During the second weekend of June (June 8th – June 10th 2018) Slovenia’s second largest city - Maribor hosted a series of amazing chess events in different parts of the city. European Chess Academy in cooperation with Slovenian chess club ZSK Maribor organized the following events:
- Clock simultaneous exhibition with former World Champion challenger, Latvian Grandmaster Alexei Shirov
- A challenge to the current World Champion among seniors GM Evgeny Sveshnikov by the legendary Slovenian GM Alexander Beliavsky
- Final of Styrian Cadets League
- Online match ZSK Maribor – Small World Chess Club Shanghai
- Maksimiljan Dular memorial blitz tournament
On Friday, 8th of June chess enthusiasts were able to witness a clock simultaneous exhibition, where 6 Slovenian promising cadets got a unique opportunity to test their knowledge against the former World Champion challenger, Latvian Grandmaster Alexei Shirov. The event was held in Mercure Maribor City Center hotel not far from the city center. The games were exciting until the very end and the public got to see some real fighting spirit. In the end Alexei Shirov had to give away two draws but still ended up winning overall 5:1.
At the same time, but at a different place, legendary GM Alexander Beliavsky was challenging the current World Champion among seniors GM Evgeny Sveshinkov in 4 rapid games on the first day and on the second day in 4 additional classic games that were all played at the same time. The match was set in a beautiful art gallery in the center of Maribor. The first part of the match – 4 rapid games - ended with Alexander Beliavsky taking the lead with 3:1. On the second day 4 additional games, all played at the same time, ended with a draw 2:2.
Also on June 8th one of Slovenia’s biggest youth events – Styria’s Cadet League – ended with the final 10th tournament and revealed the overall winners. The league was being played since September 2017 and consisted of total 10 tournaments in three different age groups - U9, U12 and U15. The league attracted over 200 young players of Northeastern part of Slovenia who were regularly attending the tournaments in hopes of becoming the overall winners.
On the next day, June 9th, a unique online match between ZSK Maribor and Small World Chess Club Shanghai took place in Secondary Civil Engineering School in Maribor. The match was played on 30 boards in different age groups – U10, U14 and U18. The match was equal for a long time and got decided right at the end - ZSK Maribor won 16:14. The match served to strengthen the bond and deepen the friendship between the clubs.
Finally, Maksimiljan Dular Memorial blitz tournament was organized in hotel Habakuk on the 10th of June to round up the interesting weekend. Around 100 players from 5 different countries came to honor the memory of the former member of ZSK Maribor. The tournament was won by Serbian GM Markus Robert followed by Slovenian GM Adrian Mikhalchishin and Croatian IM Mrdja Milan.
Many important chess personalities visited and participated in the ceremonies of the spectacle - the most important among them were the president of the European Chess Union Zurab Azmaiparashvili, the vice president of FIDE Boris Kutin and the presidents and representatives of Slovenian, Serbian, Croatian and Austrian Chess Federations. The main supporter of the events, philanthropist Eugeny Ushakov, also joined them and got to see the events first hand. Mr. Ushakov is also the main sponsor of the upcoming World Senior Chess Championship 2018, which will be organized in Bled, Slovenia in November 2018.