Heading into the last round of the European Individual Chess Championship 2023, GM Alexey Sarana (FIDE, 2668) and GM Kirill Shevchenko (ROU, 2668) share the lead scoring 8 points each.
GM Kirill Shevchenko (ROU, 2668) outplayed GM Benjamin Gledura (HUN, 2637) in the penultimate round to join the race for the trophy. Shevchenko had a slightly better position from the opening, transforming it into the pawn-up edge. Gledura still had chances for escape, but after 30…Rb2?! the advantage for the Romanian grandmaster kept rising.
Playing on the first board, GM Alexey Sarana (FIDE, 2668) held a draw with black pieces against GM Andrey Esipenko (FIDE, 2680). Esipenko was searching for a victory and had a clear advantage most of the time, but Sarana found a very nice chance for the perpetual check and used it to secure himself the joined lead before the final round.
12 players follow the leading duo and tie for the third place scoring 7.5 points (each): GM Anton Korobov (UKR, 2658), GM Etienne Bacrot (FRA, 2659), IM Stamatis Kourkoulos-Arditis (GRE, 2520), GM Thai Dai Van Nguyen (CZE, 2651), GM Jaime Santos Latasa (ESP, 2655), GM Andrey Esipenko (FIDE, 2680), GM Valentin Dragnev (AUT, 2561), GM Yuriy Kuzubov (UKR, 2616), GM David Paravyan (FIDE, 2584), GM Daniel Dardha (BEL, 2610), GM David Anton Guijarro (ESP, 2685), and GM Igor Janik (POL, 2527).
The last round starts tomorrow at 15:00 CEST with a direct encounter for the gold medal on the first board between GM Alexey Sarana and GM Kirill Shevchenko. The top 10 pairings are:
The Closing ceremony of the event will be held tomorrow at 22:00 CEST.
Live broadcast of the games can be followed with commentaries by IM Miodrag Perunovic through the ECU YouTube channel.