The Bundesliga Championship, Round 1: Favourite OSG Baden-Baden has a good start

by André Schulz
9/17/2020 – The Bundesliga Championship in Karlsruhe is an over-the-board team tournament, in which eight teams with eight players each play for the title of German Team Champion 2020. Clear favourite is the team of OSG Baden-Baden which has no less than seven +2700 players in its line-up. In round 1 the OSG showed how determined they are to win this event. | Photos: Christian Bossert

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Chess festival in Karlsruhe

Corona forced chess to go online. And there is nothing wrong with the wonderful online tournaments with the best chess players in the world which we have seen in the last months. These tournament reach huge audiences, they make chess more popular, they are very entertaining, the public sees a lot of fantastic games and the world's best players in action, but a live chess tournament with first-class players, who sit opposite each other at the boards and are allowed to take their time for their games, is still something different.

Due to Corona the Bundesliga decided to extend the regular season 2019/20 to 2021. A good decision. But to be able to still crown a German Team Champion 2020 the OSG Baden-Baden offered to host a team championship in Karlsruhe, with teams that wanted to play. Grenke Leasing, the sponsor of the OSG, offered to finance this tournament. A generous offer, which now allows chess friends all over the world to enjoy a first-class team event.

The organizers had taken a number of hygiene measures to ensure the safe execution of the tournament. A plexiglas wall is set up between the players, and spectators are not allowed on site.

Impressions of day 1

The favourite

The OSG Baden-Baden has won the Bundesliga no less than 13 times – more often than any other team – and they are also strong favourites to become German Team Champion 2020: after all, the line-up of the team includes Fabiano Caruana, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Levon Aronian, Radoslaw Wojtastzek, Richard Rapport, Michael Adams, Francisco Vallejo and Etienne Bacrot. In fact, of the eight top players of the OSG only Bacrot has a rating of less than 2700. However, Aronian might be too busy to play all games as he also takes part in the Saint Louis Rapid & Blitz.

But the other teams also come with strong players. However, Peter Leko and Mikahil Krasenkov, the top boards of Deizisau, did not play in round 1. Thus, the young German star Vincent Keymer, played on board six against Michael Adams. The game was dramatic (see below).

Chess in times of Corona

The OSG Baden-Baden won the match against Deizisau with a clear 6½:1½. On board one Fabiano Caruana played against Gata Kamsky and showed his class.


Adams gegen Keymer

Vincent Keymer used to play the Najdorf but against Michael Adams he tried the Caro-Kann – though without much success.


Alexander Donchenko and Richard Rapport played the longest game of the day. The German Grandmaster defended a bad ending tenaciously and with success.


Results of round 1:

OSG Baden-Baden Schachfreunde Deizisau
FC Bayern München SC Viernheim
SF Berlin 4 4 Aachener SV
SG Solingen SV Werder Bremen

Standings after round 1

  Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Sp TP BP BW
1. OSG Baden-Baden  +            0 2 2 28½
2. SC Viernheim    +    ½       2 2 6 24½
3. SV Werder Bremen      +        0 2 2 19½
4. SF Berlin   ½    +  4       2 1 21
5. Aachener SV       4  +  0     2 1 4 19
6. SG Solingen       0  +      2 0 16½
7. FC Bayern München 0          +    2 0 15½
8. Schachfreunde Deizisau   0          +  2 0   7½





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


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