Aeroflot Open 2018 starts in Moscow

by Klaus Besenthal
2/19/2018 – Starting on Tuesday, February 20th, the Cosmos Hotel in Moscow (view from a guest room pictured) is once again the venue for the major annual Open sponsored by the Russian airline Aeroflot, which is already celebrating its sixteenth edition this year. There will three separate nine-round Swiss tournaments, and the top A Open is one of the strongest open tournaments ever — for a place on the starting list a player must have an Elo rating of at least 2550. The top seed is last year's winner Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia, Elo 2724), followed by Indian phenom Vidit Gujrathi, just one Elo point behind. | Photo: Niklesh Jain

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Cold but vital

If you, as a chess enthusiast, consider a list of open tournaments that you would like to attend, one you should really not miss is the Aeroflot Open in Moscow. Most readers, however, would probably have to start humbly with the C tournament — there everyone can play, even if you're unrated! By contrast, participation in the B tournament requires an Elo rating of at least 2300, while the A tournament is mainly grandmasters and internatonal masters.

Joining last year's winner Vladimir Fedoseev, the A-tournament will also feature other grandmasters from the elite 2700 Elo points section at the top of the starting list: Vidit Santosh Gujrathi (India, 2723), Dmitry Andreikin (Russia, 2712), Rauf Mamedov (Azerbaijan, 2709) and Maxim Matlakov (Russia, 2709). Gata Kamsky is also once again back in Moscow. For the tournament winner, in addition to the prize money of roughly 18,000 euros, there is an extra incentive, namely an automatic invitation to the "Super Tournament" in July in Dortmund.

playing hall

The playing hall is ready for action (click or tap to enlarge) | Photo: Niklesh Jain

The total prize fund for all three tournaments is 120,000 euros; the winner of the B tournament gets 8,000 euros, in the C tournament, 3,000 euros for the first place. Finally, the event will be supplemented by a blitz tournament.

You can find all the details and regulations in our advance preview from November. This year, ChessBase News will have full coverage, in collaboration with ChessBase India who have editor Niklesh Jain on the ground in Moscow.

Sheremetyevo airport

A typical winter's day at Sheremetyevo international airport | Photo: Niklesh Jain

This year it's a bit late to decide to participate, if you're not already in Moscow, but looking ahead to next year, you won't need to worrk about running out of hotel space: The Cosmos in the center of the Russian capital has more than 1,700 rooms...

Cosmos at night

The Cosmos Hotel at dusk | Photo: Vidit Gujrathi

Translation from German: Macauley Peterson


Klaus Besenthal is computer scientist, has followed and still follows the chess scene avidly since 1972 and since then has also regularly played in tournaments.


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