The European Individual Chess Championship 2023 commenced yesterday in Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia with the participation of 482 players from 40 European federations. The event officially broke the participation record previously set in Rijeka 2010 with 408 players.
The Opening ceremony of the event took place on Friday evening in a magnificent Hotel Zepter Crystal Hall with the attendance of the Mayor of the Vrnjacka Banja Municipality Mr. Boban Djurovic, the President of the Serbian Chess Federation Mr. Dragan Lazic, the President of the European Chess Union Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili, and other distinguished guests.
The rich programme of the Day 1 started with the technical meeting, and the event officially kicked off with the first round starting at 15:00 CET. The President of the Serbian Chess Federation Mr. Dragan Lazic and the President of the European Chess Union Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili made the first ceremonial move in the game between 17-year-old FM Vuk Damjanovic (SRB, 2375) and the top-seeded player of the event GM Gabriel Sargissian (ARM, 2699).
The first round of the Championship finished with 210 decisive games and 41 draws. A major upset was seen in the game between GM Bartosz Socko (POL, 2618) and 16-year-old FM Matyas Palczert (HUN, 2304) as the latter defeated the two-time Polish Champion.
Some of the surprising draws happened in the games between GM Andrey Esipenko (FIDE, 2680) and FM Vugar Manafov (AZE, 2349), FM Aleks Sahakyan (ARM, 2343) and GM Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR, 2664), FM Matan Goredetzky (ISR, 2319) and GM Maksim Chigaev (FIDE, 2632), IM Vahe Danielyan (ARM, 2307) and GM Dmitrij Kollars (GER, 2618), and FM Yotam Shohat (ISR, 2302) and GM Samvel Ter-Sahakyan (ARM, 2616).
Results from the 1st round and the Round 2 pairings can be found here.
The live broadcast of the games can be followed through the major broadcasting platforms: Chess24, ChessBase, Lichess… Live broadcast with live commentaries by IM Miodrag Perunovic can be followed through the ECU YouTube Channel.