22th year of international chess and games festival

14.7. – 31. 7. 2011, Pardubice, CEZ Arena

Festival news

On Thursday, July 14, the XXII International Chess and Games Festival CZECH OPEN 2011 has begun. The first game to be presented on the festival was MAGIC; the whole card-game competition consisted of several different disciplines and categories.

The first chess tournament of this year’s program was the traditional OCÉ OPEN (Czech Republic Championship of four-member teams) in which, traditionally, many players took part, that including players from abroad and players from the Czech extraleague. This year, this very tournament even registered a record in the number of participating teams with the total number of 111. The strongest team proved to be the Ukrainian “DNEPR” composed of GM Kononenko, GM Simantsev, GM Maximov and GM Varitsky, who stamped themselves as favorites and finally won. The medal pursuit of the Czech teams within the Czech Republic Championship of four-member teams was dramatic till the final round, but the result was the following: 1. Zikuda Turnov, 2. Slavia Hradec Králové, 3. AD Jičín A.

This year, the festival underwent several changes, of which the most significant is perhaps a different location of competition premises. All games of chess are planned to be played in ČEZ Arena. The only exception is the POKERSTARS POKER FESTIVAL series of tournaments (23.7.–31.7.), which will be hosted in AFI Palace Pardubice. In connection with this tournament, let us remind you that no visitors under the age of 18 will be admitted entrance. Each visitor will be asked to present their ID, fully in accordance with poker tournament license.

The last year’s innovation called the PARTY TENT, which was erected in front of the ČEZ Arena, is fully functional also this year. It includes a chill-out zone with refreshments, table football and darts. The marriage tournament took place in this tent and it will also host conferences of grand masters and international masters, who will talk about their performances after their individual matches. These analyses will proceed every day, under the guidance of IM Petr Pisk. These sessions can be attended by players with their companies as well as by members of the public.

The second change and a very pleasant one, too, is the extension of the number of participating countries. There will be players from Kazakhstan, India, Qatar and other countries return to Pardubice. The record in the number of participants from a single foreign country will be held by Israel, with almost 50 arriving competitors. Within the chess festival and other festivals, players from South Korea, Singapore, Latvia, Estonia and other countries will also appear.

The most attractive part of the tournament was definitely the first weekend, for which the majority of game tournaments were scheduled, as well as the Rubik cube tournament, the presentation of game for the blind called QARDO, origami presentation, presentation of abstract games, and activities of Liberec IQ Park (games and puzzles).

– QUARDO – a parlor game developed especially for purblind and blind people. Its author is MgA. Václav Fanta, who used to work as a graphic designer, but then he became blind. On this year’s festival, not only a tournament in this game – organized in co-operation with Pardubice Tyflocentrum – will be held, but also an experience presentation for the public. Everyone is invited to come and to try playing this game without using their sight.

– Festival of abstract games – this event was supervised by the American parlor-games expert David Kotin. The aim of this happening was to bring some games nearer to the public – those that are old and forgotten as well as the newly invented ones. Within this event, teaching these games was on schedule, as well as occasional organizing of spontaneous tournaments in the respective games.

– ORIGAMI – presentation of Japanese practice of folding paper Most significant rise in the number of participants registered the poker tournament played under the patronage of POKERSTARS. This type of event has parallel neither in Czech Republic nor in the whole Central Europe. This year, the main tournament covers the time span of several days and estimates around 1500 competitors. Besides this large event, a number of smaller-scale tournaments will be organized. According to the organizers of this popular card game event, players from Czech Republic, Slovenia, Poland and Hungary will come.

Many skilled players also will participate in the Czech Republic Championship in rapid chess under the official title VLASTIMIL LOUČEK OPEN, which begins on July 20. All the best chess players from the Czech top four will appear in this competition, namely grand masters Navara, Láznička, Hráček and Štoček.

The most eagerly expected tournament is surely the PARDUBICE OPEN, i.e. grand master tournament scheduled for 22.7.-30.7. The table with names of the first 18 top-seeded players can be found in the attachment. All in all, in comparison with the last year’s tournament, this year the level will be stronger by 10 ELO points. Number one seed is the German grand master Philipp Schlosser, whose form has been very good lately. Grand master Štoček has the highest seed among the Czech players – number two seed. Other promising competitors include people from India, Azerbaijan and young players from Russia.

On the whole, around 100 tournaments are planned for the CZECH OPEN 2011 and the organizers estimate much more contestants than the last year’s 6000. Only in five principal chess tournament, around 2000 participants are expected. There will be players from 50 different countries of the world – traditionally from Azerbaijan, Russia, Ukraine, India and many others.

The entrance to all tournaments for public is free of charge!

You can find all results on

Chess Daily News from Susan Polgar