European Small Nations Chess Championship 2016 Print
Tuesday, 29 March 2016 11:07

SmallNations2016 LuxembourgThe Luxembourg Chess Federation (FLDE) is proud to announce that Luxembourg organises the 2nd European Small Nations Individual Chess Championship (FIDE Zone 1.10) with participants from Andorra, Cyprus, Guernsey, Faroe Islands, Jersey, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, and San Marino. The winner qualifies for the FIDE World Chess Cup, from which the winner and runnerup qualify for the Candidates Tournament, whose winner will challenge the reigning World Champion, currently Magnus Carlsen.

In 2014, our participant International Master Michael Wiedenkeller won the 1st Small Nation tournament and qualified for the 2015 World Cup in Baku where he lost against Grandmaster Levon Aronian, currently number 6 of the world chess ranking.

The competition is organised with the support of the European Chess Union (ECU) and will take place in Luxembourg City from the April 1st to 11th in the Centre sociétaire et sportif Gare at 29 rue de Strasbourg. Concurrently, the Luxembourg National Championships will be held. Members of the public are very welcome to visit us at the tournaments, watch the games, and play themselves a game of chess in the bar area with us. The exact schedule and details on players can be found on The highest rated player is International Master Ziska Helgi Dam from the Faroe Islands with an ELO rating of 2539.

The opening ceremony will be held at 19:30 on April 1st (no April fool’s joke!) at the tournament hall and hosted by Francois Biltgen, former Justice Minister of Luxembourg. It is a littleknown fact that Mr Biltgen is adept not just at political moves but also chess moves! As a keen chess player since his university days, he agreed to become president of the organizing committee and help us organise this big event for the Luxembourg chess world and promote chess in general.

Mr François Biltgen as president of the organizing committee, Mrs Lydie Polfer as mayor of Luxembourg City, and Mr Pierre Fattebene as FLDE president address the audience. The players from the 10 nations are presented, too. A buffet is offered to all invited people. A simultaneous display starting at 18:00 will precede the opening ceremony. Woman Grandmaster Elvira Berend who represented Luxembourg on many international chess events plays against the best youngsters in Luxembourg, people from public life and members of the public. People from public life include RTL radio presenter Dan Nepgen who won the U16 championship in 1995, and François Biltgen. In the week leading up to the event, we will also invite members of the public to attend through various media channels.

We are grateful to our main sponsor The European Chess Union and our local sponsors, namely BGL BNP Paribas, Casino2000, Lexus, Ville de Luxembourg, and Vinsmoselle. We also acknowledge private donations which are listed in the tournament booklet.

Concurrently, the Luxembourg Chess Federation (FLDE) is running a media campaign to promote chess, especially in schools. We will be present in the media to talk about Small Nations but also to promote chess in general and chess in school in particular. Fiona Steil-Antoni, winner of a Gold medal at the Chess Olympics in Turin in 2006 and currently a chess journalist, is invited to RTL’s Planet People on April 6th and the lunch RTL radio show with Dan Nepgen on April 8th.

Chess is a sport for anyone. It is not unusual to see men against women, an 8 year old compete against an 80 year, the homeless against the wealthy, and the couch potato against the body builder.

Chess is a sport for anywhere. You can play in the plane, on the beach, in the pub, on the Internet, at a mountain refuge, at home, and blindfolded!

May the best player win!

Country   Player   Title   Rating
Andorra   De La Riva Aguado Oscar   GM   2494
Cyprus   Michaelides Konstantinos   CM   2023
Faroe Islands   Ziska Helgi Dam   IM   2539
Guernsey   Kirby Peter J.   CM   2003
Jersey   Mooney Graham       1867
Liechtenstein   Frick Renato       2049
Luxembourg   Wiedenkeller Michael   IM   2445
Luxembourg   Berend Fred   IM   2340
Malta   Sammut Briffa Peter       2000
Monaco   Villegas Pierre   FM   2373
San Marino   Volpinari Danilo   CM   2003
Wild Card   Kelires Andreas   IM   2466

For more information, please
● contact Pierre Fattebene, FLDE President (Mobile: +352 691 523408)
● or contact Tom Weidig, FLDE Vice President
(Mobile: +352 621 432263)
● visit our tournament website on
General inquiries:

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