From March 16 to 29, the European Individual Chess Championship took place in Batumi (Georgia). The competition involved 302 players from 34 countries. After roughly 14 days of competition and European Championship coming to an end, Ivan Šarić was declared the new European Champion 2018.
After 6 hours of game, the young Croatian (27) chess player found a way to beat a Czech player David Navara in his final game to claim the title. Ranked 26th at the beginning of the tournament, the Croatian chess player finished as a leader with 8.5 points from 11 games (1 point for a win, 0.5 points for a draw, 0 points for a loss). Ivan Šarić even received congratulations from a former world chess champion who is considered to be one of the greatest chess players of all time: Garry Kasparov.
Congrats from Split to my young Croatian compatriot Ivan Saric, for his big win in the European Championship! And he did in style with a last-round win. Čestitam na osvojenom prvom mjestu! https://t.co/fU66nLvCDZ
— Garry Kasparov (@Kasparov63) 28 mars 2018
Until the last minutes, the chess competition was intense and noone could know the outcome of the competition. At the end, only Ivan Šarić was in front while seven players were tied for the second place. A tiebraker was needed to determine the final ranking. Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland) and Sanan Sjugirov (Russia) completed the final podium:
- Ivan Šarić (Croatia) – 8,5 pts | Gold Medal
- Radoslaw Wojtaszek (Poland) – 8 pts | Silver Medal
- Sanan Sjugirov (Russia) – 8 pts | Bronze Medal
- Jones Gawain C B (England) – 8 pts
- Matlakov Maxim (Russia) – 8pts
If you are more curious, you can watch the video from Agadmator’s Chess Channel showing one game of Ivan Šarić against the 18 years old Czech player Igor Janik.
Many female players parcipated in the championship this year to compete with the best chess players in Europe. The three best women players in the tournament are Stefanova Antoaneta (Bulgaria) who scored 6.5 points and finished 93rd, Goryachkina Aleksandra (Russia) and Arabidze Meri (Georgia) who scored 6 points.