ECCC 2023: Carlsen, Anand, Rapport, and MVL sit out R1
Author: Maria Fragaki
In the opening round of the 2023 European Club Cup, the top teams in both sections effortlessly defeated lower-rated opponents. In the open section though, Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Richard Rapport, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave decided to sit out.
Exciting chess battles and strategic brilliance are on display as the 2023 European Club Cup kicked off yesterday at a luxurious resort in Durrës, Albania, and will continue until October 7th. The open section witnessed 42 matches, while the women’s event featured 12 matches. Both tournaments follow the Swiss format, with six boards in the open category and four boards in the women’s event.
Team Superchess (Romania, Captain: Ivan Sokolov) has the highest rating average (2711) with Vishy Anand and Richard Rapport playing on top boards.
Team Novy Bor (Czech Republic, Captain: Petr Boleslav) holds second place on the rating board (2665), with Vincent Keymer and David Navara leading the team.
Next up is Team Asnieres – Le Grand Echiquier (France, Captain: Jean-Claude Moingt) with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave being on board 1.
Last but not least, the Offerspill Team (Norway, Captain: Victor Havik) has World No.1 Magnus Carlsen on board 1, followed by Aryan Tari, Eric Hansen, and young Indian prodigy Pranav V., but has a rating average at 2650.
No.1 team with a rating average at 2496 is Monte Carlo with Mariya Muzychuk, Anna Muzychuk, Sara Khadem, Elisabeth Paehtz, and Pia Cramling forming a super-team!
Next are the Superchess, Garuda Ajka BSK, and SP Gaz Ukraine teams with GMs Irina Bulmaga, Bella Khotenashvili, and Natalia Zhukova leading the charge on board 1.
The ceremonial first move in the starting round of the Women’s European Chess Club Cup 2023 was made by the ECU President Zurab Azmaiparasvhili on behalf of Johanna Bjorg Johannsdottir (Team Taflfelag Gardabaejar, Iceland), who was playing against Antoaneta Stefanova (Teuta, Albania.
The results of Round 1 came with no surprises, as the highest seeds beat the much lower-rated opposition, despite the absence of the “big names”, Magnus Carlsen, Vishy Anand, Richard Rapport, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, in the open section.
With a 6:0 score, the rating favourite Superchess (Romania) defeated Rishon Lezion (Israel). The same score was in the matches between the title-defender Novy Bor (Czech Republic) and Zuid-Limburg (Netherlands), Asnieres – Le Grand Echiquier (France) and Slough Sharks (England). Team Offerspill Sjakklubb (Norway) beat Bloemendaalse SV (Netherlands) by 5,5-0.5 as board 1, 17 year-old Raunak Sadhwani made a draw against Jasel Lopez.
In women’s tournament, top-seeded Monte Carlo (Monaco) won their match against Offerspill Chess Club (Norway) by 4-0. Superchess (Romania), and Garuda Ajka BSK (Hungary) beat ASD Pedone Isolano (Italy), and Rishon Lezion (Israel) respectively by 3,5-0.5, and fourth seed SP Gaz Ukraine beat GSK Kumanovo (North Macedonia) by 4-0.