Ilya Shikchine is 2019 European Champion (his 6th European title)

32 competitors representing almost all the best European players have been struggling for the title of European Champion in a specific competition: the European Championship.

The system of this tournament is a mix of double knockout and single knockout systems.
Its starts with a double knockout in the first 5 rounds.
In the second phase, the last 8 players compete for the championship in a single knockout tournament from the quarters of finals to the final.

1. Preliminaries rounds:

After three rounds in the main knockout, and two in the looser section, 4 players remained unbeaten: favourites pro Ilya Shikchine, Mateusz Surma and Pavol Lisy, joined by the surprising Lukas Podpera (7D, CZ), who took revenche of his lost final in the pro qualification tournament some weeks ago by beating new pro Tanguy Le Calvé (1p, FR).
In the winners section, most results were the ones expected...But still, some surprises occurred:
-The two greatest surprises were the victories of 2 amateurs against professionals competitors: Jonas Welticke (6d, DE) defeated Alexander Dinerstein (3p, RU) in the 1st round, whereas Lukas Podpera (7d, CZ) triumphed over Artem Kachanovskyi in the 2nd round.
- Russian Vjacheslav Kaymin (6d) eliminated two opponents better ranked than him: Cristian Pop (7d, RO) in the 1st round, and Stanislav Frejlak (7d, PL) in the second one (but he finally lost to Ilya Shishine in the 3rd round).
In the losers section, there were some astonishing results: in the 1st round, Antoine Fenech (5d, FR) got rid of Csaba Merö (6d, HU), Oscar Vazquez (5d, SP) eliminated Nikola Mitic (7d, SE) and "home player" Belgian representative Lucas Neyrinck (5d, BE) surprised Cristian Pop (7d, RO). In the 2nd round, pro Alexander Dinerstein was eliminated by Stanislas Frejlak (7d, PL)...who also put another pro, Tanguy Le Calvé, out in the 5th round of the losers' section !

2. Quarter of finals:

After the last round of the losers section, the 8 quarter- finalists in the European Championship were known.
Five of the eight active European professionals were still in the race (the 3 missing ones being: Andreii Kravets - did not take part in the European Championship -, Alexander Dinerstein and Tanguy Le Calvé). The 3 surviving "amateurs heroes" were Lukas Podpera, Viktor Lin and Stanislaw Frejlak.
And 2 of these 3 amateurs made even their way up to the semi-finals: as Lukas Podpera prevailed over Ali Jabarin, and Stanislaw Frejlak over the last year winner, Pavol Lisy (taking his revenge of his defeat against him last year in Pisa).
A more expected result was the victory of Ilya Shikshin over Viktor Lin, whereas the duel between the 2 pros Mateusz Surma vs. Artem Kachanovskyi turned in favor of the latter.

3. Semi-finals:

Semi-finals offered us Lukas vs. Ilya, and Stanislaw vs. Artem.
Here, there was no wonder again: the 2 pros won.

4. Small final (for the 3rd place)

Lukas Podpera took the bronze medal by beating Stanislaw Frejlak in the small final

5. Final:

In the end of a gripping final, Ilya won just by HALF A POINT against Artem, and is 2019 European champion (for the 6th time !).

Complete results here: