Jiri Stocek wins Open Bavarian Championship

by André Schulz
11/7/2023 – With a last-round-win Czech Grandmaster Jiri Stocek won the 26. Open International Bavarian Championships ahead of GM Maxime Lagarde from France. Both players finished with 7.5/9, but Stocek had the better tiebreak. German International Master Roven Vogel won bronze and made his third and final GM-norm. | Photos: Sandra Schmidt

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The Open International Bavarian Championships, or OIBM for short, are one of the most popular events in the German tournament calendar, partly because of the enchanting setting on Lake Tegernsee and partly because of the perfect organisation that Sebastian Siebrecht has ensured over the years and continues to do so.

As a result, the number of participants is always high. The OIBM also has a great international appeal. This year just over 500 chess fans, including a number of grandmasters and many young talents, found their way to Gut Kaltenbrunn in Gmund for the 26th edition of the traditional tournament.

Top seed was French grandmaster Maxime Lagarde and his compatriot GM Christian Bauer, was also among the favourites. Another favourite was G N Gopal from India. The now 34-year-old was once the first grandmaster from the Indian province of Kerala in 2007 at the age of 18 and the 16th grandmaster in India before the big chess boom there.

The best German player in the large field, according to Elo, was Roven Vogel. The 2015 U16 World Champion was hoping to achieve his third and final GM norm. Lucas van Foreest, the younger brother of Jorden van Foreest, was one of the younger strong players in the field. Also in the field was Husain Besou, a very young talent. He finished third at U12 World Championships 2022 and is tipped to be a future grandmaster. The eleven-year-old made headlines when he was called up to the German national team for the Mitropa Cup in April.

After five rounds, Roven Vogel was clear first with 5.0/5, but then lost momentum. He remained unbeaten for the rest of the tournament, but failed to win any more games. However, seven points were enough for third place and his third GM norm.

The players who made norms

The winner of the tournament was Jiri Stocek, who went head-to-head with Ukraine's Petro Golubka. After eight rounds, Golubka led the field with seven points, but then was beaten by Maxime Lagarde in the final round. Stocek, meanwhile, came out of the chasing pack to beat Arseny Kargin and finish the tournament with 7.5/9. He shared first with Maxime Lagarde, but won the tournament on tiebreak.

Jiri Stocek

Behind the two winners, no fewer than 15 players finished the tournament tied on 7 points. The best female player was Poland's Jolanta Zawadzka. Laura Unuk finished with the same number of points (6.5), but with a worse tiebreak.

The 13-year old Ukrainian Tykhon Cherniaiev, who as a refugee had played for the German Chess Federation for a time, came 22nd with 6.5 points.

Tykhon Cherniaiev

Christian Bauer received a Fritz program for playing the best game in round 9.

He defeated Husain Besou in a tactical game.

Strike first with the Scandinavian

The Scandinavian is a rarely employed opening on the hightest level und guides your opponent on much less familiar terrain than for example the Sicilian, French or any 1.e4 e5 system. After 1.e4 d5 Black fights for the initiative from move one.

Final standings after 9 rounds

Rk. Name Pts.  Tb1 
1 Stocek, Jiri 7,5 2392
2 Lagarde, Maxime 7,5 2238
3 Vogel, Roven 7 2406
4 Gopal, G.N. 7 2378
5 Golubka, Petro 7 2368
6 Kurmangaliyeva, Liya 7 2364
7 Mastrovasilis, Dimitrios 7 2347
8 Vetoshko, Volodymyr 7 2326
9 Kulaots, Kaido 7 2306
10 Van Foreest, Lucas 7 2303
11 Bauer, Christian 7 2297
12 Schneider, Ilja 7 2291
13 Petrov, Nikita 7 2280
14 Reimann, Sebastian 7 2265
15 Hess, Max 7 2221
16 Manish, Anto Cristiano F 7 2194
17 Meißner, Felix 7 2173
18 Schmider, Niklas 6,5 2430
19 Zawadzka, Jolanta 6,5 2330
20 Morawietz, Dieter 6,5 2320
21 Kargin, Arseny 6,5 2303
22 Cherniaiev, Tykhon 6,5 2258
23 Khrapko, Marharyta 6,5 2208
24 Ciolek, Andreas 6,5 2203
25 Litzka, Richard 6,5 2187

...518 players



André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.