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Magnus Carlsen, Ding Liren, Vincent Keymer and co. set to clash at GRENKE Chess Classic 2024 starting today

by ChessBase India - 26/03/2024

GRENKE Chess Classic is back after nearly five years. The winner of 2019 edition, Magnus Carlsen (NOR) will return to defend his title. He will be joined by the reigning World Champion - Ding Liren (CHN), Germany no.1 and World no.18 Vincent Keymer, World Blitz 2021 champion - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Romania no.1 and World no.27 - Richard Rapport and GRENKE Chess Open 2019 winner - Daniel Fridman (GER). Fridman's nearly five years wait will be over. Over 2750 players have registered in the Open section. Arjun Erigaisi will be the top seed, followed by European 2023 champion - Alexey Sarana (SRB). Registration is still on. Round 1 in Open starts on 28th March at 6:30 p.m. local time, 11 p.m. IST. Classic Round 1 and 2 will be played today from 3 p.m. local time, 7:30 p.m. IST. Photo: Official site

"Everyone has been waiting for this chess festival" - GRENKE Chess Classic and Open are just around the corner with a great and big line-up!

By Alex Winkler

The big chess festival in Karlsruhe starts today! The Schwarzwaldhalle and the Gartenhalle in Karlsruhe will be transformed into an Easter chess mecca. Five years after the last edition, the GRENKE Chess Festival will finally take place again. From 26th March to 1st April, six world stars will compete in rapid chess in the GRENKE Chess Classic. All other players will compete two days later, from 28 March to 1 April, at the GRENKE Chess Open, the world's largest tournament.

GRENKE Chess Classic 2024 participants
FIDE Grand Swiss 2023 official logo | Photo: Official site

The GRENKE Chess Classic will see the number one, two and three players in the current current world rapid chess rankings: Magnus Carlsen, Ding Liren and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. Carlsen is the reigning world rapid chess champion and is regarded by many chess fans the best chess player of all time. Ding Liren currently holds the world champion title in classical chess, and the Frenchman Vachier-Lagrave won the world blitz chess title in 2021. Another player in the line-up is Richard Rapport, one of the most creative players on the chess scene and second to Ding Liren during his world championship match in 2023.


The field is completed by the German number one Vincent Keymer and the multiple German national champion Daniel Fridman. Keymer was runner-up in the 2022 World Rapid Chess Championship. He celebrated one of his biggest successes in 2018 when he surprisingly won the GRENKE Chess Open. Daniel Fridman qualified for this year's GRENKE Classic by winning the 2019 Open edition. For tournament director Sven Noppes, this is the "absolute dream line-up". Dr Sebastian Hirsch, Chairman of the Board of Directors of GRENKE AG, added: "We are delighted with the high-calibre international field of participants". It will be interesting to see what happens with the time control, which is: 45 minutes + 10-second increments per move. This gives players more time than in conventional blitz and rapid tournaments, but guarantees faster decision making than in classical chess.


The pairings for the first round (26 March, 15:00) are as follows:

Vincent Keymer vs. Daniel Fridman

Maxime Vachier-Lagrave vs. Ding Liren

Richard Rapport vs. Magnus Carlsen


The pairings for the second round (26 March, 15 minutes after the end of the last game of the first round) are as follows:

Daniel Fridman vs. Magnus Carlsen

Ding Liren vs. Richard Rapport

Vincent Keymer vs. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave


All other pairings will be published here.


6 players, double round robin (2 games with reversed colors against each player)

Time control: 45 minutes per game, with a 10 sec increment from move 1

No draw offers before move 40

Places 1, 3 and 5 will be decided in 2 games with reversed colors. In the case of a score of 1-1, a tiebreaker decides: 2 games 10+2 (10 minutes + 2 sec increment per move), if necessary 2 more games 5+2, if then necessary: Armageddon (6 minutes for White, 5 minutes for Black, in case of a draw the Black player wins).


On the first two days (26/27 March), the Classic will take place in the RSM Ebner Stolz VIP Lounge in the Garden Hall. From 28 March, the stars will then take to the big stage in the Schwarzwaldhalle, where the GRENKE Chess Open will be held in three categories. Top ten player Arjun Erigaisi from India and European Champion Alexey Sarana top the seeding list in the A-Open. Other well known names include Hans Niemann, Abhimanyu Mishra (the youngest grandmaster in history) and German national players Blübaum, Kollars and Svane. 70,000 prize money and the opportunity to look over the shoulders of world stars have attracted numerous chess fans. More than 2,500 players have already registered. "This is the tournament everyone has been waiting for," says Noppes.


The huge number of participants is quite a challenge for the organising team. "No chess club has so many boards and chess pieces," says Noppes. The team of the Baden-Baden Chess Centre, which is organising the major event, is well prepared. The chairman of the chess centre, Christian Bossert, invites all chess enthusiasts: "Be there - register or come to Karlsruhe as a spectator!“ Spectators are welcome on all days of the GRENKE Chess Classic (rest day on Good Friday).


On site, the German grandmasters Klaus Bischoff and Sebastian Siebrecht will commentate on the games. If you are unable to accept to come to Karlsruhe, you can watch the games of the GRENKE Chess Classic and at least one hundred games of the GRENKE Chess Open via as well as the highlights on the GRENKE Chess social media channels. The coach of Vincent Keymer, world class grandmaster Peter Leko from Hungary and German national coach Jan Gustafsson will lead you through the games in the international live broadcast.

Schwarzwaldhalle | Photo:


Schachzentrum Baden-Baden e.V.

Tournament director Sven Noppes

+49 172 7258738


Source: Press Release


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