European Individual Begins in Rijeka

Many leading European players will be in Croatia for the next fortnight competing for places for the World Cup, prize-money and of course the title of European Champion!
Former Women's World Champion Bulgarian Antoaneta Stefanova is top seed in the Women's event.

Rijeka in Croatia is the venue for this year's European individual which takes place from the 6th to the 19th of March with a more-or-less classical time limit (90' for 40 moves followed by 30' for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30" for each move).

The 11 round championship event is doted with excellent prize-money (120,000 Euros for the men and 60,000 Euros for the equivalent Women's touranment) so not surprisingly a strong field has been attracted. In the Men's 95 players are rated higher than 2600 of which 9 are 2700+. In the Women's event 35 players have 2400 or more, with eight of this being 2500.

There are probably no other events in the world calendar with such strength in depth.

Here are the leading names:

SeedNameNationalityRatingWorld Ranking
1Zoltan AlmasiHUN272023
2Etienne BacrotFRA271426
3Sergei MovsesianSVK270929
4David NavaraCZE270831
5Francisco Vallejo PonsESP270830
6Alexander MotylevRUS270532
7Michael AdamsENG270433
8Evgeny TomashevskyRUS270136
9Evgeny AlekseevRUS270037
10Baadur JobavaGEO269540
11Arkadij NaiditschGER269141
12Vladimir AkopianARM268843
13Andrei VolokitinUKR268745
14Viktor BologanMDA268449
15Fabiano CaruanaITA268052
16Gabriel SargissianARM267553
17Igor KurnosovRUS267454
18Alexander AreshchenkoUKR267057
19Laurent FressinetFRA267056
20Kiril GeorgievBUL266958

So fifteen nationalities in the top twenty seeds, which makes it a very open-looking contest.

Many of the World's top twenty will soon be competing in the 'Melody Amber' rapid and blindfold tournament in Nice, so the circumstances are ideal for a slightly less well-known player to make a name for themselves.

SeedNameNationalityRatingWomen's World Ranking
1Antoaneta StefanovaBUL25554
2Nadezhda KosintsevaRUS25545
3Anna MuzychukSLO25336
4Tatiana KosintsevaRUS25247
5Pia CramlingSWE25239
6Marie SebagFRA250612
7Lilit MkrtchianARM250313
8Lela JavakhishviliGEO250014
9Natalia ZhukovaUKR249217
10Elina DanielianARM249118

The second and fourth seeds are sisters, a reminder of the Polgars' era a generation ago when all three sisters were active and played at a high level.

Of the World's top three, Judit Polgar doesn't play in Women's events and Humpy Koneru (India) and Yifan Hou (China) aren't European.

The biggest name who is conspicuous by her absence is Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia, who apart from having already scaled the heights, is also a young mother!

More information on the official tournament site

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