Aeroflot Open Round 1 Called Off After Bomb Threat
The venue of the Aeroflot Open is Hotel Cosmos in Moscow.

Aeroflot Open Round 1 Called Off After Bomb Threat

| 64 | Chess Event Coverage

Shortly after the start, the first round of the Aeroflot Open has been canceled due to a bomb threat at the venue, Hotel Cosmos in Moscow. The round has been postponed until tomorrow.

The traditional Aeroflot Open, the super-strong open tournament sponsored by the Russian national airline company, started today at 3 p.m. local time. With top seeds Wei Yi (China), Vladimir Fedoseev (Russia) and Wang Hao (China), the top 10 boards of the round looked like this:

Bo. No. Name FED Rtg Result Name FED Rtg No.
1 51 GM Moroni Luca Jr 2567 GM Wei Yi 2733 1
2 2 GM Fedoseev Vladimir 2715 GM Petrosyan Manuel 2564 52
3 53 GM Fier Alexandr 2561 GM Wang Hao 2714 3
4 4 GM Dubov Daniil 2703 GM Abdusattorov Nodirbek 2560 54
5 55 GM Karthikeyan Murali 2560 GM Kovalev Vladislav 2703 5
6 6 GM Mamedov Rauf 2703 IM Lomasov Semyon 2559 56
7 57 GM Lalith Babu M R 2556 GM Inarkiev Ernesto 2692 7
8 8 GM Nabaty Tamir 2688 GM Santos Ruiz Miguel 2554 58
9 59 IM Tsydypov Zhamsaran 2547 GM Korobov Anton 2687 9
10 10 GM Safarli Eltaj 2681 GM Hakobyan Aram 2545 60

You can replay these games at the Aeroflot Open page.

However, about 40 minutes into the round the games were aborted and the players were instructed to leave the building, along with the arbiters, organizers and other hotel guests. As it turned out, the hotel had received a phone call with a bomb threat.

"Of course I am not sure yet, but most likely it was just phone terrorism," said Mark Gluhovsky, an official of the Russian Chess Federation and playing himself in the B tournament. "Other hotels and hospitals also received calls."

The Russian capital has been flooded with fake bomb calls recently. Last week, the Russian news agency Interfax reported that the city’s emergency services received nearly 300 bomb threats, resulting in the evacuation of about 50,000 people (more about this in English at the Washington Post).

GM Jorden van Foreest said that the hotel had been closed for about 3.5 hours. Back in his hotel room, he told "My opponent was thinking and suddenly everyone heard an intercom message about an evacuation. Some people stopped the clocks and stood up, but the arbiters told us to continue playing."

However, half a minuter later the message returned, and all the players were sent outside. "It was pretty cold especially for players who didn't bring warm clothes," said Van Foreest. "We quickly heard from some Russian grandmasters that it was a bomb phone call."

The same round, with the same pairings, will be played tomorrow at 3 p.m. Some players who had favorable opening positions won't be thrilled about what happened.

"I had played a nice novelty in the Volga Gambit which is now worthless," joked Gluhovsky.

Somewhere during the tournament the players will need to play a double round to catch up with the tournament schedule.

Gluhovsky: "For the B and C tournaments, two rounds on one day will not be a big problem, but in the A group, with a seven-hour time control, that's going to be tricky."

Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

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