European Open&Women’s Chess Club Cups 2023 are halfway through

Four rounds have been already played at the 38th European Chess Club Cup and at the 27th European Women’s Chess Club Cup in Durres, Albania, and only three rounds left to be played before the announcement of the Winners.

Only four teams remained perfect in the Open section and emerged as the leaders with 8 match points: Offerspill Sjakklubb (Norway), Asnieres – Le Grand Echiquier (France), Novy Bor (Czech Republic) and Superchess (Romania). The leaders prevailed in very exciting matches, all taking narrow 3.5-2.5 victories to emerge on the top.

Today’s round started with the first move made by the Honorary President of the Albanian Chess Federation Eduard Shalsi.

The fifth round starts tomorrow at 15:00 CEST and the top pairings are:

  1. Superchess (Romania) vs Asnieres – Le Grand Echiquier (France)
  2. Offerspill Sjakklubb (Norway) vs Novy Bor (Czech Republic)
  3. C’ Chartres Echecs (France) vs Schachclub Viernheim 1934 e.V. (Germany)
  4. Turkish Airlines Sports Club (Turkey) vs Schachgesellschaft Riehen (Switzerland)
  5. SK Javes Modra (Slovakia) vs Tajfun SK Ljubljana (Slovenia)

TAJFUN Sk Ljubljana (Slovenia) emerged as the sole leader of the Women’s Club Cup as the only team with the maximum score of 8 match points. The Slovenian team defeated Garuda Ajka BSK (Hungary) with a 2.5-1.5 score to leap on the top of the standings after four played rounds.

IM Nataliya Buksa and IM Laura Unuk scored important victories for TAJFUN Sk Ljubljana on the 2nd and 3rd board against GM Hoang Thanh Trang and IM Nurgyul Salimova respectively, while GM Bella Khotenashvili scored a point for the Hungarian game after defeating WIM Yuxin Song on the first board. With a draw on the fourth board between IM Injac Teodora and WIM Urh Zala, TAJFUN Sk Ljubljana won the match.

SP Gaz Ukraine is in clear second place with the score of 7 match points after a victory against the top seeded Monte Carlo (Monaco), while four teams tie for the third place scoring 6 match points each: Superchess (Romania), Garuda Ajka BKS (Hungary), MSK Centar Asseco See (North Macedonia), and SK Crvena zvezda Data Driven Lab (Serbia).

The top-board pairings of the 5th round are:

  1. TAJFUN Sk Ljubljana (Slovenia) vs SP Gaz Ukraine (Ukraine)
  2. Superchess (Romania) vs SK Crvena zvezda Data Driven Lab (Serbia)
  3. Garuda Ajka BSK (Hungary) vs MSK Centar Asseco See (North Macedonia)
  4. Asnieres – Le Grand Echiquier (France) – Monte Carlo (Monaco)
  5. Schachgesellschaft Solingen (Germany) – Teuta (Albania)

Live broadcast of the games with commentaries by WIM Fiona Steil-Antoni and GM David Howell can be followed through the ECU YouTube channel.

All results, rankings & pairings can be found here.

Official website of the event

Photos by Niki Riga