Chess aboard a train: Vlastimil Hort wins five day tournament

For the third time, chess players from all around the world boarded a train to participate in a five day tournament. Of all players, the Czech grandmaster Vlastimil Hort won the gold medal.


Departing in Prague, passing through Germany and Austria, and back to Prague

Schach im Zug

Overall, 87 chess players competed in this extraordinary chess event which’s point of departure was the Czech capital Prague. On the first day, the train took the railway to Regensburg in Germany. After further stops in Innsbruck, Salzburg, and Český Krumlov the journey ended again in Prague. During the five day trip through Czech, German, and Austrian landscapes, eleven round were played in Swiss Tournament System. The 3rd edition of this event was organized by the Chess Association of Prague and the Czech Railway Company.


Participants from almost all around the world

The contest was played in rapid chess duels with a playing time of 20 minutes + 10 seconds per move. All of the duels were carried out on board the travelling train. Amongst the participants were several chess players from the Czech Republic and Germany, but also from the United States, the Netherlands, Sweden, Scotland, England, Switzerland, Slovakia, Luxemburg, France, Poland, Mexico, and Brazil. Some of these players were title holders, two of them even grandmasters.


Vlastimil Hort: Top-favorite player wins title

One of these grandmasters, in the end, won the train-tournament: Vlasimil Hort. The Czech grandmaster holds a current Elo-rating of 2439 points and won the contest with 8.5 points out of 11 rounds. Therefore, he narrowly beat the US-American Alex Cherniack (Elo 2249), who also scored 8.5 points. Behind Cherniack follow three competitors at 8.0 points, of which the Czech Pavel Benco (Elo 2183), originally seeded in 15th place, ranked 3rd. In 4th place is Thomas Höpfl (Elo 2308), originally seeded  in 4th, who ended up being the best German player at the event. The runner-up of the seeding list and second grandmaster, Jan Plachetka (Elo 2362), achieved a disappointing 11th rank only. The Slovakian scored 7.0 points out of 11 rounds.


written by Michael, translated by Birthe