We have been closely following the dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemics and the corresponding Latvian legislation during past months. Starting from 1st of July international sports events are allowed to happen in Latvia and can involve all athletes except children up to age of 10. It means that the organizers of RTU Open are thrilled to announce that we have made a decision to continue organizing the 10th anniversary of RTU Open Chess Festival in August 7-15, 2021! We encourage all chess friends to register for the festival before the early registration deadline – July 24th. No entry fees are charged at the moment of registration. A separate announcement will follow regarding participation of children up to age of 10.
The organizing team will put all the possible efforts to make the festival as safe as possible with minimal inconveniences for players. We will ask everyone to follow the safety measures and Latvian legislation that will be in force during the festival. We cannot precisely say what the rules will be during the tournament yet, but from current perspective some main points are as follows. Most likely, the guests of RTU Open with EU Green certificate (fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19 within the past 180 days) will have no additional requirements. Other participants from countries with high infection rate will require negative Covid-19 tests. Up to 3 tests might be necessary if nothing changes in the rules (before traveling, upon entering Latvia and in the middle of the tournament). The good news is that the testing lab is located 100m from the entrance of the venue of RTU Open. Participants will be fully responsible themselves to do the testing and provide the documents to the organizers. It is not clear if the EU citizens will have to do tests as well or not at the moment.
Another requirement is that everyone attending the RTU Open venue must be accredited. There will be no other spectators at the venue this year. We will organize accreditation system and publish all details before the tournament. Participants and accompanying persons coming from outside EU will receive their accreditations electronically before traveling. According to current regulations, it should allow participants to take part in the tournament despite the period of self-isolation. The participants using this option will have to monitor their health condition during the festival and have restrictions on visiting other public places and using public transportation.
The last, but not least – the situation with Covid-19 in Latvia and worldwide fluctuates very unpredictably and the rules change along. While we are fairly confident that there shouldn’t be any problems with the festival organization, there is still a small chance that we either will not be able to organize the festival as planned, or participants from some countries will not be able to come due to travel restrictions. We strongly advise to make refundable bookings for your travel and accommodation. We will organize the event unless Latvian government will make us to do otherwise. The organizers will take the risk with our reservations for the tournament facilities, but the participants have to take the risk regarding their travel plans. The organizers do not take any responsibility for costs incurred by participants due to force majeure events such as acts of government including Covid-19 measures. The organizers reserve the rights to reorganize the tournament system by merging several tournaments in case of significantly lower number of participants and to reduce the prize fund as stated in the regulations.
We will keep you updated on the Covid-19 related rule changes on our website and social media. Precise Covid-19 protocol will be published before the festival online as well.
Regardless all the restrictions, our team will do everything we can to ensure safe and festive chess celebration! These definitely are exciting news to us (and hopefully, to you, too) – and we can’t wait to see you in Riga at the 10th anniversary of RTU Open!