Opening ceremony of the WR Masters

by André Schulz
2/16/2023 – Yesterday, the ceremonial and stylish opening of the WR Masters took place at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Düsseldorf. After a press conference and a small show programme with a simul and "chess doubles", the lots were drawn. | Photos: Lennart Ootes

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So here we go. The long-awaited WR Masters, which bears the initials of its sponsor and spiritus rector Wadim Rosenstein in its name, starts today.

The players with Wadim Rosenstein and Düsseldorf Mayor Stephan Keller

Football idol Klaus Allofs was one of the guests of honour at the opening ceremony of the WR Masters on Wednesday evening at the Hyatt Regency. During the opening ceremony, Thomas Weischede presented Vincent Keymer with the "Viktor" of the Emanuel Lasker Society for his outstanding sporting achievements.

Wadim Rosenstein, Klaus Allofs, Vincent Keymer with Viktor, Stephan Keller, Thomas Weischede

The tournament is the only supertournament on German soil this year and the second supertournament in 2023 after the Tata Steel tournament. Seven of the ten participants played in Wik, namely Anish Giri, Levon Aronian, Wesley So, Nodirbek Abdusattorov, Dommaraju Gukesh, Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa and Vincent Keymer. Ian Nepomniachtchi, Andrey Esipenko and Jan-Krzysztof Duda complete the field.

The tournament opened with a press conference.

During the press conference (from left to right: Sebastian Siebrecht, Wadim Rosenstein, Vincent Keymer) | Photo: Lennart Ootes

In his speech, organiser Wadim Rosenstein emphasised the status of the city of Düsseldorf as an international business metropolis. With the WR Masters, his hometown should become even more of a chess capital than it already is. In the Düsseldorf area, more than 1000 chess friends are active in 16 clubs. The WR Masters is also an organisational dress rehearsal for the First Open Team World Championship, also an idea of Wadim Rosenstein, which will take place in Düsseldorf from 18 June. For Ian Nepomniachtchi, too, the tournament is a dress rehearsal - for his world championship match against Ding Liren, which will take in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in April.



In the course of the opening ceremony Vincent Keymer, who wants to get a better result in Düsseldorf than he managed in Wijk aan Zee, gave a simul against talented Düsseldorf junior players.

The players also had the opportunity to visit the playing hall and "try out" the chairs.

In the "Hand and Brains" match, Wadim Rosenstein and Levon Aronian played against Vincent Keymer and Düsseldorf's Mayor Stephan Keller, who was also a guest of honour at the opening ceremony.

Sebastian Siebrecht moderates the game

For the ten players the drawing of lots was perhaps the most interesting part. A juggler assisted.

Nodirbek Abdusattorov wants to catch a good opponent in round one

Tournament director Sebastian Siebrecht then announced the pairings.

Pairings of round 1



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