Biel: The Special Corona Amateur Tournament has begun

by Sebastian Siebrecht
7/21/2020 – Following the Rapid Tournament, the Grandmasters were allowed to enjoy a rest day. The open tournament, limited to 150 players due to the corona crisis, kicked off on Monday. Sebastian Siebrecht sent a report. | Photos: Simon Bohnenblust

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The Open has begun

The city of Biel, the watch capital of Switzerland, is located at the eastern end of Lake Biel, at the foot of the Jura, in the charming Seeland. A small invitational Chess960 tournament on Saturday was the start for the Grandmasters and the festival. The Rapid tournament, which is rated for the final classification (Grandmaster Triathlon with Rapid/Classic/Blitz), followed on Sunday. The young German up-and-comer Vincent Keymer showed an impressive performance with two strong second places and outstanding games, which gives hope for a good tournament.

On Monday, the C-HTO, an open tournament with a maximum of 150 participants, started with a comprehensive safety plan due to the corona restrictions.

The Swiss Tournament Director Paul Kohler organised the event very professionally. All details can be found on the excellent homepage.  

The plan seems to be feasible and could serve as a model for other major chess events

Favourite in the C-HTO is French grandmaster and specialist in Opens Christian Bauer, followed by Algerian grandmaster Bilel Bellahcene. A small German delegation consisting of IMs Gerlef Meins and Adrian Gschnitzer will try their luck next to some young Swiss talents.

The young Austrian talent Miriam Moerwald tried hard today but lost a piece by move eight

In addition to the chess, the Swiss lakes and mountains are particularly inviting for those interested in physical exercise.

Rapid, 19.7.2020, David Anto Gujiarro-Vincent Keymer



Sebastian Siebrecht, born in 1973, has been playing chess since the age of 11 and received the grandmaster title in 2008. Besides his chess career, he founded an events agency and worked as a commentator, presenter, speaker, analyst and journalist. Furthermore, he was involved in primary school chess projects. In 2015 he was recognized as "Trainer of the Year" by the German Chess Federation.


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