A highlight: The International Chess Festival Prague

by André Schulz
6/3/2022 – The International Chess Festival Prague will start on 7 June and promises to be a highlight in this year's chess calendar. The event includes three invitational tournaments, the Masters, the Challengers and the Futures and several Opens, and the line-ups of these tournaments are exciting. | Photo: Vincent Keymer | Photo: Grenke Chess

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The organisers around Petr Boleslav are about to establish a chess festival in the Czech capital along the lines of the festivals in Wijk aan Zee. However, the 2019 pandemic has delayed the plans somewhat. Now, however, things are moving forward.

This year's festival will take place from 7 June to 17 June. It ends with the start of the Candidates Tournament in Madrid.

The line-up of the Masters includes: Vidit Gujrathi, Sam Shankland, Parham Maghsoodloo, Quang Liem Le, Francisco Vallejo Pons, Pentala Harikrishna, David Anton, David Navara, Salem Saleh, and Thai Dai Van Nguyen. 

The Challengers also promises exciting chess. Vincent Keymer starts for Germany but in the seeding list he is behind the American Hans Moke Niemann who has had a number of successes in recent months. The reigning World Rapid Champion Nodirbek Abdusattorov from Kazakhstan also takes part. GM Max Warmerdam, who represents the Netherlands, and Jegus Pechac from Slovakia also hope for success in Prague.

The 28-year-old Marcin Krzyzanowski bridges the gap to the experienced players. These include Jiri Stocek, Zbynek Hracek, Peter Michalik and Krishnan Sasikiran.

Both tournaments have an international line-up but the Challengers might have the more ambitious players.

The participants of the Futures have not been announced yet.

In the A-Open you will also discover some well-known names. Among others, the German grandmaster Dennis Wagner plays here. He is second on the seed list behind Alexander Motylev.

Spectators on site can follow the games on a huge LCD video wall in the main playing hall. The festival action will also be streamed live on the internet.

The main commentators will be German International Master Elisabeth Paehtz and English International Master Lawrence Trent. The guests of the festival as well as the players taking part in the closed tournaments will join the official livestream.

The supporting programme includes a simultaneous, a lecture and autograph session with Ivan Sokolov, a reading with autograph session with Vlastimil Hort and a film festival.

Host of the tournament and the other events is the Hotel Don Giovanni in Prague.

The festival will start on 7 June, the first round will begin on 8 June, rounds start daily at 15.00 CEST (9.00 ET, 13 UTC). 12 June is a free day, the last round will begin on 17 June.

Tournament page...

André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.