Czech Team Chess Championship

Czech Rep. Chess UnionChess life in Czechoslovakia was substantial to the development of the game in Central Europe from the very beginning. During the Mid-War period (1919-1939) the Czechoslovak team was one of World's strongest to win no less than two Olympiad medals, led by phenomenal Salo Flohr, who later sought asylum in the Soviet Union. There was no national team championship and the Czechoslovak series commenced only in 1947. Vítkovické železárny (Vitkovice Steel Factory) won the 8 team round robin. There were 46 editions all in all until the ultimate disintegration of the state in 1993. Most wins were recorded by Slavoj Vyšehrad (7x) and Dynamo Prague (6x). Only three titles of 46 were taken by Slovak sides (Slovan Bratislava in 1963 and 1970; Lokomotiva Trnava in 1986). Major successes in team competitions include bronze medal at the European Team Championship in 1957 and silver medal at the Chess Olympiad in Lucerne in 1982.

Once the country split into Czech Republic and Slovakia the leagues part their was too. Of 14 sides from last Czechoslovak league the Czech teams were dominant at 10 to 4. The newly created Czech Extraliga (Česká šachová extraliga) was a 10-team round robin and this format has been kept until today (in 1995 the league was enlarged to 12 teams). The league is usually played in six weekend sessions from late autumn until April. Two bottom teams are relegated to respective second level divisions. Interestingly, much weaker women's league is open for Czech and Slovak teams.

This strong competition saw variety of top players, including grandmasters Dreev, Harikrishna, Wojtaszek, Ponomariov, Rogers, Sasikiran, Shirov and more. Most successful teams are Rapid Pardubice, Lokomotiva Brno, earlier DA Prague and A64 Grygov. Least but not last, Novy Bor team, scoring six league wins to have dominated the league from 2007. Under the flag of their sponsor, the G-Team company, they won bronze medal at the 2011 European Club Cup and finally rallied to a sensational win in Greece in 2013, ahead of a peleton of extremaly strong Russian teams.

Winners ČSR 1947-1992:
7x Slavoj Vyšehrad, 6x Dynamo Prague, 5x ÚDA Prague, 4x DP Prague, 4x TŽ Třinec, 4x Bohemians Prague, 2x Vítkovické železárny, 2x Finanční správa Prague, 2x Lokomotiva Brno, 2x Slovan Bratislava (SVK), 2x Slavia Prague, 1x Tesla Karlín, 1x Slavia Hradec Králové, 1x Lokomotiva Trnava (SVK), 1x Lokomotiva Olomouc, 1x Univerzita Brno, 1x Baník Karviná

Winners ČR 1993-2014:
6x 1. Novoborský ŠK, 4x ŠK Pardubice, 3x ŠK Lokomotiva Brno, 3x ŠK Dům armády Prague, 2x TJ Bohemians Prague, 1x A64 Grygov, 1x ŠK Mahrla Prague, 1x TJ TŽ Třinec, 1x ŠK DP Holdia Prague

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