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Marriage proposal and "Vincent show" | recap of March 31st

On the night from Easter Saturday to Easter Sunday, an hour of sleep was stolen from all players. But despite this, exciting and sometimes dramatic games took place again on Sunday in the GRENKE Chess Classic and in the Open.

The emotional highlight of the day was a marriage proposal. IM Ilja Schneider knelt down in front of his long-time girlfriend Olga and asked her the most important question, which she answered with a "yes". The whole hall cheered and applauded. 



GRENKE Chess Classic

round 9

Ding Liren vs. Daniel Fridman 0,5:0,5

The two opponents Ding and Fridman played a game at the highest level without any visible mistakes. In the end, White danced around the black king with his knight, who in turn couldn't do anything useful either.  

Magnus Carlsen vs. Vincent Keymer 1:0

Carlsen put a lot of pressure on the h-file and dominated the game. He converted his superior position to victory with the beautiful Rxe5!. Without the black knight, the f-pawn can promote unhindered. 

Richard Rapport vs. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 0,5:0,5

Instead of securing his Nc3, Rapport set up a nice trap with Ba2. After... dxc3, Qxg6 would follow since the pawn on f7 is pinned. Black, of course, did not fall for this and brought his king to safety on h7. Both players neutralized each other as the game progressed. 


round 10

Daniel Fridman vs. Richard Rapport 0,5:0,5

In this game, Rapport showed great defensive skills in the endgame. With... g6 he sacrificed his last pawn. In doing so, he foresaw that White's double pawn would ultimately be useless. The game ended in a stalemate. 


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs. Magnus Carlsen 0,5:0,5

You need to have calculated everything in order not to double the rooks in the following position, but to play Nf6. But MVL's calculation paid off, and after a series of forced exchanges, the points were shared in this game as well. 

Vincent Keymer vs. Ding Liren 1:0

Finally the long-awaited first victory for Vincent Keymer! In a complicated tactical position, the German kept the overview and won. 

After ten rounds, the standings were as follows. There was a tie between three players in 4th place, which led to a tiebreak: 



In the tiebreak for 4th place there were the following results:

  • Ding - Keymer 0,5:0,5
  • Fridman - Ding 1:0
  • Keymer - Fridman 1:0
  • Keymer - Ding 1:0
  • Ding - Fridman 1:0
  • Fridman - Keymer  :  (did not take place, unnecessary)

The winner of the tiebreak was Vincent Keymer. After his success against Ding in round 10, he defeated Ding once again in the tiebreak and also won against Fridman. Anish Giri summed up the events on chess24 as follows: "Today is a Vincent show." 

Of particular note is the move Bd3! in the game between Keymer and Fridman, after which Fridman immediately resigned:

Tomorrow there will be the following pairings:

  • Match for 1st place: Carlsen vs. Rapport 
  • Match for 3rd place: Vachier-Lagrave vs. Keymer
  • Match for 5th place: Ding vs. Fridman

You can almost feel sorry for World Champion Ding Liren. At the beginning of the tournament he played very solidly, but then more and more of his positions collapsed. Chess24 commentator Lawrence Trent: "His radar is off." After all, he managed to get his first win in the tournament in his last game against Daniel Fridman. 


GRENKE Chess Open: 

In the Open tournament, rounds 6 and 7 were played today. The number of draws on the top boards is increasing as the top players now compete against each other. 

After the 6th round, Ivan Saric was the only player with a perfect score of 6 points. He defeated Austria's Dominik Horvath. Vladimir Fedoseev and Rasmus Svane drew, as did Marc'Andria Maurizzi and Dmitrij Kollars. 

In round 7, Saric also had to accept the first share of points. The Spaniard David Anton Guijarro wrested a draw from him. Arjun Erigaisi, who had worked his way back up the ladder after his draw against the young Romanian Tudor, also couldn't get beyond a share of the points against Frederik Svane with the black colours. Vladimir Fedoseev, on the other hand, defeated the young American Christopher Yoo. 

There are now three players at the top with 6.5 points:

  • Ivan Saric
  • Velimir Ivic
  • Vladimir Fedoseev

In the B-Open, after the 6th round, the Dutchman Hicham Boulahfa and the Pole Michal Mikula were tied with 6 points. In the direct duel, Hicham Boulahfa prevailed and is now alone at the top of the table with 7/7. He is followed by five players with 6.5 points, including 12-year-old Tamila Trunz. 

In the C-Open there is also a player with a record of 7 wins, namely Emre Demiroers of "Unser Fritz Wanne-Eickel".

Tomorrow, the players of the GRENKE Chess Open will continue at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. with the last two rounds 8 and 9. Afterwards the award ceremony will take place. 


The GRENKE Chess Media Team has created the following YouTube videos today:


Link to all games of the GRENKE Chess Classic: GRENKE Chess Classic - Chess.com

Link to all games of the GRENKE Chess Open: LIVE - GRENKE Chess Open

GRENKE Chess Social Media Links: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Gallery: Fotos - GRENKE Chess Open

Screenshots: chess24 / chess.com 



Rapport closes the gap to Carlsen

Easter Saturday was another big chess day in Karlsruhe. The top stars from the GRENKE Chess Classic as well as the players from the A, B and C Open played two games. The whole thing happened under the eyes of a prominent newcomer, namely Anish Giri. He replaced Jan Gustafsson as commentator at short notice, who travelled to Toronto for the Candidates Tournament (Giri on the right in the photo, next to Lawrence Trent - source: chess24). 

On site, numerous spectators followed the games on the huge screens:


GRENKE Chess Classic

round 7

Richard Rapport vs. Ding Liren 1:0

It was against his World Cup second that Ding Liren suffered his first defeat in the tournament after six draws. Rapport managed to create disorder on the chessboard and to find the more precise moves within this chaos. 

Magnus Carlsen vs. Daniel Fridman 1:0

If the world's best player plays with 98.5 percent accuracy, then one imprecise move is enough for the entire position to collapse. Why... Nc4 is an inaccuracy, becomes apparent when you look at the following moves.  Carlsen used Rb4 and Kd3 to put pressure on the knight and forced him to exchange for Bb6. White used the time Black needed to capture the b-pawn and exchange a rook to further advance the c-pawn and the king. Thanks to the more active position, the endgame was then won. 

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs. Vincent Keymer 0,5:0,5

Keymer had an exchange for a pawn with the black pieces. Stockfish valued the position at -6.88 in favor of Keymer. But Vachier-Lagrave had the combination of queen and knight on board and used it skilfully to force Keymer's king into a repetition of the position.  

Runde 8

Daniel Fridman vs. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave 0,5:0,5

With Rc4!! Fridman made a move in this game which Stockfish rates with two exclamation marks. Taking on c4 is out of the question, as is ... Rxd1. Vachier-Lagrave recognized this and played Rb8. A few moves later, there was a repetition of the position in this game as well. 

Ding Liren vs. Magnus Carlsen 0,5:0,5

The second "Battle of the Kings" also ended with a points split. Both played a faultless game, which ended with a perpetual check by Ding's queen. 

No need to despair: Magnus Carlsen

Vincent Keymer vs. Richard Rapport 0:1

Despite the advance of Black's pawns, the world looked reasonably fine for Keymer until move 32, but after 33.Qd1?? it's suddenly mate in 12 for Black, starting with Bc5+. Annoying for Keymer, who once again in this tournament cannot convert a good position into a success.   

Table and Schedule

With this victory, Rapport moves closer to Magnus Carlsen and reduces the gap to half a point. The two Germans Keymer and Fridman will have the opportunity to score tomorrow in rounds 9 and 10. 


GRENKE Chess Open: 

In the Open tournament, rounds 4 and 5 were on the program today. In the fourth round, there were no big surprises in the A-Open. Worth mentioning is the draw of the German champion in Chess960, IM Marius Fromm, against the favored Sanan Sjugirov. In round 5, Fromm then met the 12-year-old Romanian Henry Edward Tudor, who had scored half a point in the second round against the big favorite Arjun Erigaisi. Fromm was able to prevail in this duel. The seven pawns on the 4th rank make an unusual and pretty picture, albeit in favor of Black. 

At the top, Alexey Sarana somewhat surprisingly lost his game against the 2023 Junior World Champion, Marc'Andria Maurizzi. There was a quick draw in the US duel between Christopher Yoo and Hans Niemann, and the duel between the young stars Yagiz Kaan Erdogmus from Turkey and Abhimanyu Mishra also ended without a winner. Now six players are still equipped with a perfect score of 5.0 points: 

  • Ivan Saric
  • Marc´Andria Maurizzi
  • Dmitrij Kollars
  • Rasmus Svane
  • Vladimir Fedoseev
  • Dominik Horvath

In the B-Open, nine players have the maximum yield of 5 points, including the only 13-year-old Tamila Trunz from SG Porz. In the C-Open, seven players are still without losing a point. 

Tomorrow, the players of the GRENKE Chess Open will continue at 9 a.m. (attention, time change plus 1 hour!) and 3 p.m. with rounds 6 and 7.


The GRENKE Chess Media Team has released the following videos today:


Link to all games of the GRENKE Chess Classic: GRENKE Chess Classic - Chess.com

Link to all games of the GRENKE Chess Open: LIVE - GRENKE Chess Open

GRENKE Chess Social Media Links: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

Gallery: Fotos - GRENKE Chess Open

Screenshots: chess24 / chess.com 


Big surprise for top-seeded Erigaisi

On day 4 of the GRENKE Chess Festival, the stars of the GRENKE Chess Classic were able to enjoy a rest day. And there was also a little rest for the broadcasting team, because traditionally the games were not broadcast on Good Friday due to the public holiday. However, the players of the GRENKE Chess Open had to do a lot of hard work for this: Rounds 2 and 3 were on the program in the A, B and C Open. 

In the A-Open, there was a big surprise in round 2: 12-year-old FM Henry Edward Tudor drew against world number 10 Arjun Erigaisi from India. Against the top seed, the young star from Romania managed to build a fortress and hold it. The game lasted 136 moves.

Tudor says he didn't start playing chess until he was 10 years old and was mostly self-taught. Will the star of a new super talent rise at this tournament? 

Spanish GM David Anton Guijarro also had to settle for half a point. Felix Werthebach, number 5,365 in the world rankings with an Elo rating of 2260, managed to achieve half a point against the number 64 in the world. A similar success was achieved by Jürgen Kaufeld (Elo 2257), who is a full-time chess teacher at the Düsseldorf Chess School and managed a draw against German national player Matthias Blübaum. 

The other favourites such as Sarana, Fedoseev and Niemann were able to score full points.

In the third round of the A-Open, the favored grandmasters Sarana, Fedoseev, Sjugirov & Co. won on the first ten boards. It was only on board 11 that FM Thilo Ehmann was able to take half a point from GM Georg Meier, who is competing for Uruguay. Frenchman FM Clement Kuhn did the same against Maksim Chigaev. 

After three rounds, 49 players have gained the maximum of three points, including the Americans Niemann and Mishra. Abhimanyu Mishra, the youngest chess grandmaster in history, was fully focused: 

Frederik Svane from Hamburger SK and FM Tristan Niermann (Schachfreunde Lieme) are in the lead. 

Two rounds were also played in the B-Open. Since a total of 1,260 players participate, the results will not be transferred to chess-results.com because the enormous number of participants exceeds the limit. 61 players scored 3 out of 3 points. A trio of players Marc Thiemann (Aachener SV), Alexander May (SV Gernrode) and Noe Guilbert (SC Neumühl) are in the lead thanks to the best tiebreak. 

At the C-Open there are still 35 players with 3 full points. The table is led by Tojo Ratovoarison from SV Fellbach. 

The media team of GRENKE Chess also used the day for some interviews. Guests were

On Saturday, March 30th, the players of the GRENKE Chess Open will play the 4th round (from 9 a.m.) and the 5th round (from 3 p.m.). The stars of the GRENKE Chess Classic will also take up the chess pieces again from 3 p.m. onwards. The following pairings are scheduled: 


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