Rijeka in Croatia is the venue for this year's European individual which takes place from the 6th to the 19th of March with a more-or-less classical time limit (90' for 40 moves followed by 30' for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30" for each move).
The 11 round championship event is doted with excellent prize-money (120,000 Euros for the men and 60,000 Euros for the equivalent Women's touranment) so not surprisingly a strong field has been attracted. In the Men's 95 players are rated higher than 2600 of which 9 are 2700+. In the Women's event 35 players have 2400 or more, with eight of this being 2500.
There are probably no other events in the world calendar with such strength in depth.
Here are the leading names:
|5||Francisco Vallejo Pons||ESP||2708||30|
So fifteen nationalities in the top twenty seeds, which makes it a very open-looking contest.
Many of the World's top twenty will soon be competing in the 'Melody Amber' rapid and blindfold tournament in Nice, so the circumstances are ideal for a slightly less well-known player to make a name for themselves.
|Seed||Name||Nationality||Rating||Women's World Ranking|
The second and fourth seeds are sisters, a reminder of the Polgars' era a generation ago when all three sisters were active and played at a high level.
Of the World's top three, Judit Polgar doesn't play in Women's events and Humpy Koneru (India) and Yifan Hou (China) aren't European.
The biggest name who is conspicuous by her absence is Alexandra Kosteniuk of Russia, who apart from having already scaled the heights, is also a young mother!
More information on the official tournament site