European Team Chess Championship 2023 – Day 2 recap

The second round of the European Team Chess Championship 2023 was played yesterday in Budva, Montenegro. Only six teams in Open section and five teams in the Women’s event managed to score the second consecutive match win to reach the maximum 4 match points and lead in the tournament.

After two played rounds the leaders of the Open section are the teams of: Germany, France, Netherlands, Serbia, Poland, and Israel. The early leaders of the Women’s championship are: Azerbaijan, France, Poland, Spain and Serbia.

The underdogs again showed their strength in the second round of the event. Ranked 21st on the starting rank list, Austria defeated 8th-seeded Norway. GM Felix Blohberger (AUT, 2513) scored a decisive point for the Austrian team against GM Hauge Lars Oskar (NOR, 2498) to get them into 1.5-0.5 lead. The only game left was between GM Valentin Dragnev (AUT, 2589) and GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2829). After escaping from a troublesome position the five-time World Champion agreed to a draw and the match ended in favor of Austria.

The 15th seed of the event, Israel, took a narrow victory against Spain which is ranked 6th on the starting rank list. The games on the first three boards ended in draws after long fights, but GM Evgeny Postny (ISR, 2577) showed perfect endgames technique to win his game against GM Eduardo Iturrizaga Bonelli (ESP, 2621) and brought Israel onto the leading position.

Germany was victorious against Hungary as GM Vincent Keymer (GER, 2721) defeated GM Viktor Erdos (HUN, 2557) while the other three games ended in draws. France won their match against Turkey with the same overall score of 2.5-1.5 taking a win on the last board in the game between GM Maxime Lagarde (FRA, 2629) and GM Mert Yilmazyerli (TUR, 2533). Netherlands, Serbia and Poland followed the same path to the perfect score, winning their matches with the final score of 2.5-1.5 against Greece, Italy and Slovakia (respectively).

A major upset in the Women’s sections happened on the top board match between the top-seeded Georgia and 9th-seeded Spain. Spain convincingly won the match with the final score of 3-1, with victories for IM Marta Garcia Martin (ESP, 2350) and IM Ann Matnadze Bujashvili (ESP, 2397) who played on the first and fourth board against GM Bella Khotenashvili (GEO, 2498) and IM Melia Salome (GEO, 2354), respectively.

Playing on the second board, Azerbaijan took a narrow victory over Netherlands. IM Khanim Balajayeva (AZE, 2328) and IM Gulnar Mammadova (AZE, 2350) won their games against IM Tea Lanchava (NED, 2241) and FM Anna-Maja Kazarian (NED, 2190). FM Machteld Van Foreest (NED, 2308) took a point for Netherlands defeating WGM Govhar Beydullayeva (AZE, 2383), but it wasn’t enough as the game between IM Gunay Mammadzada (AZE, 2441) and IM Eline Roebers (NED, 2385) finished in a draw.

The team of Serbia surprised better rated Armenia and won the match with a score of 2.5-1.5 WIM Tijana Mandura (SRB, 2178) won in a miniature against WGM Maria Gevorgyan (ARM, 2260) who was forced to resign after only 19 played moves, while the games on the first three boards finished with draws.

Poland was convincing against Slovakia with the score of 3-1, while France took a huge victory against England with the 3.5-0.5 result.

All results and standings can be found here.

The third round starts today at 15:00 CET, and brings interesting encounters between the leaders.

The top matches of the Open section:

  1. Serbia (Rtg average 2628) vs Germany (Rtg average 2676)
  2. Norway* (Rtg average 2633) vs Iceland (Rtg average 2492)
  3. Turkey (Rtg average 2592) vs Montenegro* (Rtg average 2536)
  4. Poland (Rtg average 2618) vs France (Rtg average 2644)
  5. Isreal (Rtg average 2592) vs Netherlands (Rtg average 2632)

The top matches of the Women’s section:

  1. Poland (Rtg average 2347) vs Azerbaijan (Rtg average 2392)
  2. France (Rtg average 2357) vs Spain (Rtg average 2344)
  3. Germany (Rtg average 2385) vs Serbia (Rtg average 2280)
  4. Hungary (Rtg average 2312) vs Ukraine (Rtg average 2365)
  5. Bulgaria (Rtg average 2362) vs Switzerland (Rtg average 2314)

Live broadcast with commentaries by GM Alojzije Jankovic and Dragana Nikolovska can be followed through the ECU YouTube channel.

Official website of the event

Photo gallery

Photos by Mark Livshits