This year the Grazer Chess Open is carried out in the very center of Graz. In the premises of the casino and Joanneum District heads have been spinning since Friday, February 14th. The event is, amongst others, sponsored by the city of Graz, the Graz Tourism, and several private sponsors. About 150 participants from 30 nations all around the world are participating in the contest. The list of participants includes 11 grandmasters and many further international title holders.
It is an extraordinarily strong field of competitors with also many teenagers and several women. Duels are fought in two groups, of which Group A’s duels can mostly be streamed online in real time. The live stream into the gaming hall gives a special feeling of being right in the middle of the tournament. After four rounds have been played, we can proudly announce the lead of an Austrian player in the A-Tournament!
Grandmaster Markus Ragger (Austria’s number 1) leads after four rounds, followed by the Indian grandmaster Negi Parimarjan. The two are ahead off the Turkish grandmaster Haznedaroglu Kivanc, the Armenian grandmaster Melkumyan Hrant, and the Argentinian grandmaster Felgaer Ruben. The top-favorite player of the tournament is the Chinese Li Chao who currently ranks 11th.
After four rounds in the B-Tournament, Hannes Riedrich leads ahead off Franz Kerschenbauer – both Austrian players – followed by a competitor from Bosnia-Herzegovina. From Monday (February 17th) until Thursday (February 20th) all competitions will take place at 5 p.m. The final round is fought out on Friday, February 21st, at 10 a.m.
Author: Mag. Andrea Schmidt, translated by Birthe