The WR Chess Masters 2023 starts on Wednesday

by Press release
2/14/2023 – Wednesday evening will see the official opening of the WR Masters at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Düsseldorf. The tournament starts on Thursday at 14:00 with the 1st round. A number of players from the next generation will face the current world elite. For Ian Nepomiachtchi, the tournament is also a dress rehearsal for the World Championship in April. German chess fans are keeping their fingers crossed for Vincent Keymer in particular.

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Press release

The WR Chess Masters

The "WR Chess Masters" in Düsseldorf is the first privately organized super tournament on German soil after almost four years, a clash of the chess elite, moreover one of generations. Ten top grandmasters will fight for the tournament victory and elo points for the world rankings from February 14 to 27 at the Hyatt Regency.

The new generation in chess is already waiting to take over from the established players around Magnus Carlsen, Ding Liren and Ian Nepomniachtchi. A German is also preparing to play at the top soon. Vincent Keymer, 18 years young, will have the opportunity at the WR Chess Masters to find out whether he is already on par with the best.

Supporting the German chess hope Keymer is one of the intentions of organizer Wadim Rosenstein, whose WR Events GmbH as tournament sponsor is bringing Düsseldorf one of the world's highest-profile chess tournaments of the new year: "I would be very happy if Vincent succeeds in rising to the absolute world class," says Rosenstein. "A world-class player would be an important building block for the reputation and spread of chess in Germany."

Prodigies put to the test

In the field of ten super grandmasters, Keymer will be one of five representatives of the new generation, one of five who were considered wonder boys not long ago. The Uzbek Nodirbek Abdusattorov (18), the Indians Gukesh (16) and Praggnanandhaa (17), and the Russian Andrey Esipenko (20) are also preparing to make the leap into the absolute world class. They face an endurance test against a selection of former (and likely future) World Championship candidates – Levon Aronian (USA), Wesley So (USA), Anish Giri (Netherlands) and Jan-Krzysztof Duda (Poland).

The toughest test is represented by Ian Nepomniachtchi, number three in the world, number one in the seedings list in Düsseldorf. For "Nepo", the showdown on the Rhine will probably be a final determination of where he stands. Six weeks before his World Championship match on April 7 in Astana/Kazakhstan against the Chinese Ding Liren, Nepomniachtchi is looking for an encounter with the best possible rivals in Düsseldorf in order to be prepared for the match for the chess crown. At the end of 2021, "Nepo" had lost his first World Championship match against Magnus Carlsen, but qualified confidently for a second attempt the following year at the tournament of World Championship Candidates. This time he wants to make the final step.

The ten participants will play a "round robin" tournament, each playing one game against each other. The player with the most points after nine rounds wins the main prize of 40,000 euros. In the event of a tie at the top, spectators can look forward to a rapid and blitz chess play-off.

Chess metropolis Düsseldorf

All nine rounds will be broadcast live on the Internet with commentary. The cream of chess will not only be on the board in Düsseldorf, but also at the commentary desk. Former World Championship candidate Yasser Seirawan (USA), one of the most popular chess commentators, will guide the audience through the action. At his side will be another grandmaster: Elisabeth Pähtz, for years the top German female player. These two will receive many high-profile personalities from the chess scene as guests during the course of the tournament.

The "WR Chess Masters" is only the beginning. In early summer, also supported by Rosenstein, another top event will take place in the metropolis on the Rhine: The first open World Team Championship of the World Chess Federation FIDE is also to contribute to establishing Düsseldorf as a chess capital.

About the WR Chess Masters

Sponsor of the tournament is the Düsseldorf-based company WR Events GmbH. "Our goal is to promote and spread the sport of chess," says CEO Wadim Rosenstein. "We want to give young and professional chess players the opportunity to develop their skills."

In his ambition to help upcoming talents, Rosenstein draws from his chess experience. In his youth, Rosenstein played ambitiously. But working on chess alongside school, traveling to tournaments – "that was difficult to manage, almost impossible for a youngster on his own," the 32-year-old recalls.

"Without my first mentor and coach Rainer Becker, many things would not have been possible. I owe a lot to him,” says Rosenstein. “I wish there were many more people like him." Now Rosenstein wants to give back, assuming there must be more talents with the same difficulties he experienced as a youngster.

After chess talent Wadim Rosenstein had switched clubs to “Schachfreunde Köln-Mülheim” he was part of the Cologne-Mülheim team that won the Jugendbundesliga almost 20 years ago, the highest German youth league. Rosenstein remembers "an unforgettable time. The dedication of Leo Evers and Josef Pawlowski, heads of our youth department, I appreciate very much to this day."

The years in Cologne-Mülheim were not just a school of chess. Rosenstein lists: "Team spirit, fair play, respect, dealing with successes and defeats, first youth camps and major tournaments."

"If you play chess, you meet remarkable people," Rosenstein knows. The entrepreneur wants to help grow the chess community by spreading his enthusiasm for the sport.



Wednesday, 15 February, 19:00 Opening
Thursday, 16 February, 14:00 Round 1
Friday, 17 February to 25 February: Rounds 2 to 9 with a rest-day on 20 February.
26 February; Bughouse Tournament and Closing Ceremony

WR Chess Masters – Dusseldorf, Germany, Regulations


10 players Round Robin Tournament. Drawing of lots will be done at the opening ceremony.

Time control

The time control for each game is 120 minutes per side for the first 40 moves, 60 minutes for the next 20 moves, and 15 minutes for the rest of the game, with a 30-second increment per move starting with move 61.

Prize Fund

130.000 EUR

Prize Fund Distribution

1.  40.000 EUR
2.  25.000 EUR
3.  15.000 EUR
4.  10.000 EUR
5.  9.000 EUR
6.  8.000 EUR
7.  7.000 EUR
8.  6.000 EUR
9.  5.000 EUR
10. 5.000 EUR

Money prizes will be shared among the players with the same sum of points. This does not apply for the first prize. In case of shared first place between two players, there will be a play-off to decide the winner at the end of the last round.

In case of a tie for first place: 2 games with 10 min + 2 sec a move; then if needed 2 games with 5 min + 2 sec a move; finally a game with 5 min for White and 4 min for Black with an increment of 2 second per move, starting from move 61 (in case of a draw Black wins).

If more than two players share first place, there will be a double round-robin with the following tiebreaks:

A: Sonneborn-Berger points.
B: Most wins.
C: Most wins with the black pieces.
D: Drawing of lots

The remaining players in this will share their money prizes.