Matthias Blübaum takes part in the "Deutschland Grand Prix"

In the Germany Grand Prix of the Sparkassen Chess Trophy the German elite will duel with international grandmasters in Dortmund in July. Fittingly, Matthias Blübaum is the first participant. With a current FIDE Elo of 2670, Blübaum is the German number 1 and has known the Dortmund Chess Days since his childhood. We spoke with the 23-year-old. 

Matthias Blübaum


What do you personally associate with the Dortmund Chess Days?

For me, the Dortmund Chess Days are first and foremost a piece of memory, because as far as I can see, I played for the first time in 2005, at that time in the B-Open. In the following years, I didn't take part every year, but in principle I played in all the events. So the stronger A-Open, the Helmut Kohls Tournament several times and then even the Grandmaster Tournament in 2017. So of course I'm happy to be involved in this new format.

What is your goal for this year's tournament and in general for 2021?

Even though I don't know the rest of the line-up yet, my goal is of course to win this year's tournament. In general, my main goal for 2021 is to increase my Elo to 2700. In this respect, a kind of minimum goal for the tournament would be to simply finish in Elo-plus. Even though winning the tournament is of course my main goal.

Do you have a special game for us from your previous tournaments in Dortmund?

Two games from 2017 come to mind: on the one hand the 121 moves game against Dmitry Andreikin, in which we fought out the endgame 2 rooks vs. rook and 2 pawns. I didn't manage to win it with the multi rook and unfortunately left half a point. But especially my game against Vladimir Fedoseev, I was very satisfied with that.

Matthias Blübaum ended up in 5th place out of the 8 participants in 2017. Even then, none other than Vladimir Kramnik was impressed by his play and said: "You've got a really strong player in Germany there." German chess fans can look forward to this year's performance with anticipation. In the case that the FIDE World Cup takes place at exactly the same time and Blübaum qualifies, he will be exempted from the Dortmund tournament so that he has the chance to take part in the World Cup. 

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