Dear Chess Friends,
It is my pleasure to announce the 4th international chess festival Riga Technical University Open that will be held in Riga just after Tromso Chess Olympiad. Thus the usual dates have been changed for a few weeks to August 15-24. Last year the tournament became by far the strongest and biggest classical chess festival in Baltic region. The biggest names of the festival were GMs Bartosz and Monika Socko, GM Igor Kovalenko, GM Jaan Ehlvest and GM Aleksej Aleksandrov. The main tournament gathered 173 players from 28 countries including 27 GMs and 85 titled players. More than 300 participants took part in the classical chess tournaments. All these numbers are records in Latvian chess history.
This year the organizers have prepared many exciting new things and improvements comparing to the previous already successful editions. The venue has been changed to the international Exhibition Centre Kipsala that will provide spacious and comfortable playing hall for all tournaments. The prize fund is increased to 25 000 EUR, 18 300 EUR of them in the main tournament with the 1st prize of 3 000 EUR. We are expecting even more top grandmasters to this year’s tournament. GM Alexei Shirov (2713, LAT) and GM Daniel Fridman (2604, GER) have already confirmed their participation.
The tournament A will have the time limit increased by additional 30 min increment after move 40 and will thus last for 9 days (August 16-24). This year there will be more amateur tournaments as well. The tournament B will be 9 rounds open for amateurs with ELO up to 2299 and as last year will be played in 7 days (August 18-24). There will be 3 shorter tournaments with time limit 60 min+30 seconds per move. Tournament C will be for players with ELO up to 2199 and will be played in 7 rounds during four days (August 16-19). Another two 7 round opens will be held in the last 4 days of the festival (August 21-24). These tournaments will have ELO limits of 2199 and 1799 The tournament up to 1799 is completely new for Latvia and gives the opportunity to participate to wider range of amateur players.
This year Riga is the Cultural Capital of Europe. Whole summer will be full of various exciting cultural events, including the week of the tournament. Thus Riga will be very interesting also from the touristic point of view.
On behalf of the organizers I would like to invite all chess players to participate in the Riga Technical University Open and all together develop the festival to be better and better each year! Hope to see you in Riga!
IO Egons Lavendelis