Berlinopen 2019 - en

18 players after three rounds with 3 points, so 100%. That should push itself in the 4th round further together, maximally only 9 players can come on 4 points. But with the further decreasing differences in playing strength in the top group, more draws are to be expected. There were exactly three of them at the top, so that just 6 players after the 4th round have reached 100%. With Matthias Blühbaum, Pier Luigi Basso, Jiri Stocek and Marco Baldauf, surely players who were to be expected up there. But also the Indian GM Venkataraman Karthik and especially IM Stefan Frühbing play a very good tournament and are justified way to find in the top group.


Of the three draws in the top group, one is due to the "account" of WGM Josefine Heinemann from Saxony-Anhalt (adjacent photo), who plays today for the chess club OSG Baden-Baden. Her opponent in this round, IM Alexander Gelmann from Russia, could not invent anything effective against her structure in the game, so that the draw was logical. Women do not only play a subordinate role in our tournament, even though the oversized number of players is male and the proportion of women is only 5%. With Benett Schnabel, Svetlana Tishove, Teodora Rogozenco or Johanna Blübaum as examples other strong female participants are represented in the field and fight successfully for points and placings.

In the 4th round GM Rene Stern from Berlin got it badly. In his game with the black stones against Thomas Jahn (also Berlin) he first played a risky manoeuvre, only to throw the position away in one single move. Rene himself suspected a moment of lack of concentration. With the 2.5 points from 4 games, it is probably only a matter of damage limitation for him, especially as such results are also reflected in the scoring. Rene's opponent from the third round also managed to draw a title holder in this round - with the black pieces he drew against IM Jonas Rosner. With 3 out of 4 he continues to play at the front boards.

The Zugzwang 95 players fought hard again and were able to achieve the following positive results: Our junior player Phuc Nhat Nguyen got his first point against Marc Lippert. August Hohn played draw against Marian Taras, Tom Kraft draw against Joreon Schoonackers, Detlef Just draw against Hans-Werner Wirp, Dr. Karlheinz Hesselbarth also draw against Christian Timm.

The third round of the tournament started with a strange surprise. Before the round was opened, representatives of the town hall informed the tournament management that the sale of drinks to the participants was no longer allowed. The reason for this is one of the more than 100,000 regulations in Germany, which only permits the sale of drinks if a temporary restaurant permit has been issued by the organizer. Not only that we could not know anything about it, it is also relatively unclear what it actually is and where you can get such a permit from. The employees of the town hall were of course in the right and so there was nothing else for us to do but to follow. In order not to let the players sit completely "on the dry land", the tournament management decided without further ado to pour water and coffee free of charge to the participants against the cup deposit. One never stops learning...

The tournament itself. After the first two rounds brought 48 participants with a 100% result, it was to be expected that there would be more draw games and the top overall smaller. The first two players from the top who scored were the grandmasters Grzegorz Nasuta from Poland and Rene Stern from Berlin (against Johannes Tschernatsch from Potsdam, see adjacent photo).

Eric van den Doel, the Dutch starting number 2 of the tournament, also had more trouble than expected with his "compatriot" Florian Jacobs. After a game with a very complex position everything dissolved more or less in favor and one finally agreed also here on a draw.

The other tournament favourites played their strength very routinely against their opponents, some of whom had a much lower score. Matthias Blübaum finished his game on board 1 after a little more than two hours, Ivan Salgado Lopez, Pier Luigi Basso and Jiri Stocek also won relatively quickly.


The tournament is very difficult for the players of our club and only a few could achieve a success in this round. Detlef Just, already in the first round with a grandmaster in the duel, got in the third round again a grandmaster drawn by lot. His game was balanced for a very long time, even though his opponent might have had a visual advantage. When the time became very tight, Detlef decided to win back a previously given pawn for whom he got an active puzzle game. Instead of this plan he could have played permanent chess and the subsequent analysis did not show how the grandmaster could have escaped - not even the electrons found a way. A pity, but nevertheless a very good game. In addition, Detlef is only there after the round with one point from three games, but with an opponent average of ~2,400 Elo, which corresponds to a performance of about 2,200. All attention!
August Hohn could reach a draw against Erwin Weber, Thomas Karyah against Christian Timm and Dr. Karl-Heinz Hesselbarth against Julian Janoschka. Tom Kraft even won against the player from Hing Kong Kwan Ho Lee. Congratulations!

In the second round of the Berlinopen there were the first bigger surprises. In addition expected 1-0-1-0-1... in the result list was interrupted at several places also in the front field of the table.
The victory of Alfred Parvanyan from Armenia (who plays for the club TuRa Harksheide) against the young US Grandmaster Akshat Chandra is certainly worth mentioning. An excellently led game brought in the deserved victory in the end, even if the grandmaster perhaps did not have the "best day".

Another surprise was the victory of the 14 year old Bagri Advait from Singapore against the Israeli IM Ismael Teran Alvarez. Bagri succeeded in the game to secure against the IM first a quality against an admittedly very strong pair of runners and then in the final to lead his a-Bauern more and more towards the transformation field, which would have cost one of the two runners and the black playing IM did not want to be shown any more. 

There were also the first real dramas to see. So the Berlin FM Robert Glanz got with black into the adjacent position, which was however characterized by both sides very scarce time. Schwarz had just sacrificed his rook to g3, possibly on the assumption that the cue ball with the "counter-victim" on e6 still gives an intermediate chess. But White simply took the tower. Not quite clear whether Robert simply forgot the existing rook on b6 in this position, because he played surprisingly for all 1. ...d3?, which leads directly to the loss after the answer 2. Txe6+. However, from a purely objective point of view, the move 1. ... Kf6 was not enough to save the game. White can simply approach the pawns via the squares f3 or f4 and then also wins zwngsläufig. His opponent Thore Meiwes from SK Lehrte is with an Elo of 2050 more than strong enough to find this easy way to win.



The players of our club showed good performances in the sum, even if not all could be successful. August Hohn defeated his opponent Peter Harbacj from Groß Schönebeck, Detlef Just defeated Nikolaus Kellner (who plays for the Australian federation) and Maik Kopischke defeated Ralf Kramer from Berlin. Tom Kraft reached a draw against Dr. Pietro Massa.

With the usual 15min delay - why do most participants always arrive 30min before the planned end of the registration? - the 1st round began today in the ballroom of the town hall. The 248 players on 124 boards were paired "classically" against each other, thus the No. 1 against the No. 125 etc. As is well known, this does not allow for any great surprises, but there were nevertheless some. Thus Johannes Hengelbrock could reach a draw against Jonas Rosner from Ettlingen, whereby his opponent had a "scoring advantage" of over 500 points. Even bigger was the surprise for the players Chinguun Sundui, Pjotr van Nie and Konstantin Otte (photo), who even won against such superior opponents. 

A big chance to win was certainly Tom Kraft from our club, who at Brett 17 against the South African grandmaster Kenny Solomon had the win virtually on the board, but in time with only one minute but unfortunately could not find him. Our club member August Hohn, who had a very complex position against the Finnish player Ari Issakainen on the board, but could not hold it in the end, also had good chances.

On the front boards, things were quite clear. GM Matthias Blühbaum won quickly on the 1st board and his grandmaster colleagues also provided quite soon for clear relations on their boards. One exception: the game on board 3, where Detlef Just played against GM Ivan Salgado Lopez and could keep the game unclear for a long time. In the end, however, it turned out that the white Freibauer on a7 was less effective than the Freibauer couple of the Black in the c- and d-line. Rene Stern on board 8 even had to play through to Matt, although it seemed to be rather an oversight of the opponent not to have given up before - he wanted to pull out of chess with his king, but then immediately noticed that it was Matt.

Our turn forced players weren't quite as successful in this round as they might have hoped. However, they are all also in the second half of the draw, so they all got stronger opponents. Are there still some rounds....