After giving a long break to professional chess, playing in Europe’s largest chess tournament will be a great challenge for me. It is arguable that whether it is a good idea or not to join such a strong tournament without a solid preparation, but I believe that these kinds of challenges actually make us stronger. Therefore, I am set to go on facing it at GRENKE.
GRENKE Chess Open takes place annually in Karlsruhe, Germany and this year it will be the third consecutive event. It is open to all players from all around the world and as of today more than 1.500 players, almost 300 out of them with titles from Candidate Master (CM) to Grand Master (GM), have been already registered. The tournament has three categories with various strength levels and total prize pool of 60.000 EUR. In addition to that, players will have the chance to share the same venue, due to GRENKE Chess Classic, with the top class players from the chess world. Participant list of the GRENKE Chess Classic for the year 2018 is given below.
GRENKE Chess Open will be held between 29 March und 02 April, 2018 with 9 Rounds Swiss-System. Pairings will be determined by a computer and time-controls are: 2h for 40 moves + 30 minutes for the rest of the game. For further details and registration information please visit the event’s official website, where you can also follow the games.
Ergun UNUTMAZ, 26.03.2018
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As the tournament goes on at full speed a detailed report will come in later. However for those, who are interested in, I can say that it is an organisational success. For more than 1.500 participants, everything is very well planned and thought in advance. In this regard I am very pleased to a part of it. Secondly, participants all over the world bring not only variety, but also a very tough challenge to the tournament. Last but not least, long hours of matches and two rounds a day schedule make you really tired and vulnerable to small mistakes, for which there is no room in such a competition. On the other hand, these are no excuse for my failures and I am glad with my own performance and creative ideas during the parties. So far, we have reached to the end of the fifth round and I achieved only 1,5 points out of 5 possible, by missing two obvious wins. Here is the Participant List for the Group B
Ergun UNUTMAZ, 31.03.2018
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The tournament is over and with what a great sensation! 14 years old IM Vincent Keymer (ELO 2.403) had left 60 Grand Masters behind and won the trophy with a 2.800 ELO performance. In addition to that he reached a record of 8 points in 9 games, with two draws. That is a record, compared to previous two years’ 7,5 points. Bravo!
Competition in Group A was fierce. I haven’t seen before so many titled players in a room. Luckily, I have made contacts with some of them and got received some good tips. If you are interested in chess, I think that being present in such a venue is a must and if you are a club player, it provides a good motivation for your future career.
When it comes to Group B, in which I took part, it was also very challenging and a uniqe experience. I started the tournament at 485th place among 530 players and if you did told me before the tournament that I would reach 2,5 points I would have doubted that. But after achieving good positions and coming up with creative ideas during the parties, I feel sorry for the lost points. I could definitely make 4 or 4,5. That’s a real pity! On the other hand, I had a chance to weight my strength and now I know in which fields I need a fine-tuning or strong improvements. Here are two positions from different parties, in both I have managed to find the losing moves that surprised the engine.
In this position above with a good central breakthrough idea of f3 – fxe4 I made the first move and against to g4 I did not follow the plan; not grabbed the g4 with f3, but played 18.hxg4?? instead. Unbelievable.
And at this first round game after Black’s 12. … f5 move, I completely and unnecessarily weakened my King’s defense line with the move 13. h4? (13. … h6 14.Qc3 g5 15.g3 Rg8 16.Kg2 gxh4). As if it was not enough, I slept the Knight at h4, as g3 was already pinned (17.Nxh4??). After that the party was already lost.
Ergun UNUTMAZ, 03.04.2018