Krishnan Sasikiran min

Great chess games in the No Castling Open of the Sparkassen Chess Trophy

On Saturday 17 July, the final of the No Castling Sparkassen Online Open was on the agenda as part of the 48th International Dortmund Chess Days. We reported on the exciting preliminary rounds with more than 300 players on lichess.org, in which the players could test out no castling chess for themselves.

Among others, two grandmasters and an international master were in the final. But after four rounds, Julian Nöldner was in the lead with 4 points, a player who was not necessarily on the cards there. In the fifth round he played against GM Krishnan Sasikiran (FIDE rating 2647). Sasikiran won this decisive game and was drawn against IM Matthias Dann in the sixth round. Dann coped better with the "no castling" mode and gained a clear advantage with a big time advantage. But he did not find the direct win and with time running out he allowed a perpetual check. Thus, Sasikiran was ahead of Nöldner before the last round according to fine scoring.

In round 7, however, Sasikiran did not give his opponent a chance and won convincingly by leaving his king in the middle and going for a space advantage. The tournament victory was clear and Sasikiran will be invited to the 49th International Dortmund Chess Days in 2022! Nöldner was able to secure second place with a draw and with this excellent performance earned himself free entry money for the Open in 2022. The same prize goes to Marcel Petersen in third place, who also performed strongly and left the two title holders IM Dann and GM Bagrationi behind him.

Arbiter Andreas Junk conducted the final without incident. It was even made possible for two players to play on their smartphones, as they were present in the Zoom Call for cheating control just like everyone else. The organisers are very pleased with the first online tournament in No Castling Chess and are considering using this format in the future. On the one hand, many regional players were reached who used the Sparkassen Online Open as a substitute for the regular Open in Dortmund. On the other hand, the platform lichess.org offers players from all over the world the chance to be part of the Sparkassen Chess Trophy, so that in the final there were players from 7 nations.
Nevertheless, the organisation is looking forward to many chess friends meeting in person again in 2022 in the open tournaments on site in Dortmund!

Final standings:
1. GM Krishnan Sasikiran (IND) 6 / 7
2. Julian Nöldner (GER) 5,5 / 7
3. Marcel Petersen (GER) 4,5 / 7
4. IM Matthias Dann (GER) 4.5 / 7
5. GM Alexander Bagrationi (ISR) 4.5 / 7

Games and complete table:

https://lichess.org/swiss/TeQuZZAp

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