Grand Granda in Andorra Open

by Albert Silver
7/25/2015 – Nestled in the Pyrenees mountain range, the microstate Andorra, continues its chess tradition and is now celebrating the 33rd edition of its yearly Andorran Open. In a time when competition for the chess tourists is the highest, this year's event drew literally dozens of masters and grandmasters, thanks to excellent organization with exemplary media-friendly material.

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At the top of the lineup is French GM Vladislav Tkachiev with 2661, followed very closely by Peruvian Julio Granda Zuniga, fresh from a good result in Benasque just before, and then the Ukrainian brothers Yuri and Andrey Vovk and Venezuelan Eduardo Iturrizaga, all over 2600. With 15 grandmasters and over 30 masters, the tournament has certainly proven its appeal.

French GM Vladislav Tkachiev is the top seed at Andorra

Right after is Julio Granda Zuniga from Peru storming through the event
with a fantastic 6.5/7 including a win over Tkachiev in round seven

Everyone came to enjoy the chess and breathtaking scenery


The tournament is held in the Hotel St. Gothard in La Massana, an area of Andorra. Click on the
compass in the image to look around.

A special mention should be made about the front page's comment 'media-friendly material'.  It goes without saying that the quality of organization of an event can easily make or break it for future iterations. Still, this is only one part of the equation, since as a member of the chess media, more times than not we are dependent on what the organizers provide.

If there are no images there is no report, and while this might seem obvious to readers, it is most assuredly not obvious to many organizers, even high-end ones. An example of this was the utter dearth of photos at the recent Norway Chess event that led to reports made with screenshots from the webcam video transmission.

It was thus heartwarming to see the attention made by the Andorran organizers to not only provide daily reports on their website, but also provide a selection of images shared on Flickr for the media to use, and most impressively: all of them labeled with the player names. Truly an example to follow.

On the website is a link to the official Flickr album where pictures, all labeled, can be found

It isn't only about top seeds such as Andrey Vovk, second with 6.0/7...

... the women are well represented, such as IM Anna Rudolf from Hungary

WFM Aurelie Dacalor

Still, the top-rated female player is French WGM Pauline Guichard

A packed playing hall is the reward for the organizers

The hotel offered cocktails with a distinct Caissa touch

All were colorful and inviting, suitable for the summer weather

Eight-year-old Serni Ribera


A high-quality video with scenes from the tournament and many short interviews

Eduardo Iturrizaga from Venezuela is the fourth seed

Mathilde Broly gives a winning smile

In their time off the players enjoy some football...

... as well as table tennis, minigolf, and swimming!

Standings after seven rounds

1 Granda Zuniga Julio E GM 2652 6.5
2 Vovk Andrey GM 2621 6.0
3 Vovk Yuri GM 2632 5.5
4 Kogan Artur GM 2526 5.5
5 Demuth Adrien GM 2531 5.5
6 Trepat Herranz Joan FM 2351 5.5
7 Lagarde Maxime GM 2544 5.5
8 Gozzoli Yannick GM 2567 5.5
9 Vazquez Igarza Renier GM 2581 5.5
10 Asis Gargatagli Hipolito IM 2472 5.5
11 Abergel Thal GM 2440 5.5
12 Antoli Royo Joaquin Miguel IM 2430 5.5
13 Jolly Jean-Francois IM 2345 5.5
14 Riff Jean-Noel GM 2502 5.5
15 Tkachiev Vladislav GM 2661 5.0
16 Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo GM 2625 5.0
17 Barbot Pierre FM 2445 5.0
18 Narciso Dublan Marc GM 2521 5.0
19 Arizmendi Martinez Julen Luis GM 2529 5.0
20 Aloma Vidal Robert IM 2451 5.0
21 Rudolf Anna IM 2335 5.0
22 Romero Berruezo Francisco 2198 5.0
23 Pulvett Marin Daniel IM 2446 4.5
24 Roser Kevin IM 2403 4.5
25 Bernal Moro Luis Javier IM 2435 4.5

Click for complete standings

Photos from official site


The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.

Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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