22 t/m 30 December 2018

Chess Festival Groningen

Nederlands Nederlands


Open Groningen Championship Fischer Random

Fed up with preparing long theoretical lines? Well, just play some blitz chess then in the great atmosphere of the chess bar Proeflokaal Hooghoudt. For fun, yes indeed, but with some serious prizes too! Wednesday the 26th, it's time for the first edition of the Open Groningen Championship Fischer Random. Time to sober up a little bit, so no prices in liquor form, but in cash!  

1st price € 75, 2nd price € 50 and 3rd price € 25.
7 minutes per game per person, 9 rounds Swiss
Start at 20:30, free entrance

The positions are only decided a moment before every round. Fischer Random Chess is also often refered at as Chess 960, because of the no less than 960 possible starting positions. For more information about the rules, for example on how to castle, you can check out the wikipedia-page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chess960

Get there in time, before 20:15, and let the barstaff know you want to play! Or give Maarten Roorda a call or a message on whats'app.

Maarten Roorda: 06 289 79 404 (0031 6 289 79 404)
Proeflokaal Hooghoudt 
Zuiderdiep 61



Tough battles in the third round

The third round of the Chess Festival Groningen was a tough one. Some ended in a draw, some in a result, but almost all games were hard fought battles. 

No crazy stuff on first day

The 56th edition of the Chess Festival Groningen is on her way! The first day was a rather quiet one, without many surprises. Remarkable results only really on the first two boards, GM Michal Krasenkow – Ruud van Meegen and FM Simet – GM Tiviakov, both ended in a draw.

After Chess, lots of chess and lots of fun!

Chess Festival Groningen already had it's kick-off! And because we also believe in having fun, we organize the now traditional After Chess Program in chess bar Proeflokaal Hooghoudt, Zuiderdiep 61, Groningen. If you want to join one of the events of the After Chess Program, come to the bar (before 20:15), or you can also call Maarten Roorda: 06 289 79 404 (0031 6 289 79 404), preferably before 20:00.

Saturday the 22th
At 20:30 we start with Ultimate Moves. Two teams will take place. They both get 5 minutes with 10 seconds increment. Every 5 moves another team member takes place at the board. Trashtalk is very much appreciated! Everyone can join the game! Kees Eldering en Mika (bartender) will start the game! These people are assured of a place in a team: Few places free. Please join! Get in on time and let the barstaff know you want to play!

Immediately afterwards we play Dutch Bughouse. You play in duos. It's like normal bughouse, only a bit different. Wikipedia has a good game manual. Maximum of 20 players, prices in liqorform.

Because there are two rounds to play on the chessfestival coming sunday, the cafe won’t organize any particular games. But of course, feel free to pop in, drink a beer, analyze your games, play blitz or sing silent night.

Monday the 24th
We’ll play Hands & Brains. Again played in duos. Just come along, preferably before eight, and let us know you want to play, also when you don’t have a partner. There'll be plenty of others on the search! Starts at 20:30, maximum of 30 players. Prices in liqorform.

25th of december. Merry Xmas! Sorry, cafe is closed.

Wednesday the 26th 
Fisher Random. The first edition of the Open Groningen Championship Fischer Random, to be precise.  Time to sober up a little bit, so no prices in liquor form, but in cash! 1st price € 75, 2nd price € 50 and 3rd price € 25. 7 minutes per person. Get in on time, before 20:00, and let the barstaff know you want to play! Or give Maarten Roorda a call or a whats'app. 

Announcements from the arbiters

Considering the low number of entries in the C-group, the arbiters and tournament organizers have decided to merge the B- and C-group. We'll keep a separate prize fund for the C-participants.

If you have any questions concerning entry, pairings or bye's, please contact arbiter.chessfestival@gmail.com

Third Student Christmas Chess on the 23rd of December

The Chess Festival Groningen will host the third consecutive Student Christmas Chess on the 23rd of December. This event is intended for any student who knows the rules, but doesn't play at tournaments or a chess club on regular basis. Entry is free, while the first prize is €150. Three students of the same study association can team up to fight for the extra Study Association prize, netting both the players and the Association €60. We hope to get 'homeplayers' to try out an official tournament, while at the same time giving the chance to follow the games of the strongest Groninger and Dutch Chess players. 

Still in doubt whether you're ready? There are practice sessions on wednesday night 12 and 19 December at Hooghoudt Proeflokaal. Jonah and Thiadrik won in 2017, while Arno Clinched first prize in 2016. Who's next?

Find more information at our website under Students Chess and sign up!



The Chess Festival Groningen offers a generous prize fund for the 2018 edition. The Open A has a total prize fund north of €6000. The tournament winner takes home €1800, while there’s an extra prize for the best scoring woman of €400. The remainder of the prize fund is distributed among the other top finishers and a rating prize. With this prize fund Chess Festival Groningen is among the highest in the Netherlands, which can be seen in the strength of the field of players. Of course this prize fund wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors the University of Groningen, The Municipality Groningen and Hotels.nl.

Ivan Sokolov and Lucas van Foreest to cross swords in Groningen

As part of the Chess Festival’s University Challenge, Ivan Sokolov and Lucas van Foreest will play a four-game match. The match will take place from Thursday the 27th of December until Sunday the 30th. This year marks the milestone of the tenth clash between an experienced older player and a youthful challenger. Except for the age gap, the two players share a lot of similarities. Both Sokolov and Van Foreest are well dressed men, known for their remarkable character. They play the same brand of fighting chess, and are unafraid of all the complications in their games. All in all, this matchup is promising to deliver an interesting match to close the year. 

Registration opened!

The registration for this year event has opened. If you click on the yellow banner above which says 'Sign up', things should be easy.

It's possible to register for the 9 round event (A,B, and C-group) or to choose to play only before or after Christmas. More information on dates, side events, participants, etc you'll find on this page above or on the right.

We will publish news about the Festival on a regular basis on this website. For any information feel free to contact us. We hope to see you at the end of this year in Groningen.

The organisation of the Chess Festival Groningen

The dates for the Chess Festival Groningen 2018

The dates of the next edition of the Chess Festival Groningen have been announced. Traditionally this tournament -with its long and captivating history- is held over the Christmas period, and this year is no exception. The organisers have decided to have the tournament take place from Saturday 22 December until Sunday 30 December. As usual Christmas day, Tuesday 25 December, is a day off. The Open Tournament consists of 9 rounds Swiss.

The A-group consists of strong grandmasters both from the Netherlands and abroad again this year. They are joined by IMs, FMs, norm chasers and ambitious club players. The B-group offers a spot to those unable to match with the grandmasters, but eager to play 9 competitive rounds of chess. In addition, you can choose to just compete before or after Christmas in the 4 Person Round Robin or the Compact Group. On Sunday 23 December two rounds will take place in one day. Further details concerning additional festivities, such as the contestants of the annual match (University Challenge) and the Students Christmas Chess Tournament, will follow on this website, Facebook and Twitter.

Registration will open shortly, but you can save the dates now. We hope to see you in Groningen this Christmas!

Koen Lambrecht, tournament director Chess Festival Groningen

Round 7 - Youth Grand Prix and match day 2

undefinedEelke de Boer struck back in his match against Dennis de Vreugt. Both players had their chances, and de Vreugt actually was in the drivers seat for the longest time, but Eelke showed his strength when Dennis stumbled just before the finish line.undefined

In the A - group the first bord was a relatively calm draw, but otherwise it was a bloodbath with 3 chasers catching up with Plat en Postny. Turov, Bok and Kislinsky managed to beat Rahul, Kryakvin and Tiviakov and there is now a 5-way tie for first place.undefined

The Chess festival is more than just a tournament; it offers chances to young and old, newbies and veterans. We've had the Student Christmas Chess on the 23rd and this round we had the Youth Grand Prix. With many of the older youth players already participating in the senior tournaments, we're happy that no less than 45 youngsters showed up to participate. Winner of the day was Johnny Albadeen.undefined


Photos: Harry Gielen (and: Youth)

Report: Koen 

Round 5

An uneventful draw left tournament leader Plat in pole position, since none of his chasers managed to win their game. Tomorrow Groninger favorite Tiviakov will take on Plat with White. For some entertainment, watch the games by Kislinsky, Lubbe and Beerdsen. 


Round 4

With Christmas on the doorstep, we're left with just 1 leader in the tournament. Kryakvin picked an anti-theoretical d3-line to fight blacks Grünfeld, and he managed to get some play. Plat correctly estimated that sacrificing his b7 pawn would grant him enough play, and eventually whites queen. The position was more or less balanced with knight, rook and pawn for a queen, but blacks queen found some nice targets and eventually brought home the win for Vojtech. Other winners Pruijssers, Turov, Bok, Tiviakov and Postny are only halve a point behind, so no time to rest, except for tomorrow, since Christmas day is a rest day. 

Merry Christmas and we'll speak again on tuesday.

Photos Harry Gielen - Day 3

Day 2 (round 2 and 3)

After 3 rounds of the Chessfestival Groningen almost everything is 'as it should be,' if we look at pre-tournament predictions. Grandmasters Vojtech Plat and Dmitry Kryakvin lead the tournament and play eachother in the fourth round. All other grandmasters follow on the next six boards, with 2 of the dutch favorites Sipke Ernst and Benjamin Bok playing eachother in round 4 and Groningers nr. 2 Tiviakov taking on Kuipers on board 4. We'll keep an eye on the biggest surprise of the tournament, former inhabitant of Assen, Elmar Hommes who beat 2 stronger opponents and held 1 to a draw. This round he faces his thoughest opponent yet, dutch grandmaster Roeland Pruijssers.

Round 1

Last year we had a first round with many upsets. This year the players followed dr. ELO more strictly, although we still had surprising results from Rahul vs Kislinsky and Weggen vs Lubbe. If you're looking for some rollercoaster games, you should definitely have a look at the games of Kryakvin and Ernst. Their opponents showed no fear whatsoever and proved that chess is a sport for spectators. Most of the top seeds managed to win their game, although Tiviakov might have lost some valuable energy in grinding his endgame with the double round of tomorrow ahead.

Photos Harry Gielen Day 1

Groninger Banter Chess Championship + After Chess

The Banter Chess Championship match, presented and explained by Jan Joris Groenewold, between Sipke and Jorden was won by the young guy Jorden. In the first game white (Jorden) caused black some problems in a Scotch, but Sipke fought back and reached an equal ending. In the second game Sipke seemed on top, but when he sacrificed a piece, Jorden started to play very accurately and eventually managed to give back the piece for a better ending. The combination of position and a significant time advantage gave Jorden the win: 1.5 - 0.5. An important remark: The jury (spectators) also rewarded Jorden with the price of best trashtalker.undefinedThe biggest winner of the evening was however, Chess Café Hooghoudt Proeflokaal. In this pub it's proven, day in day out, that Chess can be fun for all levels and in all forms. It therefore organizes, once again, an After Chess program during the Chess Festival:

24 Dec.: Fischer Random chess (Chess960).
25 Dec.: Christmas day, Hooghoudt Proeflokaal closed.
26 Dec.: Stratego Chess.
27 Dec.: SISSA Christmas Blitz.(www.jsvsissa.nl)
28 Dec.: Hands & Brains.
29 Dec.: Dutch Bughouse / Doorgeefschaak.

All activities will start at 20.30 hrs.
Chess Café Hooghoudt Proeflokaal:
Gedempte Zuiderdiep 61, 9711 HC Groningen.

Open B and C merged

The organization and arbiters have decided to merge the Open B and C group into 1 group. There will be prizes for different ratinggroups, so that the participants of the C group still have fair chances to fight for a priza.

University Challenge

We're happy to announce that we'll have a match between Dennis de Vreugt and Eelke de Boer during this years edition of the Chess Festival Groningen. Dennis is a Grandmaster and a double European Youth Champion. Eelke is one of the many great chess talents from Groningen, who missed the European youth crown by a whisker this year. Surely he'll want to show that he can match Dennis. Two two will battle it out in 4 classical games from 27 - 30 December.

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Playing Venue

Sportcentrum RUG & Hanze
Blauwborgje 16, 9747 AC Groningen


There is no official tournament hotel. Of course the organizers are more than willing to give advice or answer questions about accommodation. Our sponsor has varying offers and actions and can be found via www.hotels.nl.

Tournament Entry

Click here.

Tournament Regulations

Download the Tournament Regulations.


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


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


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

Questions about the pairings? Email: arbiter.chessfestival@gmail.com

Chess Festival Groningen 2018
DateOpen Tournament A, B, C4-person TounamentCompactStudent TournamentYouth Grand PrixUniversity ChallengeCommentaryAfter Chess
22-12-2018Round 1Round 1Ultimate Moves
23-12-2018Round 2 and 3Round 2Entire tournamentFM Grigori KodentsovOpen
24-12-2018Round 4Round 3FM Grigori KodentsovHands and Brains
25-12-2018Merry Christmas!
26-12-2018Round 5Round 1FM Grigori KodentsovFischer Random
27-12-2018Round 6Round 2Round 1IM Stefan KuipersSISSA Christmas Blitz
28-12-2018Round 7Round 3Entire tournamentRound 2IM Stefan KuipersChess against the Bear
29-12-2018Round 8Round 4Round 3IM Gert LigterinkPubquiz
30-12-2018Round 9Round 5Round 4IM Gert LigterinkAfter Drinks

Open A (>2000)

Prize fund: > € 6000,-
First prize: € 1800,-
First prize women: € 400,-
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 11.00 – 12.00 hrs Registration
22 December 13.00 – 19.00 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 11.00 – 12.00 hrs Registration
22 December 13.00 – 19.00 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

Schedule will follow.
23 December 11.45 – 12.00 hrs Registration
23 December 12.00 – 12.40 hrs Round 1
23 December 12.50 – 13.30 hrs Round 2
23 December 13.40 – 14.20 hrs Round 3
23 December 14.30 – 14.50 hrs Break
23 December 14.50 – 15.30 hrs Round 4
23 December 15.40 – 16.20 hrs Round 5
23 December ± 16.30 hrs Prizegiving ceremony

On wednesday the 12th and 19th of December we’ll have free practice sessions in Hooghoudt Proeflokaal (Gedempte Zuiderdiep 61) from 19.30 - 22.00. Together with coaches we’ll play practice games, solve puzzles, answer questions and give general tips and advice. The only requirement to enter is knowledge of the rules of the game.


Youth Grand Prix

In the North of the Netherlands each year a Grand Prix cyclus is organized for younger youth players.
On Friday 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. You can find the program in the Tournament Schedule. For more information, go to the Facebook page of the 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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