Daniel Fridman wins Grenke Open

by André Schulz
4/23/2019 – Daniel Fridman won the Grenke Open 2019 thanks to having the best tiebreak score among eight players finishing with 7½/9. Three other German grandmasters shared the same score as did the 12-year-old Indian phenom D. Gukesh. Yuliya Shvayger was the top scoring woman. | Photo: Georgios Souleidis

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The German #3 will have a shot in the Classic

Daniel Fridman took top honours in Karlsruhe on Monday evening. Seven grandmasters, besides Fridman, finished the tournament with 7½ points: Anton Korobov, Andreas Heimann, Samvel Ter-Sahakyan, Gukesh, Matthias Bluebaum, Alexander Donchenko and Tamas Banusz. Of these, Daniel Fridman had the best tiebreak score and was declared the tournament winner with the option to participate in the Grenke Chess Classic next year. In addition, he can look forward to the first prize of EUR €13,000.

Fridman's victory was convincing, but sometimes he got a little helf from his opponents. To wit, the following situation against the Hamburg IM Malte Colpe in round three:


Black played powerfully 35...c3 and after 36.xc3 xc3 37.d1 xd3 White was finished.

Instead, Malte Colpe could have posed a few problems with 36.h7+ ♚h8 37.♕h2 f6 38.♗xc3 xc3 39.♖d1 and now Black can not afford 39...♞xd3: 40.b8+ ♚xh7 41.♖h1 + and mate in a few moves.

Interview with Daniel Fridman

In a post-tournament interview (in German) with ChessBase contributor Georgios Souleidis, Fridman said this was one of his best individual tournament results in his career, and he was looking forward to competing with the likes of Magnus Carlsen in front of a global audience next year. He notes that he had a little luck in Karlsruhe, but a player needs a little luck to win such a large and strong tournament.

Interview with Georgios Souleidis (in German)

The German chess fans have a lot to be happy about. In addition to Fridman, GMs Andreas Heimann, Matthias Blübaum and Alexander Donchenko also shared first place. Other young talents GM Rasmus Svane, GM Dennis Wagner and IM Luis Engel finished just a half point behind with 7.0/9, leaving many strong international grandmasters in their wake.

Engel scored a GM norm — his second in the recent past after the Hamburg student also earned a norm in the German League.

The young Indian D. Gukesh performed especially well, also reaching the eight-way tie on 7½ points. The twelve-year-old has been in the news for becoming the second youngest player after Sergey Karjakin to be awarded the Grandmaster title.

The scene of the Open | Photo: Gerd Densing

Alizera Firouzja also finished with seven points. The young Iranian young star hot off a second place finish in the Reykjavik Open arrived as one of the Elo the favourites. But he torpedoed his tournament chances in the third and fourth rounds when the 15-year-old grandmaster didn't turn up for his game rather than play against the Israeli FM Or Bronstein, and risk upsetting the political leadership of his country.

This was presumably still weighing on him the next morning when he blundered a rook against Antonia Ziegenfuss, a class-A player.

Firoujza vs Ziegenfuss

Alireza Firouzja and Antonia Ziegenfuss | Photo: Bernd Vökler

After these back-to-back losses, Firouzja won all his remaining games, but of course he did not have to compete against top players.

The special prize for the best woman went to Yuliya Shvayger — the wife of German GM (playing for Azerbaijan) Arkadij Naiditsch — thanks better tiebreak in front of Klaudia Kulon, Alexandra Obolentseva and a few others.

Yuliya Shvayger

Yuliya Shvayger | Photo: Georgios Souleidis

Results of Round 9 (top 10)


Final standings after Round 9 (top 20)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Fridman, Daniel 7,5 56,5
2 Korobov, Anton 7,5 55,5
3 Heimann, Andreas 7,5 55,0
4 Ter-Sahakyan, Samvel 7,5 54,5
  Gukesh D 7,5 54,5
6 Bluebaum, Matthias 7,5 53,5
7 Donchenko, Alexander 7,5 53,0
8 Banusz, Tamas 7,5 50,0
9 Sarana, Alexey 7,0 54,5
10 Gareyev, Timur 7,0 54,0
11 Chigaev, Maksim 7,0 53,0
  Sethuraman, S.P. 7,0 53,0
13 Papp, Gabor 7,0 52,5
14 Tabatabaei, M.amin 7,0 52,0
  Basso, Pier Luigi 7,0 52,0
16 Van Foreest, Jorden 7,0 51,5
17 Kuzubov, Yuriy 7,0 51,0
  Svane, Rasmus 7,0 51,0
  Bernadskiy, Vitaliy 7,0 51,0
20 Esipenko, Andrey 7,0 50,0

Full results (Chess-Results)

All available games


Translation from German: Macauley Peterson


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


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