Going online: German Internet Championship 2020

by Arne Kaehler
4/4/2020 – In the times of corona online chess is more popular than ever and more than 1,100 players took part in the German Internet Chess Championship which was organized by the German Chess Federation and ChessBase. But online or not - the tournament is still affected by the corona pandemic.

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The German Internet Championship 2020

The German Internet Championship 2020 is played on the ChessBase server and started with four preliminary rounds – the qualifier so to speak – and one intermediate round (the "semifinal"). The final was scheduled to be played "live" on May 9 in Magdeburg but will probably be delayed.

The preliminaries were open to all members of the German Chess Federation. 10% of the players in the preliminaries qualified for the intermediate round and each player was allowed to play in more than one prelimary if he or she so desired. Grandmasters, International Masters (men and women) and players with a German national rating (the so-called "DWZ") were also set for the intermediate tournament. The time-limit for all tournaments is 3+2.

The first preliminary was played on March 7, the last on March 23. The intermediate round followed on March 28.

All four tournaments attracted a number of International Masters and Grandmasters though these players did not need to qualify for the intermediate. Probably they simply enjoy online blitz or maybe they were lured by the prizes.

The winners of the preliminaries

The four preliminaries were won by Roven Vogel, Georg Meier, Dmitrij Kollars and Matthias Blübaum.

Roven Vogel, U16 Junior World Champion 2015 and winner of the Qualifiers in Wijk aan Zee 2020 | Photo: Website Wijk Aan Zee

Blitz is fast but Georg Meier still found time to stream his games live on his Twitch.tv account where he impressed viewers with his amazing calm. | Photo: Grenke Chess

Dimitrij Kollars | Photo: Georgios Souleidis

Matthias Blübaum, currently number two in Germany. | Photo: Anastasia Kharlovich

The "semifinal"

The intermediate round was won by IM Ilja Schneider who shared first place with GM Daniel Friedman, GM Georg Meier and GM Matthias Blübaum. They all finished with 10/13 but Schneider won on tie-break.

Ilja Schneider | Photo: Frank Hoppe

Schneider is not a grandmaster but he has narrowly missed the title a couple of times and was one of the favourites to win the intermediate round. After all, he is a strong blitz player and in 2015 and 2018 he won the German Blitz Championships.

Behind the four players who shared first place six players followed with 9.5 points each. They had to play a tie-break for the remaining four qualification slots for the final. In the end Daniel Hausrath, Christian Braun, Rasmus Svane and Nikolas Lubbe made it to the finals.

The Final

The final was supposed to take place on May 9 at the Maritim Hotel in Magdeburg. The idea was to invite all players who qualified for the finals to Magdeburg to let them online but live, supervised by an arbiter. However, in view of the ongoing corona pandemic it is likely that the event in Magdeburg will be cancelled.

The Maritim Hotel in Magdeburg, Germany

Links (In German):



Arne Kaehler, a creative thinker who is passionate about board games in general was born in Hamburg and learned how to play chess at a very young age. Through teaching chess to youth teams and creating chess content on YouTube, Arne was able to extend this passion onto others and has even made an online chess course for anyone who wants to learn how to play this game. Currently, Arne blogs for the English news page of ChessBase and focuses on creating promotional and entertaining articles.

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