21 t/m 30 December 2016

Chess Festival Groningen

Nederlands Nederlands

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!

Registration open!

As of today, you can register for the Chess Festival Groningen 2016 via our online entry form found at ‘Information’. If you have tried to register before the 10th of October, this might have resulted in an error. It’s best to try to enter the form again. If this fails or something else is wrong, please contact info@chessfestival.nl

You can find the list of participants here:

A group

B group

C group

Compact group

Vierkamp group


If you are looking for a place to stay in Groningen during the Chess Festival, we’d recommend the Postillion Haren. It’s just outside Groningen and easily reached by car or public transport. The first three rounds of our tournament (21-23 December) will be played at this site.


Come and stay at Postillion Hotel Haren during the 54th edition of the Chess Festival Groningen. Make use of our special price during the tournament of €55 (Excl. breakfast) for 1 or 2 person rooms, per room per night.

The advantages that come with this special:
- Breakfast for €10.00 instead of €13.50
- 10% discount on our diner prices
- Free parking and WIFI
- Postillion goodie
- Chess goodie

Make your reservation via info@chessfestival.nl by stating:
- Name and adress
- Number of guests
- Day of arrival, day of departure, total nights of your stay.

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.


Six players can win tournament after 7th round

Not a landslide for Jorden van Foreest. He lost his game in the 7th round and saw Avital Burochovsky and Sundar Shyam joining him in first position. They have 6 1/2 points; Avital and Sundar won their games. In 4th place we find three players: Stefan Kuipers, Sergey Kasparov and Saveliy Golubov with 6 points. And there is a group with 5 1/2 points. They definitely must win in the last round.

Sipke Ernst wins last game and match with 5-1

The last match game between GM Sipke Ernst and Lucas van Foreest was won by the Friesian GM. It was his 4th win in a row. Lucas held him in the first two games to a draw, but in all the other games the strength of his opponent turned to be decisive. Lucas too optimistic view in some positions cost him dearly. A balanced view in many positions could be something to work on for the future.

In the sixth game a Catalan was played. Sipke has played it before, but as for Lucas it might be his first time playing this defence. The black setup with ...a5 and ...Bc6 is played by strong players, so nothing wrong there.

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.


Jan Werle, Jorden van Foreest and S. Kasparov lead after five rounds

After six rounds of play the Groningen residents Jan Werle and Jorden van Foreest have to share the lead with the White-Russian Sergey Kasparov. Werle and Van Foreest played each other and drew after a ferocious fight in a Slav. Kasparov outplayed Dutch rising star Robby Kevlishvilli. Something went wrong for the Dutch teenager and an invading knight sealed his fate. 

Half a point behind the three in the lead we find six players.

Sipke Ernst wins match after winning fifth game: 4-1

Sipke Ernst won his third game in a row. He can call himself now the matchwinner in his match against Lucas van Foreest.

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.


Sipke Ernst wins fourth match game: now leads 3-1 against Lucas van Foreest

Sipke Ernst wasn't satisfied with his the moves he'd played in the fourth game of his match. He won the game, but the 36-year old GM wasn't jubilant.

Jorden van Foreest and Jan Werle sole leaders after sixth round

In the A-group both Jan Werle and Jorden van Foreest won their games. Jorden scored a rather straightforward win against Davit Lobzhanidze. Jan had to fight ferociously and was lucky that opponent Sergey Kasparov blundered in the end. After sacrifising a rook, then a piece and regaining material the White-Russian GM found himself a piece down compensated by three extra pawns. It was an endgame that should have ended in a draw. Kasparov complained that his opponent had played on too long, but he had better concentrated on the game. It was a neatly constructed self mate by Kasparov that brought Werle his victory.

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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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