21 t/m 30 December 2016

Chess Festival Groningen

Nederlands Nederlands


Many upsets in opening round of Chess Festival Groningen

After a slight delay due to a small hiccup in the pairings, tournament director Koen Lambrechts opened the first round with a short speech. The opening phase of the round didn't give any quick results and after just over an hour the first results slowly came in. So far no upsets were recorded, but that would change as the afternoon progressed.

Hi, have you met... our fantastic commentators?

All of them are Groninger Chess Icons in their own right, and all of them are full of wisdom about chess and life:
The German (top-left), The Philosopher (top-right), The Russian (bottom-left) and The Champion (bottom-right).


Match Yochanan Afek - Jonas Hilwerda

The tradition of matches between Young and Old that comes with the Chess Festival Groningen will also be honoured this year. Renown Israeli, but Dutch based, study composer and International Master Yochanan Afek will be present in Groningen to battle Jonas Hilwerda. Hilwerda and Afek will play 4 rapid games of 45 minutes each spread out over two days (21 and 22 December) followed by a training session on the 23th of December.


Yochanan has recently won tournaments in Tiberias and Haarlem and seems to be in excellent shape, and he’d better be. Jonas on fire can beat anyone, as he has proven this season in many club-games as well as in the Noteboom tournament in Leiden where one of his victims was another Dutch rising star Hing Ting Lai. Both players like an aggressive approach of the game and we’re looking forward to some interesting chess from these two players!


Krasenkow tops the list!

Evident from its current 9th and 6th place on FIDE’s Federations Ranking, Poland is a force to be reckoned with in the chess world. With a second to world champion Anand and talented youngsters, resulting in two first places in the World Junior Championship in recent years in their ranks, this is clearly the case. However, all of these talents have yet to achieve the successes of their countryman Michal Krasenkow. In July and October of 2000 Krasenkow reached the number 10 spot on the rating list, ahead of the likes of Short, Gelfand and Svidler. Over his career Krasenkow has won many tournaments, including Dutch tournaments Vlissingen (4 times!) and the C- and B-group in Wijk aan Zee. And Krasenkow must have good memories of Groningen, because in 1997 he reached the final 8 out the famous knock-out candidate tournament here. Why are we so happy that Krasenkow has decided to return to Groningen? Just look at the game below!

Chess Festival 2016

Welcome to the homepage of the Chess Festival Groningen 2016! We're glad that you have found the webpage of the 54th edition of our chess tournament in Groningen. Chess games at all levels during the Christmas holidays is a longstanding tradition in Groningen. Information about the main 9- and 5-round tournaments can already be found on this webpage. More information about side-events will become available shortly. For questions an email to info@chessfestival.nl will be answered as quickly as possible.

Koen Lambrechts
Tournament director

Price giving

In this overview you see the winners in the A-, the B- and the C- group.




The absolute highlight...that little kid on the left is Nyuk Lyn Cchung. He scored 100% in the Compact-D. He is the only participant of this tournament who got a perfect score.


Simul by GM Sipke Ernst : tomorrow 14-16 hrs

Always wanted to play a grandmaster in a simul, but never got the chance to do so?
GM Sipke Ernst, who butchered youngster Lucas van Foreest 5-1, will face opponents tomorrow (30/12) in the canteen. Take a seat and enjoy a game.

Last year Anne Haast and Elisabeth Pähtz simultaneously did the simul.


Chess in Groningen - some history lessons

On our Facebook page we published some links to recently discovered movies made during the PCA Qualifiers Groningen 1993, thanks to Elisabeta Polihroniade from Boekarest.


Christmas Blizt in Chess cafe Atlantis

Christmas Blitz!


Sign up time before 20.30 hrs - max. 30 participants

Start 21.00 hrs.

Admission 5 euro -

Price money 

Hooghoudt Atlantis: Gedempte Zuiderdiep 61, 9711 HC Groningen tel.: 050-3645484 

Chess cafe Atlantis : Study simul by Afek

Tonight chess cafe Atlantis will host a study simul by IM Yochanan Afek.

Start: 2100 hrs;  admission free.

Hooghoudt Atlantis: Gedempte Zuiderdiep 61, 9711 HC Groningen tel.: 050-364548


Tonight at 2100 hrs there is a Fischer random tournament in chess cafe  Atlantis.


No entrance fee; be there at 20.45 hrs.

Hooghoudt Atlantis: Gedempte Zuiderdiep 61, 9711 HC Groningen

After Chess program cafe Atlantis

  • Monday 21: Blitz tournament
  • Tuesday 22: Duo chess ('doorgeefschaak')
  • Wednesday 23: Chess960 (Fischer)
  • Thursday 24: Study simul with Yochanan Afek (http://www.afekchess.com)
  • Friday 25: Atlantis closed
  • Saturday 26: Hands and brains
  • Sun 27: Music and Chess quiz by GM Dimitri Reinderman
  • Monday 28: Sissa Christmas blitz (http://www.jsvsissa.nl (Dutch)
  • Tuesday 29: Pi chess. ('arithmetics' chess)

    All activities will start at 21:00 hrs

Sailing vessel Mars welcomes Dutch chess talents

Moored at the Lage der Aa in the centre of Groningen city, the sailing vessel Mars will be the home base for Dutch chess talents during the upcoming festival.


In their younger days Robin van Kampen and Anish Giri also stayed on this vessel.

Trainers for this years youngsters will be Anne Haast (also visited this boat as a young chess talent) and Robert Ris. They'll be complemented by good old Piet Peelen.



SterSponsor SterSponsor SterSponsor SterSponsor

Playing Venue

From 21 - 23 December:
Postillion hotel Haren
Emmalaan 33, 9752 KS Haren
Tel: 050 534 7041

And 24, 26 - 30 December:
Sportcentrum RUG & Hanze
Blauwborgje 16, 9747 AC Groningen


Click here to see the arrangement Postillion Hotel Haren offers you.

Tournament Entry

Only by submitting the online entry form on this website. The entry fee must be payed by a banktransfer to account NL26 INGB 0007 1113 01, in the name of Stichting Schaakfestival Groningen, Netherlands. BIC (or Swift) code: INGBNL2A. Payment at the playing venue is possible, but only during registration prior to the first round. If you haven't completed your payment at that time you will not be allowed to participate the tournament.


All information about the last editions can be found on the former website: www.schaakstadgroningen.nl


Tournament director: Koen Lambrechts
Tel: +31 (0)6 17650767

Chess Festival Groningen 2016
DateMatch Hilwerda-AfekOpen Tournament A, B, C4-person TounamentCompactStudent TournamentYouth Grand PrixCommentary
21-12-2016Round 1 and 2Round 1Round 1
22-12-2016Round 3 and 4Round 2Round 2
23-12-2016Round 3Round 3
24-12-2016Round 4Entire tournamentFM Grigori Kodentsov
25-12-2016Merry Christmas!
26-12-2016Round 5Round 1FM Grigori Kodentsov
27-12-2016Round 6Round 2FM Grigori Kodentsov and FM Erik-Jan Hummel
28-12-2016Round 7Round 3Entire tournamentFM Erik-Jan Hummel and Jan Joris Groenewold
29-12-2016Round 8Round 4IM Gert Ligterink and FM Erik-Jan Hummel
30-12-2016Round 9Round 5IM Gert Ligterink and Jan Joris Groenewold

Open A (>2000)

Prize fund: € 6000,-
Entry fee: € 60,-
GM's, IM's and WGM's free.

Open B (<2100 en >1600)

Prize fund: € 1500,-
Entry fee: € 60,-

Open C (<1700)

Prize fund: € 750,-
Entry fee: € 60,-

The Open A, B and C will play a 9 round Swiss tournament.
In case of insufficient participation we reserve the right to merge groups B and C.


In Open B and Open C a bye (half a point) is possible in one of the rounds 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. Please request this bye on your entry form under 'Questions'.

Playing schedule

21 December 11.00 – 12.00 hrs Registration
21 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 1
22 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 2
23 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 3
24 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 4
25 December   Rest day
26 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 5
27 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 6
28 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 7
29 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 8
30 December 11.00 – 17.00 hrs Round 9
30 December ± 18.00 hrs Prizegiving ceremony

Time control: 40 moves in 90 minutes + 30 minutes for the remainder of the game + an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 1.

Groups of 4, based on rating. Requests not to be play in the same group can be send to info@chessfestival.nl

Prize fund each group: € 45,-
Entry fee: € 15,-

Playing schedule

21 December 11.00 – 12.00 hrs Registration
21 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Ronde 1
22 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Ronde 2
23 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Ronde 3
  Followed by prizegiving ceremony

Time control: 40 moves in 90 minutes + 30 minutes for the remainder of the game + an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 1.

Groningen Compact

A five round Swiss tournament in groups of about 40 players, split up according to playing strength.
First prize in each group: € 200,-
prize fund per group: € 600,-.
Entry fee: € 35,-


A bye (half a point) is possible only in round 1 and must be requested as well as confirmed by e-mail before December 24th.

Playing schedule

26 December 11.00 – 12.00 hrs Registration
26 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Ronde 1
27 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Ronde 2
28 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Ronde 3
29 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Ronde 4
30 December 11.00 – 17.00 hrs Ronde 5
30 December ± 18.00 hrs Prizegiving ceremony

Time control: 40 moves in 90 minutes + 30 minutes for the remainder of the game + an increment of 30 seconds per move from move 1.

Students Christmas Chess

This tournament is organized for students who like to play chess, but have never competed in official tournaments or competitions. Any student (Rijksuniversiteit Groningen (including PhD) or Hanze Hogeschool Groningen) who doesn't have a FIDE or KNSB rating can participate. Prizes will be awarded based on individual scores and on the score of the best 3 players of each student association. For each student association, 1 player with a rating of <1501 can participate. This player cannot win any individual prize, but his score does count for the total score of the association. If you are unfamiliar with the term 'rating' you most likely don't have one, so don't worry.

Entry is free and you can register by sending an e-mail to info@chessfestival.nl including your name, student number and (optionally) student association. To confirm your participation you have to register in person on the 24th of December at 12.45 in the playing hall; bring your student card .

Individual Prizes: 1. €150 2. €75 3. €50
Association Prize: €120 for the winning association (half goes to the three players directly, half goes to the association)

In case of a shared 1st, 2nd or 3rd place the prizes are shared. Rules for the Association Prize: The points of the 3 best scoring players of one association are added. The highest scoring association wins the prize.

Sportcentrum RUG & Hanze Blauwborgje 16, 9747 AC Groningen

Playing schedule

24 December 12.45 – 13.00 hrs Registration
24 December 13.00 – 13.40 hrs Ronde 1
24 December 13.50 – 14.30 hrs Ronde 2
24 December 14.40 – 15.20 hrs Ronde 3
24 December 15.30 – 16.10 hrs Ronde 4
24 December 16.20 – 17.00 hrs Ronde 5
24 December ± 17.00 hrs Prizegiving ceremony


Youth Grand Prix

In the North of the Netherlands each year a Grand Prix cyclus is organized for younger youth players.
On Wednesday the 28th of December one of these tournaments will take place during the Chess Festival Groningen. More information: here


After Chess

Like previous editions there will be After Chess during the tournament, organized in chess cafe Proeflokaal Hooghoudt. The address: Gedempte Zuiderdiep 61, 9711 HC Groningen. The program will be published on the Facebook of cafe Proeflokaal Hooghoudt.



Our Chess Festival is situated in the student sports complex. This offers a perfect opportunity to exercise both mind and body. During the Chess Festival there will be opportunity to play squash or football.


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