10th European Team Chess Championship: Debrecen 1992

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[ Basic data | Tournament review | Individual medals | Interesting games ]

Basic data

10th European Team Chess Championship
(see all-time tournament summary)
Date: 20th - 30th November 1992
City: Debrecen, Hungary
Venue: N/A
Tournament Director: N/A
Chief Arbiter: N/A
Teams participating: 40 (incl. three Hungary teams)
1. Yugoslavia were allowed to play only under FIDE flag due to UN embargo. On the second day the meeting of all participating nations almost unanimously adopted the resolution on exclusion of both Yugoslav teams (men and women) from the competition.
2. Azerbaijan did not arrive.
Players participating: 203 (incl. 82 GMs, 67 IMs and 16 FMs)
Games played: 720 (four games from match NED-AZE from round 1 were forfeited)
Competition format: Four board nine round Swiss.
Final order decided by: 1. Game points; 2. Buchholz
Time control: probably 40 moves in 2 hours, then each next 20 moves in one hour
Official logo: Debrecen 1992
Downloadable game file: 92etch.zip

Tournament review

The 1992 Championship attracted a record number of 41 teams to the Hungarian city of Debrecen. The collapse of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia let many strong chess nations emerge radically strengthening level of competition. Also, for the first time there was separate event for women. The political storm had its impact on chess world again. Yugoslavia, six times silver medal winners, now truncated and only represented by the republics of Montenegro and Serbia (Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia announced independence and soon became FIDE members) were almost unanimously expelled from the Championship after round 1 win over Czechoslovakia (another twilight side). The reason for that was an UN embargo imposed on Yugoslavia as a retorsion for taking part in Bosnia war. Another major formula change was reduction of number of boards to four and only one reserve per team was allowed.

Russia were led by World Champion Kasparov but teams ELO was superior to England by mere 11 points to sent as the Englishmen sent their strongest squad to Debrecen. Ukraine led by Ivanchuk and Beliavsky were also tipped to reach medal zone. Other notable sides were ETCh newcomers Bosnia & Herzegovina and Armenia. Hungary were allowed to put three teams in the field and all of them were strong ones. Team "A" was led by Portisch; team "B" stars were Sax and Pintér while top attraction of team "C" were Almási brothers and famous Hungarian prodigy Peter Lékó

Bosnia and Herzegovina took of well ruthlessly beating France 4-0. Most major sides won their matches by the impressive margin with the exception of united German team (FRG + GDR) who lost to Hungary "C". The FIDE team (Yugoslavia) beat Czechoslovakia. Round two saw Bosnia beating Georgia and Russia defeating Lithuania by 3-1 margin. Bulgaria earned important 2½-1½ victory vs Romania in the Balkan derby. Day three saw Russia convincingly defeating leaders Bosnia while the Netherlands grind down Bulgaria 2½-1½. Ukraine moved into second position hammering Moldova 3-1. Round four brought a few interesting matches between top teams. Russia beat Ukraine while Holland, the runners-up lost to England after tough battle. On the next day England halved vs Russia as Short's loss vs Kasparov was compensated by Speelman's win over Bareev. Armenia and Israel moved into tied second after massive wins over the Netherlands and Bulgaria respectively. Standings after 5 rounds: Russia 14; Armenia and Israel 13½; Ukraine and England 12½.

Day six saw Russia sweeping out Armenia's hopes with a ruthless 3½-½ win. Israel and Ukraine did not take much of a risk drawing all four games. Hungary won two matches in a row (at last) boosting hopes of the home crowd and moving up to joint fourth. The biggest upset of the event (according to ELO tables at least) happened as Italy hammered Switzerland (72 ELO points stronger at each board on average) 3½-½. On round seven Russia pinned Israel after tough battle extending their lead up to clear three points and Ukraine narrowly beat England in another giant battle of the day. Bulgaria and Georgia were the teams to join the chasing group thanks to 2½-1½ wins.

A number of decisive matches were scheduled for penultimate day of the event. Kramnik's win over Adorján sealed Russia's win over Hungary while England lost to Israel by the smallest possible margin. Ukraine took all the chances wiping out Bulgaria 3-1 to move into lone second place, half of a point ahead of Israel. Then came Georgia (a clear point behind Israel) followed by England, Hungary and Croatia. On the last day the Russians easily sealed the very first gold in their history defeating Georgia. Ivanchuk's win over Portisch proved decisive shot of Ukraine-Hungary match to secure silver medals for Ukraine. Israel, who seemed secure to defend third position lost unexpectedly to Croatia to be pushed down to fourth by England who grind down Armenia by outstanding 3½-½. Sweden took fifth spot beating Greece 3-1 ahead of Lithuania who leapfrogged to sixth, thanks to round nine 4-0 win over Italy, after losing four (sic!) matches in a row before. Germany scored another big win of the day wiping out Czechoslovakia 3½-½ (not a happy ending in the last ever match played by Czechoslovakia, a country that disappeared from the map just 30 days later). Hungary only finished 11th after unlucky round 8&9 pairing (Russia and Ukraine). The Netherlands finished in poor 19th still better than Armenia and Czechoslovakia (28th!).

As far as individual results are concerned Russian prodigy Kramnik (only FM at the time but already rated 2590) scored fabulous 6/7 winning three gold medals! Other +80% players were Ostensand of Norway and Adams of England. Kasparov's 6/8 was only by a fraction less impressive. Best results of Swedish and Israeli teams were scored by Alterman and Hellers respectively. It is interesting to note that none of top board two players managed to scored a decent result. All of them failed, as if they set up a rum plot.

Individual medals

Best Rating Performance
no. name flag code ELOp
1. FM Kramnik, Vladimir Russia RUS 2863
2. GM Kasparov, Garry Russia RUS 2809
3. GM Adams, Michael England ENG 2794

1st Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Kasparov, Garry Russia RUS 6 8 75.0
2. GM Hjartarson, Jóhann Iceland ISL 6 8 75.0
3. GM Short, Nigel David England ENG 8 68.8

2nd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Skembris, Spyridon Greece GRE 9 72.2
2. GM Van der Wiel, John Netherlands NED 8 68.8
3. IM Kuczyński, Robert Poland POL 6 9 66.7

3rd Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. FM Kramnik, Vladimir Russia RUS 6 7 85.7
2. IM Østenstad, Berge Norway NOR 9 83.3
3. GM Adams, Michael England ENG 8 81.3

4th Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. IM Hausner, Ivan Czechoslovakia CSR 6 8 75.0
2. IM Tatai, Stefano Italy ITA 5 7 71.4
3. IM Alterman, Boris Israel ISR 8 68.8

1st Reserve Board
no. name flag code pts gms %
1. GM Hickl, Jörg Germany GER 6 8 75.0
2. GM Vyzmanavin, Alexei Russia RUS 5 7 71.4
3. GM Dizdar, Goran Croatia CRO 5 7 71.4

Brilliancy prize

Giorgadze, Giorgi (GEO) - Adorján, András (HUN) 0 - 1

Piket, Jeroen (NED) - Sturua, Zurab (GEO) 0 - 1

Interesting games

Very subtle strategical finish.
Kasparov, Garry (RUS) - Ivanchuk, Vasyl (UKR) 1 - 0

The preamble of infamous 1993 WCh match.
Short, Nigel (ENG) - Kasparov, Garry (RUS) 0 - 1

Shortest decisive game and there was no blunder here!
James, David (WLS) - Kortschnoj, Viktor (SUI) 0 - 1

Portuguese master practices the Portuguese Variation of Scandinavian Defence.
Mortensen, Erling (DEN) - Dâmaso, Rui (POR) 0 - 1

Kasparov's elegant miniature and the position after three moves was so unusual.
Kasparov, Garry (RUS) - Rozentalis, Eduardas (LTU) 1 - 0

The killer breakthrough came around in Black's most fortified post.
Kramnik, Vladimir (RUS) - Lputian, Smbat (ARM) 1 - 0

Perhaps the most insane variation of the Alekhine Defence!
Fernández García, José Luís (ESP) - Lékó, Péter (HUN3) 1 - 0

Another very colourful miniature won by Ivanchuk in a splendid style.
Ivanchuk, Vasyl (UKR) - Rozentalis, Eduardas (LTU) 1 - 0