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European Online Club Cup 2021 R1-4: Vidit and Sasikiran start with a hat-trick

by Shahid Ahmed - 28/03/2021

Novy Bor made their presence felt on the opening day of European Online Club Cup 2021. They won all four games and took a sole lead in Group B with 8.0/8. Both Vidit and Sasikiran made a 100% score with 3.0/3 to anchor the team for a good start. Gukesh D scored 3.0/4 for his team Gijon 64 in Group C. Nandhidhaa P V made 2.0/4 for Tremblay Girls in Group D. Soham Das also 2.0/4 for Club Ajedrez 64 Villalba-Miscasa A in Group E. The remaining five rounds of the group stage will be played today from 6 p.m. IST. Top two teams from each group will advance to the Play-Offs. Photo: Novy Bor Chess Club

Novy Bor takes sole lead in Group B

Harikrishna, Vidit and Sasikiran all three of them play for Novy Bor Chess Club. While Harikrishna was rested on the first four rounds of the Group Stage, Vidit and Sasikiran racked up three wins in their first three games for Novy Bor. The Czech team has taken a sole lead of 8.0/8. They are definitely one of the top contenders to advance to the Play-Offs. Overall they are the second highest rated team with an average rating of 2712 after OSG Baden Baden e.V. whose team rating is 2715.

Both Vidit and Sasikiran win all their games in their first three games of the group stage | Photo: Novy Bor Chess Club

The tournament logo | Photo: European Chess Union

Novy Bor - SK Lions Levice: 4-0

Sasikiran scored a comfortable victory over untitled Juraj Lecky of SK Lions Levice in the first round.

Sasikiran - Lecky, Round 1

Position after 17...b6

17...b6 invited trouble as white jumped with knight 18.Nc6 and rest was just a matter of time for white to convert it into a victory.

Novy Bor - Hamburger Schachklub 1830: 3-1

Vidit Gujrathi played three games on the first day and he won all three of them. In Round 2, Vidit got a better position out of the opening against Sweden no.1 Nils Grandelius of Hamburger Schachklub 1830.

Vidit - Grandelius, Round 2

Position after 14...c5

14...c5 is a mistake. Find out why. Black should have gone with 14...Rc7 instead. Soon afterwards black lost a pawn and could not get back for the rest of the game.

Club d'Echecs de Geneve - Novy Bor: 1-3

In the third round, Vidit was up against French GM Romain Edouard of Club d'Echecs de Geneve. In a seemingly equal position, Edouard made an incorrect decision which cost him the game.

Edouard - Vidit, Round 3

Position after 26...Rg4

Of course white should not exchange the rooks here and help black get rid of the doubled f-pawn. Moreover, black's advanced king and with the threat of g3-break looming large, it is imperative for white to play 27.g3 right away and lock the position. Even after 27.Rxg4 fxg4 white should have played 28.g3 to minimize the damage.

Sasikiran beat GM Jean-Noel Riff comfortably after the latter developed his queen on the wrong side of the board.

Sasikiran - Riff, Round 3

Position after 18...Qb6

Black needed to develop his queen on the kingside, something like 18...Qf6. Since the a3-rook is primed to traverse to the kingside to launch a heavy attack, white continued with 19.Nf5 and wrapped up the game in another eleven moves.

Novy Bor - De Pluspion Wachtebeke: 4-0

Vidit beat Spain no.5 Jaime Santos Latasa of De Pluspion Wachtebeke in the fourth round. Jaime made an incorrect pawn exchange in the endgame which turned things in Vidit's favor.

Vidit - Jaime, Round 4

Position after 27...dxc4

Black was not forced to play 27...dxc4. A simple 27...Kg8 would have sufficed. The capture only helped white as it exposed black's weaknesses.

Vidit Gujrathi starts with 3.0/3 for team Novy Bor at the European Online Club Cup 2021 | Video: Sagar Shah

IM Ana Matnadze got into a inferior position out of the opening and could not get back for the rest of the game.

Novy Bor made a dominant start with four massive victories including two whitewashes

Group B Standings after Round 4

Rk.SNoFED TeamGroupGames  +   =   -  TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
Novy BorB4400814,000
Tsafrir Rehovot Chess ClubB4310710,500
Club d'Echecs de GeneveB4301610,500
De Pluspion WachtebekeB430168,500
Cercle d'Echecs de Monte-Carlo 1B413058,500
Hamburger Schachklub 1830B420249,500
Stanislas EchecsB411237,000
SK Lions LeviceB401313,500
Team Pelaro Alingsas SSB400404,000


Gukesh made a good start 3.0/4 for his team Gijon 64 | Photo: Niki Riga

Gukesh made his debut for Gijon 64 earlier this month

Group C Standings after Round 4

Rk.SNoFED TeamGroupGames  +   =   -  TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
Mednyi VsadnikC4400813,000
ZSK Maribor PoligramC4400813,000
SF Deizisau e.V.C4301611,500
Gijon 64C4301611,000
SV Werder BremenC4301610,000
Cesky LevC4202411,000
Zeitnot ExpressC410323,000
Echiquier GuingampaisC400404,500
Le Cavalier DifferdangeC400402,000
Zuid LimburgC400401,000


The only Indian woman playing in this event is WGM Nandhidhaa P V. She is playing for Tremblay Girls and made a good start by defeating GM Yannick Pelletier in the very first round.

Nandhidhaa - Pelletier, Round 1

Position after 14...0-0-0

Nandhidhaa got a good position out of the opening and 14...0-0-0 certainly did not help black's case as it only went downhill for black. She converted her advantage into a win comfortably.

WGM Nandhidhaa is one of  the top scorer for her team Tremblay Girls along with WGM Gulmira Dauletova | Photo: Shahid Ahmed

Group D Standings after Round 4

Rk.SNoFED TeamGroupGames  +   =   -  TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
4NCL GuildfordD4400814,000
C'Chartres Echecs AD421159,000
Moravska Slavia Brno BD421159,000
SG ZurichD420248,000
CSU ASE BucharestD420247,500
Tremblay GirlsD420246,000
Bursa Buyuksehir BelediyesporD402225,500
Celtic TigersD400404,000
Club Ajedrez 64 Villalba-Miscasa BD400402,500


In Group E, IM Soham Das of Club Ajedrez 64 Villalba-Miscasa A held GM Eltaj Safarli of Odlar Yurdu to a draw in Round 4.

IM Soham Das of Club Ajedrez 64 Villalba-Miscasa A held GM Eltaj Safarli of Odlar Yurdu to a draw

Group E Standings after Round 4

Rk.SNoFED TeamGroupGames  +   =   -  TB1  TB2  TB3  TB4 
Odlar YurduE4400813,500
Anatolia WhiteE4301610,500
SK Reval SportE4211510,500
Asnieres le grand Echiquier AE4211510,500
Beer Sheva Chess ClubE421159,500
Club Ajedrez 64 Villalba-Miscasa AE4202410,000
Stockholms SSE420248,500
Kavala Chess ClubE411237,000
Anatolia TurquoiseE400400,000
Club d'Echecs LexovienE400400,000


Tournament Format

Qualification phase (27th-28th of March) – Groups consisting of 8 or 10 teams each, play the Robin round event of 7 or 9 rounds. Groups will be divided according to the average rating of the four (4) basic players, with FIDE March 1st, 2021 list taken in account. Two at least teams of each group qualify for Play-offs.


Play-offs (29th of March) – The qualifiers from the 1st phase. Best ranked 9 teams proceed to the Finals.


The final group (30th-31st of March) – 10 teams play Robin round tournament of 9 rounds. The 10th team is invited by ECU, the Winner of European Women’s Online Chess Club Cup- Cercle d’Echecs de Monte-Carlo.


Time control of the event is 15 minutes + 5 seconds increment.


Saturday 27th March: 7 - 11 p.m. IST

Sunday 28th - Wednesday 31st March: 6 p.m. IST onwards

European Online Chess Club Cup 2021 schedule | Photo: European Chess Union


Total Prize fund - EUR 14000. 1st - EUR 4000, 2nd - EUR 3000, 3rd - EUR 2000, 4th - EUR 1500 and 5th - EUR 1000. Individual e-Medals are won by 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place of each board of final Group. The first winner of each Board of the final group will receive 400 euros. Reserve players are calculated on the 5th Board. The best game of the tournament will be awarded 500 euros.

The event is organized by European Chess Union and Monte-Carlo Chess Club, under the high patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.

Replay all Indian players' games from Round 1-4


European Chess Union

Tournament Regulations