European Chess Championships Set to Start in Batumi and Tbilisi

The European Chess Championships for men and women starts in two days in Batumi and Tbilisi, hosted by a country infatuated with chess. The championship is expected to host hundreds of participants from across Europe eager to compete in the most-prestigious chess competitions in Europe. 

Batumi, the city on the Black Sea known for its tourists, will start off with over 300 contestants, who will challenge each other at the European Individual Chess Championship. Since 2009, Russians grabbed Gold, except in 2013 when the Ukrainian Alexander Moiseenko finished first. Georgians hope Baadur Jobava can beat his last year’s second place at the championship, marking the first Georgian male chess victory in history. The woman’s championship will take place in Slovakia this year. 

After the competition in Batumi has chosen a winner, the European Women’s Rapid and Blitz Chess Championship takes place in the capital Tbilisi. The event, sponsored by the Saudi Royal Court, has been organized annually since 2012, and differs to the European Chess Championship in the way certain rules are applied, such as the time one has available to conduct his chess move. 

Batumi will be the center of European chess masters from March 16-28 and host 311 players from 34 countries. Over 30 entrants from Georgia are registered. The Individual Championship prize carries a total value of 100,000 EUR.

The Women's Rapid and Blitz tournament runs from March 30 - April 1, featuring 80 players of 15 different nationalities. The Ministry of Culture and Sport of Georgia announced proudly that "all leading players from Europe" are included in the tournaments starting list. Alongside Women’s current World Blitz Champion and Georgian top player Nana Dzagnidze, the field of competitors includes Chess Olympiad winners as well as World- and European champions.

By Benjamin Music 

14 March 2018 12:43