ACP Golden Classic – Tournament for the nostalgic

by Albert Silver
7/16/2012 – The ACP is organizing the ACP Golden Classic in Amsterdam alongside the Dutch Championships and an assortment of opens. The event brings along several top-notch grandmasters, such as Ivanchuk and Kamsky, but what sets this event apart is the old 40 moves in 2.5 hour time control and above all: a return to the days of adjourned games! Illustrated report with pictures by Alina L'Ami.

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ACP Golden Classic – Tournament for the nostalgic

Report by Albert Silver, pictures by Alina L'Ami

The various tournaments all take place in the same hall

The ACP, or Association of Chess Professionals, is organizing the ACP Golden Classic in Amsterdam, alongside the Dutch Championships and an assortment of parallel opens. The event brings along several top-notch grandmasters, starting with Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), followed by Gata Kamsky (USA), Baadur Jobava (Georgia), Krishnan Sasikiran (India), Le Quang Liem (Vietnam), Anna Muzychuk (Slovenia) and Emil Sutovsky (Israel).

The drawing of lots

If you are not sure where your board is, let the colors guide you!
Green is for the Golden Classic, blue for the Dutch Championship
for men and pink for the ladies. These are the colors from the
Amsterdam Science Park logo.

While this might seem like a perfectly normal round-robin, it is anything but. It starts with the time control, which hails back to the days of Fischer at 40 moves in 2.5 hours, after which only the world championship matches kept this time control, then to really help dredge up a tear in the name of nostalgia, after five hours of play, the game is adjourned!

In the old days, adjourning the game meant going aside and analyzing it with a second if you were a GM, and with your buddies or clubmates if not. The game would sometimes be resigned without resumption, but even a lost position was often played in case the opponent failed to account for some tricks. In many ways, this was a wonderful way to improve analytical skills and study a variety of endgame situations with perfect incentive.

If this has died out, there is a good reason for it. In today’s day and age, even a phone running free software is of elite grandmaster strength, with the number crunching ability one would expect. Make it a laptop and it can outdo any grandmaster alive in a match. Still, the experiment promises to be entertaining and just for good measure, the results will not be submitted to FIDE for rating.

Anna Muzychuk is the fourth female to break the 2600 barrier

With only seven players and six rounds, a strong start is essential, and the quickest one out of the starting blocks was Ivanchuk with 2.0/2 and inspired play. Anna Muzychuk showed that her presence is not one of political correctness as she won her opening game against Sasikiran (2707).

Opening ceremony for the Spa Open and Golden Classic - Wushu demonstration; the sport of Wushu is both an exhibition and a full-contact sport derived from traditional Chinese martial arts. Since 2012 is the Year of the Dragon according to the Chinese zodiac, the legendary creature was not to be missed.

Addendum: Henry McAliwe of Los Angeles informed us that the picture above is actually of a Lion Dance, not a Dragon Dance. The dragon is much longer, involving more than two people." How could we have missed that?!

Yuri Garrett, the ACP board director

Some last-minute technical glitches are fixed

Some last-minute opening preparation

GM Robin Swinkels

Martine Middelveld

Anish Giri, the reigning Dutch Champion, watches as the event
is officially underway.

GM Peng Zhaoqin is the absolute queen of Dutch chess having
won the women's championship thirteen times, including the last twelve.

Unfortunately, there are only four players in the women section. It could be a lack of motivation, since generally speaking, in Holland there are no women prizes. Could this be the main factor for the endangered state of Dutch women chess?

Yes, that is Ivanchuk in the middle. It is nothing unusual for him to stroll down the aisles
of amateurs on the lookout for a position that might interest him.

The next generation of Dutch champions practice wearing crowns

One day, he will look back on this picture and shake his head
smiling. Bet on it.

WIM Smaranda Padurariu from Romania and the girlfriend of Jan Smeets


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 11 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Copyright ChessBase

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, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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