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European Championship Tournament

Evgeny Najer8.5/11(+6 -0 =5)[games]
David Navara8/11(+6 -1 =4)[games]
Mateusz Bartel8/11(+5 -0 =6)[games]
Denis Khismatullin8/11(+5 -0 =6)[games]
Yuri Vovk7.5/11(+5 -1 =5)[games]
Anton Korobov7.5/11(+6 -2 =3)[games]
Alexander Ipatov7.5/11(+5 -1 =5)[games]
Pavel Eljanov7.5/11(+5 -1 =5)[games]
Andrei Volokitin7.5/11(+4 -0 =7)[games]
Maxim Matlakov7.5/11(+4 -0 =7)[games]
Sanan Sjugirov7.5/11(+4 -0 =7)[games]
Alexander Moiseenko7.5/11(+4 -0 =7)[games]
Alexander Motylev7.5/11(+4 -0 =7)[games]
Ilia Iljiushenok7.5/11(+5 -1 =5)[games]
Robert Kempinski7.5/11(+6 -2 =3)[games]
Ilia Smirin7.5/11(+5 -1 =5)[games]
Ivan Cheparinov7.5/11(+4 -0 =7)[games]
Gabriel Sargissian7.5/11(+4 -0 =7)[games]
Ivan Popov7.5/11(+4 -0 =7)[games]
Viktor Laznicka7.5/11(+5 -1 =5)[games]
Maxim Rodshtein7.5/11(+5 -1 =5)[games]
Ante Brkic7.5/11(+5 -1 =5)[games]
Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu7.5/11(+5 -1 =5)[games]
Boris Grachev7.5/11(+5 -1 =5)[games]
Tamir Nabaty7.5/11(+7 -3 =1)[games]
Emre Can7.5/11(+6 -2 =3)[games]
Ian Nepomniachtchi7/11(+5 -2 =4)[games]
Alexey Goganov7/11(+5 -2 =4)[games]
Ivan Bukavshin7/11(+5 -2 =4)[games]
Nikita Vitiugov7/11(+3 -0 =8)[games]
Daniele Vocaturo7/11(+4 -1 =6)[games]
Etienne Bacrot7/11(+3 -0 =8)[games]
* (250 players total; 218 players not shown. Click here for longer list.) Chess Event Description
European Championship (2015)


The European Individual Chess Championship 2015 was the 16th in the annual series of European championships that were first staged in 2000. It was organized by the Jerusalem Municipality together with the Israel Chess Federation under the auspices of the European Chess Union. The top 23 places qualified for the World Cup (2015). 250 players including 113 GM's and 33 IM's competed. Tournament director: Tal Rami. Chief arbiter: Almog Burstein. Number of games played: 1365.


24 February 2015 to 8 March 2015. Rest days: 28 February and 7 March 2015.


In the Jerusalem Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem, Israel.


11 round Swiss system.

Time control

The rate of play was 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one.

Tie breaks

1. Average rating of the opponents cut - 1, the highest number wins (unplayed games, byes are not calculated);

2. Buchholz cut - 1, (the Buchholz score reduced by the lowest score of the opponents);

3. Buchholz, (the sum of the scores of each of the opponents of a player);

4. Most wins.


The total prize EUR 120,000 distributed as follows:

Main prizes totaling EUR 93,750

1st EUR 16,000 7th EUR 5,000 13th EUR 2,000
2nd EUR 14,000 8th EUR 4,000 14th EUR 1,700
3rd EUR 12,000 9th EUR 3,500 15th EUR 1,500
4th EUR 10,000 10th EUR 3,000 16th EUR 1,250
5th EUR 8,000 11th EUR 2,500 17th EUR 1,000
6th EUR 6,000 12th EUR 2,250 18th EUR 1,200

Other prizes EUR 26,250

There were thirteen prizes worth a total of EUR 6,250 for best performances above rating and five prizes totaling EUR 10,000 for best results for seniors who turned fifty or more in 2015. There were twenty additional prizes of EUR 500 each to ACP premium members who didn't win a higher prize in the championship.


Round one saw a surprising number of draws on the top boards, with nearly half of the top (ie: 9/20) games drawn between the top seeded players and opponents rated more than 250 points below them. The biggest upset of the round was seed #140 Alexey Sarana (2419) defeating #16 seed, Sergei Zhigalko (2675). 101 players won their game. A minor surprise was that all registered players finished their games with no withdrawals occurring.

In round two, over half the top twenty boards were drawn, although the rating differential between opponents on this occasion was narrower than in the first round, all but two being differentials of between 100 and 150 (the other two being slightly less). 26 players scored their second consecutive win.

Five joint leaders emerged in round three, having won three consecutive games, namely David Navara, Korobov, Evgeniy Najer, Constantin Lupulescu and Yuri Vovk. The chasing pack on 2.5 points had 37 players. Anton Korobov was the only player to win four consecutive games and thereby became the sole leader after the fourth round, with eight players chasing on 3.5 points.

Korobov maintained his sole lead in the fifth round after drawing with Navara, as none of the chasing pack scored a win. However that pack, sitting on 4/5, swelled substantially to fifteen players with a number of victories in the third tier. Sarana scored another high profile victory when he defeated Kiril Georgiev. Goryachkina was the best performing woman, coming back from a first round loss to Vitiugov to win the next three games, including a fourth round win against Mihail Marin. Four players were yet to get off the mark.

Round six and Korobov tumbled back into shared fifth after his loss to Ian Nepomniachtchi, who took the shared lead on 5/6 with Bartel, Sargissian and Motylev. Goryachkina was unable to maintain her momentum, losing to Ivan Popov. There were twenty one players on 4.5/6, half a point behind the four joint leaders. Only one player, an untitled local, was on zero at this stage.

In round seven, all four leaders drew their games while five of the trailing pack caught up with wins to produce a nine-way shared leadership sitting on 5.5/7, with another 21 players only half a point behind. Goryachkina lost again, this time to Zubov, and the last player to get off the mark finally won his first game. All players had now scored a draw or better. Vladimir Shtivelband forfeited his game and was the only player to withdraw from the event.

Round eight and four of the five games of the leader group were drawn, the exception being Nepomniachtchi who defeated Howell to take the sole lead with 6.5/8 points. Thirteen players were on 6/8 at the end of the round. The leading woman, Goryachkina, drew with fellow teenager Grigoriy Oparin.

Come round nine and Nepomniachtchi immediately relinquished his lead when he lost to David Navara, who was joined in the lead by Evgeniy Najer and Anton Korobov on 7/9. Goryachkina beat Ralf Schnabel to move to 5/9. Eleven players were half a point from the lead. In round ten, Najer moved into the sole lead when he beat Korobov, as Navara drew his game.

Evgeny Najer took the event with outright first place after he drew his game with Khismatullin in the final round.

Official site (lost, not archived)


Complete results and standings

Previous: European Championship (2014). Next: European Championship (2016). See also European Championship (Women) (2015)

 page 1 of 53; games 1-25 of 1,316  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. R Damaso vs Navara 0-1762015European ChampionshipE15 Queen's Indian
2. Vitiugov vs Goryachkina  1-0532015European ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
3. I Iljiushenok vs Eljanov 0-1602015European ChampionshipB48 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
4. Nepomniachtchi vs R Makhmutov  1-0272015European ChampionshipD37 Queen's Gambit Declined
5. R Forster vs Bacrot ½-½432015European ChampionshipA15 English
6. F Vallejo Pons vs Y Gruenfeld ½-½522015European ChampionshipB99 Sicilian, Najdorf, 7...Be7 Main line
7. B Kantsler vs M Matlakov 0-1262015European ChampionshipE52 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3, Main line with ...b6
8. Kryvoruchko vs E Nakar  ½-½292015European ChampionshipC07 French, Tarrasch
9. L Draskovic vs A Riazantsev  0-1342015European ChampionshipB12 Caro-Kann Defense
10. A Korobov vs J Murey 1-0332015European ChampionshipA81 Dutch
11. T Petenyi vs I Cheparinov ½-½602015European ChampionshipB12 Caro-Kann Defense
12. S Sjugirov vs J Ferreira  ½-½522015European ChampionshipD15 Queen's Gambit Declined Slav
13. V Sipila vs E Alekseev ½-½462015European ChampionshipE53 Nimzo-Indian, 4.e3
14. E Inarkiev vs P Kantarji 1-0242015European ChampionshipB43 Sicilian, Kan, 5.Nc3
15. A Sarana vs S Zhigalko 1-0682015European ChampionshipD30 Queen's Gambit Declined
16. H Melkumyan vs A Mikaelyan  ½-½572015European ChampionshipB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
17. V Usmanov vs B Grachev  ½-½612015European ChampionshipE01 Catalan, Closed
18. I Ben Artzi vs G Sargissian 0-1642015European ChampionshipD36 Queen's Gambit Declined, Exchange, Positional line, 6.Qc2
19. Kuzubov vs B Deac  ½-½582015European ChampionshipA13 English
20. O Reshef vs Motylev 0-1282015European ChampionshipB12 Caro-Kann Defense
21. D Howell vs A Slavin ½-½712015European ChampionshipB22 Sicilian, Alapin
22. I Bitensky vs Saric ½-½422015European ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
23. V Akopian vs M Codenotti ½-½542015European ChampionshipA06 Reti Opening
24. R Faizrakhmanov vs M Rodshtein ½-½412015European ChampionshipD38 Queen's Gambit Declined, Ragozin Variation
25. S Golubov vs Khismatullin  ½-½402015European ChampionshipB92 Sicilian, Najdorf, Opocensky Variation
 page 1 of 53; games 1-25 of 1,316  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 7 OF 7 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-08-15  jphamlore: Some throwback chess to the 1800s with some of the games this event: See currently Bartel versus Nepomniachtchi.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: The move by Khis is truly amazing. I'm just curious, though, what are the other options in that position, and do they fail? How difficult of a choice did he have in finding this move?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: uld find this move. (Kg1 prevents mate in one.)

<Those of us in between GM and yesterdays learner are hopeless and helpless. We play f4+ (unimaginative luft with check) and Qxd6 and hope it's OK.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: For those looking for another game to admire, may I suggest M Bartel vs I Nepomniachtchi, 2015

Bartel plays convincingly.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: There are still a few meaningful games left in this tournament, but chess24 suggests there are currently exactly 23 players with 7.5 points or higher. However, there are still 12 players that can win and finish with 7.5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  alexmagnus: <There are still a few meaningful games left in this tournament, but chess24 suggests there are currently exactly 23 players with 7.5 points or higher.>

Among those 23 there are surely some who already qualified in 2014.

Mar-08-15  parmetd: Did Ilia score the double GM norm? My back of the math napkin says he did. And believe he gets automatic I'M title because he qualified for the world cup. Anyone confirm?
Mar-08-15  Eyal: <Among those 23 there are surely some who already qualified in 2014>

Six (Navara, Eljanov, Motylev, Smirin, Cheparinov, Sargissian) - so all the top 29 (down to Bukavshin) should be qualified.

The 46 players who qualified to the World Cup from both championships according to countries: Russia - 15; Ukraine - 6; Israel, Armenia, Poland, Turkey - 3; Czech Republic, Croatia - 2; Hungary, France, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Belarus, Moldova - 1.

Najer is the sixth Russian champion in the last seven years (; during the 16 years in which it takes place, no player has yet won the European Championship twice.

Mar-08-15  paavoh: Thanks <eyal> for the above info.

<"... no player has yet won the European Championship twice..."> This applies only to men, in the women's events, there are <FOUR> champions who have repeated the feat: Cramling, Lahno, T. Kosintseva and Gunina.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Geoff....Those of us in between GM and yesterdays learner are hopeless and helpless. We play f4+ (unimaginative luft with check) and Qxd6 and hope it's OK.>

Or playing it whilst realising it offers no hope, as an alternative to tipping over the king immediately.

Mar-08-15  jphamlore: <Eyal> So in particular Ian Nepomniachtchi qualified for World Cup 2015?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Everett: nabaty and parligras, out for blood. In 22 games, they totaled 2 draws.
Mar-08-15  cro777: <parmetd> You are right. Ilia Iljiushenok (Iljiushonok) scored a double GM norm and gained the title of IM through qualification to the World Cup.

IM Ilia Iljiushenok from Langepas, Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, Russia (a blonde guy second from the left)

Mar-08-15  Shams: Who was the last player to get a double GM norm?
Mar-08-15  kevinatcausa: Duc Hoa Nguyen won a double norm at the 2014 Olympiad, and Kenneth T Solomon won one at the 2012 Olympiad.

Not sure if they're the most recent or not.

Mar-08-15  FairyPromotion: <jessicafischerqueen:>

I believe <Wavy> was talking about the Stockfish evaluations here:

Many of us here (I believe) like to follow tournament games live in sites like chessbomb, where we can see computer evaluations & suggested lines, as they make the games more understandable. In over three years I've followed probably over a 1000 games, and while comps have missed some things here and there, only two games have been completely beyond the engines: The utterly brilliant A Volokitin vs Mamedyarov, 2012, and this one. First, the engine didn't anticipate the move at all. On move 44 it evaluates f4+ at 0, Qe7+ at -0.35, and thinks black is winning after every other move. 44. Kg1!! comes, and amazingly the evaluation stays at 0. Second, the evaluation doesn't change till white plays 48. Qxf7, and when black replies with the computer's top choice Rf6 the evaluation goes from 0 to 50.87. That is unheard of.

And while your Shredder has found the move, I loaded one of the earlier versions of Stockfish, and after 5 minutes it still fails to see Kg1, although it appreciates the move once it's played. Not exactly Turing stuff, eh. :P

I know you didn't belittle the move, so please read this post as a more general reply. :)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: Who won?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <Check It Out: Who won?>

According to Chess-Results Najer won with 8.5, followed by Navara, Bartel and Khismatullin on 8. Sjugirov is listed with 8/12 here on, he scored 7.5 along with 21 other players on a shared 5th place.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Check It Out: <T> thank you.
Mar-10-15  BOSTER: <SirRuthless: counter-intuitive moves>.

Watching the game with <fabulous> move 44.Kg1, which showed not only imagination, but the rule that the king's safety is the first priority,the move which moved in shadow fantastic 42.Qh8.

But it was Eljanov, who made the decision to sharpen the pos. before time control 40...Kh6. This move playing, I guess, very quickly maybe was the mistake, after this white got the initiative.

White had only draw if black king retreated to 40...Kg8. My guess that black did not see the long move 42.Qh8,when white queen abandoned all his army moved into black camp.

Maybe this move was <count-intuitive> for Eljanov.

Mar-11-15  Mr. V: Eyal:
Can you tell me which were the players from Turkey who qualified? Thanks!
Mar-11-15  Eyal: <Mr. V> Dragan Solak (from last year's championship), Alexander Ipatov & Emre Can (from this year's championship).
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: Congrats to GM Najer for winning this tournament! Anytime someone can get more wins than draws & not lose a single game in a tournament this strong, that's very impressive! By winning this tournament he qualified for this year's World Cup. Hopefully he can do better in it than he did in the last 1 he was in (2013), where he lost to GM Bruzon in the 1st round.
Premium Chessgames Member
  ketchuplover: I second that emotion
Premium Chessgames Member
  eternaloptimist: <ketchuplover> Thanks! 😎
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