Monthly Archives: March 2015

One Swiss open representative for many?

Preface: This article was initially published in German almost a year ago before the 2014 edition of this event in Maastricht – southeastern corner of the Netherlands, very close to Germany, Belgium and also northern France. But the story is rather timeless. The current version is edited and updated here and there – also a little bit on the tournament in 2014 and a preview on 2015. The idea, discussed with one of the organizers, is also to motivate people to play in Maastricht during the Whit Sunday weekend. When is the right moment to (re-)publish this story? Maybe now, with about two months to go and the top of the field probably largely defined. Most participants come from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, but anyone is welcome (titled players would need to contact the organizers on whether conditions are still available). And now … I copied the German text into the editor and will start to translate, change, delete, add, ….. .

It might be inappropriate or “at the limit” to put one open tournament into the spotlights – hence a disclaimer at the very start: this article is representative for many more or less comparable tournaments in many places. The idea developed in an unusual way:

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Ivanchuk ahead of all, Fridman ahead of Naiditsch


IvanchukPreface: This article was initially published in German aimed at a German audience. It might be worthwhile translating it (even with a delay of about one week) because this tournament got relatively limited international English-language media attention, despite the participation of several (former) world-top players. I left the bits and pieces (including the second part of the subtitle) primarily relevant for German readers.

During the decisive phase of this tournament, I mostly watched the last round of the European championship; later I reconstructed what had happened in Jurmala. In rapid chess, particularly in rapid chess, it might be questionable to apply engine standards to all moves – but that’s the only way to “make sense” of many games with limited time (and limited own chess understanding).

It might not be the case for every single game, but generally Ivanchuk and Mamedyarov played creative-complicated chess, while Gelfand and Karjakin had a more dry-positional approach to their games. Among the German-Latvian GMs, Naiditsch is more adventurous like those first named, and Fridman more of a quiet and solid player. How would they fare in the tournament as a whole, and particularly against the mentioned world-top players? I cannot answer these question(s) completely. First the final standings:  Ivanchuk 9/11, Karjakin, Gelfand and Rapport 8.5, Mamedyarov, Sakaev, Fridman 8, Shirov, Tomashevsky, Khalifman, Fedorov, Krasenkow, Popov, van Wely 8. Some names are missing, e.g. Naiditsch (7/11) and Morozevich (5.5/10 – then he left the tournament and forfeited his game against German IM Olaf Heinzel).

Regarding photos: There are two tournament sites – apologies for not remembering where I found which photos, both didn’t mention the photographer(s) by name.


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March 2015
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