22 t/m 30 December 2017

Chess Festival Groningen

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Round report day 2, match Afek - Hilwerda

Afek - Hilwerda

Today's big question was whether Jonas Hilwerda could come back from being one game down against Yochanan Afek. With the white pieces in the first game of the second day he went for it. In a Sicilian a queen swap led to an early endgame and by pushing his c-pawn forward instead of opening lines against the black king, Afek got an advantage. Jonas defended well, and after an inaccuracy by black he managed to win a pawn reaching a won rook endgame in the process. But time wasn't on his side. The young player missed a mate in two and had to expect defeat as he saw his last seconds tick away. Then Afek showed his sportsmanship by offering a draw, which was of course gladly accepted.

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.

Tournament Location

For the common guests of our tournament, please be aware that the tournament will start at a different location. The first three rounds will take place at the Postillion Hotel Haren, Emmalaan 33 Haren.

Special Youth Prize

A few days ago hotels.nl granted the organization with a special youth prize. The winner of this prize get's a ticket (value €1000) for a simul against non other than Magnus Carlsen. All money raised with this Simul will be granted to the research program on craniofacial anomalies. The organization is still contemplating on the exact criteria for the prize.

B- and C-group Merged

Because the number of participants in the C-group was very low, the organizers decided to merge the B and C group into one. There will be two different prize funds and more diversity in opponents.



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!

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.


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Playing Venue

Sportcentrum RUG & Hanze
Blauwborgje 16, 9747 AC Groningen


The Postillion Hotel Haren has a special offer for participants of the Chess Festival: Click here!

Bookings via info@chessfestival.nl stating: Number of nights and persons, Names, Address and Phonenumber.

Transport from and to the playing hall is easy by car or public transport.
With every booking you support the Chess Festival.

Directions from hotel to playing hall.
Directions from playing hall to hotel.

Tournament Entry

Information can be viewed on the specific group pages.
Entry Form: here


Bankwire the entry fee, including name(s) of participant(s) to:
NL26 INGB 0007 1113 01 tnv Stichting Schaakfestival Groningen.


ING Bank N.V.
Foreign Operations
PO Box 1800
1000 BV Amsterdam


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

Chess Festival Groningen 2017
DateOpen Tournament A, B, C4-person TounamentCompactStudent TournamentYouth Grand PrixCommentary
22-12-2017Round 1Round 1
23-12-2017Round 2 and 3Round 2Entire tournament
24-12-2017Round 4Round 3
25-12-2017Merry Christmas!
26-12-2017Round 5Round 1
27-12-2017Round 6Round 2
28-12-2017Round 7Round 3Entire tournamentGert Ligterink
29-12-2017Round 8Round 4Gert Ligterink
30-12-2017Round 9Round 5Gert Ligterink

Open A (>2000)

Prize fund: € 6000,-
Entry fee before 15th of December: € 64,-
Entry fee after 15th of December (Only in cash on registration): €70,-
GM's, IM's and WGM's free.

Open B (<2100 en >1600)

Prize fund: € 1500,-
Entry fee before 15th of December: € 64,-
Entry fee after 15th of December (Only in cash on registration): €70,-

Open C (<1700)

Prize fund: € 750,-
Entry fee before 15th of December: € 64,-
Entry fee after 15th of December (Only in cash on registration): €70,-

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 A a bye (half a point) is possible in one of the rounds 1, 2, 3. 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'. Absence in a later round scores 0 points, but is allowed if noted before the pairing.

Playing schedule

22 December 15.00 – 16.00 hrs Registration
22 December 17.00 – 23.00 hrs Round 1
23 December 10.00 – 16.00 hrs Round 2
23 December 17.00 – 23.00 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

22 December Registration
22 December 17.00 – 23.00 hrs Round 1
23 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 2
24 December 13.00 – 19.00 hrs Round 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 before 15th of December: € 35,-
Entry fee after 15th of December (Only in cash on registration): €40,-


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 23th of December at 11.45 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

23 December 11.45 – 12.00 hrs Registration
23 December 12.00 – 12.40 hrs Ronde 1
23 December 12.50 – 13.30 hrs Ronde 2
23 December 13.40 – 14.20 hrs Ronde 3
23 December 15.00 – 15.40 hrs Ronde 4
23 December 15.50 – 16.30 hrs Ronde 5
23 December ± 16.30 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 Thursday 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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