Competition at the European Team Chess Championships is set to commence tomorrow ©Getty Images

The European Team Chess Championships is set to begin as Russia aims to defend the open and women's titles.

Russia waltzed through the competition in 2019, with Ukraine and England winning silver and bronze in the open competition and Georgia and Azerbaijan winning silver and bronze in the women's event.

The 2021 competition will be played in the Swiss system across nine rounds.

It is being hosted at the Hotel Terme Čatež Spa in Čatež ob Savi in Slovenia. 

There will be time control of 90 minutes for 40 moves and a further 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30-second increment for every move played starting from start of extra time.

In total, 39 teams from 38 European Federations are due to compete in the open competition, with Russia again the top-ranked team. 

Russian have an average rating of 2,720, with Azerbaijan, 2,717, France, 2,708, Poland, 2,678, and England, 2,671, following close behind. 

Russia are also the top-ranked team in the women's competition with an average rating of 2,538.

Georgia, 2,446, follow close behind, with Poland the third favourites with an average rating of 2,410.

Ukraine and Azerbaijan are within touching distance of the top three with scores of 2,400 and 2,383, respectively.

The Opening Ceremony will be split across two sessions due to health restrictions, the first scheduled for today and the second tomorrow.

Competition will follow tomorrow's second part of the Opening Ceremony, beginning at 2:30pm CEST.