Giri, Grischuk and Firouzja among the best stars of the European Team Championship



Russian teams arrive as favorites

The 23rd edition of the European Team Championships will take place from 12 to 21 November in Toplice Hotel in the Terme Čatež spa complex, located near the town of Brežice, in eastern Slovenia, in the lower Sava valley.

An open championship and a women’s championship will be contested simultaneously, each event being a Swiss 9-round tournament. The time control will be 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the remainder of the game, with 30 second increments for each move from the first move.

Each member of the ECU has the right to enter a team of four players plus a reserve in the open competition, and a team of four players plus a reserve in the women’s competition. A total of 39 teams have registered to participate in the open, while 31 teams will battle for first place in the women’s event.


  • Rounds 1 to 5: November 12-16
  • Day off: November 17
  • Rounds 6 to 9: November 18-21

The action kicks off daily at 3:00 p.m. CET (9:00 a.m. ET, 7:30 p.m. IST)

2021 European Team Chess Championships

Ready for the event – the Russian Federation in Slovenia | Photo: Artem Pugachev

Open section

A total of 13 players rated 2,700 or higher will participate in the tournament, with as many as 66 players breaking the 2,600 rating barrier in the open section. Still, only the reigning champions of Russia can boast of having all 2700+ ranked players in their roster.

The 5 best teams according to the average of the scores:

1. Russia (RtgAvg: 2728)
1 DG Grischuk Alexander 2773
2 DG Dubov Daniil 2714
3 DG Alekseenko Kirill 2710
4 DG Artemiev Vladislav 2699
5 DG Esipenko Andrey 2713
2. Azerbaijan (RtgAvg: 2717)
1 DG Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2765
2 DG Radjabov Teimour 2763
3 DG Mamedov Rauf 2673
4 DG Guseinov Gadir 2665
5 DG Abasov Nijat 2634
3. France (RtgAvg: 2708)
1 DG Firouzja Alireza 2770
2 DG Vachier-Lagrave Maxime 2766
3 DG Bacrot Etienne 2647
4 DG Lagarde Maxime 2647
5 DG Moussard Jules 2632
4. Poland (RtgAvg: 2678)
1 DG Duda Jan-Krzysztof 2756
2 DG Wojtaszek Radoslaw 2700
3 DG Piorun Kacper 2634
4 DG Moranda Wojciech 2623
5 I AM Teclaf Pawel 2543
5. England (RtgAvg: 2671)
1 DG Adams Michael 2714
2 DG Mcshane Luke J 2667
3 DG Jones Gauvain CB 2654
4 DG Howell David WL 2648
5 I AM Haria Ravi 2497

… 39 teams

In the Russian team, Daniil Dubov and Kirill Alekseenko were part of the team that won gold in Batumi two years ago. At the time, Ukraine were in second place – this time they are seeded seventh, with the absences of Pavel Eljanov and Vasyl Ivanchuk. England finished third in Batumi, when they featured the same players in the first four draws as in this edition.

A big attraction for chess fans will be seeing how the France team fares with Alireza Firouzja at the top. France has never obtained a gold medal in this championship. Likewise, Poland will seek a first medal (of whatever nature) in a European team championship – while France will have the Swiss Grand winner in mind, the Poles will be able to play with the last winner of the World Cup as a leader.

Women’s section

On the women’s side, Russia will also arrive in Slovenia as the defending champion and seed of the standings. They will be nearly 100 points ahead on average over Georgia, as they will send a star formation, with only Alexandra Kosteniuk missing.

The 5 best teams according to the average of the scores:

1. Russia (RtgAvg: 2538)
1 DG Goryachkina Aleksandra 2604
2 DG Lagno Kateryna 2550
3 DG Gunina valentina 2480
4 I AM Chouvalova Polina 2515
5 I AM Kashlinskaya Alina 2482
2. Georgia (RtgAvg: 2446)
1 DG Dzagnidze Nana 2524
2 I AM Javakhishvili Lela 2446
3 I AM Arabidze Meri 2441
4 I AM Melia Salome 2371
5 I AM Gvetadze Sofio 2302
3. Poland (RtgAvg: 2410)
1 WGM Zawadzka Jolanta 2429
2 I AM Cyfka Karina 2416
3 WIM Kiolbasa Oliwia 2403
4 DG Monika sock 2393
5 I AM Kulon Klaudia 2328
4.Ukraine (RtgAvg: 2400)
1 DG Ushenina Anna 2426
2 I AM Osmak Iulija 2423
3 I AM Buksa Natalia 2410
4 I AM Gaponenko Inna 2339
5 DG Joukova Natalia 2331
5. Azerbaijan (RtgAvg: 2383)
1 I AM Mammadzada Gunay 2459
2 I AM Mammadova Gulnar 2395
3 WGM Balajayeva Khanim 2369
4 WGM Fataliyeva Ulviyya 2309
5 WIM Beydullayeva Govhar 2278

… 31 teams

Russia is clearly the favorite among women, both in terms of audience and all-time highs in this competition. They won gold in six of the previous seven editions – they got silver in 2013, behind Ukraine. Four of the five players from the team that won the championship in 2019 will play, with Polina Shuvalova replacing Olga Girya this year.

Georgia will also field four of the five players of the silver medalist team in the previous edition, with Sofia Gvetadze replacing Bela Khotenashvili.

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