NH Tournament: Rising Stars vs Experienced Grandmasters

8/21/2007 – It starts tomorrow, with five highly talented young chess players pitted against five older and highly experienced colleagues. The games will be played, and the players will stay in the NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky in the heart of Amsterdam. Why not combine the NH Chess Tournament with a visit to the Rijksmuseum, where you can take in a Rembrandt or two. Chess and culture.

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From Wednesday, August 22 to Saturday, September 1, the legendary hotel Krasnapolsky in the very heart of Amsterdam, will be the venue of the NH Chess Tournament. It’s a Scheveningen team tournament in which a team of five "Rising Stars" crosses swords with a team of five "Experienced Grandmasters". The youngsters will be delighted to play in Amsterdam, where the conditions are top-notch, but still their silent (or not so silent) wish is to go somewhere else! Small wonder. The NH Chess Tournament is organized in close cooperation with the Association Max Euwe in Monaco and the special prize for the best youngster is an invitation to the 2008 Amber Rapid and Blindfold spectacle.

The NH Chess Tournament is held for the second time. As you may remember last year the Rising Stars swept the Experience team 28-22 and Magnus Carlsen earned the invitation to Monaco. This time the youngsters will face a tougher challenge. The Experience team has been strengthened and if we can rely on the players’ ratings they will even win 25.5-24.5.

Experienced Grandmasters


Alexander Beliavsky, SLO, 2653

Rising Stars


Sergey Karjakin, UKR, 2678


Pedrag Nikolic, BIH, 2646

Ivan Cheparinov, BUL, 2657

Alexander Khalifman, RUS, 2632

Daniel Stellwagen, NDL, 2631

Artur Jussupow, GER, 2583

Jan Smeets, NDL, 2538

Ljubomir Ljubojevic, ESP, 2550

Parimarjan Negi, IND, 2529

The main candidate to follow in Magnus’ footsteps is the top-seed of the Rising Stars, Sergey Karjakin. Once the youngest grandmaster in the world (remember, twelve years and seven months!), Karjakin is now, at seventeen, a top-level GM with a daunting 2678 rating. His closest rivals will be Ivan Cheparinov (2657), the second of Topalov who cooked up so many brilliant novelties for the former world champion, and Dutch hope Daniel Stellwagen (2631). The Rising Stars team is completed by Dutch grandmaster Jan Smeets (2538) and fourteen-year-old Parimarjan Negi (2529) from India, who in the past year was the youngest grandmaster in the world.

Their task will not be easy against an Experience team composed of living legends who are truly brimming with experience. Top-seed Alexander Beliavsky (2653) had the best performance overall last year (even better than Carlsen’s) and will try his best to spoil the youngsters dreams. He is supported in this ambition by his team mates Predrag Nikolic (2646), Alexander Khalifman (2632), Artur Jussupow (2583) and Ljubomir Ljubojevic (2550).


A five-minute walk from the Central Station takes you to Dam Square in Amsterdam


Hotel Krasnapolsky, seen from Dam Square

The venue could not be more centrally located. NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky is situated on Dam Square, at a five minutes’ walk from Amsterdam Central Station. The hotel, known to Amsterdammers as ‘Kras’ has a rich history and the Winter Garden, where the players will have their breakfast (if they manage to be in time) and lunch, must be one of the most spectacular restaurants in the city.


The Winter Garden inside the Hotel Krandapolsky, where the players will eat


The "grachten", concentric canals dug around the old city centre


The famous bridges over the grachten in the central part of Amsterdam

Every day the games start at 13.30 hours in the spacious Foyer Room on the first floor, with the exception of the last round on September 1, which will start at noon. One hour after the start of the games, the live commentary will begin in the Amsterdam Room on the same floor. The commentators are Lex Jongsma, Gert Ligterink, Hans Ree, Genna Sosonko and Cor van Wijgerden. Who will perform when you can find on the tournament website.


Tourist suggestion: why not combine a visit to the NH Chess Tournament with a visit to the Rijksmuseum, the home of Rembrandt's Nachtwacht (Nightwatch) and many other Dutch 17th century paintings

Paying a visit to Krasnapolsky and watching the games and commentary live is a wonderful way to spend a summer afternoon, but those who are not in the position to go to Amsterdam can follow the games live on the Internet. And just like last year, the transmittance of the moves will be accompanied by streaming video images from the playing room. That is, no shaky webcam images, but state-of-the-art video of a quality that so far is unique for chess tournaments.

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