The European Rapid and Blitz Chess Championships 2016 finished yesterday in Tallinn, Estonia, after four days of the battles in fast and very attractive chess formats.
GM Alexander Riazantsev from Russia became the winner of the Rapid competition with 9.5 points after 11 rounds. His compatriot GM Maxim Matlakov made the same score, but his tie-breaks were worse and he eventually finished second. GMs Rauf Mamedov (AZE), Vladimir Onischuk (UKR) and Radoslaw Wojtaszek (POL) tied for the third place with 9 points, but thanks to the best tie-break, Mamedov took the bronze.
The best ranked women player was the former World Champion GM Alexandra Kosteniuk who finished on 37th place (tied 18th) with 8 points.
The best Junior player was IM Valeriy Kazakovskiy who also scored 8 points and shared 18th place.
The Blitz event followed after, which was played in 13 paired rounds. Russian Grandmaster Dmitry Andreikin triumphed with 22 points, after making 2 draws with GM Sergei Zhigalko from Belarus, who eventually came third.
The silver medal went to Rauf Mamedov, who finished sole second, gaining 20.5 points.
WGM Olga Girya (RUS) became the best woman player after scoring 16.5 points.
The best ranked Junior player were Sergei Lobanov and IM Valeriy Kazakovskiy who both scored 17 points and shared 30th place.
At the closing ceremony, the European Chess Union was represented by Mr. Petr Pisk, the ECU Tournament Director, who awarded the winners.
The Championships took place from 14-18 December, in Park Inn by Radisson Meriton Conference & Spa Hotel. The Chief Arbiter of the event was IA Stephane Escafre, and the Tournament Director was IO Hendrik Olde.
The event was organized by the Estonian Chess federation, under the auspices of the ECU.
The Championships were the main event of the Paul Keres 100 Festival, dedicated to the 100th birth anniversary of Paul Keres, Estonian Sportsman of the 20th century and often referred as “The Eternal Second” in the chess world, one of the greatest players of all time.
Photos by Oleg Harchenko
More amazing photos from the event can be found here.