- Dec 14, 2017
Fight for medals in Spodek will be very interesting.
European Rapid & Blitz Chess Championship is very special event. This is evidenced by the fact, that the last player who won the medal in the same pace two years in a row, is Vladislav Tkachiev, who won bronze medal in blitz in 2012 and silver in 2013. In rapid the last situation like this was in 2010 – Vassily Ivanchuk got bronze after silver from previous year. Instead of fact that etery year Russia has a very high number of grandmasters in ERBCC, only in last two years they got medals in both tournaments. When Championships were organized in Poland (until 2013 in Warsaw, in 2014 in Wroclaw), medals got only two Russian players: two times Vladimir Malahov and one time Alexey Dreev. In this period only one competitor was champion more than one time: Maxime Vachier-Lagrave won blitz in 2010 & 2012. So results predicting is much difficult.
Katowice - host city and official partner.
In blitz tournament won’t play gold and silver medalist from previous year: Dmitry Andreikin and Rauf Mamedov. Third in 2016 Andrey Zhigalko certainly will Wight for leading positions. Number one in starting list is always under high pressure – this time it’s Zaven Andriasian. We will look, if after four years starting list leader will win all Championship. Medalists from last years: Ruslan Ponomariov and Igor Kovalenko certainly will be one of the favorites. Czech players will be much dangerous – because their travel is very short, they will be the largest foreign country in ERBCC. The greatest attention will have of course David Navara, but in blitz good medal chances have also Vojtech Plat, Peter Michalik and Vojtech Zwardon. Navara earned gold medal in 2014 in Wroclaw. That time the runner-up was Jan-Krzysztof Duda, which was a small surprise. Now, if Duda will win even the gold medal, it will be predicted success. He has similar chances as Radoslaw Wojtaszek. For leading positions will fight also Croatians – trio Ivan Saric, Ante Saric and Marin Bosiocic is much experienced in blitz game. Russians have not very good chances for net medals in this pace: only si Russian grandmasters came to Poland, and only one is in Top 20 starting list – it is Pavel Ponkratov. From Polish players, in addition to Wojtaszek and Duda we have to follow unpredictable Mateusz Bartel and Kacper Piorun, but we will be interested also about blitz specialists games, like Maciej Klekowski or Pawel Jaracz. Blitz game is often youth players specialty, however in addition to Duda probably only new Under-20 World Champion Aryan Tari from Norway can make any surprise.
Rapid tour will be even more stubborn: larger number of players and more candidates for the same number of medals will certainly give big emotions to the fight. Much shorter distance will punish any mistakes and no tie-breaks will cause that bad beginning won’t give any big chances to fight for podium. The biggest appettite for medals will have grandmasters, who won’t play on Friday. On their top is Ernesto Inarkiev, who has the highest rank in Championships and the biggest Russian hope to get a medal. Net are Sergey Fedorchuk, Evgeny Alekseev and Vladimir Potkin. Probably the best chances than in blitz will have Maxim Rodshtein and Luke McShane. Blitz number 1., Zaven Andriasian, in rapid will probably play smaller role. Croatia, as country chich will fight for leading positions, will be exchanged probably by Latvia, supported by Arturs Neiksans, Nikita Meskovs and Toms Kantans. With larger game pace, will also increase chances for experienced Polish grandmasters, like Grzegorz Gajewski or Kamil Miton. We will follow with attention play of popular Artura Jussupov, writer of chess books, famous in Poland.
Very large amount of players, who want to be in Top 3, but only three places in the podium. Fight for medals in Spodek will be very interesting. Please follow every round – emotions are guaranteed!