Second preliminary round of the Sparkassen Online Open also with top-class players
In the afternoon, the 48th International Dortmund Chess Days offered the second chance to play their way into the final of the Sparkassen Online Open. 104 players tried their hand at "No Castling" chess and once again there was a grandmaster in the field: Alexander Bagrationi, who plays under the Israeli flag but has been living in Dortmund for 2 years. He took the chance to participate at least online in the Sparkassen Chess Trophy. He played a strong tournament and coped very well with the new mode without castling.
After five rounds he was in the lead together with Aaron Matthes from the Oranienburg Chess Club and it came to a direct duel. In this game, both brought their king to safety on the kingside. Bagrationi then discovered a wonderful tactic with the black pieces in the following position:
GM Krishnan Sasikiran relegated to 2nd place in the first preliminary round of the Sparkassen Online Open
On Saturday at 2pm sharp the first tournament of this year's Sparkassen Chess Trophy started. The preliminary round in the Sparkassen Online Open on lichess.org. Rapid chess games were played in the innovative variant "No Castling Chess". In the course of the tournament, you could tell that the fun in this dynamic game grew from game to game and 112 participants had a lively afternoon. One grandmaster took the chance to be part of the 48th International Dortmund Chess Days and participated under the nickname "g3God": Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran from India, current Elo 2647. Thus the favourite among the 112 participants was clear.
At the head of the field, Sasikiran won the first five of the seven rounds in the Swiss system. But the "RebelJohnny", Amir Ali Ghafourian from Iran, was able to keep up and was also at 5/5, so that the preliminary decision would come in the sixth round. The Iranian had White and in the middlegame chose the approach of moving his king to g1, while the grandmaster with Black left his king in the centre and relied on piece play. Around move 20, Sasikiran surprised his 21-year-old opponent and won two pawns, so everything looked like a win for the favourite. But in chess without castling the kings are never quite so safe, that could be observed all afternoon. And so Sasikiran made a gross mishap, Ghafourian took both rooks from him and won the game! Here you can find the complete game for replay: https://lichess.org/RiKDX2v3
Anand starts with white game against Kramnik at the Sparkassen Chess Trophy 2021
The 15th World Chess Champion Viswanathan Anand opens the highlight of the Dortmund Chess Days on 14 July against the 14th World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik. This marks the start of the NC World Masters in no castling chess at the Westfalenhallen Congress Centre. The first tournament of the event already starts on 10 July with the Sparkassen Online Open. In the "Deutschland Grand Prix", top national players will compete with top international players from 13 July. At the same time, two Sportland NRW Cups will be held for aspiring youngsters from the region.
"We are very pleased that the most prestigious chess tournament in Germany is finally getting underway and that we can offer spectators and players outstanding innovative tournament formats," says event director Carsten Hensel, looking forward to the chess highlight of the year. The event in Dortmund will be held under the best possible hygiene conditions in the Westfalenhallen. Not only the chess games played, but also the pictures will be broadcast live all over the world. Chess fans from all over the world can thus enjoy insights into the match of the world champions and the grandmaster tournament.