Topalov at the 2006 Essent Chess Tournament

by ChessBase
6/15/2006 – Immediately after his title match against Vladimir Kramnik (Sept 21 – Oct. 13th Elista) FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov will play in the Crown Group of the 2006 Essent tournament in Hoogeveen, Netherlands. Other players are Judit Polgar, Shakhryar Mamedyarov and Ivan Sokolov. The games will be played with glass pieces.

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Essent Chess Tournament 2006

The 10th edition of the Essent Chess Tournament will take place from October 20 to 28, 2006. The location is the city of Hoogeveen. As in the past years there will be a number of competitions: a Crown Group, a strong Essent Open, an Amateur Tournament, a pub tournament and an event for youth. Commentary on the Crown Group games will be available in the chess café. The games will also be broadcast live on the Internet.

Topalov included

The organization of the traditional Essent Chess Tournament in Hoogeveen has succeeded in getting FIDE world champion Veselin Topalov to play in the Crown group. Topalov, who in the weeks before the 10th Essent Chess Tournament will defend his title against the classical chess world champion Vladimir Kramnik, has never played in Hoogeveen before.

The world champion will not get it easy, because this year's event is the strongest ever. Beside Topalov the strongest Dutch player Ivan Sokolov, the Junior World Champion Shakhryar Mamedyarov (Azerbaidjan) and the strongest woman, Judit Polgar (Hungary) will play. Polgar already played seven times in Hoogeveen, will return to the Essent chess tournament, after a year of absence.

The organization is very satisfied with the composition of the Crown group. The traditional characteristics (strongest Dutchman, youth world champion, strongest woman and a world champion) remain intact, but never before was the Crown group this strong.

The first contacts with Topalov were laid in Wijk aan Zee, during the Corus tournament. At first his participation seemed doubtful, because he already had another obligation in October. When this was cancelled negotiations were reopened. Fortunately the sponsors were willing to raise extra money for this special tenth edition. This will become a unique event for Hoogeveen.

Essent Chess Tournament details

  • The Crown Group consists of four players and is a double round robin tournament. Special feature is that the players in the Crown Group play with glass pieces.

  • The Essent Open will have approximately 90 players. The minimum rating is 2100. The organisation aims at an international field to enable players to reach the grandmaster level. Some grandmasters will join on invitation. In view of the participation limit and the expected attention, the organisation has the right to decide who can participate. The prize money sums up € 7,500. The first prize is € 3,000.

  • Amateur Tournament: Because of the massive interest to play in this tournament the organisers have decided to divide the players into two groups: Group I (afternoon): players rated upto 2100; Group II (morning): players also rated upto 2100. In each group a maximum of 80 players compete. They play nine rounds. The first three rounds will be paired based on rating, after that on Buchholz. The first prize in each group is € 250. The other prizes will be set after the entry closes.

  • The rate of play for the Open is 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by 1 hour extra time for the completion of the game. Amateur I: 40 moves in 2 hours, followed by 30 minutes extra time for the completion of the game. Amateur II: 36 moves in 105 minutes, followed by 15 minutes extra time for the completion of the game.

    Tournament schedule:

Date Round Robin Open Group Amateurs
October 20 opening 1st round 1st round
October 21   2nd round 2nd round
October 22 1st round 3th round 3th round
October 23 2nd round 4th round 4th round
October 24 3th round 5th round 5th round
October 25 Rest day 6th round 6th round
October 26 4th round 7th round 7th round
October 27 5th round 8th round 8th round
October 28 6th round 9th round 9th round
  • Playing hours: All rounds start at 14.00 hours daily. The final round (October 28th) starts at noon.
    The Amateur Groups have other starting times: Group I: 14.30 hours (October 28th at 13.00 hours); Groep II: 10.00 hours (October 28th at 9.00 hours)

  • Main sponsor of the tournament is Essent. By sponsoring the company wants to present itself at this grandmaster chess tournament in the province of Drenthe. Already the tournament has grown into one of the best known tournaments in our country.

  • Other sponsors are the Municipality of Hoogeveen, Drukkerij Van Genne, McDonald's, Catering & Partyservice J. van 't Hooge, HCR Tulip Inn, HCR De Spaarbankhoeve, EuropCar, DGT Projects, !Pet and NV Rendo.

Location and lodgings

Hoogeveen and surroundings offer the following possibilities for a pleasant stay:

  • Bed and breakfast at local houses, from € 20,- p.p.p.n. Information at local tourist office ANWB/VVV, 00-31-528-268373 or
  • HCR Tulip Inn Hoogeveen, 00-31-528-263303, single room € 72,50 p.n., double room € 82,50 p.n.
  • A bungalow (max. 6 pers) in park "De Westerbergen" in Echten (app. 7 km from the playing hall). (00-31-0528-251224, week end weekend rantals.
  • At a somewhat larger distance there are several other hotels.
  • Furthermore there are several campsites and boarding houses in the area. Information at local tourist office ANWB/VVV, 00-31-528-268373 or

Tournament Office

Essent Chess tournament Hoogeveen
Mrs. Henriëtte Bandell
P.O. Box 20.000
7900 PA Hoogeveen, The Netherlands
Tel: +31 528 291256 (or 291461)
Fax: +31 528 291373
Bank: ABN AMRO bank NV
Tournament Director: Jeroen van den Berg
Tournament Secretary: Johan Valk

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