Dortmund: An entertaining start

by André Schulz
7/14/2021 – Yesterday, 13 July 2021, the 48th Schachtage Dortmund began in Dortmund's Westfalenhalle. In the opening round of the Deutschland Grand Prix the young German Dmitrij Kollars (pictured) defeated the even younger German Vincent Keymer. Pavel Eljanov (against Andreas Heimann) and Daniel Fridman (against Mateusz Bartel) also won their games. | Photos and video: The Organiser

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New ideas in Dortmund

The 48th Dortmunder Schachtage began and before soccer rules again in the Ruhr metropolis again, it's the chess players' turn.

Officially, the tournament has already started on the internet with the Sparkassen Open but yesterday, 13 July, 2021, the first games were played over-the-board. A new organisational team has formed around the traditional tournament, the Initiative Pro Chess e.V.

The association was founded on 27 February 2019 in the "Burgschänke" restaurant in Dortmund Huckarde, and applied to the city of Dortmund to host the Dortmund Chess Days. The IPC got the contract and now wants to try new ideas to reshape the traditional tournament.

Opening video

The original idea was to give the Schachtage (the chess days) at the new venue Westfalenhalle the character of a big chess festival with a big open. But Corona threw a spanner in the works, and now the IPC, still handicapped by pandemic, plans on a smaller scale.

The Westfalenhalle

Round 1

The 2021 Festival consists of a grandmaster tournament, the Deutschland Grand Prix, in which five top German grandmasters compete against five international grandmasters, two tournaments for young players, the Sportland NRW Cup and the Sportland NRW Girls Cup, and last, but not least, a four-game match between the two former World Champions Vladimir Kramnik and Viswanathan Anand. They also go new ways and play "No Castling" chess, a chess variant proposed by DeepMind, the developers of AlphaZero.

German chess fans will first of all follow the moves of Vincent Keymer, who is considered Germany's greatest chess talent. Young players all over the world were held back in their development by the pandemic as there were hardly any over-the-board tournaments. Of course, they could play blitz and rapid chess on the internet, but that is quite different from live tournament chess. One will see what effects the break had on the young players.

However, in the first round of the Dortmund tournament Keymer suffered a setback. Or, to put it differently, the young German player Dmitrij Kollars celebrated a fine success. In a very combative game Keymer, who had White, soon seized the initiative but Kollars did not cave and later managed to outplay his opponent.



The local hero is Daniel Fridman, who comes from Bochum, a town that is relatively close to Dortmund. In round one Fridman won against Polish GM Mateusz Bartel, Pavel Eljanov defeated Andreas Heimann, Ruslan Ponomariov and Georg Meier drew, as did Rustam Kasimdzhanov and Gata Kamsky.


14 July, 16:00 CEST, Vishy Anand and Vladimir Kramnik will join the festival, and will begin their "No Castling" match. It will be interesting to see how they bring their rooks into play without castling.






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


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