Reports | September 18, 2010 17:54

Liburnija wins strong Croatian League

SibenikNot favourite Rijeka but rival Liburnija (also from Rijeka) won the very strong 19th Croatian Team Championship in Sibenik. In the A group players such as Pavel Eljanov, Vladimir Malakhov, Sergei Movsesian, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Vugar Gashimov, Arkadij Naiditsch and Viktor Bologan participated.

St Jacques Cathedral in Sibenik | Photo fr:Utilisateur:Vyskocil | GNU Free Documentation License

The 19th Croatian Team Championships took place September 4-12 in Sibenik, a political, educational, transport, industrial and the tourist center of the Sibenik-Knin county in central Dalmatia.

The Croatian League was played over 9 rounds in three groups: an A group (85 players), a B group (84 players) and a Women group (47 players).

The teams consisted of six boards. The rate of play was 90 minutes for 40 moves and then 30 minutes to finish the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move, from move one.

The clear favourite this year was the Rijeka team, which had Vugar Gashimov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave on boards 1 and 2. This made the average rating of the team as high as 2645. However, their rivals Liburnija (also from Rijeka) took the title with 16 match points and staying undefeated. The individual encounter was won 4-2 by Liburnija on boards 5 and 6.

Croatian League 2010 | Group A | Final Standings

Croatian League 2010 | Group A | Final Standings

It's always interesting to have a look at which top players participate in these country leagues. Below you'll find a list of the twenty strongest players playing in Sibenik, and how they performed. We see that the strongest player, Pavel Eljanov, had a tough week and lost no less than 20 points whereas Arkadij Naiditsch, top board of the champions, won 12 points.

Croatian League 2010 | Individual performance (top 20)

Croatian League 2010 | Group A | Final Standings

Also note that former super GM Zoltan Ribli did quite well: for his DURO DAKOVIC HOLDING team from Sl. Brodhe he scored 4.5/5 and a 2803 performance. From the same generation, Alexander Beliavsky performed on 2724 with 5.5/9 against strong opponents.

Selection of games

Game viewer by ChessTempo



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Peter Doggers's picture
Author: Peter Doggers

Founder and editor-in-chief of, 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.


blueofnoon's picture

Poor Eljanov, lost 20 points in 1 event!

john's picture

how can he lose 20 points and still finish first?

Thomas's picture

@john: The table is ranked by rating (before the event) rather than rating performance (Rp) during the event ... .

silvakov's picture

Don't take me wrong: I know you probably don't have much time to go through all the games and just make the "selection of games" based on board numbers. But there are some short draws easy to spot, and wouldn't be very difficult to cut them. For example, Khenkin-Malakhov: That wasn't a game, that was a (theoretical) joke...

john's picture

@Thomas oh i see, thanks.

Peter Doggers's picture

Yesterday I encountered some problems with Chessbase; it got stuck every time I wanted to open a game. Therefore, instead of going through them, I had to make the selection based on ratings.

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