The 50th International Dortmund Chess Days will see the third edition of the Sportland NRW Cup. A mixture of the strongest youth players, women's national players and top-class title holders promises an exciting round robin tournament (Picture: Price winners 2021). IM norms and GM norms will be possible for the male and female players.
The tournament starts on 24.6 parallel to the open tournaments in the Goldsaal of the Dortmund Westfalenhallen. One round will be played daily, so that in the ten-player tournament everyone will play against everyone else in nine rounds.
The first five of the ten participants have already been determined and are presented below:
GM Mihail Saltaev (2464)
Mihail took part in the first edition of the Sportland NRW Cup in the Westfalenhallen in 2021. He played a strong tournament and finished third. He lives in Mülheim an der Ruhr and plays in the first Schachbundesliga in his hometown. The Uzbek has held the title of Grandmaster since 1995.
In the 1990s he became Uzbek champion three times and represented his home country in three chess Olympiads.
GM Alexander Bagrationi (2454)
Alexander was born in the Ukraine, then immigrated to Israel and has been living in Dortmund for some years. Last year he already took part in the Sportland NRW Cup and scored 4.5 points from 9 games. In 2021 he played himself into the spotlight in the No Castling Sparkassen Online Open when he won the second preliminary round tournament.
He has been a prize winner in many national and international tournaments. He considers his biggest success to be winning the 2018 Jerusalem Championship, where he won all his games against good opponents.
WGM Dinara Wagner (2411)
Dinara has been a Women's Grandmaster since 2020 and plays for the German national team since 2022. She is married to the German Grandmaster and Sparkassen A-Open participant Dennis Wagner.
In her debut year in 2022, the Russian-born player won the strong German Masters for Women straight away. She lives in Heidelberg, where she is studying for a Master's degree in Economics, and has been steadily above the Elo rating of 2400 since the end of last year.
FM Hussain Besou (2348)
Hussain is the shooting star of German chess youth: At the age of 11, he is already Fidemaster, his rating means second place in the World Ranking List U12 and in this age group he already took third place in the World Championship in 2022. Hussain fled Syria with his family when he was five years old to escape the Assad regime and has since lived in Lippstadt, where the local club LSV/Turm Lippstadt helped with his integration.
He trained for some time with our commentator GM Artur Jussupow. In the Mitropa Cup, he will make his first appearance for the German national team, which will make him the youngest German national player ever. In Dortmund he will get the chance to compete with title holders and fight for his first title norms.
WGM Jana Schneider (2274)
Jana is a part of the German women's national team and played an outstanding 2022 Chess Olympiad for them with 9 points from 10 games. Already in 2017 she became German Women's Champion as a 14-year-old girl. She has held the WGM title since 2021. Her Elo rating was already 2353 at the peak.
Her rating target is 2400. Jana has also already been able to achieve one IM norm, so she has the chance to achieve her second norm in the Sportland NRW Cup.