GRENKE Chess Classic with Carlsen, Caruana and Keymer

by Georgios Souleidis
3/8/2019 – Over Easter, from April 18th to 22nd, one of the strongest open tournaments in the world takes place in Karlsruhe: the GRENKE Open. At the same time, ten of the world's best will face off in the GRENKE Chess Classic. Carlsen, Caruana, Aronian, Anand and Vachier-Lagrave are all confirmed, but also Vincent Keymer, the surprise winner of the 2018 GRENKE Open, who will have a prime opportunity to show what he can do against the world's best. Details via the tournament press release.

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First 2019 game between Carlsen & Caruana

World Champion Magnus Carlsen leads the 10-player round-robin as he looks to win the tournament for the second time since 2015. He's joined by the 2017 and 2018 winners, Levon Aronian and Fabiano Caruana. It will be the first meeting between Carlsen and his most recent challenger since their London match last November. 

At the moment, the following eight players have been announced for the GRENKE Chess Classic with two spots still pending:

  • Magnus Carlsen, world champion , No. 1 in the world rankings, Elo: 2845, Norway
  • Fabiano Caruana, No. 2 in the world rankings, Elo: 2828, USA
  • Viswanathan Anand, No. 6, Elo: 2779, India
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, No. 7 in the world rankings, Elo: 2775, France
  • Levon Aronian, No. 12 in the world rankings, Elo: 2761, Armenia
  • Peter Svidler, No. 20 in the world rankings, Elo: 2737, Russia
  • Arkadij Naiditsch, No. 35 in the world rankings, Elo: 2710, Azerbaijan
  • Vincent Keymer, No. 6 in the Under-16 world ranking, Elo: 2509 Germany

Update: Francisco Vallejo Pons (2698) and Georg Meier (2621) complete the field.

After his sensational GRENKE Chess Open 2018 victory, Vincent Keymer will exercise his right to participate in the GM tournament. The Classic is a fantastic opportunity for the 14-year-old German star, who is also supported by GRENKE and coached by Peter Leko, to compete with the best players in the world. 

Vincent Keymer | Photo: Georgios Souleidis

He is also the star of the "official trailer": 

GRENKE Chess Open 2019 (with German titles) | GRENKE Chess on YouTube


The tournament's first five rounds will be played in Karlsruhe, and then the last four in Baden-Baden. Times shown are in CEST (14:00 UTC / 9:00 AM EDT).

Round Date Time (UTC+1) Location
1 April 20th 15:00 Schwarzwaldhalle Karlsruhe
2 April 21st 15:00  
3 April 22nd 15:00  
4 April 23rd 15:00  
5 April 24th 15:00  
Rest Day April 25th    
6 April 26th 15:00 Kulturhaus LA8 Baden-Baden
7 April 27th 15:00  
8 April 28th 15:00  
9 April 29th 15:00  

A new record for the GRENKE Chess Open?

From April 18th to 22nd (Easter weekend) the GRENKE Chess Open will in Karlsruhe. It is the largest chess tournament in Europe and one of the strongest open tournaments in the world. Last year, 1,482 players and almost 300 titled players from all over the world took part. One month before the start of this year's edition over 1000 professionals and amateurs are registered, so that a new participation record appears in reach. The total prize fund for the festival is EUR €70,000, of which €20,000 are intended for the winner of the A-group alone.

Nikita Vitiugov is currently the top seed of the A-Group. The Russian super-grandmaster won the Open in 2017 and wants another shot at qualifying for the GRENKE Chess Classic.

Nikita Vitiugov | Photo: Georgios Souleidis

Number two player in the current starting rank Rauf Mamedov. The grandmaster from Azerbaijan is No. 42 in the March world ranking list with an Elo rating of 2701. Behind Mamedov is Francisco Vallejo Pons a member of the OSG Baden-Baden team of the German League, which is also sponsored by GRENKE.

Traditionally, the German chess elite take advantage of the GRENKE Chess Open to compete with world-class international players. The former "princes" Rasmus Svane, Alexander Donchenko and Dennis Wagner are therefore all planning to be in attendance.

The GRENKE Chess Open will be held in the Congress Center Karlsruhe, in the same hall as the GRENKE Chess Classic. The players and spectators thus have the chance to witness World Champion Magnus Carlsen and his peers up close.

Translation from German: Macauley Peterson


Georgios Souleidis is an International Master with a degree in media and communication studies. He is an experienced journalist, author, photographer, chess trainer, editor-in-chief for the German Bundesliga, YouTuber, a regular contributor to the chessbase website, German chess magazine SCHACH, and previously blogged on his own site


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