Bilbao Chess 2014 was officially opened this evening. The chess event will start at the Euskalduna Congress Centre tomorrow, on Sunday, and will hold simultaneously the European Club Cup and the Grand Slam Masters Final.Chairing the opening ceremony, which was celebrated by the enormous playroom that will hold more than 200 games at the same time, was Bilbao mayor Ibon Areso. Mr Areso wished the contestants good luck and also encouraged them to “make the most of whatever free time you have to enjoy this beautiful city that welcomes you, just as it welcomes all those other great events, past, present and future — sports or not —, which help promote this city all over the world”.Representing the Provincial Council of Bizkaia was Maitane Leizaola, the Provincial Director of Youth and Sports. During her speech, Ms Leizaola affirmed that she was pleased with the sports level of the delegations and players that will take part in the European Club Cup and the Grand Slam Masters Final. The Bilbao Chess 2014 will turn the city into the epicentre of world chess starting tomorrow until next Saturday, 20 September. 9 of the world’s top 10 chess players, as well as most of the world’s top 50 players, will meet at this event.The opening ceremony was also attended by the president of the European Chess Union (ECU), Zurab Azmaiparashvili, and the president of the Spanish Chess Federation (FEDA), Javier Ochoa de Echagüen, among others, as well as by the 4 contenders of this year’s Grand Slam Masters Final — Anand, Aronian, Ponomariov and Vallejo.Representatives of the last year\'s Champions in both Open and Women sections - Hou Yifan (CE Monte Carlo) and Harikrishna Pentala (G-Team Novy Bor) were also welcomed on the stage.Both tournaments will start at the extension of the Euskalduna Congress Centre at 15.00 tomorrow. The entrance is free of charge for members of the public who wish to watch the games on site. Both the European Club Cup and the Grand Slam Masters Final will be simultaneously broadcast online on the official sites www.bilbaomastersfinal.com andwww.europeanchessclubcup2014.comRead more
The 30th European Club Cup and the 7th Masters Final will be held simultaneously in Bilbao, turning the city into the world capital of chess thanks to the number of participants as well as their very high level. Amongst them are 9 of the 10 world top grandmasters and most of the world\'s top 50 chess players.Participating in these two events in Bilbao will be Caruana (world #2), Aronian (#3), Grischuk (#4), Topalov (#5), Anand (#6), Karjakin (#7), Nakamura (#8), Vachier-Lagrave (#9), and Mamedyarov (#10). The only Top 10 player missing will be world #1 and current World Champion Magnus Carlsen (also twice winner of the Masters Final), who refused to play this year in order to prepare well for the World Championship rematch against Anand.Bilbao Mayor Ibon Areso chaired today the official launch event of Bilbao Chess 2014 (the name that comprises the two chess events) and welcomed the delegation of participants of both the Masters Final and the European Club Cup. The four contenders of the Masters Final were present — five-times World Champion Viswanathan Anand from India, the youngest World Champion in chess history Ruslan Ponomariov from Ukraine, double Olympic champion Levon Aronian from Armenia, and the best Spanish player of the last decade, Francisco Vallejo Pons. Representing the teams that will compete in the European Club Cup, both in the overall and in the women\'s categories, were the first boards of Basque clubs Sestao and Gros, David Anton and Santi Gonzalez de la Torre, as well as Harikrishna Pentala, playing for the European cup-holder G-Team Novy Bor from the Czech Republic, and Alisa Galliamova, playing for the Russian women\'s team Ladya Kazan. FEDA, Javier Ochoa de Echagüen, completed the list of institutional representatives.Simultaneously with the Masters Final 2014, the European Club Cup (overall and women\'s) will bring together about 400 players of the world chess elite playing for 60 clubs from 31 European federations between 14 and 20 September. The venue for both events will be the Euskalduna Congress Centre, and they will be free of charge for all visitors. The games will start at 15.00 every day.The opening ceremony of Bilbao Chess 2014 will take place tomorrow Saturday 13th September at 19.30 at the Euskalduna Congress Centre for all European sports delegations attending the event.After one part of the World Basketball Championship was held in Bilbao, chess will now take over the international promotion of the city, with an event that will gather during eight days an estimated one thousand visitors (including players, institutional charges, and chess fans).The clubs participating in the so-called Champions League of European chess come from the following federations: Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Belarus, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Iceland Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Wales. 52 of these will take part in the men\'s cup, and 8 in the women\'s.These teams classified according to their ranking in each federation, and among them in the overall tournament are the two best Basque clubs, Sestao from Bizkaia and Gros Xake Taldea from Gipuzkoa, champion and runner-up of the Spanish club Cup 2013 respectively. The other two Spanish clubs are Solvay from Cantabria, and Sestao Naturgas Energia from Catalonia.The current European champion, G-Team Novy Bor, from the Czech Republic, together with Socar from Azerbaijan and Malakhite from Russia (second and third in last year\'s European Club Cup in Greece), and the Italian Obiettivo Risarcimento, are the four favorites.The Italian club features three world top-ten players: Fabiano Caruana from Italy, Hikaru Nakamura from the US, and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave from France, all of whom have participated in previous editions of the Masters Final, as well as Veselin Topalov from Bulgaria, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov from Azerbaijan, and Michael Adams from the UK, who play for the strong Socar, from Azerbaijan. Sergey Karjakin and Alexander Grischuk (world #4) from Russia lead the strongest Russian team, Malakhite. Participating in the women\'s championship will be the best woman chess player in the world, Yifan Hou from China, who at 21 is on her way to being recognized as the best woman chess player in history, taking up the baton from recently-retired Judith Polgar from Hungary, who was once amongst the overall world top-ten rated players. This young talent from China will play for Cercle D\'Echecs from Montecarlo, the current women European Champion and favorite of this edition, together with the Russian club Ladya Kazan.Spain will be mainly represented by Basque clubs Sestao and Gros, champion and runner-up of the Spanish Club Cup 2013 respectively. Playing on the first board of the club from Bizkaia is David Anton, an 18-year-old grandmaster who, at such a young age, is already runner-up of the European Championship and of the U18 World Championship. Playing for Gros from Donostia is Santiago Gonzalez de la Torre, the best Basque player of the last few years.These European stars will be joined from 14 to 20 September at Euskalduna Barria by the four contenders of the 7th Grand Slam Masters Final — the two World Champions Viswanathan Anand and Ruslan Ponomariov, twice Olympic gold medallist Levon Aronian, and the best Spanish player Paco Vallejo.This year\'s favorites are last year\'s winner (and also winner in 2009) Levon Aronian from Armenia, and five-times World Champion Viswanathan Anand from India, who lost his World title to Magnus Carlsen in 2013 and will face him again for the World rematch in November after winning the Candidates Tournament last March.Their rivals are the best Spanish player of the last decade, Francisco Vallejo from Mallorca, who relaunched his career in 2014 with his brilliant performance in the Olympiad and his recent victory at the Spanish Championship, and Ruslan Ponomariov from Ukraine, who in 2002 became the youngest World Champion in history at 18 years of age after defeating his countryman Vassily Ivanshuk.Press conference video can be found athttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFm2giKg9oY&feature=youtu.be More information at http://europeanchessclubcup2014.com/ and http://bilbaomastersfinal.com/Read more
Everything is set for the start of the most attractive European event.The 30th European Club Cup and the 19th European Club Cup for Women will take place from 13-21 September, 2014, in Bilbao/Spain.The Championship starts in 6 days, and the whole chess world is eager to follow the great games played by the top World chess players.52 teams in the Open and 9 teams in Women’s section are registered so far.Among the participants many of the top World players, which makes this tournament the strongest and the most attractive of all European Championships.Some of the important names in the Open Section are: Fabiano Caruana, Alexander Grischuk, Veselin Topalov, Hikaru Nakamura, Sergey Karjakin, Maxim Vachier-Lagrave, Anish Giri, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Lenier Dominguez, Peter Svidler, Alexander Morozevich etc.In Women Section there are Hou Yifan, Humpy Koneru, Anna Muzychuk, Alexandra Kosteniuk, Valentina Gunina, Kateryna Lagno, Pia Cramling, Bela Khotenashvili, etc.The official venue of the Championship is Euskalduna Jauregia. Located at the center of Bilbao, the Euskalduna Conference Centre and Concert Hall received the Apex Award to \"The Best Conference Centre in 2003\" from the International Association of Conference Centres (AIPC). It will host simultaneously in its 2200 square meters the 30th European Club Cup and the 7th Grand Slam Masters Final.G-Team Novy Bor (CZE) and CE Monte Carlo (MNC) defend the titles.It is expected that the President of the European Chess Union, Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili will attend the opening ceremony of the tournament.The official website of the Championship is http://www.europeanchessclubcup2014.com/Read more
Circular Letter No. 3/2014Dear Chess Friends,As you have been already informed in more detail in the previous email sent to all European national federations on 18 August, the ECU elections were held on 11 August, 2014 in Tromso/Norway. In accordance with the electoral results (Annex 1), the ECU is currently in the process of establishment of new administration and management. Therefore, we kindly ask you to send all your correspondence for the ECU to the new, temporary email address firstname.lastname@example.orgIn accordance with the ECU Tournament rules, the European Chess Union is reopening the bidding procedure for the ECU competitions in 2016 for which no bids were received during the first bidding procedure which ended on 1 July, 2014, 16:00 CET.No bids were received for the following Championships:European Individual ChampionshipEuropean Individual Women’s ChampionshipEuropean Senior ChampionshipEuropean Youth Team ChampionshipEuropean Rapid ChampionshipEuropean Blitz ChampionshipEuropean Rapid Women’s ChampionshipEuropean Blitz Women’s ChampionshipEuropean Youth Rapid and Blitz ChampionshipsEuropean Amateur ChampionshipYou can find all the necessary information about the reopened bidding procedure in Annex 2 (2nd Invitation for Bids), as well as the official ECU Bid form (Annex 3).With relation to the planned establishment of the three ECU Commissions (Educational Commission, Events Commission and Arbiters Council), we kindly invite all national federations to send us their proposals for the members of the mentioned commissions no later than 15 September this year. You can find more information about the Commissions’ structure and aims in Annex 4.According to FIDE regulations, Europe is entitled to one representative in the following FIDE Commissions:Technical Commission (TEC)Arbiters Commission (ARB)Qualification Commission (QC)Chess in Schools Commission (CIS)Events Commission (EVE)Trainers’ Commission (TRG)Development Commission (DEV)Medical Commission (MED)Commission for Women’s Chess (WOM)Social Projects Commission (SPC)Social Action Commission (SAC)Technical Commission (TEC)Rules and Tournament Regulations (RTR)Systems of Pairings and Programs (SPP)Disabled CommissionECU administration is committed to open procedures. All federations are kindly invited to send us their proposals for the European representatives no later than 15 September, 2014.Attached you will find (Annex 5) the letters of congratulations sent by the President of Georgia Mr. Giorgi Margvelashvili and the Prime Minister of Georgia Mr. Irakli Gharibashvili to the newly appointed ECU President Mr. Zurab Azmaiparashvili.With kind regards,Theodoros TsorbatzoglouECU Secretary GeneralAll the attachments can be found at this link: http://www.ecuonline.net/com/resources/single/6.htmlRead more
The 30th European Club Cup and the 19th European Club Cup for Women will take place from 13-21 September, 2014, in Bilbao/Spain.
Dear Chess Friends,
As you have been already informed in more detail in the previous email sent to all European national federations on 18 August, the ECU elections were held on 11 August, 2014 in Tromso/Norway.
The ECU President Silvio Danailov officially opened the first school chess year in the town of Slivnitsa, Bulgaria. The official ceremony was held on 26th October at the school “St.st. Cyril and Methodius”. Slivnitsa became the first municipality in the European Union to introduce chess as a subject in its schools according to the ECU program - "Chess in Schools".
Besides Silvio Danailov, the ceremony was attended by the Mayor of Slivnitsa Vasko Stoilkov, the Deputy Governor of Sofia district, Rositsa Todorova, the Vice President of the Bulgarian Chess Federation, Prof. Nikolay Nedkov, Hristo Andreev, Head of the Regional Educational Inspectorate Sofia district and others.
Eighty children out of 240 students of the school "St.st. Cyril and Methodius" chose to study chess as a subject during the school year 2012-2013, which means that they will be the first students from the European Union to receive assessments in chess.
The Bulgarian Chess Federation presented the young students with professional chess sets "Staunton" and the President Silvio Danailov expressed his hopes that one day the new Veselin Topalov will be born in Slivnitsa.
The President of the European Chess Union gave the first professional chess lesson to the students, giving a session of simultaneous chess game for the most avid players.