Serbian chess players achieved incredible success at the European Team Championship, which ended on Monday in Budva. Serbia became the European champion, thus crowning a historically successful year for the best-ranked member of the Serbian national team – Aleksej Sarana.
He became the first chess player to become European champion in both individual and team competition in one year. In March, this 23-year-old Muscovite won the individual gold medal in Vrnjačka Banja, leaving Kirill Shevchenko (playing for Romania) and Daniel Darda (Belgium) behind.
Soon after, Sarana got a Serbian passport and started competing under the Serbian flag. Sarana has been living in Belgrade since 2022 and the outbreak of war in Ukraine.
His Trent Elo rating is 2669, which makes him the 64th best ranked player on the planet.
Sarana plays exceptionally in other competitions as well, and in 2023, the gold medal he won in Singapore at the “Olympic Esports Series” tournament, under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee, stands out.
In addition to Sarana, gold was also brought to Serbia in Budva by grandmasters Aleksandar Inđić (current champion of Serbia), Aleksandar Predke (born and raised in Russia, like Sarana), then Robert Markuš and Velimir Ivić.