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EU Individual Open Chess Championship

Tournament hall at Liverpool's World Museum, 2008

The EU Individual Open Championship was first contested in Cork, Ireland in 2005, under the auspices of organising body, the European Chess Union (ECU). The event is open to members of chess federations within the European Union. Exceptionally, at the discretion of the organisers, guest players have also been allowed to compete; for example, when the host nation has non-EU neighbours.

The fourth championship, held in Liverpool in 2008, was its last edition.


The tournament has been held annually between 2005 and 2008, sometimes in conjunction with the celebrations of cities awarded European Capital of Culture status. Financial backing has not been consistently high, but in the case of Liverpool 2008, the prize fund totalled £30,000, which was large enough to attract many of the EU's strongest players.

The events were run on an inclusive format, open to a range of players of varying standard, typically from Elo 1600 to 2700 or more, but unrated players are also eligible to play. Substantial prize money is awarded not just to the overall top finishers, but also to the highest finishing women and junior players. Additional prizes go to those showing the best rating improvement over the course of the tournament.

The time limits for play tended not to follow the FIDE format, but more closely resemble classical time limits, to give some assistance to players in the endgame phase.


1st EU Individual Open, Cork 2005

The first European Union Individual Open Championship formed part of the programme of events celebrating Cork City's status as European Capital of Culture for 2005. Played over ten rounds, the event took place 21 March - 3 April 2005 in the Ballroom Suite of the Gresham Metropole Hotel, MacCurtain Street, Cork, Ireland. There were one hundred and fifteen participants and Hungarian grandmaster Zoltan Gyimesi won the event on tie-break from Mateusz Bartel of Poland, who drew level on points in the final round. The highest placed woman player was IM Viktorija Čmilytė of Lithuania with 6½ points.

Place Player Title Rating Nationality Result
1-2 Zoltan Gyimesi GM 2602 Hungary 8½/10
Mateusz Bartel GM 2487 Poland 8½/10
3-5 Bartosz Soćko GM 2591 Poland 7½/10
Roland Berzinsh IM 2454 Latvia 7½/10
Mark Hebden GM 2521 England 7½/10
6-9 Slavko Cicak GM 2552 Sweden 7/10
Joel Benjamin GM 2554 United States 7/10
Normunds Miezis GM 2547 Latvia 7/10
Alexander Baburin GM 2523 Ireland 7/10

2nd EU Individual Open, Liverpool 2006

The second edition of the Championship took place at the World Museum, William Brown Street, Liverpool, England. Held between 6-15 September 2006, the tournament entry totalled eighty-four. Going into the final round, host nation grandmaster Nigel Short was the only leading player to win, defeating Mark Hebden to capture clear first place with 7½/10. The highest placed woman player was IM Dagne Ciuksyte of Lithuania on 6½ points, repeating the achievement of compatriot Cmilyte, in the previous year's event.

Place Player Title Rating Nationality Result
1 Nigel Short GM 2676 England 7½/10
2-9 Sarunas Sulskis GM 2514 Lithuania 7/10
Luke McShane GM 2614 England 7/10
Stephen Gordon IM 2443 England 7/10
Gawain Jones IM 2416 England 7/10
Luis Galego GM 2528 Portugal 7/10
Danny Gormally GM 2513 England 7/10
Klaus Bischoff GM 2533 Germany 7/10
Karel van der Weide GM 2446 Netherlands 7/10

3rd EU Individual Open, Arvier 2007

The third European Union Individual Open Championship took place June 15-24th 2007, in Arvier (Aosta Valley), Italy. There were one hundred and ten competitors and the tournament was open to the players of the twenty-seven countries of the European Union, plus four additional countries close to the host nation, these being Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey. Croatian Nikola Sedlak took the contest on tie-break from local favourite Michele Godena, after both finished on 8/10. Godena was however awarded the Champion's title, due to Sedlak being a non-EU citizen. IM Cristina Foisor (ROM) was the top finishing woman player with 6½ points.

Place Player Title Rating Nationality Result
1-2 Nikola Sedlak GM 2575 Serbia 8/10
Michele Godena GM 2558 Italy 8/10
3-6 Thomas Luther GM 2586 Germany 7½/10
Fabiano Caruana IM 2513 Italy 7½/10
Alexander Baburin GM 2545 Ireland 7½/10
Mišo Cebalo GM 2491 Croatia 7½/10
7-9 Sarunas Sulskis GM 2533 Lithuania 7/10
Nenad Sulava GM 2549 Croatia 7/10
Marcos Llaneza Vega IM 2455 Spain 7/10

4th EU Individual Open, Liverpool 2008

The fourth edition of the Championship saw a return to the venue of 2006 - Liverpool's World Museum. Held September 9-18th 2008, during the city's reign as European Capital of Culture, there were one hundred and forty participants, from twenty member states, competing for a record prize fund. The event was won by Jan Werle of the Netherlands, the best tournament success of his chess career to date. He drew with Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in the final round, while Michael Adams, a half point behind, settled for an early draw with Emanuel Berg, thereby securing a share of second place. The women's top spot was shared between Jovanka Houska, Yelena Dembo and Ketevan Arakhamia-Grant, all on 6 points.

Place Player Title Rating Nationality Result
1 Jan Werle GM 2591 Netherlands 8/10
2-4 Viktor Laznicka GM 2601 Czech Republic 7½/10
Michael Adams GM 2735 England 7½/10
Nigel Short GM 2655 England 7½/10
5-15 Alberto David GM 2568 Luxembourg 7/10
Erwin L'Ami GM 2610 Netherlands 7/10
Maxime Vachier-Lagrave GM 2681 France 7/10
Daniel Fridman GM 2637 Germany 7/10
Emanuel Berg GM 2592 Sweden 7/10
Étienne Bacrot GM 2691 France 7/10
David Howell GM 2561 England 7/10
Sergei Tiviakov GM 2645 Netherlands 7/10
Thomas Luther GM 2570 Germany 7/10
Jan Smeets GM 2593 Netherlands 7/10
Alexander Beliavsky GM 2606 Slovenia 7/10