European Chess Club Cup

European Club CupThe prototype of the European Club Cup took place in 1956 in Yugoslavia where nine club and city teams arrived to compete in a round robin tournament. The host team Partizan won. But the very first official edition took place two decades later and 20 national champions competed in a knock-out tournament. Each match consisted of two rounds played at six boards. German champions Solingen and Soviet Burevestnik tied in a match for gold. The competition was played in a three year cycle those times and then turned to a two year cycle. The Soviet teams kept monopolistic hegemony broken only in 1982 when Spartacus of Hungary won and 1990 when Solingen won another tied championship along with CSKA Moscow.

The KO system hasn't been replaced until 1993 when number of participating teams grew from 30 up to impressive 50. The teams were split into seven knock-out qualification groups and the seven winners together with the host club composed the final group of eight, which was a knock-out competition itself too (in 1996 as much as 16 teams qualified for the championship final). As the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia collapsed many new strong teams emerged and ex-Soviet players spilled all over the world making the games somehow more competitive. No team won more that two times in the 1990s. The last big landmark by now was year 2000, when KO system was abolished and the Swiss system was adopted, making the games even more competetive and spectacular. The European Club Cup is one of most important items in the chess calendar since plenty of excellent players arrive every year to participate. Strongest clubs come from Russia, France, Germany, Poland and Israel.

The tournament is organized by European Chess Union under patronage of FIDE. System of play is seven round Swiss at six boards. There are no limits for foreigners in a team and many clubs actually rely solely on the foreigners. The following number of team from each federation is allowed to participate:
- one team from each ECU member federation where no team championship is organized or two teams from each ECU member federation where national team championship is organised
- extra team for each ECU member federation provided that no less than 10 teams and 20 GMs and/or +2600 players participated in recent national team championship
- extra team for home federation. The home federation has right to enter two extra teams if number of participating teams is even
- extra team for each ECU member federation that is ranked in the top 5 of the Federation ranking list
- incumbent European Club Cup holder

Every winner receives the Challenge Cup founded by ECU. The Cup is won in perpetuity by any club that wins it three times.

The winner list 1976-2013:

Clubs: 4x Bosna Sarajevo, 3x CSKA Moscow, 2x Burevestnik, 2x SG Solingen, 2x Lyon Oyonnax, 2x NAO Paris, 2x Tomsk-400, 2x Ekonomist SGSEU Saratov, 1x Spartacus Budapest, 1x Trud, 1x Bayern Munich, 1x Yerevan City, 1x Sberbank Tatarstan Kazan, 1x Ladia Azov, 1x Panfox Breda, 1x Nikel Norilsk, 1x Linex-Magic Merida, 1x Ural Sverdlovskaya oblast, 1x Sankt Petersburg, 1x SOCAR, 1x G-Team Nový Bor

Nations: 9x Russia, 6x Soviet Union, 4x France, 4x Bosnia & Herzegovina, 3x Germany, 1x Hungary, 1x Netherlands, 1x Armenia, 1x Spain, 1x Azerbaijan, 1x Czech Republic

Challenge cup owners: CSKA Moscow (1990), Bosna Sarajevo (2000),