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maribor camp2019 photo16The atmosphere in Maribor, Slovenia is especially festive this year, as the chess players are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the first chess club in the city (Mariborski SK). The European chess academy has also been sharing the festive spirit with its traditional Festival. This year the team of European chess academy, led by GMs Georg Mohr and Adrian Mikhalchisin with the tremendous help from Evgeny Ushakov, has stretched the festival for 9 days. 

Between June 20th and June 28th the city of Maribor almost traditionally transformed into the main venue of the various chess events under the slogan “Smart game for smart city” that brought together many chess lovers from Slovenia and abroad and at the same time the city hosted some chess stars as well. 

This year’s date of events coincided with the city’s traditional Lent festival – for the first time chess players became a part of the official Festival’s program, which every year attracts thousands of people. 

The founders of European chess academy Georg Mohr and Adrian Mikhalchisin together with the academy’s main sponsor Evgeny Ushakov, the president of ECU Zurab Azmaiparashvili and the former women World Champion Antoaneta Stefanova opened the series of different interesting events with the press conference. 

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Press conference with Antoaneta Stefanova, Adrian Mikhalchisin,
Georg Mohr and ECU president Zurab Azmaiparashvili

At time same time the president of ECU Zurab Azmaiparashvili attracted a lot of attention with the announcement of the two important upcoming events in years 2020 and 2021 that will be organized by the European chess academy – the European Individual Chess Championship, which will be held in Radenci, Slovenia next year and the European Team Chess Championship which will be organized a year after in Portoroz, Slovenia. 

The days of chess started with an interesting match “Dwarf against Giant” – a match between senior grandmasters from Maribor and senior grandmasters from Russia. 

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Match Russia seniors vs. Maribor seniors

Grandmasters Adrain Mikhalchisin, Alexander Beliavsky and Georg Mohr represented Maribor’s team and played against Evgeny Sveshnikov, Yuri Balashov and Nukhim Rashkovsky from Russia. 

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ECU president Azmaiparashvili and main sponsor of all events Evgeny Ushakov were also attending start of the match 
dwarf against giant

They played a double Scheveningen system and despite the tense and fairly equal fight the grandmaster from Maribor had to admit defeat in the end. The Russian grandmasters won 10 to 8. 

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The closing ceremony of match Russia seniors vs. Maribor seniors


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Players and special guest in Maribor`s countryside

The next day was marked by many simultaneous exhibitions with the former women World Chess Champion Antoaneta Stefanova as the main star. Many chess players had the opportunity to play against her in a very special place of the Regional Museum of Maribor – the arcades of the city castle.

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Evgeny Ushakov challenged GM Antoaneta Stefanova
and made a draw

Despite the opponent fighting hard Antoaneta only made 4 draws and won 16 times.

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During the simultaneous exhibition

Besides her also other simultaneous exhibitions were played on the same day in other locations in the city. Grandmasters Mikhalchisin, Rashkovsky and Sveshnikov played against the participants of the summer chess camp and together made 8 draws and lost one game. 

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GM Mikhalchishin during the simultaneous exhibition

Grandmaster Balashov played against other interested chess players in one of Maribor’s clubs SK Branik. His opponents managed to escape with one win and 4 draws. 

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GM Rashkovsky during the simultaneous exhibition


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GM Shveshnikov faced young talents

On the 23rd of June the 22nd Pirc Memorial was played in Secondary Civil Engineering School in memory of the famous Slovenian grandmaster Vasja Pirc

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22nd Pirc Memorial was played
in Srednja gradbena šola in gimnazija Maribor

The tournament was organized by the ECA in cooperation with the best Slovenian chess club ZSK Maribor. 127 players from 17 different countries attended the blitz tournament, amongst them were 7 grandmasters and 8 international masters. The president of ECU Zurab Azmaiparashvili from Georgia won the tournament convincingly. 

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Zurab Azmaiparashivli - the winner of the 22nd Pirc memorial

He was followed by Bolgarian Antoaneta Stefanova and the third place was shared by Branko Rogulj from Croatia and the best Slovenian Jernej Skuhala

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Antoaneta Stefanova finished 2nd in 22nd Pirc memorial. 
Evgeny Ushakov kibitzing her game.

In the next few days the string of events were finished by the Summer chess camp that is being organized every year and this year brought together more than 50 mostly young chess players from Slovenia and abroad. The players from 17 different countries were attracted by the camp’s program. 

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The opening ceremony of the 2nd Summer chess camp

Besides the chess lectures by some of the world top trainers, the participants got to experience a rich accompanying program. The summer camp reached its peak on the last day when the participants were taken to Zagreb, Croatia where at the time the most elite tournament attended by the 12 top chess players of the world was being played at the time – 2019 Zagreb Grand Chess Tour

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Participants of the 2nd Summer chess camp meeting Garry Kasparov

The young chess players had the unique opportunity to see this tournament live and some of them got lucky enough to get their photos taken with some of their role models or get their autographs. But the happiness for them didn’t end there – even the legendary Garry Kasparov took some time especially for them and dedicated some words of encouragement to the players. Every participant also took a photo with him and got his autograph. 

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Kasparov giving an autograph 
to Justin Kang from Korea
Jan Šubelj (3rd from right) attended training camp
with Garry Kasparov

In general European chess academy successfully cooperated with Kasparov Chess Foundation. The foundation sent some of their members to the summer chess camp and the European chess academy sent some of theirs to the special group of young players that were training with Garry himself from 29th of June until 1st of July in Zagreb. Among them was also the best Slovenian Jan Subelj to whom the European chess academy offers its support. But there are also other young talents that the European chess academy helps in their development. 

You can read more about the European chess academy and what it has to offer on the following website:


iacf2 pic summer festival 2019ŠAHOVSKI DNEVI – JUNIJ 2019

Maribor, 20. – 28. junij 2019

»Pametna igra za pametno mesto« 


Četrtek, 20. junij 
11.00 - Tiskovna konferenca – Narodni dom Maribor

Petek, 21. junij 
10.00 - Dvoboj Palček : Velikanu / EŠA – RUSIJA (1. krog) -  Hotel Mercure
15.00 - EŠA - RUSIJA (2.krog) – Hotel Mercure

LIVE GAMES - VIEWER / round 01-06 /  

GAMES - PGN / Downolad pgn - round 01-06 / 


Sobota, 22 junij         
10.00 - VIP simultanka, igra Antoaneta Stefaanova (Grajske arkade)
10.00 - Simultanka: Maribor izziva legendo, igra Aleksander Beljavski (Grajske arkade) 
Cel dan - Simultanke velemojstri – različne lokacije

Nedelja, 23. junij      
10.00 - 22. Pirčev memorial – Srednja gradbena šola in gimnazija Maribor



festival2019 schedule  festival2019 senior match 
 festival2019 stefanova  festival2019 stefanova2
 festival2019 pirc  iacf2 pic summer festival 2019