Lively start to 47th Dortmund Sparkassen Chess-Meeting

by Klaus Besenthal
7/14/2019 – It's that time again: From July 13th to 21st, the traditional Sparkassen Chess Meeting takes place in Dortmund. Always one of the strongest tournaments in the chess calendar, this year eight top players (I. Nepomniachtchi, T. Radjabov, L. Dominguez, R. Rapport, R. Wojtaszek, L. ​​Nisipeanu, D. Fridman and K. Kulaots) compete in the Grandmaster Tournament. Three of the four games were decided in round one. Mayor Birgit Joerder made the first move for Rapport vs Nepomniachtchi. | Photos: Georgios Souleidis

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Chess and Art in Dortmund 

The cultural program focuses on chess, music and art and alongside the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in the Orchesterzentrum NRW, a pair of Dortmund artists, Helga Jonschker and Peter Kroeker, will exhibit their chess-themed artwork.

As a member of the Orchesterzentrum, she has gained insights into the chess in recent years on account of the cooperation with the Sparkassen Chess Meeting. This was the starting point for artwork that represent the symbiosis between chess and music. The colourful works convey an impression of her artistic passion, which in part wants to be understood with a wink.

Since 2008, Jonschker mainly paints in acrylic. Painting relaxes her, and she can immerse herself in different worlds through her work. In her paintings, she likes to process the journeys made in recent years and, through painting and the resulting images, relives the experiences time and again. Whether painted, glazed or filled: Helga Jonschker loves rich colours, which gives her pictures radiance. The works are also characterized by meticulous design or proximity to reality. A great role model is, among others, the work of Edward B. Gordon, on which an extra painting for this exhibition is based.

Gert Kolbe, Peter Kroeker and Helga Jonschker with their pictures

Peter Kroeker began his artistic career as a "master student" of his grandmother, who created countless elves and princess drawings in her dining room studio. Peter Kroeker's childlike eyes loved these pictures.

After a few years as a carpenter journeyman, at the age of 30, the late decision to study graphic design at the FH Dortmund. Nevertheless, Kroeker regards himself today as a self-taught artist. His artistic interest is primarily the representation of humanity. Usually working with acrylic paints, but also with oil pen, spray paint, among others, his creations are sometimes relatively realistic, sometimes rather coarse, in comic style or as a line drawing.

Chess was previously unknown to Kroeker and maybe that's why it's a sexy topic for him. "What do I see in it? What can I work out of it?" he asked. He finds it very interesting to observe the concentration in the faces of the players, the tension, the disappointment or the relief. Also, the pieces offer a fantasy-inspired aspect as characters; the king, the queen, the pawns, are seen in different contexts and represented detached from the chessboard.

Source: Press Release

Radjabov ½-½ Wojtaszek 

In the first round Daniel Fridman won against Kaido Kulaots, while Leinier Dominguez Perez beat Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu. Richard Rapport left a strong impression thanks to his victory against Ian Nepomniachtchi. The game between Teimour Radjabov and Radoslaw Wojtaszek ended in a draw. This game was the first to end this afternoon — for a reason:


Teimour Radjabov and Radoslaw Wojtaszek played a sharp game, but it led to a draw 

Dominguez 1-0 Nisipeanu

After Nisipeanu's double-edged centre thrust d6-d5, Dominguez not only won a pawn, but also had the more active heavy pieces:


Nisipeanu and Dominguez

The tournament started with a win for Dominguez (right)

Fridman 1-0 Kulaots

Kaido Kulaot "forgot" to castle in the opening phase, giving Fridman a structural advantage. However, a tactical back and forth game gave chances to both sides:


Kulaots vs Fridman

In a wild game Daniel Fridman had a better view

Rapport 1-0 Nepomniachtchi

From a certain point of view, Richard Rapport had the better piece placement and prosecuted this advantage quite strongly:


Nepomniachtchi vs Rapport

The Hungarian Grandmaster Richard Rapport delivered a strong performance today

Results of Round 1


Current standings


Live games


All games


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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