Shirov in Univé Tournament

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Univé Chess TournamentAlexei Shirov will play in the Crown Group in Hoogeveen this year. At the annual Univé Tournament, the world's number 10 will meet Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Anish Giri and Sergei Tiviakov. This was confirmed in a press release by the organization today.

Alexei Shirov (Spain) and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave (France) will be making their debut in the traditional 4-player round-robin, the international Univé Chess Tournament in Hoogeveen, The Netherlands. The tournament will be held from 22 to 30 October in the town hall of Hoogeveen.

Two Dutch participants of 2009 will play again in the Crown Group this year: (by then 16-year-old) Anish Giri and Sergey Tiviakov. Giri will defend his national title in Eindhoven from 10 to 20 June, and Tiviakov is currently the highest rated Dutchman and the winner of the Univé Crown Group in 2009.

With an average rating of 2682 the Crown Group is even stronger than in 2009, when Giri and "Tivi" played with Ivanchuk and Polgar. Currently the world's number 10, Alexei Shirov should be considered favourite to win this year.

No rest day

The opening ceremony of the Crown Group will take place Sunday, October 24. The first round follows a day later and the traditional rest day halfway the tournament, on Wednesday, October 27, has been canceled. This way the participation of Shirov and youth World Champion Vachier-Lagrave is possible, as both have commitments for their clubs in the European Club Cup in Bulgaria through Saturday, October 23. This means the participants of the Crown Group will play six days in succession. The organization of the Univé tournament considered the participation of two world class players of great importance and so this move in the tournament schedule was made.

Open tournament

Besides the Crown Group, again there will be the Univé Open with a strong international field of ninety players from different countries. This will include a large number of GMs and IMs. There will also be two amateur tournaments, each with more than eighty participants. Both open tournaments begin on Friday, October 22 and end on Saturday, October 30, and will be played over nine rounds.
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