RIGA, April 12 (LETA) – Latvia had one win and one draw on the first day of the European Individual Women’s Chess Championship in Riga yesterday, while other members of the Latvian team suffered defeats in their opening matches.

Latvia’s highest-ranked player, Grandmaster Ilze Berzina defeated another Latvian, the fourteen-year-old Madara Golsta, while Elina Otikova’s (122nd in the starting ranking) game against Gulnar Mammadova from Azerbaijan (50th) ended in a draw.

Agnese Lickrastina, Grandmaster Inguna Erneste, Renate Vidruska, Linda Krumina, Margarita Parhomenko, Elizabete Limanovska, Nellija Maklakova, Valentina Vainovska, Marija Nikolajeva, Ramona Golsta, Rebeka Atte, Sandra Harlinska, Katrina Ivanova and Natalja Mieze all have zero points heading into the second day of the tournament.

Tournament Director Egons Lavendelis told LETA that there was no reason to despair as all Latvians participating in the championship, except Berzina, faced higher-ranked opponents yesterday. That means better results may be expected as the tournament continues.

In the meantime, six top-seeded players earned one point each on Tuesday. Europe’s number one, Anna Muzychuk from Ukraine won her first game at the championship, and her sister Mariya, second in the starting ranking, defeated Germany’s Judith Fuchs.

Russia’s Natalija Pogonina and Olga Girya (sixth and seventh, respectively, in the starting ranking) both had draws yesterday.

As reported, a total of eleven rounds will be played during the championship through April 22, with one day off on April 18. The matches will start at 3 p.m. on all days, except April 22 when the matches will begin at 11 a.m. The award ceremony will also be on April 22 at 8 p.m.

The tournament’s prize fund is EUR 75,000. The organizers note that the championship has brought together the best players from all over Europe, including seven former European champions and the highest-ranked chess player in Europe at the moment – Anna Muzychuk from Ukraine.

Latvia is represented by seventeen players at the championship. The highest-ranked Latvian participating in the tournament is Grandmaster Ilze Berzina whose FIDE ranking is 2323.