Bulgarian Team Competition

Bulgarian Team Championships for men and women (first and second divisions) took place in Sunny Beach from 8-14 June. This was the strongest team competition that I have ever seen in our country. Except Veselin Topalov and Ivan Cheparinov all the best Bulgarian players took part in the event. Some of our players represent other countries- Vladimir Georgiev plays for Macedonia, Evgeny Ermenkov for Palestina, and Silvia Collas represents France but all of them were here, taking part in the event. Except for these “foreigners” some teams were strengthened by real ones from Romania, Croatia, Serbia, Germany and Ukraine- the family Vlad Nevednichy and Gabriela Olarashu from Romania represented CSKA, M. Manolache played for Vidin, Dejan Antic (Serbia) fought well for Shumen, Sebbie Bogner-for Lukoil. After some years of experiments with the playing system in which various preliminary groups, open Swiss championships and even knock-outs were tried it looks like that we found the best formula for a small country like Bulgaria. It is a round-robin tournament with the best 8 teams, where the last two withdraw from the Master group to second division. Men teams are represented by six players plus two reserves, while in the ladies part three women are supported by one substitute. This tournament had a status of qualification for the World Club Cup that will take place in Plovdiv the next year, and it is not wonder that the men field brought together 20 GMs and 16 IMs (6 WGMs and 8 WIMs respectively for the women championship). The average elo of the rating favourite Lokomotiv- Sofia was 2512. We played according to the Dresden rules, when all the players had to be on the boards at the start of the round. Also the Sofia rules were applied and draws could have been offered only after thirtieth move (except an arbiter’s permission) and the captain’s arrangements were forbidden. Match points were counted.
In the men part practically three teams competed for the medals- “Lokomotiv”- Sofia (K. Georgiev, N. Ninov, A. Stefanova, P. Genov, P. Velikov , Kr. Georgiev, substitutes B. Andonov and J. Ivanov), “Lukoil-Neftohimik”- Burgas (V. Iotov, Vl. Georgiev, D. Bojkov, S. Bogner, V. Lilov, M. Vasilev, A. Angelov, Zh. Zhekov) and “CSKA”- Sofia (V. Spasov, A. Kolev, V. Nevednichy, I. Enchev, E. Ermenkov, G. Filev, I. Tsvetkov, A. Jovchev). All these teams were composed mainly by GMs, and they were the rating favourites. “Lokomotiv” Sofia managed to win both the crucial matches with optimal score 3.5-2.5 and became champions, while “Lukoil” won the direct match against “CSKA” to grab silver. The underdogs “Pleven 21” and “Shumen 2005” had to leave the Master group. Board winners-:
І board -V. Iotov (Lukoil) and A. Delchev (Vidin) 4.5/ 7 ІІ board -N. Ninov (Lokomotiv- Sofia) 4/6 ІІІ board-M. Mrdja (“Lokomotiv”- Plovdiv) 4.5/7 ІV board -I. Enchev (CSKA) 5.5/7 V board -S. Kozhuharov (“Lokomotiv 2000” Plovdiv) 5/7VІ board- Kr. Georgiev (“Lokomotiv”-Sofia) 5/ 7
As usual tenser was the fight in the ladies’ group. Except for the winners “Lokomotiv Sofia” (L. Genova, E. Djingarova, E. Collas, St. Bednikova) who practically secured the win within a spare round, only the final round determined the silver and bronze medalists, and those who had to leave the group. The young and perspective team of “Lokomotiv 2000- Plovdiv” (I. Videnova, A. Nikolova, D. Sirkova, M. Yaneva) won their last match with a perfect score 3-0 to grab the silver, and in the big tie for the third place succeeded “Lokomotiv” –Plovdiv (M. Voiska, S. Maksimovic, P. Chilingirova, T. Baninska). From the final twist suffered the team of “G. Daskalov”- Varna who withdrew together with “Rokada”- Plovdiv. Board winners:
І board- D. Artyonova (Spartak-Pleven) 5/7,
ІІ board- E. Djingarova (“Lokomotiv”- Sofia) 5 /7,
ІІІ board- Silvia Collas (“Lokomotiv”- Sofia) 5.5/6. Thus the team of “Lokomotiv” Sofia doubled his title after a six years period.
The president of the Bulgarian Chess Federation D-r Stefan Sergiev was covering the championship daily for the official site of the BCF.
The resort Sunny Beach is a remarkable mixture of styles. For the past ten years it grew enormously, and many new luxury hotels were built. The variety of styles is seen everywhere- from typical folklore motives, to oriental, eastern (Russian orientated), European (English and Irish pubs) - all of these can be seen in the resort. Live music can be heard everywhere. There is a vast variety from bars and restaurants, and exclusive number of touristic attractions (mini-golf, water-skiing, cruises, extreme jumping, carting, parachute jumping- anything you may think of you may find here. It might look a bit overcrowded, but young people adore it.
The traditional Sunny Beach tournament Memorial Georgiev-Kesarovski (part of the Balkan Gran-Prix) will take place in September 7-13 at the same hotel “Continental”. Be free to join it.

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