On Saturday, 28th February 2015, the meeting with the FIDE and ECU representatives took place in the Wyndham Garden Hotel in Dresden/Germany, during the World Senior Team Chess Championship.

Pocksteiner Jordan Bastian

Players and team captains gathered together to discuss current topics of Senior chess, in the event hosted by Dr. Dirk Jordan, FIDE Director for Seniors. He was supported by Mr. Herbert Bastian, FIDE Vice President, and Mr. Johann Pöcksteiner, the ECU Seniors Tournament Director.

Some of the topics of the meeting were the temporal organization of future tournaments, the evaluation of the current age limit, etc.

In addition to these points, the participants were able to express their own proposals and requests.


The meeting was very successful and all the good ideas and suggestions of the attendances will be useful for the next FIDE and ECU meetings.

Photos by Karsten Wieland


In Ramada hotel in Jerusalem tension is rising up as the battle on the 23 qualification tickets to the world cup games approaches its decisive moments. Yesterday in the eighth round former European champion Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi took a sole lead with 6.5 points after beating Englishman David Howell whilst all other seven leaders had settled for a draw.

Nepo vs Howell

A large group of 13 grandmasters are just half a point behind the leader.

Once again Israeli juniors were the local heroes of the round. Following his sensational round 7 victory on the Armenian GM Hrant Melkumyan, young Ohad Kraus (rated 2190) obtained a winning position once again against a strong grandmaster. It was Robin van Kampen this time who being a pawn down for practically nothing he rushed to offer a draw which was accepted. One would think it was due to the huge rating gap between the two, however Kraus, an orthodox believer explained that it was a fasting day yesterday and he actually hadn’t eaten anything since the day before. His overloaded dinner plate after the round showed indeed that he was pretty hungry. Robin on this part said later: “The draw offer was definitely my best move in this game”…

playing hall

The great local hero of round eight was nonetheless 14 years old David Gorodetzky (rated 2210) who beat yesterday a second Israeli grandmaster. Earlier in the tournament he had downed Dan Zoler and yesterday he defeated Arthur Kogan in just 23 moves:

David Gorodetzky –  Arthur Kogan [B01]

Eicc 2015 , 04.03.2015

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6 6.Bc4 b5?! 7.Bb3 e6 8.0–0 Be7 9.Re1 0–0? 10.d5! Rd8 11.Bd2! b4 12.dxe6! bxc3 13.exf7+ Kf8 [13…Kh8 14.Bxc3! Rxd1 15.Raxd1 Qc7 16.Ba5+-] 14.Qe2 Qc7 15.Bxc3 Nd5 16.Ng5 Bf5 17.Bxd5 Rxd5 18.Qxe7+ Qxe7 19.Rxe7 Na6 20.Rae1 Rdd8 21.Re8+ Rxe8 22.Bxg7+! Kxg7 23.Rxe8 1–0   An O-la-la miniature!

Another victim of a blitzing attack was a famous Slovenian senior GM. His opponent is a young Dutch GM:

David Klein – Alexander Beliavsky [C41]

EICC 2015 , 04.03.2015

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Be7 6.g3 d5 7.e5 Ng4 8.Bg2 0–0 9.0–0 c5 10.Ndb5 d4 11.Nd5 Nc6 12.f4 Nh6 13.h3 Nf5 14.Kh2 a6 15.Nbc7 Ra7 16.Qe1 b5 17.Qe4 d3 18.cxd3 Nfd4 19.f5 Rxc7? [19…Bxf5 20.Rxf5 Nxf5 21.Qxf5 Rxc7 22.Nxc7 Qxc7=] 20.f6! gxf6?? [20…Bxf6 21.exf6 Re8 22.Qf4 Rd7=] 21.exf6 Bd6 22.Qh4! 1–0

Photo gallery and the facebook page of the European championship

The complete video archive of the Internet live commentary may be found at

By Yochanan Afek

Photos by Yoav Nis



The signal to the start of the seventh round of the European championship in Jerusalem was given yesterday by IA Eliahu Levant, the 87 years old mythological director of Beer- Sheva club, the pioneer who emigrated from St. Petersburg at the early seventies to build up from scratch a chess empire in the capital of the Negev, the southern desert of Israel.


Following multiple draws at the top the lead was reinforced by those who managed to emerge winners in the seventh rounds. Both matches between the leaders Motylev vs Nepomnianchtchi; Bartel vs Sargissian ended peacefully leaving all four at the lead. However they  were joined by the five winners in the sub-top group: Ukrainian Anton  Korobov inflicted on Israeli Emil Sutovsky his first defeat in an eventful and exciting battle to return to the lead following a short absence ; Russian Ivan Popov stopped  the surprising success of the unknown Israeli Pinkhas Kantraji; German (until not long ago Romania No.1) Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu downed in a hair-raising encounter Russian Ivan Bukavshin  Englishman David Howell beat now Romania No.1 Constantin Lupulescu and Ukrainian Andrei Volokitin defeated Russian Aleksey Goganov. All nine are having 5.5 points.

playing hall

The daily sensation was the victory of the unknown young Israeli player Ohad Kraus on Armenian GM Hrant Melkumian who is almost 500 rating points higher!

Things are expected to become even more complicated in the forthcoming rounds as the race for the 23 qualification tickets to the world cup and for the prize fund of 120,000 Euros is about to enter its decisive stage.

Top encounters of the eighth round are: Nepomniachtchi vs Howell; Nisipeanu vs Korobov; Sargissian vs Volokitin; Popov vs Motylev and Bartel vs Eljanov. The games are to start Wednesday at 15.00 pm and to be transmitted by the official website

By Yochanan Afek

Photos by Yoav Nis



European Chess Union announces the official launch of the sponsorship program by Bank of Georgia, a private Bank, belonging to the UK Company Bank of Georgia Holdings plc.

Bank of Georgia will financially support the European Chess Union in a 4 years-program as announced in the ECU General Assembly in Batumi. The first installments for the 2015 ECU budget have already reached the ECU Bank account in Switzerland.

Additionally Bank of Georgia is already supporting the establishment and popularization of chess at schools, as well as the training of prospective players, coaches and referees at chess training centers.

Azmaiparashvili and Bank of Georgia contract

Moreover there is a number of services in the private banking that will be offered to the chess world in premium conditions. Attached you can find brief information about services provided by the Bank of Georgia. For more information you can contact:

Mr. Irakli Rekhviashvili 

Representative for Central Europe

Bank of Georgia Representative Office in Hungary

Szabadsag ter 7, Budapest, 1054, Hungary

Cell: +36-30-510-0945


Brief Profile

Bank of Georgia, the leading universal Georgian bank with operations in Georgia and Belarus is the largest bank by assets, loans, deposits and equity in Georgia. The bank offers a full range of retail banking and corporate and investment banking services to its customers across Georgia.

Bank of Georgia’s UK incorporated holding company, Bank of Georgia Holdings plc, is listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange (BGEO:LN[2]) and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Bank of Georgia remains to be the only Georgian entity to be rated by all three global rating agencies: ‘BB-/B'[3] from Standard & Poor’s, ‘B1/NP’ (FC) & ‘Ba3/NP’ (LC)[4] from Moody’s and ‘BB-/B’[5] from Fitch Ratings.

Bank of Georgia Holdings plc, Information for Investors

Bank of Georgia, Information about Bank Services

feel the future


Press Release_Bank_ECUSponshorship

A1 – Certificate of Deposit

BGH – Results presentation – 4Q14 and FY14

Cash & Liquidity Management

Private Banking – HNWI


The European championship is half way to go and business start warming up with not less than four decisive games on the top five boards. Moreover, the proud Ukrainian leader Anton Korobov was finally beaten falling victim to an excellent preparation of his opponent, the former European champion Ian Nepomniachtchi.


Three of his runners up were also defeated for the first time: the top seed Czech David Navara by Polish Mateusz Bartel; Ukrainian Yuri Vovk by the current European champion Alexander Motylev and Polish Robert Kempinski by Armenian Gabriel Sargissian. Only one top game between the Russian Evgeny Najer and Ukrainian Pavel Eljanov ended in a draw. The best Israeli players so far are GMs Ilya Smirin and Emil Sutovsky and the highly surprising untitled Pinchas Kantraji who beat another former European champion, Croatian Zdenko Kozul. Young Israelis Ariel Erenberg and Ohad Kraus astonished by beating GM Gil Popilski and IM Sergey Chekhov.

playing hall

After the sixth round there are four players at the lead:  Nepomniachtchi, Motylev, Sargissian and Bartel with 5 points each ahead of 26 players with 4.5 each.

The 7th round will start Tuesday in Ramada hotel in Jerusalem. The summit meetings Motylev vs Nepomnianchtchi and Bartel vs Sargissian are naturally at the focus.

All games, results, photos and reports may be found in the official website

 By Yochanan Afek

Photos by Yoav Nis


playing hall

Three major upsets were scored in the fifth round of the European championship when three experienced grandmasters were beaten once again by young Israeli players. Israeli Alex Khuzman by Omer Reshef, another Israeli Dan Zoler  by Matan Gorodetsky (more than 300 Elo points lower) and Russian Mikhail Antipov by Jonathan Bakalchuk (more than 250 points lower).

Michael Tal

Look who is hitting the gong: It’s no other than Michael Tal. A practical joke? Not quite! The young son of tournament director Rami Tal happens to have the same name as the eighth world champion.

Last Saturday was the first of two free days and most foreign guests joined the excursion to Masada and the Dead Sea we have already reported about. The general enthusiasm from this highly enjoyable experience definitely had a positive influence on the fighting spirit, however not on the number of decisive games in the fifth round.

On the first 20 boards only five  games were decided including the loss of the highest Israeli player in the tournament Maxim Rodshtein against Russian Alexander Shimanov. The Ukrainian Anton Korobov drew his game with Czech David Navara but owing to the multiple draws among the runners up he still kept the lead though not with a perfect score anymore.

Following the fifth round Korobov was still leading with 4.5 points, ahead of not less than 15 grandmasters with 4 points.

by Yochanan Afek

Photos by Dr. Mark  Livshits


The second round of the European chess championship in Jerusalem already brought together a great deal of the 112 participating grandmasters and therefore no sensational upsets were witnessed, at least not of the kind we saw in round one. In the end of round two 25 GMs and a single IM were on perfect score. Russian GM Alexander Motylev, the current European champion, won both his games by then however the other six past champions already dropped half a point each.


The guest of honour of the day was Israel’s No.1 Boris Gelfand who joined the team of commentators for a short session. He evaluated the top boards and answered a couple of questions by the interviewer GM Alon Greenfeld. Gelfand expressed his positive view about the spacious venue and the decent playing conditions and even referred to the question that many have raised: Why doesn’t he take part in the European championship? He said that he had indeed considered his participation, however the series of top tournaments he had played in the end of last year and the super tournaments he is invited to starting from the upcoming April demand a serious time out for recuperation and revision of his theoretical repertoire.


Yesterday, in the third round a couple of sharp and fascinating battles were witnessed which left at the end of the day just five grandmasters with a perfect score: Navara (Czech Republic), Y. Vovk and Korobov (Ukraine), Najer (Russia) and Lupulescu (Romania). Not less than 37 players had dropped just half a point each.

A special guest was yesterday GM Alik Gershon who replaced GM Ronen Har-Zvi at the live commentary studio. He plays very little these days however the local chess community still remembers his double world junior championship title (for u-14 in 1994 and for u-16 in 1996) as well as his magnificent world record for simultaneous display in 2010 when he played in the centre of Tel-Aviv against 523 opponents at the very same time.

The fourth round will start this morning in hotel Ramada. Games will be transmitted by the official website and will be explained in the live internet show by the team of and the commentators GMs Alon Greenfeld and Ronen Har-Zvi. The leading games Navara- Najer; Lupulescu-Korobov and Vityugov –Vovk are expected to attract special attention.


Tomorrow Saturday there will be no games and the participants will be invited to an excursion to Masada and the Dead sea.

The championship has enjoyed unprecedented media interest with both national channel 1 and channel 2 reporting it in the prime time news programs and the biggest newspapers as well as the local and world’s leading chess websites giving it a large coverage.

The championship diary, photo gallery, full standings and pairings, the complete games PGN file as well as informative articles may be found on the official website:

By Yochanan Afek

Photos by Yoav Nis


Grandmaster Igor Efimov (ELO 2390) wins Monaco Chess Championship for 2015, which was held in the Monaco Chess Club, 20-25 February 2015. He scored 5.5 points, the same as Karl Ribbegren (ELO 2202), but thanks to better tie-break, Efimov took the title. GM Algimantas Butnorius (ELO 2377) came clear third with 5 points.

mnc2015 b

Svetlana Berezovska (ELO 1849) became the Women Champion.

Players who qualified for the European Small Nations Championship 2015 to be held in Guernsey (Championships 2014 + 2015) are:

GM Igor Efimov, GM Algimantas Butnorius, Karl Ribbegren, FM Pierre Villegas and FM Patrick Van Hoolandt. The substitute is Jean François Nelis.

The Championship was played according to the Swiss System in 7 rounds.

Prize Giving Video

More photos and information here

Final Standings:

Place Name Elo R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Pts. Bu.
1 GM EFIMOV Igor 2390 +13N +6B =2N =3B =5N +17B +4N 5,5 30,5
2 RIBBEGREN Karl 2202 +12B +11N =1B +8N +4B -3N +5N 5,5 30,5
3 GM BUTNORIUS Algimantas 2377 +14B +9N -4B =1N +8B +2B =7N 5 31,5
4 FM VILLEGAS Pierre 2351 +20N +10B +3N =5B -2N +6B -1B 4,5 31,5
5 IM BEREZOVSKY Igor 2435 +15B =8N +16B =4N =1B +9N -2B 4,5 30,5
6 LAMBLIN Jean 1994 +25B -1N +14B +10N =7B -4N +11B 4,5 27
7 FM VAN HOOLANDT Patrick 2124 -21B +17N +15B =9N =6N +10B =3B 4,5 26,5
8 LEBEL Patrick 2073 +19N =5B +18N -2B -3N +20B =9N 4 28
9 BLENGINO Cristiano 1929 +23N -3B +13N =7B +20N -5B =8B 4 26
10 LANTERI Nicolas 1890 +26B -4N +21B -6B +13N -7N +17B 4 23,5
11 BEREZOVSKA Svetlana 1849 +24N -2B -20N +19B =18N +16B -6N 3,5 25
12 WFM LOMANDONG Noela Joyce 1778 -2N +24B =17N =20B =16N =18B =14B 3,5 24
13 WIM LEBEL ARIAS Julia 1827 -1B +25N -9B +21N -10B =15N +22B 3,5 23,5
14 LOMANDONG Marc Antoine 1808 -3N +23B -6N -17B +24N +19B =12N 3,5 23,5
15 RAPAIRE Jean Michel 1838 -5N +19B -7N +23B -17N =13B +24N 3,5 23
16 TORTORELLA Gian Carlo 1845 =22B +21N -5N =18B =12B -11N +20N 3,5 22,5
17 NELIS Jean Francois 2179 =18N -7B =12B +14N +15B -1N -10N 3 28
18 BALLESTRA Giovanni 1777 =17B +22N -8B =16N =11B =12N 3 23,5
19 IMBERT Jean Laurent 1705 -8B -15N +22B -11N +25B -14N +26B 3 19,5
20 VIGNY Philippe 1787 -4B +26N +11B =12N -9B -8N -16B 2,5 24
21 MATTEI Jean Charles 1740 +7N -16B -10N -13B =26N =22N =25B 2,5 20,5
22 LAMBLIN Alexandre 1460 =16N -18B -19N =24B +23N =21B -13N 2,5 20,5
23 ANGLES D’AURIAC Bernard 1660 -9B -14N +26B -15N -22B =25N EXE 2,5 19,5
24 JAMALOV Adam 1466 -11B -12N +25B =22N -14B +26N -15B 2,5 19
25 GREGER Roland 1699 -6N -13B -24N =26B -19N =23B =21N 1,5 19
26 L’HERBON DE LUSSATS Jean 1507 -10N -20B -23N =25N =21B -24B -19N 1 18


February 2015 edition of the European Chess Union Newsletter is out!

newsletter cover

In the February 2015 edition of the monthly ECU Newsletter you will find:

  • Report about European Individual Chess Championship 2015 in Jerusalem;
  • Chess and Education – Meeting FIDE-ECU-RSSU;
  • Chess Boards Collection of the Russian Chess Museum;
  • European Universities Chess Championship 2015;
  • Mitropa Cup 2015;
  • Turkish Chess Federation stands up for women’s rights;
  • Fun Zone with nice positions from the recently finished Gibraltar Tradewise 2015, Moscow Open 2015, Grenke Chess Classic 2015 and Zurich Chess Challenge 2015;
  • Upcoming events in March.

The ECU February 2015 Newsletter can be downloaded below or here

ECU NEWSLETTER February 2015


The European chess championship was opened Monday evening in a highly entertaining ceremony held in Ramada hotel in Jerusalem. Some prominent friends and supporters of Israeli chess were present notably chairman of the finances committee of the Knesset (the Israeli parliament) MP Nisan Slomiansky who was extremely instrumental in raising the funds for the event, chairman of the national lottery general (ret.) Uzi Dayan, who is behind chess tuition projects for youngsters in the periphery and Moshe Slav, chairman of the Israeli chess federation and the ECU Treasurer Martin Huba. They all warmly welcomed the participants, wishing them that their stay in the Israeli capital would inspire their performance and the quality of their games.

Opening ceremony

The main attraction of the evening was a stunning performance of mind reading presented by the world famous Lior Sushard who amazed the speechless grandmasters and other guests with a series of his magical numbers. The drummer band Jaman provided the special ethnic flavour of the successful evening. “It was the best opening since I have attended this event for the first time 14 years ago” said GM Andrei Volokitin afterwards, pretty much expressing the general opinion.

Motylev opening ceremony

250 players from 33 countries take part in the championship.167 of them are titled players of which 112 are grandmasters. Six grandmasters are rated 2700+ and seven are past European champions including the current champion, the Russian Alexander Motylev. The largest national group is,as expected, the Israeli one with 101 players led by Israel’s No.2 Maxim Rodshtein. The largest and the strongest guest group is the Russian delegation with 42 players ahead of Ukraine 12, Armenia and Turkey 9 each.

As expected, the highest rated players in such a field already met fairly strong opposition as early as in the first round. While the first four favourites in the initial rating list (Navara, Vitiugov, Eljanov and Nepomniatchi) managed to score a first full point, the remaining two 2700+ players, Spain’s No.1 Vallejo-Pons and France No.2 Bacrot had to settle for a draw against former Israeli champion GM Yehuda Grunfeld and Swiss IM Richard Forster respectively.

playing hall

The great upset of the first round was nonetheless the dramatic defeat of the current Israeli champion Victor Mikhalevski (2559) against 17 years old Itay Westreich who is rated 630 Elo points lower!  Having the white pieces Mikhalevski sacrificed a central pawn in the opening for well compensated initiative against the black king. His young opponent however did not lose his temper and defended accurately before launching a decisive counter attack against the white king. Another surprised member of the Israeli Olympic team was Evgeny Postny who lost against the 3 times former Israeli champion IM Nathan Birnboim (63).

For the full results of round one, games and photo gallery visit the official website

Photos by Yoav Nis