Today: Leon Open, For All Titled Players

Today: Leon Open, For All Titled Players

| 33 | Other

The traditional Leon Chess Festival will be played online this year on, July 10-18. Up to four different events will take place: a Masters tournament with four very strong grandmasters, an open blitz tournament where the eight top finishers will qualify for a knockout final, a simultaneous exhibition with 25 boards by the Cuban-born GM Leinier Dominguez, and a closed tournament with four of the most promising upcoming stars of the chess world.

The four events will be broadcast on Twitch, YouTube and All the games can be followed in real-time on

33rd Masters Chess Tournament "Ciudad de Leon"

The Masters Tournament will be held July 10-12, 8:30 a.m. Pacific / 17:30 Central Europe. This event has always been remarkable for having some of the most attractive names of the chess world competing against each other, and this year will be no exception. In this 33rd edition, one of the best players in the world, a chess legend, a rising star, and a very strong local grandmaster will fight for the prestigious title.

The Leonese GM Jaime Santos will once again be the local participant. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

The Masters chess tournament will have the following participants:

  • GM Leinier Dominguez (USA), FIDE rating 2758
  • GM Parham Maghsoodloo (Iran), FIDE rating 2676
  • GM Alexei Shirov (Spain), FIDE rating 2647
  • GM Jaime Santos (Spain), FIDE rating 2575

The tournament format consists of two semifinals, one of which is set to be played on July 10, whereas the other will be played on July 11. The winners of this round will face each other in the superfinal on July 12. The top seeds have the privilege of choosing their opponents for the semifinal. The colors for the first game will be determined by a drawing of lots taking place on July 9.

The time control for the four games is 20 minutes plus a 10-second increment after each move. In the case of a tie, two additional games of 5+3 will be played, and if the tie still remains, a final armaggedon game will decide the match in which colors will be assigned by chance.

GM Alexei Shirov, a true chess legend with an amazing attacking style. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Simultaneous exhibition by GM Leinier Dominguez

On July 13 at 9:30 a.m. Pacific / 18:30 Central Europe, GM Dominguez will play in a simultaneous exhibition against a total of 25 opponents. Some of them are public figures connected to the world of culture and sports.

Both the festival organizers and will gift the lucky participants with Diamond accounts, and the best game will receive a giant board as a prize.

Leinier Dominguez
GM Leinier Dominguez will face a total of 25 opponents. | Photo: Peter Doggers/

International Chess Open "Ciudad de Leon"

The fifth International Chess Open (all titled players are eligible) will be played on July 14 at 6 a.m. Pacific, 15:00 Central Europe in We are expecting a big list of participants. You can join the tournament up to an hour before the starting time.

A total of 10 rounds will be played, with a time control of 3 minutes plus a 2-second increment. In order to be eligible to win prizes, players will be required to have their real names on their profile and be ready to join a zoom call and share their computer screens upon request.

Those finishing among the first eight will play a knockout tournament on July 15 at 9:30 a.m Pacific, 18:30 Central Europe, while players finishing ninth and 10th will earn a total of 100 euros each. The knockout tournament will consist of best of four matches at the time control of 3+2. In the event of a tie, a single armageddon game at a time control of 5 minutes for white and 4 minutes for black will decide the match. Players will be seeded by their result in the Leon Chess Festival Open. The higher seed will have the choice of color in the event of an armageddon.

The top eight finishers that participate in the knockout tournament on July 15 will fight for the following cash prizes:

  1. €1200
  2. €800
  3. €400
  4. €400
  5. €250
  6. €250
  7. €250
  8. €250

Taxes apply to those prizes over €300.

"Young World Talents" Tournament

On July 16, 17, and 18 at 2:30 a.m Pacific and 11:30 Central Europe, some of the most promising rising stars of the chess world will compete in this event, which has a similar format to that of the Masters. Two semifinals are played on July 16 and 17, whereas the superfinal takes place on July 18. Each match will consist of four games with a time control of 20 minutes plus 10 seconds increment after every move.

In addition to a prize fund of 3,000 euros, the winner of this event will receive an invitation for the next Masters edition. The field is as follows:

  • Andrey Esipenko
  • Alexey Sarana
  • Nodirbek Abdusattorov
  • Nihal Sarin

Parallel Activities

Lecture by Leontxo García

The renowned chess journalist Leontxo García will give a video lecture in which he will go over the different editions of the festival held up to the present day, sharing historic interviews and pictures. No one knows the chess scene better than him, so he is the right person to put the importance of this event over the years into perspective.

The lecture will be published on YouTube, social media, and elsewhere.

Leontxo Garcia
Leontxo García, always ready for whatever may come. | Photo: Maria Emelianova/

"El inversor inquieto" chess and finance contest

A new edition of this popular chess and finance contest will also take place. This contest is based on four basic principles that affect analysis and decision making, both in chess and finance: INITIATIVE, CAUTION, PATIENCE, AND OBJECTIVITY. Entry will be free and the winners will be awarded interesting prizes. You can find more information here.

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