Biel Chess Festival 2019

From July 20th to the 31st, the Swiss watch metropolis of Biel/Bienne will once again be a focus of chess activity in Europe. The festival features many interesting and young players as well as a new format that combines rapid, classical and blitz chess.

The Hungarian grandmaster Peter Leko, at only 39 years old, is the tournament veteran in this year's field. Playing against 18-year-old Parham Maghsoodloo (Iran) or against 14-year-old Nodirbek Abdusattorov (Uzbekistan), may remind him of his own early career as a chess pro. In his teens, Leko was moving out of the "child prodigy" category and already participating in the major tournaments while still so young. Today, however, the prodigies have multiplied, especially in Asia, and turnout to international tournaments in force. 

Two players represent the Americas in Switzerland: Sam Shankland (27) from the USA and Jorge Cori (23) from Peru. Switzerland itself is represented by Sebastian Bogner and Nico Georgiadis. The Indian Vidit Gujrathi is right in the middle at the age of 24.

The big novelty this year is that the eight players play three tournaments: rapid, classical and blitz. Each player plays 28 games over 10 days: 7 games with classical time control, 7 rapid games and 14 blitz games. The tournament results are added together to give the total result, with the classical games receiving the highest weight in the final point tally.

Peter Bohnenblust, President of the Organizing Committee, says: "We are very happy and proud that such a fresh top cast could be found for the Grandmaster Tournament 2019. This shows how much chess is alive."

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