Baden-Baden To Welcome Super GMs After Tata Steel

Baden-Baden To Welcome Super GMs After Tata Steel

| 13 | Chess Event Coverage

The first supertournament of 2015 has just started. The second was announced a few days ago: the Grenke Chess Classic.

The 2015 Grenke Chess Classic will be held February 2-9 in the Kulturhaus LA8 in Baden-Baden, Germany. It is the same location where Germany's strongest club, named after the city, plays its home matches in the Bundesliga.

If you think “what, another top tournament,” the answer is no. It is now new.

The first Grenke Chess Classic was held in February 2013, and won by GM Viswanathan Anand ahead of GM Fabiano Caruana, GM Michael Adams, GM Georg Meier, GM Arkadij Naiditsch and GM Daniel Fridman.

The second edition took place four months ago, and was not as strong. It was an eight-player round robin with only German players. The top two, GM Arkadij Naiditsch and GM David Baramidze, qualified for the third edition in early February.

Six international top players were invited to create another eight-player round robin:

  1. GM Magnus Carlsen, world champion (rated: 2862), 24, Norway
  2. GM Fabiano Caruana, world no. 2 (2820), 22, Italy
  3. GM Viswanathan Anand, world no. 5 (2797), 45, India
  4. GM Levon Aronian, world no. 6 (2797), 32, Armenia
  5. GM Michael Adams, world no. 17 (2738), 43, England
  6. GM Etienne Bacrot, world no. 39 (2711), 31, France
  7. GM Arkadij Naiditsch, world no. 49 (2694), 29, Germany
  8. GM David Baramidze, world no. 236 (2594), 26, Germany

The average rating of 2752 (January 2015) makes it the second-strongest tournament ever held in Germany. The organizers are optimistic, and wrote in their press release: “though there’s still time to become the strongest when the February rating list is published.”

There will be seven rounds, with a rest day on February 5. The time control will be 100 minutes for 40 moves, then 50 minutes for 20 moves and then 15 minutes to finish the game with 30 seconds increment from the start. Draw offers before move 40 are not allowed.

Baden-Baden is a German town of about 55,000 inhabitants in the Karlsruhe region, close to the French border. The playing hall will be in the Kulturhaus LA8, a building that mixes culture, gastronomy and chess.

It was built a few years ago with the (financial) help of Wolfgang Grenke, the founder of hardware and software leasing company Grenkeleasing and also the sponsor of the chess club in Baden-Baden.

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