ECU Magazine March 2020 is out!

In this edition of the ECU E-Magazine you may read about:

  • 2nd ECU Board meeting 2020
  • ECU rescheduled events
  • FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020
  • FIDE Women’s Grand Prix, Lausanne
  • World Senior Team Chess Championship 2020
  • Arbiters corner
  • Fun Zone

March 2020 edition of the ECU E-Magazine can be read online together with interactive links and videos on the following link, or can be downloaded as PDF file down bellow.


Arbiters’ thematic crossword – Download

Communique of the 2nd ECU Board Meeting – CL No.2

The European Chess Union 2nd  Board meeting for 2020, took place on the 28th of March through teleconference. 

The main areas under discussion and decisions made were the following: 

      Funding – Partnerships

  1. ECU announces its Partnership with the London Based Company “Azeus Convene UK”
    Azeus Convene is a multi-awarded and leading board management software that is used by directors and executives in more than 100 countries. Designed specifically for organisational leaders, it gives its users complete control over the entire meeting process – from pre-meeting preparation to post-meeting document distribution, distribution reducing the costs of administration.“Azeus Convene UK” will be an official supporter of European Chess Union for the year 2020.
  2. ECU Board appointed Mr. Sarkhan Hashimov (AZE) as the ECU Global Strategy Director (GSD). Mr. Hashimov has background and experience in Business Management, Strategy Development, Start-up creation as well as creation of business propositions for sponsoring. He has an established network and relations with the business community, and he worked and working for leading worldwide brands.

    ECU GSD responsibilities includes:

  • Analysis of the International Business Environment for supporting sports activities 
  • Advocating key strategic priorities and translating them into a comprehensive strategic plan.
  • Designing, Communicating and implementing a company’s strategy in sponsoring, business and IT projects.
  • Creating and communicating sponsorship packages and B2B partnerships.

3. ECU Board decided to make the necessary temporarily adjustments in 2020 budget due to the International crisis conditions.  

European Championships-Tournaments

  1. The ECU Board decided to prolong the deadline for bids for the 2022 events till 30th of October 2020.
  2. The European Women’s Chess Championship 2020 scheduled in Mamaia, Romania from 1st to 13th of June was postponed to 31st October – 12th November.  The invitation will be updated in a due time. 
  3. The European Golden Pawn Award Ceremony was postponed for the year 2021. 

Online activities

Board approved a special program for online activities, the next 2 months. The
program includes:

  1. The European Internet Championship 2020 from 15TH to 30TH  May in co-operation with the leading online platform
  2. Online Webinars for School Chess Teachers and Arbiters
  3. Webinars for Distance Learning & Coaching
  4. Webinars of digitalisation of Sports Administration for European Chess federations
  5. Initiatives for the further popularization of Chess to the wide population.
  6. Co-operation with the FIDE Trainers Commission for targeted trainers’ seminars in Europe

ECU President Zurab Azmaiparashvili’s message following the ECU Board Meeting on 28th of March 2020, concerning the world crisis and the new initiatives by the European Chess Union.


Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou
ECU Secretary General

ECU_CL2_2020_Communique of the ECU_Board_Meeting


Half way, seven rounds have been played at FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020 and due to enhanced prevention measures by Government of Russia, International Chess Federation (FIDE) decided to stop the tournament.

The event will be continued in the same composition, and results for the first 7 rounds will be valid. The exact dates for the second part of the tournament will be announced soon.

Maxime Vachier Lagrave (FRA, 2767) defeated Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS, 2774) in the R7, and joined him in a lead. Scoring 4.5 points, they are a full point ahead of the runner-ups.

They are followed by group of 4 players with 3.5 points each: Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2842), Anish Giri (NED, 2763), Wang Hao (CHN, 2762) and Alexander Grischuk (RUS, 2777).

Ding Liren (CHN, 2805) and Alekseenko Kirill (RUS, 2698) hold the 7th and 8th position, with score of 2.5 points.

Official Website of the event


After 6 played rounds and before the resting day, Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS, 2774) emerged as the sole leader of FIDE Candidates Tournament 2020.

Nepomniachtchi defeated Ding Liren (CHN, 2805) with white pieces, transferring the positional advantage in Ruy Lopez for a material pawn up position. The passed pawn shortly after forced Ding Liren to give up a piece, and in the 40th move, he resigned.

Another decisive result happened in a game played between Alekseenko Kirill (RUS, 2698) against Giri Anish (NED, 2763). Young Russian made a critical mistake in the 87th move in a drawn nights endgame and only 10 moves later, resigned. With this victory, Anish Giri for a first time ever experienced victory on a Candidates Tournament.

Grischuk Alexander (RUS, 2777) sacrificed a pawn in a Ruy Lopez for initiative, in a game played against Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2842). After entering an equal endgame, the draw was claimed in the move 54.

Maxime Vachier Lagrave (FRA, 2767) hold a draw against Wang Hao (CHN, 2762) in an endgame with a pawn down. This way, Vachier Lagrave maintained the runner-up position, scoring 3.5 points.

Today is the resting day in Yekaterinburg. The round 7 starts tomorrow and the pairings are:

  • Caruana Fabiano – Wang Hao
  • Vachier Maxime Lagrave – Nepomniachtchi Ian
  • Ding Liren – Alekseenko Kirill
  • Giri Anish – Grischuk Alexander

All the games can be followed live trough the Official Website of the event.

Official Website of the event

European Open Chess Championship postponed to 8-21 December

The European Open Chess Championship 2020 was scheduled from 17th to 30th of May 2020 in Podčetrtek, Slovenia  

Due to the Pandemic and the Force majeure situation , Slovenian Chess Federation and European Chess union have decided to postpone the Championship to 8-21 December 2020.

Venue and conditions remain the same.

Bookings have been already made and deposits will be transferred to the new dates and in case that participants will not be able to attend will be fully refunded for their hotel bookings and registration fees by the organisers.  

For more information please follow the official website:

Three players in a lead at FIDE Candidates

Maxime Vachier Lagrave (FRA, 2767), Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS, 2774) and Wang Hao (CHN, 2762) take a lead at the 2020 FIDE Candidates Tournament before the first resting day, scoring 2 points, each.

The only decisive game of the round three was played between Ding Liren (CHN, 2805) and Caruana Fabiano (USA, 2842). Caruana chose a sharp opening with the black pieces, but Ding Liren calm and confident, defended with accuracy taking his first point at the event, after two losses.

Maxime Vachier Lagrave (FRA, 2767) drew with black pieces against Giri Anish (NED, 2763) after 30 moves in Grunfeld defence.

22 years old Alekseenko Kirill (RUS, 2698) sacrificed an exchange in the middlegame against Ian Nepomniachtchi (RUS, 2774), but after attack he couldn’t find a better option than a perpetual check and the game ended in a draw.

In a great fight between Alexander Grischuk (RUS, 2777) and Wang Hao (CHN, 2762) players entered a rooks endgame and after 3 moves repetition, claimed a draw in 49th move.

All the games and detailed information can be found on Official Website of the event.

The event continues tomorrow with the round 4 and the pairings are:

  • Fabiano Caruana – Ian Nepomniachtchi 
  • Wang Hao – Kirill Alekseenko 
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave – Alexander Grischuk 
  • Ding Liren –  Anish Giri 

Official Website of the event

ECU congratulates to its President Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili on his 60th birthday anniversary!

European Chess Union congratulates to its President, Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili on his 60th anniversary. We wish him a day filled with joy, years full of success and all his dreams to come true!

Mr. Zurab Azmiaprashvili was born in Tbilisi, Georgia in 1960, and started a rising chess career by winning the Championship of Georgia among students (schoolboys) in 1973. With many individual Winner titles, he won several medals with the team of Georgia on USSR Team Championships. In 1998, with the rating performance of 2810, Azmaiparashvili achieved the best individual result of the World Chess Olympiad in Elista. After winning a number of medals in European Chess Championships, the title of the European Chess Champion came in 2003, in Istanbul, when Zurab Azmaiparashvili became the first Georgian ever to accomplish this achievement.

Besides the active chess career, Azmaiparashvili started a Training career, as a Coach/Secundant of the world’s strongest chess player – Garry Kasparov (1987-1994). He worked as trainer of world known Grandmasters, such as: Judit Polgar, Étienne Bacrot and Teimour Radjabov, and part of many chess Academies, as well as establisher of Tbilisi Chess Academy (2010-2019).

In 2012 he became a Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs of Georgia (2012-2015) and in 2014, after elections in Tromso, Norway the President of the European Chess Union. He was the Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the 43rd World Chess Olympiad (2014-2018).

More details about his life career

European Chess Union congratulates him on all accomplishments in chess and life fields, and wishing him many more!


FIDE Candidates Tournament opens tomorrow and will take place from 16th March – 13th April in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

Eight players will participate double round robin event with 14 rounds, and the Winner will become a challenger to reigning World Chess Champion, Magnus Carslen (NOR, 2862).

The participants are:

  • Fabiano Caruana (USA, 2842)
  • Ding Liren (CHN, 2805)
  • Grischuk Alexander (RUS, 2777)
  • Nepomniachtchi, Ian (RUS, 2774)
  • Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime (FRA, 2767)
  • Anish Giri (NED, 2763)
  • Wang, Hao (CHN, 2762)
  • Kirill Alekseenko (RUS, 2698)

A pre-start press conference will be held tomorrow at 13:00 (local time), with participation of the officials, organizers and some of the players. The Opening ceremony of the event will take place in the evening, at 19:00 (local time), at Ekaterinburg Expo Congress Centre.

First round of the event starts at 16:00 (local time) on 17th March, in the official venue of the event Hyatt Regency Hotel, and the pairings of the first round are:

  • Maxime Vachier Lagrave – Fabiano Caruana
  • Ding Liren – Wang Hao
  • Anish Giri – Ian Nepomniachtchi
  • Alexander Grischuk – Kirill Alekseenko

LIVE transmission of the games can be followed through the official website of the event, together with LIVE commentaries in 3 languages: English, Russian and Chinese. The commentators are: GM Judit Polgar, GM Daniel King and GM Evgenij Miroshnichenko for English commentary, GM Sergey Shipov for Russian commentary, while the Chinese commentators will be ex-world champion Hou Yifan and three-time champion of China and 14-time champion of The Netherlands, Peng Zhaoqing.

The event features the total prize fund of 500.000 EUR.

Official Website of the event

Nana Dzagnidze wins FIDE Women’s Grand Prix in Lausanne

After very intense finish of the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix Lausanne in Switzerland, Nana Dzagnidze (GEO) claimed the title of the Winner, thanks to better tiebreaks than Aleksandra Goryachkina (RUS), who won silver medal.

The Winner was decided in the last 11th round of the event, since leaders of the 10th round, Nana Dzagnidze and Aleksandra Goryachkina, played against each other for the top. The game ended in a draw, and with score of 7 points each, the Winner was decided by tiebreaks criteria.

Abdumalik Zhansaya (KAZ) had a chance to join the leading duo if she had won the last game, but with a draw, she scored 6.5 points and took bronze.

Final standings- Lausanne GP

After the 3rd stage of FIDE Women’s Grand Prix the standings are:

The last event of the Women’s Grand Prix Series will be played from 2nd-15th May in Sardinia.

Official Website of the event

Photos from Official Website

USA and Russia win World Senior Team Chess Championship 2020

Teams of USA and Russia are announced as the Winners of 50+ and 65+ (respectively) sections of FIDE World Senior Team Chess Championship 2020 after 7 played rounds, due to the current situation of expansion of corona virus, COVID-19.

During the tournament, the government of the Czech Republic and the National Security Council have declared preventive measures against the spread of the coronavirus and banned all cultural, sport, and social events with above 30 participants.

With this circumstances, FIDE announced the Winners of the event after 7 played rounds.

In 50+ section, team of USA scored 12 match points to be alone on the top of the list. Four teams tied for the second place, scoring 11 match points, each: Lasker Schachstiftung GK (Germany), Czech Republic 1 and Island. According to tiebreaks criteria, Lasker Schachstigtung GK from Germany took silver and Czech Republic 1 came third.

Final rankings – 50+

Teams of Russia and France tied for the first place in 65+ category, scoring 12 match points, each. According to tiebreaks, Russia became the World Senior Team Chess Champion 2020, and France won silver medals. Two teams from Germany: Schachfreunde Leipzig and Germany 1 tied for bronze, but tiebreaks decided that medals go to Schachfreunde Leipzig, while Germany 1 finished on the 4th place.

Final rankings- 65+

List of the best players per boards can be found here.

Official Website of the event