Shortly before the start of the first round, ECU Secretary General Mr. Theodoros Tzorbatsoglou joined the ECU live studio and addressed all the players.
264 players from 35 European federations registered for the event, but only 240 competed in Round 1. The 24 top seeds qualified directly for the Round 2. Five (5) Players withdrew from the tournament, most of them for health reasons.
35 of 115 Round1 matches ended with an equal 1-1 result after two classical games. Tie-break rapid games were decisive for 23 players, while 12 Armageddon games decided the rest of the qualifiers for the 2nd round.
21 favorites of the first round (according to FIDE rating) suffered upsets and won’t continue the race for 36 FIDE World Chess Cup spots.
Pairings of the Round 1 brought the encounter of two Spanish compatriots: GM Alvar Alonso Rosell and FM Gabriel Quispe Arteaga. Since they supposed to meet Online from the same hall, the two Spanish players agreed to play the over-the-board match and only moves were transmitted live.
17 years old FM Frederik Svane (GER, 2438) surprised experienced GM Moiseenko Alexander (UKR, 2620). After a tied result in the classical part of the match, Svane took a 1.5-0.5 rapid victory over Moiseenko to advance in the competition.
Croatian representative GM Bosiocic Marin (CRO, 2607) suffered an Armageddon loss with Black pieces against 17 years old Bulgarian Stoyanov Tsvetan (BUL, 2376).
Two Greek representatives experienced a similar scenario. Mastrovasilis Athanasios (GRE, 2521) played against the 15 years old Roebers Eline (NED, 2066). After the equal result in classical and rapid matches, the drawing of lots decided that Mastrovasilis takes black pieces in Armaggedon. Even though he needed only a draw against the much lower rated boy, Mastrovasilis lost the game.
GM Mastrovasilis Dimitrios (GRE, 2609) lost the classical match against 15 years old FM Sokolovsky Yahli (ISR, 2431) with a final 0.5-1.5 result in favor of the youngster.
GM Jesper Thybo Sondergaard (DEN, 2568) and GM Mornoni Luca Jr (ITA, 2546) also suffered a defeat in an Armageddon game, both playing as Black. Jesper Thybo lost to IM Ozen Deniz (TUR, 2397), while IM Mihajlov Sebastian (NOR, 2384) took a victory against Moroni.
IM Caspi Israel (ISR, 2492) was victorious against GM Van Den Doel Erik (NED, 2601) in an intense rapid match with 1.5-0.5 result and advanced to the 2nd round.
Rapid games were decisive for GM Kiril Georgiev (MKD, 2589), GM Kunin Vitaly (GER, 2567), GM Acs Peter (HUN, 2565) and GM Vlad-Cristian Jianu (ROU, 2527), as they were defeated by underdogs.
GM Hakobyan Aram (ARM, 2598), Bindrich Falko (GER, 2584), GM Goganov Aleksey (RUS, 2582), GM Mihok Oliver (HUN, 2547), GM Sumets Andrey (UKR, 2546), GM Korpa Bence (HUN, 2536), GM Bogosavljevic Boban (SRB, 2521) and Shengelia David (AUT, 2521) finished the competition after the two classical games.
All the games were broadcasted live through the ECU Twitch channel, together with live commentaries by WGM Keti Tsatsalasvili and GM Marcin Tazbir.
The tournament is played as a Hybrid event, which means that all the federations have specially designated and approved venues. Venues are supervised by local arbiters and cameras.
In total, 82 arbiters are included in the European Hybrid Qualification Chess Tournament. Technical problems were not reported from any venue.