The GRENKE Chess Classic is about to start!

by ChessBase
3/25/2024 – “Everyone has been waiting for this chess festival”, writes Alex Winkler in a press release from the organisation of the GRENKE Chess Classic and the GRENKE Chess Open. Six international stars, including Magnus Carlsen and Vincent Keymer, will compete in the Classic, which starts tomorrow, Tuesday 26 March, while over 2500 players will take part in the Open. But last-minute entrants can still take part: the registration is still open!

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.


"Everyone has been waiting for this chess festival" - GRENKE Chess Classic and Open just around the corner

Press relese
Text: Alex Winkler

Only one day to go until the big chess festival starts in Karlsruhe. The Schwarzwaldhalle and the Gartenhalle in Karlsruhe will be transformed into an Easter chess mecca. Five years after the last edition, the GRENKE Chess Festival will finally take place again. From 26 March to 1 April, six international stars will be battling it out in rapid chess. All remaining players will start two days later, on 28 March, also until 1 April, in the GRENKE Chess Open, the largest tournament in the world.

The GRENKE Chess Classic will see the number one, two and three players in the current world rapid FIDE ranking participating: Magnus Carlsen, Ding Liren and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Carlsen is the reigning world rapid champion and is considered by many chess fans as the best player of all time.

Ding Liren currently holds the World Championship crown in classical time control, while Frenchman Vachier-Lagrave won the World Blitz Championship in 2021. The will be joined by Richard Rapport, one of the most creative players on the chess scene and Ding Liren’s second in his 2023 World Championship success. The field is completed by German number one Vincent Keymer and the experienced Daniel Fridman.

Keymer was the runner-up in the World Rapid Chess Championship in 2022. He celebrated one of his greatest successes in 2018 when he surprisingly won the GRENKE Chess Open. A year later, Daniel Fridman achieved the same feat, qualifying for this year’s GRENKE Classic.

For Tournament Director Sven Noppes, this is the “absolute dream line-up”. Dr Sebastian Hirsch, Chairman of the Board of Directors of GRENKE AG. added: “We are delighted with the high-calibre international field of participants”. It will be interesting to see how things develop with this time control: 45 minutes + 10-second increments per move allow the players longer thinking time than in conventional rapid tournaments, but guarantee faster encounters than in classical chess.

The pairings for the first round (26 March, 3 pm) are as follows:

  • Vincent Keymer vs. Daniel Fridman
  • Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs. Ding Liren
  • Richard Rapport vs. Magnus Carlsen

The pairings for the second round (26 March, 15 minutes after the end of the last game of the first round) are as follows:

  • Daniel Fridman vs. Magnus Carlsen
  • Ding Liren vs. Richard Rapport
  • Vincent Keymer vs. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

All other pairings are published at

On the first two days (26/27 March), the Classic will take place in the RSM Ebner Stolz VIP Lounge of the Gartenhalle. From 28 March, the stars will then move to the big stage in the Schwarzwaldhalle, where the GRENKE Chess Open will be held in three categories. Top ten player Arjun Erigaisi from India and European Champion Alexey Sarana lead the seeding list in the A-Open.

Schwarzwaldhalle | Photo:

Other well-known names include Hans Niemann, Abhimanyu Mishra (the youngest grandmaster in history) and German stars Blübaum, Kollars and Svane. The 70,000 euro prize fund and the opportunity to look over the shoulders of the international stars have also attracted numerous chess fans. More than 2,500 players have already registered. “Everyone has been waiting for this tournament”, says a delighted Noppes.

The enormous number of participants demands a lot from the organisation team. “No chess club has this many boards and pieces”, says Noppes. The team from the Baden-Baden Chess Centre, which is organising the major event, is accordingly well-prepared. The chairman of the chess centre, Christian Bossert, invites all chess enthusiasts: “Be part of it. Register or come to Karlsruhe as a spectator!”

Spectators are invited on all days of the GRENKE Chess Classic (Friday is a rest day). The German grandmasters Klaus Bischoff and Sebastian Siebrecht will be commentating on site. If you are unable to attend, you can follow the games of the GRENKE Chess Classic and at least one hundred games of the GRENKE Chess Open live via as well as all the highlights on the GRENKE Chess social media channels.

The international live broadcast show, in English, will be hosted by Vincent Keymer’s coach, world-class grandmaster Peter Leko from Hungary, and the German national coach Jan Gustafsson on all days of action of the GRENKE Chess Classic.

Trailer of the festival

Contact information:
Schachzentrum Baden-Baden e.V.
Tournament Director: Sven Noppes
+49 172 7258738


Reports about chess: tournaments, championships, portraits, interviews, World Championships, product launches and more.