Dortmund returns to its roots in July

by ChessBase
2/1/2020 – The annual chess festival in Dortmund is evolving. The Sparkassen Chess Meeting is now the Sparkassen Chess Trophy, and moves to a classic venue, the Westfalenhallen (Dortmund is a major city in the region of North Rhine-Westphalia). The first details of the 2020 events is now out, which will be supported by Vladimir Kramnik and organised by his former manager Carsten Hensel.

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Press release

National stars and international flair

The 48th edition of the "Chess Meeting" in Dortmund will see some changes this year. It will take place from July 15th to 19th in the "Westfalenhallen" convention centre. The change of the venue also includes a change of the tournament name to Sparkassen Chess Trophy and a new corporate design.

"We are delighted to come back to the Westfalenhallen. The most prestigious German chess tournament celebrated its important moments at this venue", says the tournament organizer Carsten Hensel. 

Carsten Hensel

Carsten Hensel explained the new concept of the event during the press conference

1992 and especially 2002 the Westfalenhallen hosted major chess events including the Candidates tournament to determine the challenger of then-World Champion Vladimir Kramnik. 

The Sparkassen Chess Trophy 2020 consists of three open tournaments for different Elo categories with nine rounds respectively and a total price fund of EUR €50,000. The A-Open is only for players rated above 1900 and carries a first prize of €10,000. The organisers focus is to invite members of the German male and female national teams as well as several of the best German youth players.

"I am in contact with our national male and female players and I can already reveal that our fans may look forward to some of our best players", informs Andreas Jagodzinsky, who for the first time is the tournament director and is succeeding the long-time organiser Stefan Koth. Jagodzinsky is also a consultant for the German Chess Federation and adds: "Of course we are also encouraging international top players to visit our tournament and with nine rounds and many titleholders and nations participating we want to enable the players to achieve a title norm."

Andreas Jagodzinsky

Andreas Jagodzinsky is the tournament director

Sparkasse Dortmund is the title sponsor as in the previous years. The CEO Dirk Schaufelberger supports the suite of events, and notes, "Dortmund is a city full of sports and chess takes an important role within it. This is also based through the support of our financial institution and we want to maintain it for the next years."

Dirk Schaufelberger

Dirk Schaufelberger emphasized the importance of the event for the city of Dortmund

The new organising team is already looking ahead towards its 50th anniversary in 2022. The record title holder of Dortmund, former World Champion Vladimir Kramnik, is part of the team. He acts as ambassador and takes care for the international relations, but also helps with his knowledge in the conception of the festival. 

The mayor of the city, Birgit Jörder, welcomes the new development:

The Initiative Pro Chess (IPS) with his chairman Stefan Koth is in charge of rebuilding this prestigious tournament with the goal to let it shine again and to support top-class chess in Dortmund. Many chess players will visit our city and create a unique atmosphere. The Sparkassen Chess Trophy 2020 is a modern approach into the right direction!

Birgit Jörder

Dortmund mayor Birgit Jörder has supported the event for many years

In the past 47 years the level of awareness about Dortmund has been raised significantly in the world through the top chess events. It is the traditional event which had the most impact in this regard besides the unbelievable fame of our football team Borussia Dortmund. 

In order to keep the high profile of Dortmund as top chess destination we will intensify the communication with our main partners Sparkasse Dortmund, City of Dortmund and the Westfalenhallen. This includes classical print and chess media as well as different digital media as Facebook and Instagram.
In this respect we will work together with ChessBase in Hamburg. The popular German grandmaster Klaus Bischoff will be our host during the tournament and commentate the games on our official webpage. Our live transmission of games will include the first 20 boards of the A-Open.

Georgios Souleidis, who has worked in Germany as press officer for many tournaments in the past years will be managing press related questions and inquiries. He is an International Master and works as journalist, author and chess coach. He is also working for the German News Agency DPA and for SPIEGEL Online during the Candidates and the World Championship.

Parallel to the official programme, IPS will take care of a supporting programme with Sabine Oecking as the artistic director. 

The new conception comes along with a new branding and design for the Chess Days Dortmund.


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