Basel: Naiditsch wins again

1/12/2016 – After winning the Open in Zurich at the end of 2015 GM Arkadij Naiditsch also won the tournament in Basel at the start of 2016. The tournament was marred by an incident when the Iranian GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami refused to play against Yuliya Shvayger from Israel. Chessplayers from Iran are advised by their government not to play against Israelis. Press release...

The playing venue

Press Release

GM Arkadij Naiditsch wins 18th Chess Festival Basel

The 18th Chess Festival Basel took place from 1st to 5th January 2016 in the Hotel Landgasthof in Riehen. 58 participants started in Basel, among them GM Arkadij Naiditsch, who had won the tournament in 2015, and players such as GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami (Iran), GM Adrien Demuth (France), GM Mihajlo Stojanovic (Serbia) and GM Vlastimil Hort (Germany).

Naiditsch, who currently plays for Azerbaijan, suffered a surprising loss against the number eight seed Dutch IM Arthur Pijpers in round two, but still managed to finish the tournament as sole winner with 5.5/7.

Eight players finished half-a-point behind Naiditsch and of this group Adrien Demuth and IM Bilel Bellahcene had the best tie-break and finished on places two and three. The best Swiss player was Nicolas Curien from Bern. He started as number 25, scored 4.0/7 and finished on place 21.

The generally peaceful atmosphere of the tournament was marred by an unpleasant incident when the Iranian Grandmaster Ehsan Maghami refused to play against Yuliya Shvayger because she is from Israel. Shvayger would have liked to play.

After his win in 2014 Daniel Kopylov from Germany won the Amateur Tournament for the second time. Place two went to the Australian Christopher Skulte while Michael Bonath (Germany) finished third. The local junior Lucas Pao became fourth.

A premiere in Basel was the tournament for school children up to 16 years of age. This was won by the Indian Aman Chokshi from Mumbai, the brothers Domenico and Valerio Job from Therwil in Switzerland finished second and third.

The blitz tournament, in which 33 players started, was won by IM Bilel Bellacahane. Places two and three went to GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami and GM Mihajlo Stojanovic. Andrea Huber (Elo 1348) was the only woman player in the field and won first prize in the rating-group of players with a rating of less than 1700!

In the Hotel Hilton 44 children from 5 to 13 years of age played in the junior tournament. Noah Sesia from Huningue won the U13, Christian Ninomina from Wintherthur won the U10. But no one had to leave the tournament empty-handed because every junior player was awarded with a medal or a cup.

The tournament also attracted some media interest. The Swiss newspaper "Tageswoche" published regular reports and "Radio Basilisk" conducted interviews with the players. The games on the top eight boards were transmitted live on the internet and could be followed all over the world.


Final standings

Rang Teilnehmer Titel TWZ At Verein/Ort Land S R V Punkte PktSu Buchh
1. Naiditsch,Arkadij GM 2696 M   AZE 5 1 1 5.5 22.5 32.0
2. Demuth,Adrien GM 2535 M   FRA 4 2 1 5.0 24.0 32.5
3. Bellahcene,Bilel IM 2465 M Porrentruy Echi FRA 3 4 0 5.0 23.0 31.0
4. Pijpers,Arthur IM 2463 M Zoetermeer NED 4 2 1 5.0 21.5 30.0
4. Sprenger,Jan Mich IM 2496 M Tilburg GER 3 4 0 5.0 21.5 30.0
6. Heimann, Andreas IM 2552 M Riehen Schachge GER 4 2 1 5.0 20.5 29.5
6. Shvayger,Yuliya WIM 2381 W   ISR 4 2 1 5.0 20.5 29.5
8. Stremavicius,Tita IM 2468 M   LTU 3 4 0 5.0 20.5 27.5
9. Stojanovic,Mihajl GM 2507 M Zürich Réti ASK SRB 4 2 1 5.0 19.5 26.5
10. Riff,Jean-Noel GM 2512 M Porrentruy Echi FRA 3 3 1 4.5 21.5 30.5
11. Hort,Vlastimil GM 2430 M Luzern SK GER 3 3 1 4.5 20.0 28.0
12. Ghaem Maghami, Eh GM 2594 M Gonzen IRI 4 1 2 4.5 19.0 27.5
13. Filipovic,Branko IM 2369 M Birsfelden beid CRO 4 1 2 4.5 18.5 27.0
14. Derakhshani,Borna CM 2178 M Gonzen IRI 3 3 1 4.5 17.5 25.0
15. Kopylov,Michael IM 2406 M SK Norderstedt UKR 4 1 2 4.5 17.0 23.0
16. Starostits,Ilmars GM 2422 M SG Speyer-Schwe LAT 2 4 1 4.0 19.5 30.0
17. Minko,Vladimir FM 2361 M   RUS 3 2 2 4.0 18.5 29.5
18. Habu,Yoshiharu FM 2398 M Tokyo JPN 3 2 2 4.0 16.5 28.0
19. Derakhshani,Dorsa WIM 2315 W Gonzen IRI 3 2 2 4.0 16.5 25.0
20. Metz, Hartmut FM 2323 M Chess Tigers Sc GER 2 4 1 4.0 16.0 25.5
21. Curien,Nicolas   2199 M Bern Schwarz-We SUI 3 2 2 4.0 16.0 25.0
22. Wirz, Heinz   2099 M Therwil SUI 3 2 2 4.0 13.0 22.5
23. Berset,Philippe   2104 M Neuchâtel CE SUI 4 0 3 4.0 12.0 23.0
24. Aerni, Andreas   2178 M Birseck SUI 4 0 3 4.0 12.0 19.5

... 58 players

Bruno Zanetti (Organiser) - Arkadji Naiditsch - Adrien Demuth

Christopher Skulte - Daniel Kopylov - Michael Bonath




Tournament site...


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Denix Denix 1/12/2016 04:15
So Arkadij Naiditsch is more formidable as an Azeri GM than as a German GM. Is that what these back-to-back victories mean? He is actually a defending champion of 2016 Basel Tournament. In July 2015 he switched to the Azerbaijani Chess Federation. As a German GM he clearly won Dortmund Sparkassen 2005 Tournament and tied for first with Magnus Carlsen in the 3rd Grenke Chess Classic tournament held in Baden-Baden in February 2015. He was born in 1985 in Latvia, ala Mikhail Tal.
bin bin 1/12/2016 07:44
Is not Naiditsch,Arkadij originally Israeli ?? He is married Shvayger,Yuliya.
To bad that people bring politics to chess.
MJFitch MJFitch 1/13/2016 12:13
If any nation refuses to allow one of their player to play another player because of whatever reason, that player and maybe let take it further, that nation, should be banned from chess tournament.
thlai80 thlai80 1/13/2016 02:16
Instead of making a scene, refusing to play someone is akin to surrender the game. FIDE needs to have rule in place so that anyone refusing to play instantly concede the game.
ubernomics ubernomics 1/13/2016 03:41
It would be good to leave politics out of chess, to the extent possible. It's not as though anyone is unfamiliar with the political issues.

As for chessplayer boycotts, well, at this point it doesn't matter from a sporting perspective. Now, if the Azeris start refusing to play the Armenians, then we have a genuine problem. But even then, players really cannot afford to forfeit a whole point in an Open. And invitationals have contractual agreement to terms, beforehand - if nothing else, at implied penalty of reduction/stop to future invitations from other organizers. So, the space of boycott is very narrow. The forfeiter suffers an extreme personal penalty, whereas the other person receives a whole point, and rest day. Probably works only at events such as the Chess Olympiad, where games oftentimes don't mean much. Like, if Croatia refuse to play Serbia in the first round, nobody cares. They were gonna get 4-0'ed anyhow.
digupagal digupagal 1/13/2016 04:04
In this tournament, i think he lost that game. So nobody should complain. If a federation is telling a player not to play, he is not at fault else he will face ban from his federation.

Like in my country, we have stopped playing cricket against Pakistan. Now if the Indian Team decides to go and play on their own, the whole country would be against them (they will lose their popularity). Why would you do that?
Hawkman Hawkman 1/13/2016 04:59
"digupagal 51 minutes ago
In this tournament, i think he lost that game. So nobody should complain. If a federation is telling a player not to play, he is not at fault else he will face ban from his federation. "

Exactly. I have family in Israel, but in his situation he did the right thing.
eltollo eltollo 1/13/2016 10:24
It is very unfortunate, but well- known that Irani chess players are not allowed to play against Israeli chess players. If I'm not mistaken, there is pairing software for Swiss tournaments that enable to forbid some pairings, and that is what the organisers should have used.
bin bin 1/13/2016 03:08
To all the people that saying that they will be banned by the federation or lose their popularity or that it is not their fault. I agree most of the time it is not the players fault but what I think is to warn the federation and the country, you dont want to play?? You bring dirty politic into lovable game??? It's perfectly ok but it will be considered always as a lost game . Your all team refused to play??? There will get 0:4 result. Yeah that simple.