The 52nd edition of the Groningen Chess Festival is to take place at Christmas in the Sports Centre of the University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences. The event started life as a youth tournament where many top-class chess players started their international careers. To mark its recent 400th anniversary, the University of Groningen invited students from partner universities throughout the world to take part in this year’s edition of the tournament, which will be held from 21 to 30 December. Some sixty students from countries worldwide and with varying levels of experience responded to the invitation
They were welcomed the evening before the tournament by Sibrand Poppema, President of the Board of the University of Groningen.
More than 300 players will take part in the nine-day open tournament. Some of them will compete for the main prizes in a fully subscribed tournament. The strongest student contenders are Zaven Andriasian from Armenia, Alexander Ipatov from Turkey and Daniele Vocatura from Italy. The strongest Dutch student is Daan Brandenburg from Drachten, who has just started the Master’s programme in Multilingualism in Leeuwarden. Grand Masters Sergey Tiviakov, Sipke Ernst and Jan Werle are the favourites from Groningen.
In addition to the open tournament, two duals known as the University of Groningen Chess Challenge have also been organized. The idea of the duals is to give talented young players a chance to gain experience in games against more experienced players. Youth talent from Groningen, Jorden van Foreest, will face former Dutch champion Dimitri Reinderman in a series of six games. Dutch champion Anne Haast (student in Tilburg) will play a match against the strong German player Elisabeth Paehtz.
The tournament in the Sports Centre is open to the public. Hans Böhm and Gert Ligterink will provide a commentary on the games from 24 to 30 December (25th December is a rest day).
The ancillary programme accompanying the main tournament is also open to the public:
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