Reports | October 22, 2013 11:08

European Club Cup under way in Rhodes

European Club Cup under way in Rhodes

The European Club Cup is under way in Rhodes, Greece and the current holders of the cups are again the favourites this year. In the open section the team sponsored by the Azerbaijan oil company SOCAR has Fabiano Caruana, Teimour Radjabov, Veselin Topalov, Gata Kamsky, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Wang Hao, Anish Giri and Eltaj Safarli. It would be a disaster for Cercle d'Echecs de Monte-Carlo to win less than gold in the women's section, with Hou Yifan, Humpy Koneru, Anna Muzychuk, Pia Cramling and Almira Skripchenko.

Ioannis Mahairidis, Governor of the South Aegean Region, making the honorary first move in the game Caruana-Agdestein | All photos © Goran Urosevic & Anastasiya Karlovich courtesy of the ECC

The 29th European Club Cup and the 18th European Club Cup for Women are taking place 19-27 October, 2013 at the 5-star Rodos Palace Hotel in Rhodes. The Greek island, located in the eastern Aegean Sea and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey, used to be famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
 
An artist's impression of the Colossus from the Grolier Society's 1911 Book of Knowledge. | Image Wikipedia
 
Besides the current cup holders, two clubs are allowed to play from each European federation in which a national team championship is organised or one club from a federation that has no league. A third club is allowed from a federation with a league that included least 20 grandmasters and/or players with a FIDE rating over 2600. In the open section, one additional club was allowed this year from each federation that was ranked among the first five places of the federation ranking list (in 2013 Azerbaijan, Russia, Germany, Czech Republic and Israel).
 
Besides medals, for the best placed clubs and for the individual results for the best board result in the open 
competition, prizes to the value of 30.000 euros will be provided. In the women's section the prize fund is 20.000 euros. In addition, an individual prize of 1.000 euros will be given to the player with the best performance from a “small nations” club.
 
Both groups play a 7-round Swiss, from Sunday to Saturday, with no rest days. The teams consist of 6 players. In the open section 53 teams play, and so in each round the lowest ranked team gets a bye (and a 3-0 score). In the women's section only ten teams play.
 
The time control 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. Players may only agree to a draw after the 40th move has been made by black. Any player who arrives at the chessboard after the start of the round shall lose the game (the zero tolerance FIDE rule that will be removed from the official rules of chess per 1 July 2014). 
 
It's a team event, but it's always interesting to see which are the strongest players — this is the impressive top 20: Grischuk, Nakamura, Caruana, Topalov, Karjakin, Mamedyarov, Dominguez, Giri, Vachier-Lagrave, Svidler, Morozevich, Wang Hao, Leko, Vitiugov, Kamsky, Radjabov, Jakovenko, Korobov, Malakhov and Harikrishna. The women's top 10 has Hou Yifan, 
Koneru, Muzychuk, Lagno, Cramling, Gunina, Cmilyte, Ushenina, Kosteniuk and Pogonina.

In the first two rounds, most of the strong teams beat (much) weaker teams with a big score. Below you can find some notable individual results and games.

On the top boards in round 1, SOCAR beat the Oslo Schakselskap 5.5-0.5 because Simen Agdestein managed to hold Fabiano Caruana to a draw, using a highly topical line in the French.

PGN string

Gata Kamsky played a nice little combination:

PGN string

Simon Williams stayed true to his style, even though he was playing against none other than Sergey Karjakin. The English GM went down in flames, but just before the end it wasn't so clear actually.

PGN string

In those early rounds there are always a few David vs. Goliath examples. Take this one, from the match G-Team Novy Bor vs Chess Club Velhot:

PGN string

Dutch GM Roeland Pruijssers almost beat Baadur Jobava and then also gave away the draw in what was probably timetrouble:

PGN string

Also in the second round, SOCAR dropped half a point on top board. IM Bjorn Ahlander played an excellent game against Radjabov:

PGN string

Anish Giri got the opportunity to play a dream Benoni. Look at those pawns rolling, and those sacrifices coming!

PGN string

Dutch IM Manuel Bosboom doesn't play many international events, and so it's interesting to see how this highly creative player fares at a different podium. Well, in the first round he lost to a 1900-player and then, the next day, he drew with the strong Ukrainian GM Anton Korobov!

PGN string

There are many more interesting games to play through, as it is always instructive to see e.g. how 2700 GMs beat 2500 GMs. You can download the PGN here (thanks to Mark Crowther's TWIC).

European Club Cup 2013 | Round 2 standings

Rk. SNo FED Team Games + = - TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4 TB5
1 2 RUS Malachite 2 2 0 0 4 12 12 7 7
2 3 RUS Saint-Petersburg 2 2 0 0 4 12 11,5 9 9
3 8 AZE Odlar Yurdu 2 2 0 0 4 12 10,5 11 11
4 6 RUS PGMB-Rostov 2 2 0 0 4 12 10,5 9,5 9,5
5 1 AZE SOCAR 2 2 0 0 4 11 11 9,5 9,5
6 4 RUS Ugra 2 2 0 0 4 10 10,5 8 8
7 5 CZE G-Team Novy Bor 2 2 0 0 4 9 9 13,5 13,5
8 11 GRE Peristeri 2 2 0 0 4 9 8,5 13,5 13,5
9 7 ITA O.R. Padova 2 2 0 0 4 9 8,5 11 11
10 9 FRA Clichy Echecs 92 2 2 0 0 4 8 9,5 9 9
11 18 ISR Kfar Saba Chess Club 2 2 0 0 4 7 9 11 11
12 26 FIN Tammer-Shakki 2 2 0 0 4 7 8,5 12 12
13 39 LUX CE De Sprenger Echternach 2 1 1 0 3 9 7,5 11 7,75
14 13 AUT Schachclub MPO Maria Saal 2 1 1 0 3 9 6,5 15,5 11,75
15 16 HUN Haladas VSE, Szombathely 2 1 0 1 2 10 8 11,5 3
16 25 NOR Asker 2 1 0 1 2 10 8 10,5 1,5
17 10 BLR Minsk 2 1 0 1 2 8 7,5 14 5,5
18 17 SUI Reichenstein SSB 2 1 0 1 2 8 6,5 14,5 5
19 23 DEN Jetsmark 2 1 0 1 2 7,5 8 8,5 2
20 20 TUR Besiktas JK 2 1 0 1 2 6 7,5 10,5 2
21 15 BEL S.F. Wirtzfeld 2 1 0 1 2 6 7 14,5 5,5
22 31 FIN Chess Club Velhot 2 1 0 1 2 6 6,5 10,5 1,5
23 37 ECX Expik Kosova 2 1 0 1 2 6 6 10,5 2
24 12 BEL Amay Chess Club 2 1 0 1 2 6 5,5 15 4,5
25 19 ITA A.S.I. Bologna 2 1 0 1 2 6 5 13,5 3
26 14 BEL SK 47 Eynatten 2 1 0 1 2 5 6,5 5,5 2
27 21 NED En Passant 2 1 0 1 2 4 5,5 15,5 5
28 43 SCO Edinburgh Chess Club 2 1 0 1 2 3 5 9,5 3
29 47 ECX Istogu Chess Club 2 1 0 1 2 3 5 8,5 3
30 24 SWE Limhamns SK 2 1 0 1 2 2 5 13,5 2,5
31 29 ENG Barbican 4NCL 2 1 0 1 2 2 4,5 14 2,5
32 27 NOR Oslo Schakselskap 2 1 0 1 2 2 4,5 13,5 2,5
33 36 ENG White Rose 2 1 0 1 2 1 5,5 10 2,5
34 41 MNC Cercle d'Echecs de Monte-Carlo 2 1 0 1 2 1 5,5 9,5 2,5
35 34 FRA Sautron 2 1 0 1 2 0 5,5 13,5 3
36 32 NED Accres Apeldoorn 2 1 0 1 2 0 4,5 14 3,5
37 22 SUI Club d'Echecs de Geneve 2 1 0 1 2 0 4,5 14 2,5
38 40 DEN Nordea Skanderborg 2 1 0 1 2 0 3,5 18,5 6,5
39 28 ENG Jutes of Kent 2 1 0 1 2 0 3,5 16,5 4,5
40 53 GRE Ippotis Rodou 2 0 1 1 1 4,5 4,5 7,5 0
41 52 WLS Cardigan 2 0 1 1 1 4 4 8,5 0
42 33 GER Schachgesellschaft Solingen 2 0 0 2 0 8 3,5 13 0
43 38 LUX The Smashing Pawns Belvaux 2 0 0 2 0 5 4,5 9 0
44 42 GER Chess Club Eppingen 2 0 0 2 0 5 3 13 0
45 45 SCO Edinburgh West Chess Club 2 0 0 2 0 5 3 10,5 0
46 46 IRL Gonzaga 2 0 0 2 0 4 2 14 0
47 50 WLS White Knights Chess Club 2 0 0 2 0 3 2,5 10,5 0
48 48 IRL Adare 2 0 0 2 0 3 2,5 10 0
49 49 GER SV Muelheim Nord 1931 2 0 0 2 0 3 2 14 0
50 44 NED SV Voerendaal / KNSB 2 0 0 2 0 2 3 14 0
51 30 ISL Viking Chess Club 2 0 0 2 0 2 2,5 15 0
52 35 AUT SK Advisory Invest Baden 2 0 0 2 0 2 2,5 14 0
53 51 ALB Klubi Sportiv Butrinti 2 0 0 2 0 2 1,5 14,5 0

In the women's section, top favourites Cercle d'Echecs de Monte-Carlo started with 4-0 (obviously!) but already faced a tough opponent in round 2: Mika Chess Club of Armenia. Three games ended in draws, and so the following decided the match:

PGN string

European Club Cup 2013 | Women | Round 2 standings

Rk. SNo FED Team Games + = - TB1 TB2 TB3 TB4 TB5
1 1 MNC Cercle d'Echecs de Monte-Carlo 2 2 0 0 4 8 6,5 7 7
2 5 RUS Ugra 2 2 0 0 4 5 6,5 7 7
3 7 SRB Jelica PEP 2 1 1 0 3 6 6 8 5
4 2 RUS SHSM Nashe Nasledie 2 1 1 0 3 6 6 6,5 3,5
5 4 ROU CS Politechnica-Antibiotice Iasi 2 1 0 1 2 6 5 7 0,5
6 3 ARM Mika Chess Club 2 1 0 1 2 6 4,5 9 2,5
7 6 SRB Chess Club BAS 2 1 0 1 2 0 2,5 9 2,5
8 10 BIH Rudar Prijedor 2 0 1 1 1 0 2 6,5 0
9 11 AUT ASVOE Pamhagen 2 0 1 1 1 0 2 6 0
10 8 LTU MRU - Vilniaus Fortas 2 0 0 2 0 3 2,5 7 0
11 9 ITA Fischer Chieti 2 0 0 2 0 0 0,5 11 0

 

Share |
Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of ChessVibes.com, Peter is responsible for most of the chess news and tournament reports. Often visiting top events, he also provides photos and videos for the site. He's a 1.e4 player himself, likes Thai food and the Stones.

Chess.com

Comments

Anonymous's picture

Bosboom didn't just draw against Korobov, he missed a win towards the end. Caruana vs Nakamura today!

Morley's picture

Rapport has started off 3-0, putting his live rating at 2685.6. He got very close earlier in the year, maybe we will see him in the 2700s soon.

Anonymous's picture

Nobody plays for their own country.
What a fake championship!

Thomas Oliver's picture

Nobody? Among the teams that currently have 6-0 or 5-1 match points:
Malachite has six Russians (plus Shirov and Bologan who won't find a strong club in their own country)
SOCAR is the only 'random' team
St. Petersburg has 5/8 Russians
Ugra has 6 Russians
Novy Bor has 4 Czech players
Odlar Yurdu has 7 Azeris, plus Sutovsky (originally from Azerbaijan) on board 1
Clichy has 5/7 French players, plus Tregubov who has certain ties with the French federation
Maria Saal (so far rather lucky with their pairings) has 7 Austrians plus Buhmann currentlyliving in Austria.

It isn't as bad as it seems (or as you make it) ... .

Anonymous's picture

Dude, admit it: everybody in this competition is hired and paid to play.
Or would you consider Kamsky as European?

Thomas Oliver's picture

Of course, players from the top teams are professional chess players "hired and paid to play" (for a club, but also when they play for their national teams). BTW, many other teams have mostly or only amateurs who might even have to pay their own travel expenses (I know that's the case for the German clubs), who enjoy chess, sunny Rhodes and the opportunity to face strong international opposition.

Kamsky isn't European, neither is Nakamura - but these may be the 'worst' teams in that respect: SOCAR from Azerbaijan with a few Azeri players, Padova from Italy with four Italians on the lower boards.

slymnlts's picture

Come on, look at soccer and basketball teams in Europe. Arsenal is full of non-English players and there are Premier League teams who do not have a single English player in their starting 11. CSKA Moscow, arguably one of the best basketball teams in Europe, is not different (combo of American+Slavic players). I look at this tournament as one for which not only the top GMs but also relatively moderate ones get paid and find a chance to make a living in chess, which is arguably more necessity compared to the aforementioned soccer and basketball examples. We have world and continental team championships for national pride anyway besides the biennial Olympics, right?

Latest articles