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European Seniors 2021

We have split our report of these championships from the main Seniors news page in order to devote more space to it.

The 2021 European Senior individual championships were played at Budoni in Sardinia, Italy, from 26 September to 4 October. The fields were small (36 in the 50+, 29 in the 65+) but the competition at the top was fierce in both age group tournaments.

The top five games in each event were broadcast live each day and often worth watching. You can find the full results of the two tournaments at the chess-results website.

IM Nathan Birnboim of Israel is the new European 65+ champion, scoring 7/9, with English FM Terry Chapman, a former British Junior Champion, scoring 6.5 for sole second place. There was a three-way tie on 6/9, with FM Bengt Hammar (Sweden) taking bronze, partly thanks to his final opponent defaulting. Also on 6 points were IM Nils-Gustaf Renman (Sweden) and Rolf Fritsch (Germany).

Annett Wagner-Michel (5.5 points) was a worthy winner of the female title although only two women competed. She defeated IMs in both the first two rounds and also drew with Birnboim.

The new European 50+ champion is IM Fabrizio Bellia of Italy who scored 7.5 points. Runners-up on 7 points were, in tiebreak order, GM Klaus Bischoff (Germany), who was top seed, and IM Laszlo Krizsany (Hungary). WU+IM Elena Krasenkova (Russia) won the women's title with 5.5 points.

Honourable mention in the 50+ goes to Andrew Burnett (Scotland) who scored 6/9 (with no draws, losing only to two IMs and an FM) and to Peter Cafolla of Ireland. Peter finished on 5 points but had been in contention after seven rounds before he lost to the eventual bronze and gold medallists.

Thanks to Tony Hughes of Wales, a competitor in the 50+ tournament, we are able to bring you a personal account of how the tournament was organised. We have heard good reports of previous events held in Sardinia pre-Covid and this event appears to have been run to the same high standard.

Tony says:

The event was well organised and enjoyable,

Masks were required indoors in Italy, so in the playing hall, and there were temperature checks on entering. They said no lingering around other games, but didn't enforce this - and players didn't congregate around a board.

The venue was similar in concept to the one for the World Senior Team in Hersonissos, Crete, a few years ago, with single storey villas around the site - not quite the same splendour, but still very comfortable. A self contained resort - but not sure there's much to visit in the immediate vicinity.

It was an all inclusive resort, which was a pleasant surprise - so free beer, wine, coffee and snacks as well as the meals - which makes for a convivial atmosphere, centered on a pool side restaurant and bar. 

Airport transfers worked well.

There are also some photographs and an official report on the European Chess Union website.


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