Famous "beer tournament" jubilees

by Macauley Peterson
2/23/2018 – Two traditional tournaments, known for their social scene as much as their strong fields, kick off today, with anniversary editions. In Amsterdam, the Batavia tournament is in its 10th year, while in Bunratty, Ireland, the Bunratty Chess Festival is celebrating its 25th edition! Top seeds are GMs Ivan Sokolov and Nigel Short respectively, and both tournaments are carried on live.chessbase.com. Photo: Simon Williams pre-Bunratty selfie with Blair Connell, via Twitter

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


Batavia and Bunratty

Two tournaments, each famously gezellig (a great Dutch word!), are kicking off today in the Netherlands and Ireland. At Cafe Batavia 1920 in Amsterdam, the nine-player round-robin "dMP Batavia Chess Tournament" takes place from Thursday, February 22nd to Sunday, March 4th. And in the Irish village of Bunratty, we have a six-round super-weekender, featuring many of the United Kingdom's top players.

Chess in a bar

Cafe Batavia is located a stone's throw from Amsterdam Central Station, and is a 10-player round-robin classical tournament with a rate of play of 40 moves in 90 minutes plus 30 minutes for all remaining moves with a 30 second bonus per move from move one.

Grandmaster and international master norms are possible, and last year there were two GM norms scored. The field is headed by GMs Ivan Sokolov and Alexander Fier, who is fresh off his win at the Brazilian Championship last week.


1. GM Ivan Sokolov 2567
2. GM Alexandr Fier (BRA) 2544
3. GM Friso Nijboer 2510
4. IM Miguel Santos Ruiz (SPA) 2505
5. IM Robby Kevlishvili 2469
6. IM Alina Kashlinskaya (RUS) 2459
7. IM Anna Zatonskih (USA) 2447
8. IM Thomas Beerdsen 2445
9. FM Liam Vrolijk 2427
10. IM Manuel Bosboom 2403

Players are competing for a top prize of €750 euro. Fier has already pocketed the €200 first place prize in the blitz tournament, held yesterday, which he won despite losing the last two rounds! He started by "pulling a Caruana" — seven straight wins — and no one was able to catch up.

Fier and Bosboom

Dutch blitz legend IM Manuel Bosboom (right) was Fier's first victim | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Blitz games


Classical round one games


Chess near a bar: Bunratty Chess Festival

Bunratty is sometimes, affectionately, called "the drinking tournament", as the hard-core, repeat players, consider it almost obligatory to enjoy a pint even during their games. Over the years it's developed a reputation as a big party, but one where strong grandmasters from the UK and abroad routinely gather.

For the 25th edition, the festival has turned out a who's-who of English chess, with names such as Nigel Short, Gawain Jones, Luke McShane, Jonathan Speelman, Mark Hebden and Simon "Ginger GM" Williams.

I'll be heading to Bunratty myself tomorrow (though not much of a beer fan), so we'll have some on-site details later in the weekend!

Live games of round one


Correction:  Bunratty is celebrating its 25th, anniversary, not 15th as we originally wrote!


Macauley served as the Editor in Chief of ChessBase News from July 2017 to March 2020. He is the producer of The Full English Breakfast chess podcast, and was an Associate Producer of the 2016 feature documentary, Magnus.


Rules for reader comments


Not registered yet? Register