European Club Cup 2015 Starts

The chess Champions League started today in my home town of Skopje. You can see all the official information on the official site or on the chess-results page, so I’ll just give my impressions here.

This year’s ECC marks my return to the tournament after 8 long years – the last time I played was back in 2008 in Kallithea. I also play for a new team, my English team Cheddleton, which makes me the only Macedonian ever to play for a non-Macedonian team in the history of the European Club Cups.

The first impressions are good, the opening ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister himself and the playing hall and conditions, well known from the famous Karposh Open, are comfortable. I expect the mess of the first round to calm down by tomorrow and things to settle down.

I played myself and I didn’t have a chance to roam the top boards (I noticed that Kramnik and Aronian didn’t play and Ivanchuk and Grischuk couldn’t win their games). I won my game with black against Simon Pacher, rated 2028, but the team unexpectedly failed to win the match – on boards 1 and 2 we lost (GM Howell surprisingly lost to IM Diermair with white) and on 5 GM Arkell couldn’t win a winning position (he was playing heavily sedated due to a very bad toothache!) We could have even lost the match, but a miracle occurred on board 3, where the following position happened:

Our match was the only one to finish 3-3, so I wonder who will pick us up tomorrow!

Alex Colovic
A professional player, coach and blogger. Grandmaster since 2013.
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