European Women’s Chess Championship 2024 opened in Rhodes, Greece

The European Women’s Chess Championship 2024 officially kicked off yesterday in Rhodes, Greece. With 182 participants coming from 35 federations the event broke the participation record and became the largest European Women’s Chess Championship ever.

The Opening ceremony of the event took place shortly before the start of the first round with attendance of ECU President Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili the ECU Vice President Ms Eva Rekova and Mr. Alojzije Jankovic, the ECU Secretary General Mr. Theodoros Tsorbatzoglou the South Aegean Vice Governor Mr. Zisimos Delaportas and the Vice Mayor of Rhodes Mr. Toppos Georgios.

After the intonations of the National anthem of Greece and the ECU anthem, the ECU Secretary General welcomed the participants and confirmed the participation record of the event.

Before the speech of the ECU President, the moment of silence was held in memory of three-time Polish Women’s Chess Champion, representative and the Winner of team and individual golds at the Chess Olympiad and European Team Chess Championship, IM Joanna Dworakowska, who recently passed away.

The ECU President Mr. Zurab Azmaiparshvili welcomed everyone to the beautiful Rhodes island and wished the players a pleasant stay and good games. He thanked the Greek Chess Federation and Ippatos Chess Club from Rhodes for great organization of the event and officially declared the tournament opened.

ECU president

The traditional Greek dance was performed and enriched the Opening ceremony of the event.

The round kicked off with the first ceremonial move made by the ECU President on the top-board game between WGM Jovana Eric (SRB, 2162) and IM Yuliia Osmak (UKR, 2459).

Before the start of the clocks, all the participants received roses at the start of the first round.

As many as 74 games were decisive in round one which brought a few major upsets. The biggest upset in the round happened in the game between WGM Maria Manakova (SRB, 2148) and GM Nino Batsiashvili (GEO, 2445). The game was very sharp with lots of turnovers, but Manakova’s attack prevailed in the end and she scored a victory against one of the top contenders for the top.

Another Georgian representative suffered an upset in the first round. Playing on the third board GM Bella Khotenashvili (GEO, 2454) didn’t manage to prevail against WFM Hanna Krisztina Ivan-Gal (HUN, 2161) and the game ended in a draw.

GM Monika Socko (POL, 2428) drew against WIM Margareth Olde (EST, 2146), and IM Stavroula Tsolakidou (GRE, 2424) played a draw against IM Silvia Alex (FRA, 2144). Eight-year-old English prodigy Bodhana Sivanandhan (ENG, 2065) played against IM Lilit Mkrtchian (ARM, 2366) and both players had their chances for a win, but the game eventually went into a balanced endgame and finished in a draw after a three-fold repetition.

Round 1 video recap:

All results, rankings and pairings for the second round can be found here.

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

Photo gallery can be found on the European Open and Women’s Individual Chess Championships Facebook page.

The event is co-organized with South Aegean Region.