The European Chess Union (ECU) invites all National Chess Federations of ECU to participate in the European Youth Team Chess Championships 2020 organised from 9 July (arrivals) to 17 July (departures). The event will be held in the Conference Hall of the 5-star Lazart Hotel in Thessaloniki, Greece.

The European Youth Team Championship shall be held according to Swiss system in 7 rounds, with two open sections and two sections for the girls teams, considered as separate competitions in categories U12 and u18.

According to ECU tournament rules, the time control will be 90 min for 40 moves + 30 min for the rest of the game + 30 sec increment for every move played starting from move 1. Players may only agree to a draw after black’s 30th move.

Each national federation member of the European Chess Union has the right to enter unlimited number of teams of four players and one reserve in the open competitions and unlimited number of teams of two female players and one (1) reserve in the girls competitions. These teams may represent the national federation, a region, a city, a club or a school.

Entry forms must be filled and sent to the Tournament office no later than the registration deadline- 9th May 2020.

The playing hall and the official hotel of the event is 5-star Lazart Hotel Thessaloniki.

The winning team of competition receives the title “European Youth Champion Team 2020” in its respective category. The first three teams in each competition will receive trophies and medals.

Tournament Director:
FIDE IO Nikos Kalesis,
Tel.: (+30) 6938326161
Official Website:

European Youth Team Chess Championship – Regulations


Eight rounds of Tata Steel Masters have been already played in Wijk aan Zee, Netherlands, and Caruana Fabiano(USA, 2822) and 16 years old Firouzja Alireza (2723) tie for the top, scoring 5.5 points each.

In the 8th round, Caruana took a victory over a former World Chess Champion, Anand Viswanathan (IND, 2758), while Firouzja Alireza drew with black pieces with Van Foreest Jorden (NED, 2644), and both went on the resting day as leaders.

So Wesley (USA, 2765) and Van Foreest Jorden (NED, 2644) follow up with 5 points, each. In round 8, reigning World Chess Champion Magnus Carlsen, accomplished the first victory against Vitiugov, Nikita and in the round 9 faces Firouzja Alireza!

Round 9 starts tomorrow and brings the following pairings:

Anand, Viswanathan – Dubov, Daniil  
Vitiugov, Nikita – Caruana, Fabiano  
Firouzja, Alireza – Carlsen, Magnus  
Kovalev, Vladislav – Van Foreest, Jorden  
Duda, Jan-Krzysztof – Xiong, Jeffery  
Artemiev, Vladislav – Yu, Yangyi  
So, Wesley – Giri, Anish  

The round 8 was opened by Samunenkov Ihor from Ukraine- the Winner of the event “Future Champions of Europe” organised by Judit Polgar Chess Foundation and European Chess Union.

Live transmission of the games is available through the Official Website of the event.

Photos from Official Website of the event (by official photographer of Tata Steel – Alina l’Ami.


The 18th edition of Gibraltar Chess Festival, opens tomorrow in Caleta Hotel, in Gibraltar.

The festival comprises Masters, Challenger and Amateurs tournament. Masters tournament, which gathered 239 players coming from 55 federations, will be played in 10 rounds, Swiss system, with rate of play: 40 moves in 100 minutes plus 20 moves in 50 minutes plus 15 minutes for all remaining moves with 30 seconds per move added from the start.

The very strong line-up of 211 titled players is led by: Mamedyarov Shakhriya (AZE, 2770), Vachier-Lagrave Maxime (FRA, 2770), Wang Hao (CHN, 2758), Topalov Veselin (ECU, 2738), Navara David (CZE, 2717) and many others world known Grandmasters.

Starting rank list

The total prize fund of the event crosses 170.000 £ , with 30.000 £ reserved for the winner of the event, and 20.000 £ reserved for the best ranked women player.

All the details about the event, together with live transmission of the games is available on the official Website of the event.

Official Website of the event

First Rank Newsletter 32 – January 2020

ECU Education – School Chess Tournaments

First Rank is a fortnightly term-time newsletter for everyone interested in chess for education. From January on, a lot of tournaments are organised. Is it wise to participate with children who only started to play chess in September? We’ll try to give you an answer. You’ll also find our usual subjects: an anecdote, a tactical exercise and the training course calendar.

ECU ChessPlus First Rank Newsletter 32 is available here.


TAJFUN Ljubljana Chess Festival 2020 will be held from 26th April- 3rd May 2020 in the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana.

Ljubljana Chess Festival comprise the Open tournament, which will be played in 9 rounds, Swiss accelerated system, with time control: 90 minutes for the first 40 moves, plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from the move one.

The total prize fund of the event is 15.500 EUR, with 3.000 EUR reserved for the Winner of the Ljubljana Chess Festival.

Playing venue of the tournament will be Gospodarsko razstavišče, Marmorna dvorana, located in Ljubljana.

Registrations for the tournament shall be done online by filling the application form on the Official website of the event.

The event is organized by: ŠK Ljubljana, ŠD Domžale Tajfun, ŠD Posočje, and the general sponsor of the tournament is TAJFUN PLANINA proizvodnja strojev d.o.o. from Slovenia.

All details can be found on the Official Website of the event

Official regulations- TAJFUN Ljubljana Chess Festival


Four rounds have been already played at 82nd Tata Steel Masters tournament in Wijk aan Zee, often called “Wimbledon of chess”.

After four played rounds, and the resting day (15th of January), Wesley So (USA, 2765) goes to round 5 as the sole leader of the event, scoring 3/4. He is followed by Xiong, Jeffery (USA, 2712), Caruana Fabiano (USA, 2822), Firouzja, Alireza (2723), Van Foreest, Jorden (NED, 2644) and
Artemiev, Vladislav (RUS, 2731), who tie for the second place, each with 2.5 points.

Round 5, which takes place in Eindhoven, brings the following pairings:

Carlsen, Magnus (NOR, 2872) – Dubov, Daniil (RUS, 2683)
Caruana, Fabiano (USA, 2822)- Van Foreest Jorden (NED, 2644)
Anand, Viswanathan (IND, 2758) – Xiong, Jeffery (USA, 2712)
Vitiugov, Nikita (RUS, 2747)- Yu, Yangyi (CHN, 2726)
Firouzja, Alireza (2723) – Giri, Anish (NED, 2768)
Kovalev, Vladislav (BLR, 2660)- So, Wesley (USA, 2765)
Duda, Jan-Krzysztof (POL, 2758)- Artemiev, Vladislav (RUS, 2731)

LIVE transmission of the games can be followed through the Official Website of the event.

Besides the main Masters event, the Tata steel Chess comprises Challenger event and amateurs and kids events.

On the yesterdays free day, the international grandmasters of the Tata Steel Chess Tournament played their friendly football match at the Telstar FC stadium this afternoon. World champion Magnus Carlsen and Loek van Wely (grandmaster and currently a Dutch senator) were the team captains.

Official Website of the event

Photos from the Official Website.


In December 2019, ECU Arbiters Council announced the call of interest for the arbiters who are interested to be appointed for ECU events in 2020.

197 applications were received and among them, 176 were from titled arbiters and passed the necessary conditions.

List of interested arbiters is available here.

Deadline for objections by national federations from the arbiters is January 26th 2020 (see points 10-11, of the regulations). 

More details are available on the Website of ECU Arbiters Council.


European Women Chess Championship 2020 will take place from 31st of May (arrival day) until 13th of June 2020 (departure day) in Mamaia, Romania.

The event is organized by Romanian Chess Federation, Constanta County Chess Association and Mind Games & Events Sport Association, under the auspices of European Chess Union.

The 21st European Individual Chess Championship for women is open for all players representing the Chess Federations members of the European Chess Union, regardless of their title or rating. Applications shall be sent by national federations. There is no limit of participants per federation.

Registration deadline is 10th April 2020.

The event will be played in 11 rounds, Swiss system, with time control: 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one.

Official venue and the Hotel of the Championship will be 4* Ramada Hotel, located in Mamaia, Romania.

The total prize fund of the event is 60.000 EUR, with 10.000 EUR reserved for the Winner of the event.

The 21st European Women Individual Chess Championship is a qualification event for the FIDE Women’s World Cup 2022. According to new and recently published FIDE regulations defining for 2022 a 3-years cycle (2020, 2021, 2022), and the ECU Board previous decisions, at least 8 players will qualify.  Next ECU Board meeting (end of January 2020) may decide and announce additional spots taking into consideration the new FIDE regulations.

information can be found at Official Website of the event.

Website of the event.,


Contact information:

IO Elena Cristian +40 723309101

Romanian Chess Federation:  
GM Constantin Ionescu, General Secretary,,

European Women Individual Chess Championship 2020- Regulations

WITH CHESS TO FREEDOM – Project “Chess in Prison”

The paraphrase of the infamous slogan of “welcoming” prisoners
of concentration camps is deliberately used in the headline. Pieces made from
precious bread were at that time one of the few ways to maintain common sense
in an environment beyond human understanding.

Fortunately, concentration camps are a thing of the past, but the magical power of chess is eternal. Not only it gives a man some inner freedom limited by rules, it also develops creativity, a sense of long-term strategy, and immediate tactics. It teaches patience, responsibility for decisions and encourages lessons to be learned from losses. All this is then carried by oneself also outside the chessboard.

The International Chess Federation (FIDE) project “Chess in Prison” launched in 2019 builds on these positives and adds something extra. The convicts/prisoners receive advice from the most competent – real chess masters. Their help does not only concern the chessboard, but in the transferred sense it is also a help for the next life.

Thanks to cooperation of a special teacher Mgr. Eva Ježková with
International Master Petr Pisk, Czech FIDE Delegate, with the help of free time
pedagogue Ivan Ohera, who is in charge of chess club for prisoners, the prison in
Kuřim joined the project as one of the first.

So far, International Master Petr Pisk has played a simultaneous exhibition in prison on sixteen chessboards. In addition, he supervised the subsequent prisoners’ tournament. And in order not to limit himself to specific advice over the table, he spent one afternoon teaching and he demonstrated various tips for openings, defending, attacking and endgames.

The increased interest of prisoners in chess shows the success of the
FIDE project in the Kuřim Prison. And because the prison is very well equipped
with both the chess literature in the local library and the chessboards on the
various sections of the prison, there is nothing to obstruct new chess players
from becoming serious about the royal game. Not only they will spare their free
time, but it can be assumed that the more chess skills they acquire, the
greater their chances are to avoid returning behind the
prison walls after release.

The project “Chess in Prison” thus fulfills the motto “With Chess to
Freedom” without any irony.


ECU E-Magazine December 2019 is out!

December 2019 edition of the ECU E-Magazine can be read online together with interactive links on the following link, or can be downloaded as a PDF file bellow.

ECU E-MAGAZINE December 2019