2015 Czech Open: chess and games bonanza

by Albert Silver
8/5/2015 – Although often referred to as Pardubice for the main chess event and locale, the Pardubice Open is but one cog in the large and extremely entertaining Czech Open, a massive games festival in which chess is the star but hardly the only game celebrated there. This year there were shogi, go, bridge, Mankala, Zatre, to name a few, and of course chess in all shapes and form.

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The event describes itself as an International Chess and Games Festival, and a more apt name would hardly be possible. If aficionados of other games might initially be inclined to object to chess being the only one with top billing, they would soon be forced to agree that it was still the obvious star of the festival.

Just in chess, the grand festival hosted well over twenty different competitions, starting with the star event, the Pardubice Open, bringing a slew of grandmasters and masters from around the world, and these are not idle claims. Just in the grandmaster open, and the three other FIDE rated standard events, 1038 players came to compete from 45 countries, including 34 grandmasters, 50 international masters, for a total of 176 titled players.

The large playing hall was packed, and this is not even including all the activities

There was also a tent where players could relax and....

...watch live commentary

The main event was won cleanly by top seed Viktor Laznicka (2657), who started with a perfect 6.0/6, and finished with three draws to take sole first with 7.5/9 and a 2760 performance. In second, came second-seed Sergei Mosvesian (2653), tied with three others on 7.0/9 but enjoying the better tiebreak, and third was Robert Cvek.

Top-seed Laznicka (left) had every reason to be smiling. He had a 6.0/6 start!

The winner podium with Viktor Laznicka in first, Sergey Mosvesian in second, and Robert Cvek third

WGM Gunay Mammadzada from Azerbaijan proved to be the best female player and was rewarded for her efforts with an IM norm. Untitled German Josefine Heinemann, 17 years old, nearly did as well, but a last round loss limited her to 'only' a WGM norm and a 2412 performance.

This year a total of 19 international norms were distributed: two GM norms went to Indian players IM Ghosh and IM Konguvel, as well as fifteen IM norms, one WGM and one WIM norms.

Vlastimil Jansa claimed the senior trophy with 6.0/9 and 32nd place, while the best U18 prize went to Ghosh for his ninth place with 6.5/9.

Final standings of Pardubice Open

Rk
SNo
Ti.
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
 TB 
1 1 GM LAZNICKA Viktor CZE 2657 7.5 2487
2 2 GM MOVSESIAN Sergei ARM 2653 7.0 2468
3 21 GM CVEK Robert CZE 2517 7.0 2445
4 26 GM KOVALEV Andrei BLR 2491 7.0 2424
5 24 GM RAZNIKOV Danny ISR 2500 7.0 2414
6 5 GM VOROBIOV Evgeny E. RUS 2582 6.5 2458
7 106 IM KONGUVEL Ponnuswamy IND 2337 6.5 2456
8 3 GM KONONENKO Dmitry UKR 2617 6.5 2450
9 19 IM GHOSH Diptayan IND 2523 6.5 2448
10 66 FM ARAT Ufuk Sezen TUR 2409 6.5 2428
11 20 GM POPILSKI Gil ISR 2519 6.5 2414
12 4 GM PIORUN Kacper POL 2591 6.5 2404
13 50 GM SUNDARARAJAN Kidambi IND 2433 6.5 2402
14 11 GM MOZHAROV Mikhail RUS 2564 6.5 2398
15 9 GM BURMAKIN Vladimir RUS 2571 6.5 2396

Click for complete standings

Still, while this certainly summarizes the Pardubice Open, it is far from summarizing the event. We said over 20 different chess competitions? This was no exaggeration. Aside from the main open, there were three other rated opens for different ratings, such as sub-2100 and sub-1700, as well as a team event. Then there were the various rapid events for individuals (also with rating limits), pairs, plus the myriad blitz events such as the classic blitz event, with rated for FIDE Blitz ratings, the pairs blitz event, the superblitz event, and the almighty Blitz Marathon.

Blitz marathons are not new, but not all of them live up to the name quite as well as this one,
which involves 64-player round robins (yes, that is a plural) of five-minute games. One of the
participants in the Blitz Marathon, with plenty of caffeine to keep her going.

 

A video of one of the rapid games from the Open Pairs tournament. It was won by Stupak-Mozharov, who
are on the left, playing Lugovsky-Oganian. Stupak-Mozharov also did remarkably well in the Blitz Open
Pairs where they came in second place.

ChessBase was one of the partners of the festival and sponsored the Youth Team event

It is always a delight to see children enjoying the royal game

The winners podium of the ChessBase Youth Team tournament

Winners in spirit

Naturally, there were also competitions for the various variants of the game, such as Fischer Random, bughouse, and even Polgar SuperStar chess.

Look like a normal chess picture? Take a close look at the black bishops. Welcome to Fischer Random.

Bughouse is always great fun and very popular

 

A video of one of the bughouse games

When you read Polgar SuperStar Chess, you might have thought this was just a marketing
word, but as you can see, it is a chess game played on a board shaped like a star

The event was not only chess though, and included many other games, such as draughts

Go, one of the most widely played games in the world in terms of pure numbers, even if almost
exclusively in Asia. It is probably the most deeply strategical game of them all. It is one game,
where despite the huge resources invested, human players are still much stronger than programs.

Backgammon on the other hand is a game in which PC programs have surpassed the best humans

The ageless and timeless game of Scrabble

The bridge competition

Naturally, there was a Shogi competition

It was organized by the Czech Shogi Association

What is the meaning of the tablet with a Shogi board? Is this.... ShogiBase?

No, not quite. It is not uncommon to use a device like this to record the game. Remember
that in Shogi, pieces you capture can later be played on the board as a piece of your own!

Another very popular event is the Rubik's cube championship, testing all formats from the
age-old 3x3 to 4x4, and 5x5, and more

Other less-known games included Mankala...

... and Zatre. What is Zatre? Zartre is a game the publisher describes as "dominoes for the
21st century" on the box, but really it is just Scrabble with numbers.

Photos from official site


Links

You can use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs to replay the games in PGN. You can also download our free Playchess client, which will in addition give you immediate access to the chess server Playchess.com.


Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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genem genem 8/5/2015 08:26
I see the small photo of the chess board that is larger than a person, with pieces standing as tall as the waist. Only recently did I actually play a game with such a board. I found it hard to perceive the position, and both players made blunders.
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The bright yellow squares on all those normal chess boards seem to me a bit too garish to stare at for hours.
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Such an event might consider adding games like Khet, Quoridor, and Kamisado. Maybe also Entrapment (search for: entrapment gowell classic game; or http://www.gowellclassicgames.com/gallery.html).
Unlike chess, these abstract strategy games take a half hour or less to complete.
LAMIB LAMIB 8/5/2015 03:37
Such a variety of board games and all played in one place. Very remarkable performance by the organizers!
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