26th time's the charm: Jiri Stocek takes Pardubice trophy

by Rupali Mullick
8/16/2019 – GM Jiri Stocek of Czech Republic scored an unbeaten 7½/9 to win Pardubice Open 2019. He finished a half point ahead of a group of nine players who scored 7.0/9. Top seed Czech no.3 Viktor Laznicka finished second due to a better tie-break score, followed by Sergei Movsesian of Armenia. The tournament was a big success as 16 norms were scored in total. RUPALI MULLICK reports from the venue with photos and interview of the champion.

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Stocek finishes first after 26 attempts

The 31st Czech Open International Chess Festival was held in Pardubice from 16th to 28th July 2019. Being one of the strongest and grandest chess tournaments of the Czech tour series, this event attracts some of the sharpest chess talents from around the world.

The Pardubice festival has various categories of chess tournaments amongst which the Grandmaster Open A is the main event for players with Elo >2100 and Open B is a rating tournament for players with Elo between 1700 and 2300. This year, there were 322 participants in the Grandmaster Open A tournament including 29 GMs, 5 WGMs, 60 IMs, 11 WIMs, 86 FMs and 8 WFMs. There were players from 37 countries with 81 players from various regions of the Czech Republic. There were 29 players from India with GM Deepan Chakravarthy at the top of the pack.

There were six players with 6½ points after the eighth round. Draws on the first two boards was all the eighth seeded Czech GM Jiri Stocek needed, as he defeated GM Deepan Chakravarthy on the third board to comfortably secure the first place in the tournament with 7½/9. I managed to speak with Jiri after the tournament where he stated that this victory was extra special to him, as he had participated in this tournament for 26 years, also tied for first spot, but had never managed to win it with a clear margin! Jiri's patience finally bore fruit! 

Jiri Stocek speaks about his victory, life in Czech Republic as a GM and more | Video: Rupali Mullick

The podium finishers | Photo: Rupali Mullick

GM Jiri Stocek with the beautiful trophy; GM Victor Laznicka finished second and the defending champion GM Sergei Movsesian (with his son) stood third.

Stocek's sacrifice in the final round

Jiri Stocek was paired against the Indian GM Deepan Chakkravarthy on board three in the final round. Stocek needed to win, and he also required top two boards to end in draws to have a chance at winning the tournament since he had a low tie-break score. Top two boards ended up in draws and Stocek won his game with a brilliant sacrifice.


Of course if White accepts the sacrifice, he will be absolutely fine. Black won't have enough compensation for it, but can you find a better way for White to refute that sacrifice?


Top seed Viktor Laznicka needed to win the last round to become champion | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Laznicka's best win came against FM Filip Cukrowski in round four when the Czech no.3 finished the game in just 22 moves.


Defending champion Sergei Movsesian did not manage to retain his crown, however he won the rapid event | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Movsesian started with five consecutive wins, and then he made four consecutive draws in the final four games.

In total, sixteen norms were made including 2 GM, 11 IM and 3 WGM-norms.

Norm makers receives their norm certificates | Photo: Rupali Mullick

GM-norms: IM Mikhail Demidov (RUS, 2546) and IM Adam Kozak (HUN, 2475).

IM-norms: FM Nikolozi Kacharava (GEO, 2431), FM Filip Cukrowski (POL, 2421), FM Alexey Polschikov (RUS, 2375), FM Nikhil Dixit (IND, 2318), FM Theo Gungl (GER, 2306), FM Andrii Punin (UKR, 2305), FM Peter Keller (GER, 2279), Mariia Berdnyk (UKR, 2247), Amit Moksh Doshi (IND, 2229), FM Yoav Milikow (ISR, 2186) and FM Dushyant Sharma (IND, 2168).

WGM-norms: WFM Sahajasri Cholleti (IND, 2223), WIM Rakshita Ravi (IND, 2112) and WIM Shalmali Gagare (IND, 2058).

All norm makers in one frame | Photo: Rupali Mullick

The evolution of an organizer

IO Jan Mazuch has over the last three decades consistently improved and grown the chess culture in Pardubice, and worked tirelessly to organize international chess tournaments all over the Czech Republic from May to February every year. Pardubice's Czech Open is the most famous of the whole series.

Mazuch's story is quite motivational. He went from organizing the first edition of Czech Open in Pardubice with 40 participants to it becoming one of the most popular tournaments in all of Europe.

IO Jan Mazuch — the pioneer of Czech Tour Chess Tournaments | Photo: Rupali Mullick

Did you know that Jan Mazuch is a deputy Mayor of Pardubice? | Video: Rupali Mullick

Final standings (top 25)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 STOCEK Jiri 7,5 49,0
2 LAZNICKA Viktor 7,0 51,0
3 MOVSESIAN Sergei 7,0 50,5
4 DEMIDOV Mikhail 7,0 48,5
5 KOZAK Adam 7,0 48,0
6 BABULA Vlastimil 7,0 46,0
7 BASSO Pier Luigi 7,0 45,5
8 VAN FOREEST Jorden 7,0 44,5
9 PLAT Vojtech 7,0 44,0
10 GAZIK Viktor 7,0 42,5
11 DEEPAN Chakkravarthy J 6,5 47,5
12 MARTINEZ ALCANTARA Jose Eduardo 6,5 46,5
13 GAGARE Shardul 6,5 45,5
14 LINTCHEVSKI Daniil 6,5 45,0
15 POTAPOV Pavel 6,5 43,5
16 ERENBERG Ariel 6,5 43,0
17 KARTTUNEN Mika 6,5 43,0
18 WARMERDAM Max 6,5 43,0
19 SADUAKASSOVA Dinara 6,5 43,0
20 MATVIISHEN Viktor 6,5 42,5
21 GALPERIN Platon 6,5 42,0
22 KREJCI Jan 6,5 41,0
23 ABDUMALIK Zhansaya 6,5 41,0
24 GAVRILESCU David 6,5 38,5
25 BRUEDIGAM Martin 6,5 34,5

Complete standings

All games



Rupali is the mother of twelve-year-old Raahil Mullick, an upcoming chess talent from Mumbai. She has a Ph.D in chemical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is a partner at JVM Industries. Her husband Prashant is a FIDE Rated player making them a complete chess family.


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