1st European Team Chess Championship (women): Debrecen 1992

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

Basic data

1st European Team Chess Championship (women)
(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: 38 (incl. three Hungarian teams)
Yugoslavia were allowed to play under FIDE flag because of UN embargo. On the second day the meeting of all participating nations almost unanimously adopted the resolution on exclusion of the Yugoslav teams from the competition.
Players participating: 111 (incl. 23 WGMs, 37 WIMs and 10 WFMs)
Minor discrepancies are possible.
Games played: 326
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: 92etchw.zip

Tournament review

As long as 35 years had women's chess been waiting for separate ETCh competition. Hungary were honoured to host the very first Women's European Team Championship. According to ECU regulations the matches were played at only two boards and each team had right to put one reserve into the squad. On one hand this prevented from widely criticised three board system used at women's Olympiads (thus handicapping teams to play with Black at two boards) but on the other hand the two-board competition must have been to some extent a matter of pure luck. Also, teams only having one or two brilliant players were favourised at a cost of those sides who had multitude of firm players at their disposal, but no outstanding ones.

36 teams arrived to Debrecen, which is a record number until today! Team Yugoslavia were (as in men's competition) expelled after day one, due to reasons of political nature. Georgia were top seeded with average ELO skyrocketing at 2405 (Arakhamia, Gurieli, Kachiani) then came Russia (Demina, Prudnikova, Zaitseta) and Ukraine (Galliamova, Litynskaya, Chelushkina). Experienced Hungarian side were fourth seeds (Mádl, Verőci, Ivánka) while young Romanians were lying in pre-tournament fifth position. The rest of teams seemed far weaker than top five. In particular, no one would bet a penny on hardly known duo of Azerbaijani girls Velikhanli and Kadimova. But this is women's chess - the variance of results is unpredictabely huge and makes any betting ultimately risky task!

Russia took off badly losing to Moldova after Skripchenko's win over Zaitseva. On day two the Russians dropped yet another point as Prudnikova lost to Anna Bener, a player rated some 400 points lower than her. France, having beaten favourised Latvia 2-0 on day one, kept the pace defeating Hungary by 1½-½. Ukraine were the only team with a clear 4/4 record after day two, but lost to Georgia on the next day. The Georgians ran over France on day four to move into the nose along with Ukraine who recovered wiping out Estonia 2-0. Czecho-Slovakia were lying in third a fraction behind. As Georgia only halved vs The Czech and Slovak team Ukraine moved into sole lead ruthlessly denying Greece. Poland beat Denmark 2-0 and moved into tied third. Russia lost to Azerbaijan 2-0 (sic!) and fell down to 23rd. Is seemed to be all over after 6 days as Ukraine knocked-out yet another team by 2-0 and Georgia dropped half of a point vs Estonia. Azerbaijan destroyed Czecho-Slovakia to move into third, then came Romania and Spain (quite unexpectedly) a clear point behind the podium though. On the next day Azerbaijan caused yet another major surprise beating Ukraine 1½-½. Georgia beat Romania to reduce the gap down to half of a point. France and Poland moved up to tied fourth after ruthlessly winning 2-0 each. Virtually all of top table matches of round 8 were drawn except from Azerbaijani win over Bosnia and another disastrous performance by Russian ladies who lost 2-0 to Czecho-Slovakia. With last round to go standings were: Ukraine 12; Azerbaijan and Georgia 11½. The rest were far behind.

The last day was a full of drama wild hunt for gold. Azerbaijan were paired with strong Polish side and only drew both games finishing in third, far above their pre-tournament expectations. Galliamova beat Garcia Vicente of Spain quickly but Litynskaya was surprised by Cuevas Rodriguez's piece sacrifice and was lucky to extricate. Ukraine won 1½-½ then and were hoping that Israeli ladies would not lose both games vs Georgia in which case the Georgians would take the gold by virtue of Buchholz tie-break. Kachiani squeezed Tsifanskaya's Kingside position to conduct decisive action at the Queenside, so Gurieli needed to beat Klinova with Black pieces to win the title for Georgia. Although she took the risk and traded a piece for two pawns she was in deep defence all time long and actually she never looked like winning it.

The gold medals went to Ukraine then and Galliamova's 6½/7 was not only worth gold medal for individual performance at board #1 but also pefrormed at magnificent 2689 ELO. Azerbaijan had no reserve player still Velikhani won three bronze medals (team, individual at board #1, overall ELO performance) and the team conceded only two game loses. Poland, led by WGM Brustman came 4th and it probably could have been better hadn't they lost badly to Ukraine on day six. Czecho-Slovakia finished in good 5th in their last ever appearence and best result was achieved by reserve player Holoubková. France (seeded 25th!) finished in 6th spot and were quite unlucky to miss 4th. Reserve Mora (unrated) scored 3½/5 and performed at 2370 ELO. Teams to produce major disappointment were Russia (finished 17th) who performed at 2186 ELO, 200 points below expected value, also Hungary "A", the strongest of bunch of home teams who came only 12th despite Mádl's good form (5/7) and Latvia, 10th seeds who finished in 27th.

Individual medals

Best Rating Performance
no. name code ELOp
1. WGM Galliamova, Alisa UKR 2689
2. WGM Basagić, Vesna BIH 2532
3. WIM Velikhanli, Firuza AZE 2428

1st Board
no. name code pts gms %
1. WGM Galliamova, Alisa UKR 7 92.9
2. WGM Basagić, Vesna BIH 6 7 85.7
3. WIM Velikhanli, Firuza AZE 9 72.2

2nd Board
no. name code pts gms %
1. WIM Botsari, Anna-Maria GRE 9 72.2
2. WIM Koskela, Niina FIN 9 72.2
3. WIM Cuevas-Rodríguez, María Luisa ESP 5 7 71.4

Reserve Board
no. name code pts gms %
1. WGM Kachiani, Ketino GEO 4 5 80.0
2. WIM Chilingirova, Pavlina BUL 7 78.6
3. Mora, Virginie FRA 5 70.0

Brilliancy prize

Prudnikova, Svetlana (RUS) - Paulauskienė, Vilma (LTU) 1 - 0

Interesting games

Far-sighted, positional exchange sacrifice.
Brustman, Agnieszka (POL) - Arakhamia-Grant, Ketevan (GEO) 1 - 0

Sensational and brilliant win over experienced WGM.
Bener, Anna (SWE) - Prudnikova, Svetlana (RUS) 1 - 0

Control over open file was ample asset.
Kachiani, Ketino (GEO) - Chelushkina, Irina (UKR) 1 - 0

Shortest decisive game.
Mašková, Jana (CSR) - Silva, Ceu (POR) 1 - 0

White seemed to play anti-positional chess but Black's pressure suddenly collapsed.
Gervais, Claire (FRA) - Peptan, Corina (ROM) 1 - 0

Major piece ending was easily won for Black but she missed all the chances.
Galliamova, Alisa (UKR) - Gurieli, Nino (GEO) ½ - ½

White exerted constant pressure at minimal risk.
That's the way controversial opening lines go.
Mádl, Ildikó (HUN) - Høiberg, Nina (DEN) 1 - 0