Lively play at European Championship!
2018 Euro Individual Championship
Once more Georgia finds itself the scene of one of FIDE’s most important championships. The 2018 European Individual Championship is taking place as I write, between the 16th and the 29th of this month, in Batumi.
Easily the strongest annual Open tournament in the world. The statistics say it all: 302 participants from 34 countries, including 141 grandmasters and 57 IMs. In all, 254 titled players!
The tournament is organized as an 11 round swiss. The time control is the standard 40 moves in 90 minutes followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game (plus 30′ per move). The prize fund is 100,000 euros (20k goes to the winner) and the top 23 finishers qualify for the next World Cup.
Selection of some games
gm Saric – gm Bosiocic Eur_ch 21.3.2018 (1-0)
A really sharp game where it is difficult to pin point exactly where Black went wrong! Typical Tajmanov Sicilian, I suppose. White’s surprising retreat 23.Bc1 (threatening Qe3 and mate) was decisive.
gm Wojtaszek – gm Yilmaz Euro_ch 21.3.2018 (1-0)
Opposite side castling, but this time in a Queen’s Gambit! Normally White castles short in this precise variation, but the Polish grandmaster’s play seemed to leave Black stunned and before he knew it, he was lost.
gm Najer – gm Bologan Euro_ch 21.3.2018
Always a street fight when these two players meet! A complex Philidor leads to the usual mess, but when White sacrificed his Bishop with 23.Bxh6, all hell broke out and anything was possible. White won somehow…a great fight!
im Ferreira,J – gm Smirin Euro_ch 22.3.2018 (1-0)
The Portuguese star uses a system that I have specialized in recently. White holds back in the centre until Black has advanced, and then he ‘hits’ back with pawn levers, creating weaknesses in Black’s game. Very nice victory!
gm Wojtaszek – gm Saric Euro_ch 22.3.2018 (1-0)
Another great attacking effort by the Polish star.
gm Sjugirov – gm Arutinian Euro_ch 22.3.2018 (1-0)
An advanced variation of the Caro Kann. The g5 move by Black is double edged, but popular. Even I have played it! Why Black did not play Qb6 on one of several occasions, with a good game, is a mystery to me. Nice finish by White.