November 11, 2023 – 1:40 pm
The European Team Chess Championship begins on Saturday and continues until November 21 in Budva, Montenegro. Hungary is trying to break into the top 10 on both the women’s and men’s levels. In the preliminary ranking, both disciplines are ranked twelfth. Since there will be no more competitions of a similar nature until next year’s Budapest Chess Olympiad, this competition can be considered a real test. Even if Ferenc Berks, an important member of the team, is not playing now, there is also a chance that Peter Leko will return next year.
For the men, the first board is played by Viktor Erdös (live score 2557), who played reliably at last year’s Chess Olympiad. In the second table, the Hungarian player with the highest direct score is Glydora Benjamin (2633), who studies in the United States, and the third table will be Tamas Panos (2609), who collected eight points in ten previous chess matches. The Olympics played the lion’s share in the eighth position he took. The fourth player on the board is 21-year-old Adam Kozak (2578), who is making his European Championship debut, as well as reserve Emre Balog (2617), who has the second-highest score and, in addition to working full-time, smashed the competition as an absolute amateur. In the classical sense of the word the mark is 2600 points. At the European Club Team Championship, he contributed seven points to Ajka’s performance in seven concerts.
In chess, as in all sports, it is quite unique for someone to reach such a high level while working. Balog is 32 years old, and according to experts, he really deserves to be in the team.
For the women, former European singles champion Hoang Thanh Trang (2393) plays on board one, 16-year-old Zuka Gal (2304) on board two and returnee Pap Petra (2283) on board three. Giuliana Terpi (2269), also representing the younger generation, who collected 24 direct points in the recently organized Grand Swiss FIDE tournament, is the fourth player on the board, while experienced six-time Olympic team member Lazarni Vajda Szidonia (2265) It will be a reserve.