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Reports Mar 10, 2015 | 9:01 AMby IM David Martínez

Najer is European Champion

Russian Grandmaster Evgeniy Najer has won the European Individual Championship in Jerusalem after drawing with compatriot Denis Khismatullin in the final round. After a fine tournament he could afford to offer a draw on move 28 in a very favourable position and still finish half a point clear of the field on 8.5/11. He was joined on the podium by David Navara and Mateusz Bartel, with the latter taking bronze after defeating Ian Nepomniachtchi in the game of the final round – don’t miss video analysis from Jan Gustafsson. 

Evgeniy Najer flanked by Czech no. 1 David Navara (silver) and Poland's Mateusz Bartel (bronze) | photo: Yoav Nis, official Facebook page

The champion in the analysis room after his final game | photo: Yoav Nis, official Facebook page

At 37 Evgeniy Najer is a veteran Russian grandmaster who has spent many years with a rating above 2600 but has never quite managed that final leap above 2700. Lately he’s been putting the emphasis more on work as a coach, accompanying the extremely successful Russian women’s team to international events, but his current triumph is unquestionably the highlight of his career. 

In fact one of the Russian team members congratulated him and revealed that prior to the European Championship he’d had a training session with the team, which apparently did him no harm as well!

The game of the day, and the great surprise, was a calamitous defeat for Russia’s Ian Nepomniachtchi at the hands of Poland’s Mateusz Bartel. In the final rounds six of the encounters between players on 7 points ended in the draw that was required to ensure World Cup qualification for both players. Only this game worked out differently, although you might not have expected it when Bartel played the quieter 3.Bb5 Sicilian.

The final round wasn't Ian Nepomniachtchi's greatest moment... | photo: Yoav Nis, official Facebook page

Jan Gustafsson takes a look at the game below (hopefully the echo for a couple of minutes during the video won't detract too much from the show - we couldn't bring ourselves to ask Jan to film it a fourth time! ):

You can find far more analysis by Jan on our free YouTube channel. To be among the first to see new content why not subscribe below!

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Ian Nepomniachtchi wasn’t too thrilled with how his tournament ended:

There was a silver lining, though – although “only” 23 players qualified for the World Cup from the 2015 European Championship enough of the players above him had qualified by other methods to mean Nepomniachtchi made the cut. In fact everyone down to no. 30 Nikita Vitiugov (who qualified on rating) will be appearing in the FIDE World Cup in Baku this September.

Rk.SNo NameFEDRtgIPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
137GMNajer EvgeniyRUS26348.5263670.575.0
21GMNavara DavidCZE27358.0264372.077.5
339GMBartel MateuszPOL26318.0260067.572.0
428GMKhismatullin DenisRUS26538.0254766.571.5
571GMVovk YuriUKR25887.5264869.072.5
611GMKorobov AntonUKR26877.5264671.076.0
767GMIpatov AlexanderTUR25927.5263466.070.0
83GMEljanov PavelUKR27277.5262372.578.5
933GMVolokitin AndreiUKR26467.5262370.075.0
107GMMatlakov MaximRUS26957.5261564.069.5
1113GMSjugirov SananRUS26787.5260966.571.5
128GMMoiseenko AlexanderUKR26957.5260866.068.5
1322GMMotylev AlexanderRUS26657.5260770.576.0
14128Iljiushenok IliaRUS24507.5259869.072.5
1547GMKempinski RobertPOL26257.5259265.570.5
1630GMSmirin IliaISR26507.5259067.072.5
1712GMCheparinov IvanBUL26817.5258963.068.0
1820GMSargissian GabrielARM26687.5258571.076.5
1935GMPopov IvanRUS26397.5258369.074.0
2019GMLaznicka ViktorCZE26707.5258363.068.5
2126GMRodshtein MaximISR26607.5258069.074.0
2273GMBrkic AnteCRO25867.5257761.064.5
2327GMNisipeanu Liviu-DieterGER26547.5254066.571.5
2418GMGrachev BorisRUS26707.5253161.065.5
2575GMNabaty TamirISR25857.5253061.565.5
2692GMCan EmreTUR25557.5246361.065.5
274GMNepomniachtchi IanRUS27147.0263970.576.5
2860GMGoganov AlekseyRUS26057.0262566.070.5
2951GMBukavshin IvanRUS26227.0259968.574.0
302GMVitiugov NikitaRUS27357.0259966.572.5

So one grueling tournament ends, but there's no rest for some of the players. Navara and Eljanov are already in Reykjavik, where the Reykjavik Open begins today. That’s going to be no less grueling, with no rest days and even a double round on Wednesday! You will of course be able to follow all the action live here on chess24.

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