth Championships)
13.1 All participants as well as the officials (arbiters, captains and others being in the playing area) must comply with the Dress Code of the ECU.
Participants and officials will present themselves in a neat and clean appearance.
13.2 Dress rules for the players during the games
In general, players are required to follow the code of casual dressing which means:
13.3 Dress rules for the winning players or the winning teams during prize-giving ceremonies
- the rules set for these events are valid for a player or any member of a team, including the captain and the delegation chief who is rewarded by a prize in the chess event and thus he/she appears and receives the award in front of the other players and the audience
13.4 Dress code for the arbiters and officials of ECU events
- whenever the arbiters and officials of an ECU chess event appear on the scene in their official capacity, they are tied to follow the dress code of business casual
13.5 Tournament Officials will have the right to give official warning to any player not properly attired. The first warning will be a verbal one. When a player is a member of a team, his/her captain will also be informed. The second time a player will be in breach with the Dress Code he/she will receive a second warning. This warning will be confirmed to the player in writing the same day. When a player is a member of a team, his/her captain will receive a copy of this warning the same day. The player received the written warning will present him/herself to the tournament officials, if it is a team player accompanied by the captain, one hour before the start of the next round. If a player is then still in breach of the Dress Code he/she can be send back to dress appropriately. If he/she does not cooperate, he/she will be denied access to the playing area.
13.6 A player not dressed according to the Code can be refused to attend the opening or closing ceremony. Tournament Officials can likewise act towards arbiters, captains or others being present in the playing area. Spectators not properly attired will have to leave the playing area.
As mentioned in the intro, there were quite a few upsets in the first round. IM Filiop Pancevski beat GM Andrei Volokitin, Dutch FM David Klein won against GM Ivan Saric and IM Evgenija Ovod defeated GM Eltaj Safarli. Tomasz Markowski even lost with White against untitled Tomas Laurusas. Our blogger Bartek Macieja had a bad start as well, with a zero against FM Eylon Nakar. GM Aleksej Aleksandrov lost with White against FM Asaf Givon while former European Champion Zdenko Kozul was defeated by untitled Davit Lomsadze. WIM Irina Bulmaga won her game against GM Aleksander Mista while FM Adrian-Kalman Bach against GM Daniil Lintchevski. The unttled Nino Vlashki beat GM Vladislav Nevednichy and FM Daniel Hristodorescu beat GM Andrey Zontakh.
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