No prize-money in Casablanca

by André Schulz
2/17/2015 – From 28. January to 4. February an international tournament was played in Casablanca, Morocco. The decent prize-fund attracted 100 players, among them several titleholders. Play took place in an old church, which was beautiful but cold. Sergey Tiviakov won on tie-break ahead of Vadim Malakhatko. However, the players still wait for their prize-money.

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From 28. January to 4. February the 2. International Chess tournament to honor King Mohammed VI took place in Casablanca. The tournament was organised by the Royal Chess Federation of Morocco. The invitation promised a prize-fund of 150.000 Dirham (about 16.000 Euros), of which the winner was to receive 60.000 Dirham (about 5.500 Euros). 100 players took part in the international open. Parallel to that tournament an U20-Open was played.

Picture of King Mohammed VI


The tournament was played in the "Eglise Sacré-Cœur de Casablanca", formerly a catholic church, which had been built in 1930, but which no longer was used as a church after Morocco's independence in 1956. The church was not heated and thus rather cold, and the players had to wear jackets and coats during their games.


Chess in the former church

Players with coats

Malakahtko-El Gindy

Unfortunately, this was not the only thing that left to be desired. There were complaints about the modest accomodation and the small portions given out at mealtimes in the players hotel. But the biggest scandal is that the promised prize-money has not been paid yet.

At the closing ceremony the representatives of the Chess Federation (including the Vice-President) promised the prize-winners that the prize-money would be transferred to their accounts within a week - at the latest. This did not happen. Email of the players were not answered. The players now asked FIDE to become active.

Cup and badge but no money

Sergey Tiviakov won the tournament with 7.5/9 and the better tie-break. Second was Vadim Malakhatko who also had 7.5/9. Best women player was Deimante Daulyte with 6.5/9.

The winner Sergey Tiviakov is not amused

Vadim Malakhatko

Deimante Daulyte, Karina Mabartsumova

Sophie Milliet

Iva Videnova

Boris Chatalbashev (re.)


Final results after 9 rounds

Rg. Snr   Name FED Elo Pkt.  Wtg1   Wtg2 
1 1 GM Tiviakov Sergei NED 2669 7.5 42.5 43.00
2 7 GM Malakhatko Vadim BEL 2520 7.5 40.0 42.00
3 8 GM Nguyen Huynh Minh Huy VIE 2493 7.0 44.0 41.00
4 4 GM Chatalbashev Boris BUL 2552 7.0 43.5 42.25
5 2 GM Korneev Oleg ESP 2591 7.0 42.5 39.25
6 9 GM Kasparov Sergey BLR 2477 6.5 44.5 38.75
7 5 GM Le Roux Jean-pierre FRA 2539 6.5 40.0 34.50
8 3 GM Kuljasevic Davorin CRO 2558 6.5 39.0 35.50
9 15 IM Daulyte Deimante LTU 2389 6.5 37.5 30.00
10 21 IM Touzane Olivier FRA 2337 6.5 35.5 30.25
11 6 GM Strikovic Aleksa SRB 2529 6.0 44.0 34.50
12 22 WGM Ambartsumova Karina RUS 2325 6.0 39.0 31.50
13 19 FM Amdouni Zoubaier TUN 2365 6.0 38.5 28.25
14 11 GM Larino Nieto David ESP 2442 6.0 37.5 28.50
15 13 IM Farahat Ali EGY 2392 6.0 36.0 28.00
16 14 IM Milliet Sophie FRA 2390 6.0 36.0 27.25
17 18 IM Tissir Mohamed MAR 2368 6.0 34.5 26.75
18 79   Elkholti Achraf MAR 0 6.0 33.0 25.50
19 10 GM El Gindy Essam EGY 2475 5.5 41.0 28.75
20 16 WGM Videnova Iva BUL 2386 5.5 40.5 28.50
21 12 GM Djuric Stefan SRB 2400 5.5 40.5 25.00
22 20 IM Zozulia Anna BEL 2358 5.5 39.5 27.50
23 29   Nafri Khalil MAR 2192 5.5 36.0 22.75
  35 FM Tagelsir Abubaker SUD 2125 5.5 36.0 22.75
25 28   Choukri Adel MAR 2211 5.5 35.0 25.25
26 33   Daoudi Kamal MAR 2135 5.5 34.0 24.00
27 36 FM Boydia Sidi MTN 2097 5.5 33.0 23.25
28 95   Mounib Abdelaziz MAR 0 5.5 32.5 22.75
29 45   Rian Saad MAR 2022 5.5 32.5 22.00
30 23 GM Bouaziz Slim TUN 2306 5.5 32.5 21.50
31 30   Ouakhir Mehdi MAR 2174 5.5 30.0 21.75
32 25 FM Mohannad Farhan JOR 2244 5.0 36.5 23.00

... 100 players


Winter at the Atlantic coast

The palace of justice

Entry to the law

The central bank


The new tram


The bazaar

Colorful diversity

Karina and Daimante

Karina Ambartsumova


Karina Ambartsumova bought a souvenir

Daimante Daulyte

Greetings from Morocco



André Schulz started working for ChessBase in 1991 and is an editor of ChessBase News.
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ashperov ashperov 2/19/2015 09:08
Rediculous and im pretty sure the African state will be banned (surely?!). You must understand that for some players lucky enough to make alot of money out of chess, this is their lively hoods. How would you like not been paid one month? Its bull and im glad its been highlighted.
While Tivaikov is studying rook endgames, im doing management accounts and stock control. Call him a jerk if you want or whatever. With regards to that point ive brought up alone, Im in awe. How about going down to the beach to brush up on the latest Berlin theory? Sounds great. For me, I am saying F*#K this aircon! lol
AgainstAllOdds AgainstAllOdds 2/18/2015 04:27
hpaul: It is not the fact, that he requests a starting-fee. This is completely fine, and as you pointed out, every sought-after player does.
It was the way, he answered the questions. Unfortunately, I don`t know anymore which issue it was exactly, otherwise I would quote some phrases of the interview. Briefly, it was like "Now I am a Super-GM, I don`t need the tournaments, the organizers need me! I am top of world, so they will have to do what I want. I am among the best players, and if someone wants me to second him, this will be expensive!"
In fact, he was not even in the top20 of the world, but acted as if he had won the World Championship.
KrushonIrina KrushonIrina 2/18/2015 12:19
Of all the prize funds in all the tournaments in all the world, you had to stiff me on this one.

--Sergey Tiviakov, doing his best Humphrey Bogart imitation
hpaul hpaul 2/17/2015 11:28
AgainstAllOdds: Every sought-after player requests a fee based on what he thinks he can get. If his fee is too high, he won't be playing much. If he's playing a lot, it tells me his fee is not too high. Tiviakov has been playing a lot, so I don't quite see your point.
Hopefully, FIDE will manage to shake the Moroccan money tree and get the players their prize money.
AgainstAllOdds AgainstAllOdds 2/17/2015 07:59
Some time ago, there was an interview with Tiviakov in the german magazin "Schach". He had just won a tournament and was keen on letting everbody know, that from this time on, he would claim higher starting fees if the organizers would like to see him playing in their tournaments. I never read such an arrogant interview before or after, so I´m sorry for the other players, but remembering this interview, I couldn`t stop laughing that the great Tiviakov is waiting for his money.