Optimistic organisers at 53rd Biel International Chess Festival

6/4/2020 – The preparations for the 53rd International Chess festival Biel continue and take into account the Corona requirements. In a press release the organisers said that they are preparing for the key event, the Grandmaster Tournament (GMT), a main tournament (C-HTO) and a youth tournament, including Swiss championships. However, some tournaments and events including the Master Open (MTO) will be cancelled. | Photo: Biel International Chess Festival 2019

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Press release
June 03, 2020

Based on the currently known restrictions a protection concept is in elaboration, which should enable the implementation of an adapted 53rd festival. It has already been decided that the announced Master Open (MTO), the rapid, blitz and Fischer chess competitions as well as the simultaneous and doctors' tournament will be cancelled. The organizing committee is aiming to run the Grand Master Tournament with eight participants in the planned form of a triathlon. Some changes in the field of participants will be needed, especially due to the current travel restrictions.

A "Corona Amateur Tournament" (C-HTO) is planned to replace the two traditional open tournaments. According to Paul Kohler, General Secretary, the main feature of this form is: "Each player has a chessboard with his own pieces in front of him and sits offset at the same table with his opponent". The number of participants will have to be limited. With the final decision on the implementation, the number will be communicated, and the registration fee will have to be paid by bank transfer.

Winner of the GM tournament in Biel 2019 - Vidit Gujrathi | Photo: Simon Bohnenblust

The long-standing Vinetum Youth Tournament is also in preparation. And as a new addition the postponed finals of the Swiss championships U16, U14, U12 and U10 will now be held over four days.

For the President of the organization committee Peter Bohnenblust one key aspect is important: "We would like to help our sport of chess to return to the preferred format with physical presence while respecting the current restrictions". As soon as further clarifications have been made and in particular the protection concept has been validated, information will be provided again and a decision on the final implementation will be made.

All changes and new regulations will be communicated on the website www.bielchessfestival.ch.

For further information:

Paul Kohler, General Manager, info@bielchessfestival.ch

Peter Bohnenblust, President of the Organization Committee, 076 405 80 87

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