And this is it. After 10 days, 9 rounds and over 1000 games we reached the end of the tournament. The event was very dramatic, full of fighting and emotions, fascinating for the spectators and chess players all over the world. Every day, from start till the end of the round over 10,000 chess spectators were following games on the official broadcast, staying with the games till the very end. Many supporters were also visiting the playing hall, desiring to see the chess prodigies and world’s best players. It was the tournament, where supporters could watch game of such known players as Aronian, Topalov, Caruana, Grischuk or Kosteniuk, Dzagnidze and Lagno in the women section. Many Polish spectators were focusing of Polish national teams – organizers had three teams in each tournament and women’s first team was a candidate for a medal.
Azerbaijan started a tournament with no luck – they drew to Sweden after a match that they sould have won. But then they showed a great spirit and endurance – victory against Poland was achieved thanks to a long play of Tejmur Radjabov in a position, where many would’ve agreed to draw. The players knew that even if someone loses, the others will fight till the end. Players from Azerbaijan didn’t make an individually stunning result, but as a team they worked perfectly, winning five matches (four of them with 2,5 – 1,5 score!) and drawing the remaining. France was in lead through the whole tournament, but a loss in the last round against Russia denied their chances for gold. They were leading throughout the tournament thanks to great results of Tkachiev and Edouard in the first half of the tournament, in second part of the event they kept a high position thanks to wins of Vachier-Lagrave. Third place for Russia can’t be considered a victory from a team with Grischuk, Svidler and Morozevich, but a team from the East was still lucky to achieve that. Chess world was shocked after a defeat against Turkey in the second round. After losing to Armenia in 7th round they won last two matches, even though in the match against Netherlands Russian team was in a big trouble. Armenia can’t be satisfied with 4th place. They made a solid results, but not good enough to get a medal in Warsaw. The biggest disappointment was for sure the result of former champions – Germany. Though Arkadiij Naiditsch played very well, the rest of the team scored much below their abilities and as a result former champions finished 20th.
In the women section the team from Ukraine quite comfortably saved themselves gold medal, mostly thanks to brilliant play of Ushenina and Muzychuk. After destroying Poland in 5th round by 3,5 – 0,5 result and drawing to Georgia in the following round nobody considered that this team can let the victory slip. They suffered the only defeat only in the last round against, when the gold was already secured. Russia took second and Poland took third place and it’s a fair result, as Russian player were wining their matches in more convincing way, while Poland’s favorite score was 2,5 – 1,5. The fourth place for the Georgian team is surely a disappointment for this country.
Eight round was full of emotions, interesting games and complex positions. Leading team of France managed to keep a draw against Armenia, but the match was far from being clear. Levon Aronian won his game against Etienne Bacrot with a great compensation for a pawn in the endgame with rooks and a knight. Fortunately for France Maxime Vachier-Lagrave played a great game against Sergey Movsesian. Azerbaijan won an important match against Greece – three draws and a good endgame play of Rauf Mamedov against Kotronias. Russia won to Netherlands, but the match was far from being easy. Anish Giri had a big opening advantage against Grischuk, while Van Kampen had a certainly won position against Morozevich. Georgia won to Ukraine thanks to a great play of Jobava. England saved a game thanks to the victory of Michael Adams in position, where everybody were expecting a draw.
In the women section the tournament is already determined. Ukraine won 3-1 to Armenia and defended a victory with 7 wins a 1 draw in 8 rounds. Katerina Lagno won to Elina Danielian and Maryia Muzychuk won to Lilit Galojan. Russia should be quite content to win to Georgia by 3-1 with the wins of Kosteniuk and Pogonina. Tomorrow they will play against Ukraine where a win gives the silver medal. Poland won to Bulgaria after a terrible loss of Monika Socko against Antoaneta Stefanova and wins of Joanna Majdan-Gajewska and Karina Szczepkowska. Tomorrow Poland will play against Lithuania and a win will give them a sure medal.
Nothing has been decided yet in the open section. France lost their first game on the third board (Mamedov – Edouard), but thanks to the clean victory of Vladimir Tkachiev they managed to draw a match. A prestigious match between Russia and Armenia finished with the victory of the second team. Three draws on first boards were concluded by the victory of Gabriel Sargissian over Tomashevsky. Greece an Hungary are coming back to the leading group after desired victories against Croatia and Switzerland. Ukraine made a draw against Belarus, while England managed to save a match against Georgia thanks to the tough defense of Gavain Jones.
In the women section Ukraine won their match and is really close to defend a gold medal. But Poland III keeps on fighting as well – neither Lagno nor Ushenina received the opening advantage and drew right after, Inna Gaponenko miscalculated in time trouble and didn’t find a solution that prevented Katarzyna Toma’s perpetual check. Ukraina won thanks to Maryia Muzychuk, who outplayed Marta Bartel in a very drawish endgame with opposite-colored bishops. Polish first team drew to Georgia – loss of Iweta Rajlich against Bela Khotenashvili was leveled by a good game of Jolanta Zawadzka against Nino Khurstidze. Armenia won 3-1 against Poland Futures, but I recommend seeing the way 13-years old Oliwia Kiolbasa won her game against Maria Kursova. Russia won against Hungary and Bulgaria won to Germany – both teams will take part in the fight for medals.
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The sixth round started with a very important result. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won against Papaioannou in just 20 moves and as a result France once again won their match – this time against Greece. In Caucasian derby Azerbaijan was better than Georgia winning 3-1. The key game took place on the first board, where Mamedyarov destroyed Jobava with a good piece sacrifice. Russia and Armenia won their matches with 2,5 – 1,5 result, drawing three games and wining the remaining. In both cases the win didn’t come easily, as both Romanian and Hungarian resisted strongly. Ukraine drew to England due to terrible blunder of Volokitin against McShane and good endgame technique of Moiseenko.
In the women section the leading team drew their matches. Ukraine drew to Georgia after a match without any draw, where almost each game was decided just after its opening. In Poland-Russia match both team lost their chances to win. A great theoretical victory of Monika Socko against Victoria Gunina was neutralized by the terrible loss of Joanna Majdan-Gajewska against Olga Girya. In the remaining game the results were changing constantly, but both games eventually resulted with 2-2 draw. On the third board, after a lot of tension and emotions, the third Polish team unexpectedly won to Germany. A splendid win of Joanna Worek over Elizabeth Paehtz and a draw on the following board resulted in an unexpected victory. In the last match of leading teams Armenia demolished Spain with a very convincing 3,5 – 0,5 result.
The situation in open section didn’t change much after the 5th round. Leading team of France lost a first point drawing all 4 games against Hungary. Fine victories of Greece, Georgia and Azerbaijan gave those teams shared second place behind France. England and Russia are fighting back after a disappointing start. Both team won their matches, Russia destroyed Italy, while England ultimately denied Germany a chance to save a title. Also Armenia won to Slovenia and came back to the widely understood leading group.
In women section the most important match was certainly between Ukraine and Poland. But unfortunately for Polish supporters the match was quickly decided – Ukraine quickly gained big advantage on first three boards and convincingly converted all games to victories. Only Karina Szczepkowska-Horowska played well for Poland and Natalia Zhukova had to defend. She did it successfully so the match ended with 3,5 – 0,5 result. Fortunately for Poland their strongest opponents drew their matches. Russia quite unexpectedly drew to Germany, while Georgia lost one point against Armenia due to loss of Nana Dzagnidze to Elina Danielian. As a result on Spanish team managed to catch Poland after 2,5-1,5 victory over Serbia.
France became a solo leader after defeating Czech Republic (2,5-1,5) thanks to the great technique in a slightly better endgame of Romain Edouard against Zbynek Hracek. The two draws in Azerbaijban-Hungary and Greece-Georgia gave France unshared first place. In a prestigious match Ukraine outplayed Armenia with the wins of Fedorchuk and Volokitin. Russia and England won their matches convincingly and this is a good sign for the supporters of both these teams.
After a tough game Poland defeated Armenia 2,5 – 1,5. The first point for Armenia was scored by Lilit Mkrtchian who won to Joanna Majdan-Gajewska, but victories of Iweta Rajlich and Karina Szczepkowska-Horowska gave the Polish team a desired victory. Israel was close to another great result, but eventually lost to Ukraine. Both Georgians and Russians won their matches really high, so both teams came closer to the leading teams of Poland and Ukraine.
The third round was also truly exhilarating. In the top match France quite unexpectedly but deservedly won to Ukraine thanks to the great technique of Edouard and Tkachiev. The win of Czech Republic against Turkey certainly is not a surprise, but 3,5 – 0,5 result is. Armenia was the first team to win the game against Austria and consequently won 2,5-1,5 thanks to Sargissian. Poland suffered a painful loss. Theoretically drawn endgame was lost by Swiercz to Radjabov and as a result Azerbaijan won 2,5-1,5. A prestigious match between Russia and England ended with a draw and it was England that was closer to the victory. The splendid win by Svidler was neutralized by Gavain Jones victory against Morozevich. Michael Adams had a clear advantage and could have given England victory.
In the women section once again we could witness great Israel’s performance. After a great game with Russia today they drew with powerful Georgia, even though they were losing twice. Other strong teams won their matches – Ukraine outplayed France(3-1), Armenia demolished Poland III(4-0) and Russia won every game against Austria. The Polish team started weakly with the loss of Zawadzka to L’Ami, but wins of Socko and Majdan-Gajewska gave the hosts the precious win. The biggest surprise was for sure made by the Poland Futures, who won to Bulgaria after splendid games of all four young players.
Dear Chess Friends,
Regarding to a number of inquiries about the on-line transmission of the European Team Chess Championship we kindly inform that Polish Chess Federation, as the organizer of this tournament, is ready and open to cooperation with all those who understand that this cooperation must be mutually beneficial.
Currently, the transmission is available on our website and we cooperate with the German Chess Federation and the company ChessBase.
Everyone else who transmit ETCC on-line do it without the agreement with the organizer.
On behalf of PCF,
November 10th, 2013
To Chess Organizers, Chess Media, Chess Activists, Players, and Fans
It has been discovered and put to our attention that certain chess portals and internet chess services providers are transmitting games of ECU European Team Chess Championship without the agreement with the organizer. This is being done by breaking into the transmission files and illegally copying the data from live broadcast. Such actions are against the law, and against the ECU policy unanimously adopted by General Assembly of ECU during the meeting in Porto Carras in 2011.
It is widely recognized that chess games cannot be copyrighted, but the live transmission of games is under the copyright. Similarly, it is not under the copyright how football players score goals, but television broadcast of their games is under the copyright. This approach has been acknowledged and approved by all delegates of ECU members in 2011.
Chess viewing has almost completely moved to the internet. It is in the interests of chess organizers, chess players, and also chess fans that the chess world is properly financed. This cannot be done without the ability to commercialize chess events and show value to chess sponsors. Stealing chess broadcasts destroys that value. Therefore, ECU reserves the rights to pursue legal actions against trespassers on ECU events.
Some chess organizers may prefer to give broadcasting right for free, perhaps in exchange for some promotional services, while others may opt for nominal contribution to costs. Either way, it has to be done according to the law and ECU members will, in agreement with the organizer.
It has to be recognized that certain reputable chess services providers are currently broadcasting ETCC games in co-operation with the organizer. This is highly commendable as helping development of chess.
This letter has a full support of ECU President, Mr. Silvio Danailov.
On behalf of ECU,
November 10th, 2013
This statement is also available on ETCC website in Live games section.