Friday 14 June 2013

Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Tomorrow, Saturday 15th Jun, starts premier league of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The competition is nine days long and will determinate the Champion of the country, the clubs which will qualify for the European club cup, and the clubs who will lose a place in the highest rank of Bosnian chess.
In the continuation of the text I will explain something about rules, which can be obvious for those involved in leagues in former Yugoslavia, but for the huge number of readers in Scandinavia it can be useful.

First of all, a player position in the team are fixed.
It means if I play on the third board, I will play the whole competition on the third board.
Only exception can be if some of the players on first or second board are exchanged with reserve player, then reserve player would sit on the sixth board, while other players would be moved one board ahead.
This rules are valid in Denmark, but not in Sweden!

Every club plays with six players, and usually clubs do not have reserve who plays often and even if they play some matches in that case a player on the sixth board is exchanged.
It means that already in the beginning of the competition you can see who are your opponents for the whole competition.
Earlier years I had GM tournament on my board, and I hope that I will have it again.
Here are the clubs who will participate:

Ranking crosstable

Rk.Team12345678910 TB1  TB2  TB3 
0HŠK Napredak, Sarajevo00.00
0ŠK Alpong, Sarajevo00.00
0ŠK Bosna, Sarajevo00.00
0ŠK Čelik, Zenica00.00
0ŠK Drina, Zvornik00.00
0ŠK Glasinac, Sokolac00.00
0ŠK Rudar, Prijedor00.00
0ŠK Široki Brijeg, Široki Brijeg00.00
0ŠK Slavija, Istočno Sarajevo00.00
0ŠK Željezničar, Sarajevo00.00

I am member of Napredak Sarajevo.
The main favourites of the league are four times European Champion, SK Bosna Sarajevo, and last years champion Siroki Brijeg.

In the late 90-ties and in the beginning of 2000, Bosnian league was one of the strongest leagues in Europe.
In some of the clubs you could really see World stars playing.
However, by changing the rules, and allowing only two foreign players in one club per match, home players got their chance (not to mention that the value of these players increased).

As basically all of the clubs can arrange some strong Grandmasters on the first two boards, the main battle is for strong Bosnian players.
SK Bosna and SK Siroki Brijeg has almost all of the Bosnian GMs in their clubs.

My club, HSK Napredak Sarajevo, does not change much, but we are anyway, stronger and stronger every year.
Last season we missed the third place by smallest possible margin.
Half a game point!
The most interesting thing in the league is that players often change clubs, and you can not predict who will play for which club, til the moment when league starts.

According to the information that I have, I think that Napredak could be one of the favourites for the third place (together with SK Celik and SK Glasinac).
From the third place to the eight place is not a big difference, and every club should be cautious in order to avoid relegation.

All in all, it starts tomorrow, and I will more or less update this website regularly.


This competition will be my last one for a long period of one and a half month.
This year, counting the Bosnian League, I already played 63 Elo games.
It is really too much for a period of half year, and I need to rest a bit.
My next competition will be Manhem GM tournament in Gothenburg 10-16 August.

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