Opening game in the NC World Masters: Kramnik against Anand

Three German national players in the top-class Deutschland Grand Prix of the Sparkassen Chess Trophy 2022

After the successful start last year, the NC World Masters will start on 18 July 2022 in Dortmund. The pairings have now been drawn at the press conference: The 14th World Chess Champion Vladimir Kramnik will meet the 15th World Chess Champion and last year's winner Viswanathan Anand in the first round.

The press conference for the Sparkassen Chess Trophy 2022 had as a guest the newly crowned European Champion Matthias Blübaum, a participant from the Deutschland Grand Prix. Event Director Carsten Hensel warmly congratulated Matthias Blübaum on behalf of the entire Dortmund team on winning the European Championship.

Hensel then reported on the 49th International Dortmund Chess Days.

„We have designed seven interesting chess competitions, which underlines our claim here in Dortmund. Namely, to design a chess festival and return to what we had in Dortmund in the 1990s.“

He expressly thanked the sponsors, in particular the Sparkasse Dortmund as title sponsor, the city of Dortmund as a partner for many years, DeepMind as a partner around the topic of No Castling Chess and the Westfalenhallen Dortmund as a great playing venue.

„We're running towards a full house and I'm so really looking forward to it kicking off again with an audience and lots of chess players."

The seven tournaments include the two grandmaster tournaments NC World Masters and Deutschland Grand Prix, the two Sparkassen Open for all chess enthusiasts, the Sparkassen NC Online Open and two Sportland NRW Cups as closed tournaments for junior players of the region.

Blübaum starts with a black game against Luke McShane 

Tournament Director Andreas Jagodzinsky made the draw for the two grandmaster tournaments. In fact, Vladimir Kramnik has a chance for revenge in the NC World Masters in the first round: He will meet last year's winner Viswanathan Anand on 18 July with the white pieces. The winner of the NC Online Open 2021 Krishnan Sasikiran will start with white against the German top player Daniel Fridman. The tournament will be played double round robin, each against the other. After the first part, there will be a day off before the second part starts on Friday, 22 July.

Seven top grandmasters will compete in the Deutschland Grand Prix. The tournament starts on 17 July with the following pairings:

Pavel Eljanov - Rasmus Svane
Bogdan-Daniel Deac - David Navara
Luke McShane - Matthias Blübaum
Dmitrij Kollars bye

One participant per round is deliberately free of play, because he will commentate the games together with Artur Jussupow and Fiona Steil-Antoni live for the online broadcast and give chess fans worldwide an insight into his thoughts.

Matthias Blübaum sees good match practice in the Deutschland Grand Prix before the Chess Olympiad in India, which starts shortly after the International Dortmund Chess Days.

„I will try to play as far at the top as possible. But I think it's hard to predict because it's a very balanced field.“

News in the Sparkassen Open

Andreas Jagodzinsky also reported on a change in the Sparkassen NC Online Open. This year the preliminary rounds will be played at different times to give players worldwide the opportunity to comfortably be part of the Sparkassen Chess Trophy 2022.

About the Sparkassen A Open starting on 16 July in the Congress Centre of the Westfalenhallen Dortmund Jagodzinsky says:

In the A Open we want to give the possibility that there are not only purely theoretical chances for an IM norm, but tangible and practical chances for IM and GM norms. We already have some international title holders, also grandmasters with a fide rating over 2600.

The Managing Director of Initiative Pro Schach e.V. Stefan Koth is also particularly pleased about the festival character with all tournaments under one roof and the digitalisation of the event with an increasing number of live broadcasts of games from closed and open tournaments and its own YouTube channel "Dortmund Chess Days".

Participants NC World Masters 2022:

Viswanathan Anand, 15th World Chess Champion
Wladimir Kramnik, 14th World Chess Champion
Krishnan Sasikiran, Winner Sparkassen NC Online Open 2021
Daniel Fridman, European Team Champion with Germany 2011

Timetable NC World Masters:

Participants Deutschland Grand Prix 2022:

GM David Navara (CZE, Elo 2682)
GM Pawel Eljanov (UKR, Elo 2681)
GM Bogdan-Daniel Deac (ROU, Elo 2671)
GM Matthias Blübaum (GER, Elo 2663)
GM Rasmus Svane (GER, Elo 2651)
GM Luke McShane (ENG, Elo 2648)
GM Dmitrij Kollars (GER, Elo 2635)

Timetable Deutschland Grand Prix 2022:

Photo from Christian Lünig, Arbeitsblende: No Castling World Masters Anand - Kramnik 2021

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