IBCA European Open Chess Championship 2024

Owen Phillips writes —

From 15/25 June, Gary Hogan of the BCA and Witney chess clubs will play in his long-awaited second major international FIDE event when he participates alongside 63 others from 22 countries in the IBCA European Open Chess Championship in Ploiesti, a city and the county seat of Praheva in Romania, 35 miles north of Bucharest.

Ploiesti is a major industrial city within Romania, and in 1857 became home to the world’s first industrial scale petroleum refinery. The location may not be regarded as being as beautiful or as much of a tourist destination as Rhodes, where Gary was last in action, but it has many elegant squares and buildings, and the beautiful Ghighiu monastery, as well as a very special clock museum. It is also well-known for its cuisine, including very fine pastries – watch out, Gary and Owen’s waistlines!

Once again Gary will be supported by Owen in his preparation both before and during this major event. The top seed is the current IBCA World Champion, GM Marcin Tazbir of Poland, but he is likely to face a stern challenge from four IMs, two FMs, one WIM and one CM, plus a host of national and regional masters. Gary’s job will be to try and play as many of these top seeds as possible, in which case he will have acquitted himself extremely well. Adding to the interest will be that the current and multiple IBCA World Women’s Champion, WIM Lubov Zsiltzova Lisenko of Ukraine, has thrown her hat into the ring to take on the elite male IBCA players!

I shall aim to update readers as to Gary’s and the leaders’ progress during the IBCA European Open Championship.