NH Chess Tournament under way

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
At 13.30 CET this afternoon the first moves were played at the NH Chess Tournament's second edition. You know, that nice idea to give talented young players a chance to try their luck against experienced world class players. Sponsors are NH Hoteles and the Association Max Euwe from Monaco, just like last year the tournament is played in the Krasnapolsky hotel on Dam square in Amsterdam and again the formula is Scheveningen: a "Rising Stars" team plays against an "Experience" team.

In 2006 the talents won and their topscorer Magnus Carlsen thus qualified for this year's Melody Amber Tournament. This prize remains the main goal for the young guys. This year the participants are:

Rising Stars          Experience

Ivan Cheparinov Alexander Beliavsky Sergey Karjakin Artur Jussupow Parimarjan Negi Alexander Khalifman Jan Smeets Ljubomir Ljubojevic Dani?ɬ´l Stellwagen Predrag Nikolic

The rate of play is "at least" 40 moves in 2 hours followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with in that last phase 30 seconds increment each move. Every player of the winning team will receive a prize of ?¢‚Äö¬¨ 2000; the "losers" ?¢‚Äö¬¨ 1000 each. Added to that, every player receives ?¢‚Äö¬¨ 500 for each point they score.

In a way the NH Tournament is the most modern tournament on the current chess calendar. The games, commentary and press conferences after each round can be followed live on the internet thanks to streaming video on the tournament site.

Nonetheless as a Amsterdam citizen I already paid a visit to this tournament and it probably won't be the last time. Here are some photos from today:

Artur Jussupow, who somewhere between Mainz and the NH Tournament bumped into a hairdresser.

Sergey Karjakin, who also has to adjust from the rapid tempo of Mainz.

Ivan Cheparinov, one of the strongest seconds around.

Alexander Khalifman, who won his last tournament, where he was the youngest participant.

Parimarjan Negi, whom I met this weekend, together with his father; a very friendly duo.

Predrag Nikolic, playing for Bosnia again but still feeling at home.

Jan Smeets, who definitely has "experience" drawing strong players.

Alexander Beliavsky, will he join Morozevich again in Mexico?

Dani?ɬ´l Stellwagen, vice champ of The Netherlands, did a bit worse in Vlissingen so now perhaps another peak?

Ljubomir Ljubojevic, who's been playing in the Dutch league for years, lives in Linares and still has the most beautiful chess name.

The chique playing hall in Krasnapolsky.

Some hot shots can be spotted in the audience as well: here Ian Rogers (l.) chatting with Negi's second, Elizbar Ubilava.

Photos of the official site can be viewed here.

Not only the Rising Stars get their hotel paid, but they were also allowed to take a trainer with them. This means Silvio Danailov is also around, supporting Cheparinov. Sergei Karjakin brought Alexander Zubov and Stellwagen will work with the semi-Dutch Yasser Seirawan. Jan Smeets took the strong Spaniard Francisco Vallejo Pons and Negi can count on the experience of Elizbar Ubilava rekenen, who used to work with Anand.

It's remarkable that for the live games broadcast the organisation opted for a free game viewer and not the software that belongs to the DGT-boards, Toma (which indeed is said to be quite bad). Admission for the tournament hall is also free and every day there's live commentary for the spectators by experts such as Lex Jongsma, Gert Ligterink, Hans Ree, Genna Sosonko and Cor van Wijgerden. The daily rounds start at 13.30 hours, with the exception of the last round on September 1, which starts at 12.00 hours. Monday, August 27 is a free day.
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