After five rounds are played at the European Team Chess Championship 2023, Germany emerged as the sole leader of the open section, while France and Azerbaijan are tied for first place in the Women’s Championship.
In a clash for the sole lead, Germany convincingly defeated Armenia yesterday by a score of 3-1. GM Vincent Keymer (GER, 2721) couldn’t get a better present for his 19th birthday than a team win and an excellent victory over GM Haik Martirosyan (ARM, 2708). GM Matthias Bluebaum (GER, 2670) brought the second full point to Germany, stunning GM Hrant Melkumyan (ARM, 2650) with a spectacular queen sacrifice, while the games on the second and the fourth boards were drawn.
Team Romania defeated Poland to join the race for the top position. GM Richard Rapport (ROU, 2748) came victorious against GM Radoslaw Wojtaszek (POL, 2668), while GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac (ROU, 2700) prevailed over GM Pawel Teclaf (POL, 2571). The games on the other two boards between GMs Kirill Shevchenko (ROU, 2665) and Mateusz Bartel (POL, 2651) and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (ROU, 2591) vs GM Szymon Gumularz (POL, 2580) were drawn, to set the final score of 3-1.
Lower-rated Moldova surprised Norway by tying the match. GM Magnus Carlsen (NOR, 2829) couldn’t break the resistance of GM Ivan Schitco (MDA, 2503), who played a very solid game. GM Victor Bologan (MDA, 2573) defeated GM Lars Oskar Hauge (NOR, 2498), while IM Tor Fredrik Kaasen (NOR, 2471) beat FM Jegor Lashkin (MDA, 2457). With a draw on the second board between IM Andrei Macovei (MDA, 2446) and GM Aryan Tari (NOR, 2620), the teams equally scored two match points.
After five rounds of play, Germany leads the Open tournament with 9 match points. They are closely followed by Serbia, Romania, England, and Netherlands, tied for second place, sitting on 8 match points.
Today is the free day, and the event will resume at 15:00 CET. The top-board pairings are:
Germany (Rtg average 2676) vs Romania (Rtg average 2676)
Norway* (Rtg average 2633) vs Switzerland (Rtg average 2508)
Belgium (Rtg average 2422) vs Montenegro* (Rtg average 2536)
Netherlands (Rtg average 2632) vs England (Rtg average 2671)
Serbia (Rtg average 2628) vs Armenia (Rtg average 2667)
France and Azerbaijan in the Women’s section won their matches in Round 5 to maintain the lead in the event.
Azerbaijan narrowly defeated Germany, thanks to the victory of IM Gunay Mammadzada (AZE, 2441) against GM Elisabeth Paehtz (GER, 2473). The other three games ended in draws, although WGM Josefine Heinemann (GER, 2318) had a very good chance to score a full point in a position where she signed the scoresheet. WGM Hanna Marie Klek (GER, 2282) missed the opportunity to gain a decisive advantage, and the game eventually transposed into an equal endgame.
The team of France crushed Armenia, scoring a landslide 3.5-0.5 victory. WGM Mitra Hejazipour (FRA, 2323) defeated WIM Mariam Mkrtchyan (ARM, 2347), IM Pauline Guichard (FRA, 2347) was victorious against GM Elina Danielian (ARM, 2413), and IM Anastasia Savina (FRA, 2335) bested WIM Susanna Gaboyan (ARM, 2171). IM Lilit Mkrchian (ARM, 2387) was the only one to score a half-point for the Armenian team, drawing her game against IM Deimante Dulyte-Cornette (FRA, 2369).
With Round 5 victories, France and Azerbaijan share the first place with 9 match points each. Bulgaria is trailing the leaders by a single point.
After today’s free day, Round 6 will bring interesting encounters tomorrow. The top board pairings in the Women’s section are:
Bulgaria (Rtg average 2362) vs Azerbaijan (Rtg average 2392)
France (Rtg average 2357) vs Georgia (Rtg average 2471)
Netherlands (Rtg average 2320) vs Germany (Rtg average 2385)
Greece (Rtg average 2239) vs Armenia (Rtg average 2352)
Switzerland (Rtg average 2314) vs Poland (Rtg average 2347)
Photos: Mark Livshitz