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Gukesh makes a Golden debut for Prilep at 36th European Chess Club Cup 2021

by Shahid Ahmed - 25/09/2021

GM D Gukesh is consistently doing well. Exactly a week after winning his second consecutive tournament, Norway Chess 2021 Masters, Gukesh made a stellar debut at the 36th European Chess Club Cup 2021. He scored 5.5/7, performed at 2815 and gained 18.7 Elo rating points which earned him an individual Gold medal on Board no.1 ahead of Mamedov, Mamedyarov, Donchenko, Grischuk, Korobov, Harikrishna and Svidler. The 15-year-old's impressive debut at the star-studded event, took his live rating to 2640. Prilep finished 14th overall, Gukesh lived up to his billing of top player of the team with a top-notch performance. Harikrishna and Sasikiran won team Silver for AVE Novy Bor for third consecutive year. Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

Harikrishna and Sasikiran win Silver for Novy Bor

Pentala Harikrishna and Krishnan Sasikiran along with Radoslaw Wojtaszek (POL), David Navara (CZE), Markus Ragger (AUT), David Anton Guijarro (ESP) and Mateusz Bartel (POL) won Team Silver for the third consecutive year (2018, 2019 and 2021) which means AVE Novy Bor made a hat-trick of Silver medal wins. Navara, Anton and Bartel won individual Gold medal on Board no.3, 5 and 7 respectively.

Gold on Board no.1 - GM D Gukesh | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

Novy Bor won Silver at the European Club Cup for the third time in-a-row | Photo: Novy Bor Chess Club

Gukesh started the tournament with a very nice win against IM Peter Schreiner (AUT).

Gukesh - Schreiner, Round 1

Position after 21.c4

21.c4 discover attack is a powerful move as it gives White a decisive advantage, 21...Nc6 22.cxb5 axb5 23.Bxb5 Rxa2 24.Qd7 forces the queen exchange.

GM Johan-Sebastian Christianssen buckled under pressure in the second round.

Christiansen - Gukesh, Round 2

Position after 36.g3

36.Nf3 would have kept White afloat a bit longer. 36.g3 allows Black to finish things off immediately, 36...Rh8.

Gukesh en route his victory against Christiansen | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

Gukesh faced Carlsen's team Offerspill Chess Club, they lost to Prilep 1.5-4.5 | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

In the third round, Gukesh made a solid draw against the legendary eight-time Russian champion and FIDE World Cup 2011 winner, Peter Svidler.

Gukesh in action against Peter Svidler | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

Gukesh drew with GM Matthieu Cornette (FRA) in the fourth round | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

GM Aleksandar Indjic's (SRB) invasion with the king in the fifth round turned out to be fatal for him.

Gukesh - Indjic, Round 5

Position after 40...Kd4

Black needed to play Kd4 without the 39...Rf1+. 41.Rf3 forced the exchange of rooks 41...Rxf3+ 42.Kxf3 Be8 43.Kf4 now the Black king is a point of no return. Gukesh converted his advantage into a win comfortably.

15-year-old Gukesh is racing ahead | Video: ChessBase India

Gukesh laser-focused against Indjic | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

Gukesh defeated GM Vladislav Nevednichy (ROU) in the sixth round.

Nevednichy - Gukesh, Round 6

Position after 27.Qb3

27.Qb3 alleviated the pressure on the e4-pawn. 27...f4 28.Bxb6 Qb7 now the f3-threat is looming large and White's b6-bishop is also in a pin. White gave up the bishop with the hope of getting some offense, but got none.

Gukesh finished the tournament with a draw against Germany no.3 GM Alexander Donchenko | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

Gukesh performed at 2815 and gained 18.7 Elo rating points

Gukesh had won the Gold, but the thirst for knowledge is still unquenched, as he was seen playing blitz against Svidler | Photo: Dr. Rajini Kanth
Gukesh wins Gold medal at the European Club Cup Board 1 | Video: ChessBase India

Watch Gukesh receive his Gold medal

Gukesh was appreciated by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

He also thanked Toni, captain of team Prilep for giving him the opportunity to play on Board no.1.

Replay Gukesh's games

Harikrishna scored an important 3.0/6 for his team, Novy Bor. His sole win of the event was against Peter Svidler in the fifth round.

Harikrishna beats Peter Svidler after 13 years! | Video: ChessBase India

Pentala Harikrishna of Novy Bor Chess Club | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

Krishnan Sasikiran in action for AVE Novy Bor | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

Photo Gallery:

Magnus Carlsen played three games for his team Offerspill Chess Club | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

Carlsen's third game was against Mamedyarov | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

The tournament hall | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

There was plenty of gap between team members | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

The Women's section | Photo: C&P Media/Chess Federation of Macedonia

The tournament took place in Struga, North Macedonia from 18th - 24th September 2021.

Final standings on Board no.1

GMGukesh D2599INDPrilep28150778,614
GMMamedov Rauf2654AZEVugar Gashimov27940570,03
GMMamedyarov Shakhriyar2762AZEAlkaloid27920666,78
GMDonchenko Alexander2641GERSkakfelag Selfoss27470771,45
GMGrischuk Alexander2775RUSKPRF27350771,44
GMKorobov Anton2685UKRSilla-Valencia Origin of Chess27240764,39
IMNoe Christopher2518GERDe Sprenger Echternach26710778,637
GMBerkes Ferenc2671HUNTeam XtraCon26600764,36
GMHarikrishna Pentala2725INDAVE Novy Bor26480650,02
GMSvidler Peter2701RUSMednyi Vsadnik26260641,71


Final Standings in Team

Rk.SNoFED TeamGames  +   =   -  TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
Mednyi Vsadnik761013236,529,5174,0
AVE Novy Bor752012201,527,5172,5
Vugar Gashimov751111191,028,5164,0
Skakfelag Selfoss750210188,528,0157,0
Team XtraCon750210175,526,5166,5
Sloven Ruma750210150,524,0162,5
Silla-Valencia Origin of Chess74129201,026,5180,0
Schachgesellschaft Riehen74129142,024,5143,0
Stocholms SS74129129,022,0157,0
BEER SHEVA74038168,024,0163,5
Offerspill Chess Club74038143,025,0150,5
Maribor Poligram74038114,521,5161,0



Official site

Tournament Regulations

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