Esipenko, Ivanchuk, Van Foreest to play at the Sunway Open in Sitges

by ChessBase
12/11/2022 – The Sunway Chess Festival, sponsored by Chessable, is set to take place on December 12-22 at the Playa Golf Hotel in Sitges, Catalonia. Two massive open tournaments will be played at the paradisaic resort southwest of Barcelona. Over 300 players have registered to participate in the main group, with the likes of Yu Yangyi, Andrey Esipenko and Vasyl Ivanchuk looking to claim the 5.000 € first prize. | Photo: Lennart Ootes

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Top-notch chess, feel-good atmosphere

Two years ago, the ever-enthusiastic Sebastian Siebrecht visited Sitges during the well-known chess festival, and had this to say about the organization:

If you want to play a chess tournament in December with sunshine, spring-like temperatures and a Mediterranean atmosphere, you will get this — and much more — at the Sunway Open in Sitges.

The organizers — headed by hotel owner Oskar Stöber, a Catalan with German roots — are full of ideas and enthusiasm to grant the participants a feel-good ambience that is simply unparalleled in the tournament scene. 

This year, the strong ‘A’ tournament counts with 26 grandmasters and many ambitious norm seekers, reaching a total of 138 players, while 93 participants have registered to play in the ‘B’ tournament. Moreover, numerous side events are taking place — up to three grandmaster conferences daily, workshops, blitz tournaments, simultaneous events, youth tournaments and women’s chess conferences.

If we look at the full schedule of this year’s edition, all that Sebastian reported back then remains true, except that the number of participants is much higher. Of course, this not only has to do with the increased popularity of the festival but also with the fact that Sebastian’s report was sent in 2020, when Spain was one of the first countries to organize in-person events amid the pandemic.

Sunway Sitges Chess Festival

The tournament hall in 2020 | Photo: Lennart Ootes

Group A

Most eyes will be focused on Group A, the main open tournament in the festival. More than 300 players have registered to participate, with 40 grandmasters and 23 players rated 2600 or above in the mix. Yu Yangyi, Jorden van Foreest and 2020 champion Ivan Cheparinov are the top seeds.

The tournament is 10-round Swiss open. Games will be played with a time control of 90 minutes for the first 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with 30-second increments from the first move.


  • December 12-17: Rounds 1-6
  • December 18: Rest day
  • December 19-22: Rounds 7-10

Tiebreaks will be valid both for classification purposes as well as for obtaining trophies and cash prizes. Therefore, no trophies or cash prizes will be divided among the players who have tied points.

The tiebreak system will be as follows and in the following order:

  • Buchholz FIDE least the worse result
  • Total Buchholz FIDE
  • Sonnenborg-berger
  • Particularly among players still tied, should they have played against each other
  • Raffle in the presence of the Competition Committee

In the case of group A, once the previous tiebreaker systems have been applied, a provisional general classification will be available. However, if there is a tie to points between some of the first 8 classified players in that provisional classification, a match-play tiebreaker will be applied to obtain the final general classification.

This match-play tie-break will consist of a knockout system (e.g. quarterfinals, semifinals and final if there are 3 or 4 players tied) among the players who have finished the tournament with the same number of points (no matter whether the champion must be determined or not), in the following way:

  • Two blitz games with a time control of 5 minutes + 3 seconds per move, alternating colours.
  • In case of a tie, a blitz Armaggedon will follow, with 6 minutes for the player with white and 5 minutes for the player with black. The colour of each player will be raffled and, in case of draw, the player who has played with black will win.

Registered players - Group A

No. Name Rtg
1 Yu Yangyi 2728
2 Van Foreest Jorden 2690
3 Cheparinov Ivan 2688
4 Moussard Jules 2684
5 Esipenko Andrey 2678
6 Ivanchuk Vasyl 2673
7 Alekseenko Kirill 2672
8 Korobov Anton 2662
9 Tabatabaei Mohammad Amin 2660
10 Demchenko Anton 2632
11 Jones Gawain C B 2630
12 Petrosyan Manuel 2621
13 Karthikeyan Murali 2620
14 Grigoryan Karen H. 2619
15 Aryan Chopra 2618
16 Bernadskiy Vitaliy 2617
17 Puranik Abhimanyu 2616
18 Safarli Eltaj 2616
19 Durarbayli Vasif 2612
20 Adhiban B. 2611
21 Kollars Dmitrij 2610
22 Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2607
23 Dardha Daniel 2606
24 Sanal Vahap 2597
25 Cheng Bobby 2583
26 Kraemer Martin 2583
27 Svane Frederik 2568
28 Tin Jingyao 2562
29 Alsina Leal Daniel 2527
30 Arjun Kalyan 2505

...319 players


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