ECU NEWSLETTER October 2018 is out!


In this edition of the ECU Newsletter you may read about:

  • Final report of European Chess Club Cup 2018
  • Final report of 1st European School Individual Chess Cup
  • Brief preview of 2nd European School Team Chess Open Internet Championship
  • Final report of Arbiters’ refreshing course held in Porto Carras
  • Final report of Global Chess Festival 2018
  • Brief preview of London Chess Conference 2018
  • Preview and regulations of GAMMA Reykjavik Open 2019
  • Upcoming events in November

The October 2018 edition of the ECU Newsletter can be downloaded below or here.



The GAMMA Reykjavik Open 2019 will be held for the 34th time from April 8th until April 16th, 2019 in Harpa, the 28.000 sq. m. concert- and conference centre in downtown Reykjavik.

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Many world class players have taken part in the GAMMA Reykjavik Open in recent years, including Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Anish Giri, Baadur Jobava, Richard Rapport, Pavel Eljanov, Alexei Shirov, the Indian prodigies Nihal Sarin and Praggananandhaa and their fellow countryman Baskaran Adihiban, who was the winner of the 2018 event.

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In the 2018 tournament, which was also The Bobby Fischer Memorial Tournament, 248 players from 34 countries participated, including 27 grandmasters, 12 of which had an ELO-rating of 2600 or higher.

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The total prize-fund in the 2019 edition will be €15.000, including many special prizes for various age- and rating categories, in addition to the traditional top women’s prize.

The Reykjavik Open has in recent years always been voted one of the best open tournaments in the world by ACP.

The new April schedule is aimed at giving the players an even better chance of enjoying Iceland, with warmer temperatures when the island bursts into spring colour, allowing our guests to soak up the bright spring light and hopefully having that bit of extra energy to spend on the 64 squares.

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As in earlier years, several chess-themed events will take place at the same time as the tournament, including the now famous Reykjavík Open Chess Pub Quiz and the Golden Circle sightseeing tour that includes stops at Geysir and Bobby Fischer’s final resting place in the southern part of Iceland. Iceland is one of the most attractive places in the world to visit and play in chess tournaments. The full 2019 side-event calendar will also include a Fischer random tournament (Chess960), the Harpa Blitz Tournament, Iceland vs. Rest-of-the-World Football Match, a backgammon tournament, the popular opening party and more.

Throughout its history the Reykjavik Open has featured many of the strongest chess players in the world at the time. These include the current world champion, Magnus Carlsen as well as his current challenger for the title Fabiano Caruana, the 8th world champion Mikhail Tal, who won the first tournament in 1964 with a record 12½ points out of 13, as well as the 7th world champion Vasili Smyslov. It has also featured the strongest women in the world, including, Judit Polgar and world champions Hou Yifan and Nona Gaprindashvili, as well as challengers for the world title like Victor Korchnoi, David Bronstein Nigel Short  and Jan Timman.


In recent years, the tournament has featured world class players – in addition to those mentioned earlier – like Alexander Grischuk, Alexei Shirov, Hikaru Nakamura, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave and Wesley So, while earlier editions featured legends like Friðrik Ólafsson, Anthony Miles, Bent Larsen, Lev Polugaevsky, Mark Taimanov and Samuel Reshevsky.

As in previous years, the goal of organizers to is invite many of the youngest and most promising chess players in the world, as well as the strong women players. 2019 promises to be as big and diverse as previous editions.

Official Website


The sixth edition of the annual London Chess Conference, supported by Chess in Schools and Communities (CSC), European Chess Union (ECU) and Erasmus Plus, will take place from 8th-9th December in Irish Cultural Centre, in London, United Kingdom.


The theme of the conference this year will be the future of chess in education. The question arises because there are many developments in the world of chess and also many challenges facing our education systems. In the UK, the head of the schools inspection body, OFSTED, recently announced that they would switch their attention from looking at how children perform in exams to looking at how they learn in the classroom. The new idea, “quality of education”, is a reversion to a time before league tables forced schools to narrow the range of education. The likely consequence of the revived approach is that schools should make time for arts, music, sports and, we may hope, activities such as chess.

A strong argument for chess in schools is that it prepares children for the digital future. Chess is about the manipulation of abstract ideas – the raw material of the digital age. Citizens need to be able to navigate a range of logic-rich scenarios. For example, using a mobile phone or an iPad involves appreciating that there is a logical sequence to performing any task. The chess playing child goes deep into the logical relationship between the elements. At its essence, chess becomes a series of if-then conditions. If you move your bishop, then I will checkmate you. Once you begin to think in this structured way, you can overcome a wider range of problems that one meets in everyday life. Conference speakers will explain how schools will be using chess to develop not only intellectual but also social skills which are vital for future citizens.

CHAMPS multiplier event

The conference will also host a multiplier event for the Erasmus Plus CHAMPS project on Chess and Mathematics in Primary Schools which takes place as a conference stream on Saturday 8th December. Attendance at the CHAMPS sessions is free but is subject to registration (below). The CHAMPS project explores the connections between chess and mathematics and adapts a number of these into instructive problems suitable for solving by young people.

After the end of the London Chess Conference, venue of Irish Cultural Center will host ECU School Chess Teacher Training Course, which will take place on 10th and 11th December, and on 12th December, new course accredited by European Chess Union, ECU Chess and Mathematics Teacher Training Course.


The ECU School Chess Teacher Training Course will comprise two days of interactive presentations, group discussions and practical exercises, and after the course, participants will have a test to pass to receive the ECU School Chess Teacher Certificate, which certifies that the attendee has achieved a professional level in teaching chess in schools.

The ECU Chess and Mathematics Teacher training course is a one-day course of interactive presentations, group working and hands-on exercises. The purpose of the course is to prepare teachers to use chess to develop problem solving skills with a focus on mathematics . The course is suitable for teachers and tutors who want to make chess an exciting and educational experience for children. The ECU Chess and Mathematics Teacher Certificate is available to those who complete the course and pass a test taken at the end of the course. The Certificate is endorsed by the European Chess Union (ECU) to recognise that the individual has didactical methods for the classroom.

Official Website 


ECU Arbiters’ Council during the European Club Cup 2018 in Porto Carras, Greece has organized ECU Arbiters’ Refreshing Course for International and FIDE Arbiters.

The Refreshing Course took place in the Porto Carras Conference Center on 13-14 October, 2018 with the participation of arbiters from 9 Countries. In total, 14 arbiters took part in the Refreshing Course, including 6 International and 2 FIDE Arbiter. Lecturer of the Refreshing Course was IA Ashot Vardapetyan (Armenia), Chairman of ECU Arbiters’ Council and FIDE Lecturer.


The program of Refreshing Course included the following issues:

1. FIDE Laws of Chess 2018
2. General Regulations for Competition.
3. Anti-Cheating Rules
4. Case studies from chess tournaments

All participants have shown high interest and activity during the discussions of above mentioned issues. The List of participants is below. Herewith, I thank the European Chess Union and Organizer of European Club Cup 2018 for organization and successful implementation of this Refreshing Course.

list of participants

The Lecturer
IA Ashot Vardapetyan (ARM)
Chairman of ECU Arbiters’ Council


The special venue of the Hungarian National Gallery recently hosted the fourth Global Chess Festival on October 13, where participants of the event could play among fine art masterpieces spanning hundreds of years. Olympic chess champion Judit Polgar brought together 250 locations across 23 countries from around the world, with representatives from many nations – ranging from India and Chile to China and the US – also taking part in the festival’s programs.


For the first time at the festival the Goodwill Ambassador of Artistic Values of Chess was awarded to a number of artists whose work has been inspired or influenced by the great game of chess. These include French composer Jason Kouchak, who opened the ceremony with a concert, and the Chilean singer-songwriter Juga, who amazed the crowd with her singing. Others were also bestowed the award, such as artist Yoko Ono, who will receive the award from Polgar in New York this November. Ono’s long-time collaborator Sam Havadtoy was also honoured with the award, as was Hungarian pianist Gergely Bogányi.


The festival itself even received praise from famed Italian singer Andrea Bocelli, who expressed his support for the festival in a letter that emphasised his message that chess eliminates the differences between people. It is in this spirit that the special circumstances of those with visual or hearing impairments were also playing on the festival, allowing for their chess technique and tools to be a focal theme to this year’s event.


Nearly 100,000 viewers watched Polgar’s simultaneous online game on the eve of the event via Twitch TV, which streamed the event online in conjunction with Sam Copeland, a director of the latter, said that simultaneous online streaming tremendous treat for the entire chess community, and Polgar’s dynamic and energy was a blast to see on screen.


It is with the spirit of Polgar’s personal motto, “#Chess Connects Us”, that the fourth Global Chess Festival was held. Chess, the world’s oldest board game, was able to show it’s many faces during the event – including competitive sports, art and education – proving that chess truly does not have any boundaries. The Budapest-based local event was also joined by venues from across globe, including – among others – the United States, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, India and Nepal. The Netherlands participated with eight locations including the small island of Schiermonnikoog with a tiny population of almost a thousand inhabitants, who renamed the island in celebration of the event to become the Isle of Chess for the day. China was also a major partner of the Global Chess Festival, with 200 locations representing the event.

chess_danceThe stand out event of the festival was the simultaneous match held by Judit and Sofia  Polgar, for which hundreds of people applied. Ultimately nearly 50 players sat and played against the two multiple Olympic champions in tandem. All ages were represented by this mix of players, from the retired to the very young, with the central motto for the event strengthened when a visually-impaired little girl sat at the chess table to compare her skills against the Polgar sisters.


The young Argentine Grandmaster, Damian Lemos, also arrived in Budapest at the invitation of the festival, allowing for the most adventurous of players to test their abilities against the champion of Argentina. At the close of the festival, Lemos noted the surprising strength of the Hungarian chess players he was facing, regardless of their age.
The ability for chess to educate was once again highlighted this year, with Judit Polgar’s Chess Palace and Chess Playground educational programs also playing a major role at the festival. These programs were developed for the younger generation to help them tackle the challenges of the 21st century and to teach them how to navigate the digital age and face the constant barrage of information that we are all required to endure on a daily basis.
goodwill_ambassador_of_artistic_values_of_chess__juga“Chess is a world, but a precious one, without the lies. It is a pure form of art” – said Arkady Dvorkovich, the newly elected president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), who acknowledged the festival’s motto of connectedness. “It gives us an opportunity to have an honest relationship with others and ourselves. This Festival has the power to gather all the generations, and to bring everyone close to everyone, to meet each other in socializing and to transmit that energy further. The idea that Judit Polgar put into focus, fact that chess have power to connect people, is the guiding principle for all of us.”

Chess Connects Us
GCF team




Teams of Mednyi Vsadnik Saint Petersburg and team of Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo have become the Winners of 34th European Chess Club Cup and 23rd European Chess Club Cup, respectively.

The Closing Ceremony of the event took place yesterday with attendance of FIDE President, Mr. Arkady Dvorkovich, President of European Chess Union, Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili, ECU Vice Presidents, Mr. Ivan Sokolov and Mr. Adrian Mikhalchishin, ECU Secretary General, Mr. Theodoros Tsoratzoglou, FIDE Vice President, Mrs. Anastasia Sorokina and Vice Governor of Halkidiki, Ioannis Giorgos.


In both sections, the winners were determined in the last round of the event. In Open section, 5 teams were running for the medal, with Valerenga who was the sole leader just before the round 7 when the leaders played between each other, with a direct match for the top between Valerenga and Mednyi Vsadnik St. Petersburg.

After Rodshtein Maxim defeated the captain of Valerenga, Borki Predojevic, and Fedoseev Vladimir made a victory against Grandelius Nils who was Valerenga’s hero of the 6th round, the result was 3-1 in advantage for Mednyi Vsadnik with clear positions on the other boards. After peaceful end of match between Svidler Peter and Carlsen Magnus, Mednyi Vsadnik St. Petersburg officially came on the top, but two other matches were played for the same result.


The team of AVE Novy Bor defeated Odlar Yurdu thanks to victories of Navara David and Laznicka Victor to reach the same number of match points, but according to the additional criteria, AVE Novy Bor ended on the second place with silver medal.


Four teams tied for the third place: Molodezhka, Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova, Valerenga Sjakklubb and Alkaloid, but tiebreaks favoured Molodezhka, who became the bronze medalist of the 34th European Chess Club Cup.

Final Standings- Open Section


The Winner of Women Section was determined in the direct playoff match for gold in the last round of the Championship between European Women Chess Club Cup Champion 2016- Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo and European Women Chess Club Cup Champion 2017- Nona chess club. Nona needed a victory to defend the title from the last year, since Cercle d’Echecs achieved more match points before entering the fight in the playoffs. The match ended in a draw with two draws and after Muzychuk Anna won against Dzagnidze Nana, and Batsiashvili Nino defeated Cramling Pia.


After loss in the last round, Nona chess club finished the event with silver medals.


The third place and bronze medalist was determined in another playoff match played between Russian teams SSHOR and Ugra. With draws on all boards, the match ended in a tie, and team of Ugra ended on the third place.

Final Standings- Women Section


The event took place from 11th-19th October in Porto Carras, Greece, with participation of 73 chess clubs, represented by players coming from 47 European federations.

The total prize fund of the event was 40.000 EUR with 22.000 EUR reserved for the Men’s competition and 13.000 EUR reserved for the Women’s competition. The rest of 5.000 EUR was distributed to the best individual players with the best board results.

Official Website of the Championship

Photographs by: Niki Riga


The last day of the European Club Cup and European Women Club Cup 2018 has already come. The last round of the event will be played today promising many interesting games and intense fight for the throne of this prestigious European event.


After six played rounds, five clubs are running for medals in Open section. After taking a look on the standing list after round 5, it was hardly expected to see Valerenga Sjakklubb to be the sole leader after 6 rounds, since Obiettivo Risarcmento Padova, AVE Novy Bor and Alkaloid had the same number of match points and Valerenga played top seeded Alkaloid.


And while Italian representative Obiettivo Risarcmento Padova and Czech AVE Novy Bor finished the match fulfilled with fights and decisive results in a peaceful manner, the hero of the day was Grandelius Nils who defeated Andreikin Dmitry to bring the narrow victory to Valerenga, and at the same time, the very pleasant leading position only one round before the end of the Championship.


Valerenga is followed by Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova, AVE Novy Bor, Mednyi Vsadnik St. Petersburg and Molodezhka, all with 10 match points each, and the spectators will be excited to watch the last round and clash of the leaders to witness who will stand on the throne. The fight for the medals will be happening on the first board between Mednyi Vsadnik St. Petersburg and Valerenga Sjakklubb as also the matches between Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova and Molodezhka on the 2nd board and Odlar Yurdu and AVE Novy Bor on the 3rd board.

Results, Pairings and Standings- Open Section


Since the Women’s section gathered 12 teams, the teams were separated in two groups A and B, and after five played rounds proceeded to playoffs system. In the sixth round of the event, all eyes were on matches played between SSHOR and Nona and Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo and Ugra who fought for the super final match which will determine the Winner of the Championship.


After harsh struggles, Javakhishvili Lela and Khotenashvili Bela won their games to bring the secure victory with result 3-1 for Nona chess club, while the match between Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo and Ugra was on the edge of the nerves for the whole time.


After draw on the first board, victories of Gyria Olga and Cornette Deimante, and result 1.5-1.5, the great decision came to Cramling Pia and Pogonina Natalija. After very intense rook endgame, Cramling Pia managed to defeat Pogonina and Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo qualified for the match for gold medal!


And while the match for the throne will be played between Nona and Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo, in the last, 7th round, Russian teams SSHOR and Ugra will play against each other for the bronze medal.

Results, Pairings and Standings- Women Section


The last round of the event with all 204 games in live transmission, will start today at 15:00 (local time), and the live broadcast of all the games can be followed through the official website of the Championship, together with live commentary which is done by GM Ioannis Papaioannou and FM Sotiris Logothetis.

Official Website of the Championship

Photographs by: Niki Riga


Four rounds have been already played at the 34th European Chess Club Cup and 23rd European Women Chess Club Cup, which are currently ongoing in Porto Carras, Greece.


In Open section, among the competition of 61 clubs, two teams emerged on the top as the leaders of the event, with 4 triumphs and maximum of 8 match points, by making the narrow victories of 3.5-2.5 in the 4th round.


Already today, in the 5th round, spectators will see the clash of the leaders, team of Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova, represented by GM Wang Hao (CHN, 2722), GM Leko Peter (HUN, 2690), GM Vallejo Pons Francisco (ESP, 2713), GM Granda Zuniga Julio (PER, 2641), GM Vocaturo Daniele (ITA, 2615), GM David Alberto (ITA, 2561), GM Brunello Sabino (ITA, 2548) and GM Dvirnyy Danyyil (ITA, 2480), and team of Alkaloid, represented by world #4 Ding Liren (CHN. 2804), GM Yu Yangyi (CHN, 2765), GM Andreikin Dmitry (RUS, 2723), GM Jakovenko Dmitry (RUS, 2752), GM Eljanov Pavel (UKR, 2703), GM Kryvoruchko Yuriy (UKR, 2697), GM Nedev Trajko (MKD, 2496) and IM Pancevski Filip (MKD, 2489).


The emerged leaders are followed by 4 teams with score of 7 match points each: Odlar Yurdu, Valerenga, Beer Sheva Chess Club and AVE Novy Bor.

Pairings, Results and Standings- Open Section


In Women’s section, Nona chess club, represented by GM Nana Dzagnidze (GEO, 2509), GM Batsiashvili Nino (GEO, 2482), IM Javakhishvili Lela (GEO, 2475), GM Khotenashvili Bela (GEO, 2469) and IM Melia Salome (GEO, 2387) leads the A group while the  European Club Cup winner in 2016, team of Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo, represented by GM Muzychuk Anna (UKR, 2555), GM Cramling Pia (SWE, 2465), GM Socko Monika (POL, 2451), IM Cornette Deimante (LTU, 2462) and IM Skripchenko Almira (FRA, 2414) leads the B group with 4 wins both.


The runner-ups are chess club Ugra, with 3 victories and one lost match and Kyiv Chess Federation, with the same score. After the 5ht round the teams of both groups will enter the play offs session.

Pairings, Results and Standings- Women Section


The 5th round of the event with all 204 games in live transmission, will start today at 15:00 (local time), and the live broadcast of all the games can be followed through the official website of the Championship, together with live commentary which is done by GM Ioannis Papaioannou and FM Sotiris Logothetis.

Official Website of the Championship

Photographs: Niki Riga





The 1st European School Individual Chess Cup took place from 4th-11th October, in beautiful ambient of Congress Centre of the Mediterian Hotel, in Budva, Montenegro.


The event was played in a Combined system, with 5 rounds played according to the classical time control, and after a break, competitors continued with rapid and blitz tournaments. Championship gathered 34 young chess players, divided in 2 age sections: U15 and U9.

After 7 days of fights, the Winner of the U9 section became Warchol Kamil (POL) who triumphed on each of the tournaments. The second place went to Borsch Alexander (RUS) who took bronze on the classical event and silver medals on rapid and blitz tournaments, while the third place went to Damodaran Patrick (ENG) who was 4th on the classical and blitz tournament, and bronze on the rapid event.

Final standings-U9


The Winner of the U15 – A category became Pobor Milo (MNE) who took gold on the blitz championship, silver on the Classical event, and bronze on the rapid tournament. Leszko Bence (HUN) went second with two bronze medals on classical and blitz event, and silver medal on the rapid championship, while Vuckovic Marko (MNE) came third with gold medal on the rapid event and 4th and 5th place on blitz and classical tournament, respectively.

Final standings- U15-A


Volkova Alina (RUS) triumphed in section U15-B with gold medal in blitz championship, and two silvers in classical and rapid event. Popovic Mateja (MNE) was second as the Winner of classical tournament and second on blitz tournament, but with the 6th place on rapid event. Bojovic Neda (MNE) took the third place on general standings after winning the rapid tournament and taking the 10th and 5th place on classical and blitz event, respectively.

Final standings- U15-B


The Closing Ceremony was attended by Mr. Alexander Kostyev, the President of the International School Chess Union, who also took part in the prize giving ceremony.

The Combined system of a chess competition was implemented by enthusiasts of European School Chess Union (ISCU), and was accepted by the ECU and Montenegro Chess Federation.This is the first event held according to the Combined system of Classic tournament, rapid tournament and blitz tournament, and will be held also in 2019 and 2020, and then it will be decided if the event will become one of the Official ECU events.

Official Website of the Championship


The 34th European Club Cup and the 23rd European Women Club Cup had opened two days ago, on 11th October, in Porto Carras, famous Greek seaside resort located in Halkidiki.


At the Opening Ceremony of the event, European Chess Union was represented by ECU Secretary General, Mr. Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou and ECU Vice President, Mr. Ivan Sokolov. After the event had been declared opened, the Technical captains meeting took place in the same venue with participation of Mr. Petr Pisk, ECU Tournament Director, Mr. Tomasz Delega, Secretary of the ECU Arbiters council and the Chief arbiter of the event, and Mr. Sotiris Logothetis, Secretary of the ECU Events Commission and the Deputy arbiter of the event.


The battles for the prestigious title of European Club Cup Winner have started with the first round of the event which was played yesterday. Among the 73 clubs which are represented by players coming from 47 federations, there are many famous and well known chess names, top world and European Grandmasters, and World Chess Champion, Magnus Carlsen.


No surprises happened in the 1st round of the event in Open section. As expected, the World Chess Champion didn’t play on the very start of the event and only followed the games of his teammates in the playing venue, but spectators could’ve enjoyed in many others high leveled games played between top chess Grandmasters. Many favorites won in the first round very convincingly, such as four top seeded clubs: Alkaloid, AVE Novy Bor, Odlar Yurdu and Mednyi Vsadnik Saint Petersburg who made a victory with a maximum 6-0 results.


The second round of the event, which starts today at 15:00 (local time), seems that will bring more intense matches and interesting games. Top pairings are:

1 25 Rehovot Chess School 2 : 2 Alkaloid 1
2 2 AVE Novy Bor 2 : 2 SK 1911 28
3 30 LSG Leiden 2 : 2 Odlar Yurdu 3
4 4 Mednyi Vsadnik St.Petersburg 2 : 2 Itaka 9
5 6 Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova 2 : 2 Schachfreunde Berlin 1903 12
6 8 Beer Sheva Chess Club 2 : 2 Schachgesellschaft Winterthur 18
7 27 CC Gambit Asseco SEE 2 : 2 E.S. Thessalonikis 17
8 26 Overtime 2 : 2 Wood Green 29
9 5 Valerenga Sjakklubb 2 : 2 Molodezhka 7
10 10 SV Werder Bremen 2 : 2 Schachgesellschaft Solingen 14

Pairings, Results and Standings- Open Section


12 teams participate the Women section where the first round was marked by only one surprising result in the match played between Russian SSHOR and Italian Caissa Italia Pentole Angelli. The match ended in a peaceful manner, although the Italians were the favorites as the 3rd seeded on the starting list. While the final result of the match was draw, the match was fulfilled with fights, with two first tables finishing the games as draw, while 3rd and 4th board had a decisive results.


Already tomorrow, the things will get very interesting, with the top board match between Ugra and Kiev Chess federation, and match between Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo and Odlar Yurdu. Pairings of the 2nd round:

1 4 Ugra *) 2 : 2 Kyiv Chess federation 5
2 9 Beer Sheva Chess Club 0 : 0 Mulhouse Philidor *) 8
3 12 AMO Galaxias Thessaloniki *) 0 : 2 Nona 1
4 3 Caissa Italia Pentole Agnelli 1 : 0 ZSK Maribor *) 10
5 2 Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo 2 : 2 Odlar Yurdu *) 6
6 7 SSHOR *) 1 : 0 Caissa Italia Banca Alpi Marittime 11

Pairings, Results and Standings- Women Section


The 2nd round of the event will start today at 15:00 (local time) and all the 204 games of the event can be followed LIVE through the Official Website of the Championship.

Official Website of the Championship

Photo Gallery

Photographs by: Niki Riga