General Oct 28, 2017 | 10:04 AMby Colin McGourty

European Team Championship starts on Crete

The 2017 European Team Championship starts today in Hersonissos on the Greek island of Crete, with Russia looking to defend the Open and Women’s gold medals they won in Reykjavik in 2015. Star names such as Levon Aronian, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Alexander Grischuk sit out the first round, but the top teams are already facing dangerous opponents. We’ll be broadcasting all the games live here and on the official website, with Jan Gustafsson providing live commentary.

Alexander Grischuk picks his axe of choice (the Labrys that originated on Crete) | photo: Anastasia Karlovich, official website 

The venue for this year’s event is the Creta Maris Beach Resort in Hersonissos, Crete (you can zoom in, or out, on the map below):

  • Creta Maris Beach Resort, Crete, Greece

Check out the surrounding area, the venue and some of the players arriving in the following video:

The Open and Women’s tournaments are both 9-round Swiss opens played on four boards, with 40 teams in the Open section and 32 in the Women’s. The favourites are as ever Russia, who won double gold medals two years ago.

Can the Russian teams defend their titles? | photo: Anastasia Karlovich, official website 

It’s not going to be easy, though. Although Russia are the top seeds in the open section they’re playing without Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin and Peter Svidler and made a late replacement of Vladimir Fedoseev with Daniil Dubov.

The other challengers, with the exception of Vassily Ivanchuk missing for Ukraine, are at full strength, so there are lot of teams who can challenge for the title. For instance:

1. Russia (RtgAvg:2744 / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0) Captain: Alexander Motylev
1GMGrischuk Alexander2785
2GMNepomniachtchi Ian2733
3GMVitiugov Nikita2728
4GMMatlakov Maxim2730
5GMDubov Daniil2677
2. Azerbaijan (RtgAvg:2728 / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0) Captain: Eltaj Safarli
1GMMamedyarov Shakhriyar2791
2GMRadjabov Teimour2741
3GMNaiditsch Arkadij2702
4GMMamedov Rauf2678
5GMGuseinov Gadir2647
3. Ukraine (RtgAvg:2697 / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0) Captain: Alexander Sulypa
1GMEljanov Pavel2720
2GMKryvoruchko Yuriy2692
3GMPonomariov Ruslan2687
4GMKuzubov Yuriy2690
5GMKravtsiv Martyn2677
4. England (RtgAvg:2696 / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0) Captain: Malcolm Pein
1GMAdams Michael2727
2GMShort Nigel D2698
3GMHowell David W L2698
4GMJones Gawain C B2662
5GMMcshane Luke J2647
5. Israel (RtgAvg:2695 / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0) Captain: Alexander Kaspi
1GMGelfand Boris2737
2GMRodshtein Maxim2699
3GMSutovsky Emil2683
4GMSmirin Ilia2635
5GMNabaty Tamir2661
6. Armenia (RtgAvg:2693 / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0) Captain: Arshak Petrosian
1GMAronian Levon2801
2GMMovsesian Sergei2671
3GMSargissian Gabriel2657
4GMMelkumyan Hrant2642
5GMGabuzyan Hovhannes2583
7. Hungary (RtgAvg:2683 / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0) Captain: Csaba Balogh
1GMLeko Peter2679
2GMErdos Viktor2624
3GMRapport Richard2686
4GMAlmasi Zoltan2707
5GMBerkes Ferenc2661
8. Poland (RtgAvg:2674 / TB1: 0 / TB2: 0) Captain: Kamil Miton
1GMWojtaszek Radoslaw2737
2GMDuda Jan-Krzysztof2706
3GMPiorun Kacper2640
4GMBartel Mateusz2613
5GMTomczak Jacek2583

Some of the top players have been rested for Round 1, but games such as Nepomniachtchi-Lenic, Vocaturo-Radjabov, Kryvoruchko-Ragger, Bologan-Short, Gelfand-Hammer and Pelletier-Movsesian promise to be hard-fought battles.

You can open any of those games with video commentary by clicking on the game (or hover over a game to see the latest position).

The Russian team are clear favourites in the women’s section, with four 2500+ players, while with Mariya Muzychuk missing 2nd and 3rd seeds Georgia and Ukraine can only manage one each. However, we can still expect a fight against the backdrop of tranquil scenery.

In Round 1 home team Greece get to take on the champions, while matches such as Belarus-Georgia and Ukraine-Serbia have the potential to produce upsets:

As mentioned, all the games from both sections will be broadcast live here on chess24: Open | Women. The games start at 14:00 CEST (and 14:00 CET after summer time in Europe ends tonight!) and Jan Gustafsson is on the scene so knowledgeable and enjoyable commentary on the action is ensured.

You can also follow the games in our free mobile apps:


See also:

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