The 2017 European Team Chess Championship was declared open at the Opening ceremony that took place on 27th October in Creta Maris resort in Hersonissos, Crete, Greece.
After hearing the anthems of Greece and European Chess Union, mayor of Hersonissos- Mr. Ioannis Mastorakis, Secretary General of the European Chess Union- Mr. Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou,the President of the European Chess Union – Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili and Vice Governor of Crete – Mr. Evripidis Koukiadakis welcomed the players and guests and wished them the pleasant stay in Crete.
The Chief arbiter of the Championship, Mr. Takis Nikolopoulos, performed the drawing of lost. The Russian teams, top seeded in both Open and Women’s sections and defenders of the title of European Team Chess Champions for 2015, had chosen to start the first round with white pieces.
After the opening ceremony, the same hall hosted the technical meeting with teams’ captains. The meeting was run by the Chief Arbiter Takis Nikolopoulos, ECU General Secretary Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou, Tournament Director Nikos Kalesis and Pairings Officer Sotiris Logothetis.
The most important aspects of the proper tournament handling were discussed, such as submition of the team changes, default time (set to be 15 minutes), no draws offers before the 30th move and strict observance of the ECU dress code.
40 teams will compete in Open section and 32 teams in Women’s section. The total number of players is 198 in Open section, among whom are 138 Grandmasters and 35 IMs, which is making the event one of the strongest ever! 158 players will play in Women’s section, among whom are 138 International title holders- 13 GMs, 33 WGMs, 31 IMs and 24 WIMs.
The pairings of the first round have been published and the battles for the top of the list will start tomorrow at 15:00 (local time). All the games are live transmitted and the live broadcast of the games, together with live commentary by GM Jan Gustafsson and WIM Fiona Steil Antoni can be followed through the official website of the Championship or through the ECU website, section LIVE.