Zurich 2017

Kortchnoi Memorial Zurich Chess Challenge and Kortchnoi Memorial Open at Easter time from April 13th to 17th, 2017 in Zurich - Rapid & Blitz combined Invitation plus an Open tournament:

http://www.zurich-cc.com/en/ (Grandmaster Tournament)

http://www.zurich-cc.com/en/kortchnoi-open-news (Open)

https://en.chessbase.com/post/kortchnoi-zurich-chess-challenge-2017 (in english)

http://www.chessdom.com/kortchnoi-zurich-chess-challenge-2017/ (in english)

http://www.swisschess.ch/news-112/id-1317-april-in-zuerich-kortchnoi-zurich-chess-challenge-mit-weltklasseturnier-und-open.html (in german)


Zurich Kongresshaus: http://www.kongresshaus.ch/de/ueber-uns/kongresshaus-zuerich.html

Entry is free for spectators.


The «IGC International Gemological Laboratories» is a Russian institute providing gemological services, such as diamond grading reports, enhanced diamonds identification, man-made / synthetic diamonds and imitation detection as well as certification of diamonds, gemstones and jewelry in the Russian Federation. IGC is the Russian branch of GCI — a group of gemological laboratories located wordwide.

Russian businessman and chess maecenas Oleg Skvortsov from «IGC International Gemological Laboratories» is the creator and main sponsor of the Zurich Chess Challenge series. He not only loves the royal game and supports chess events, but also plays high-level chess himself.


Open tournament: You can Play!

Master section (> Elo 2000): http://www.chess-results.com/tnr257754.aspx?lan=0

Main section (< Elo 2050): http://www.chess-results.com/tnr257755.aspx?lan=0

Schedule: http://www.zurich-cc.com/en/kortchnoi-open-news

Registration: http://www.zurich-cc.com/en/registration

Zurich Kongresshaus: http://www.kongresshaus.ch/de/ueber-uns/kongresshaus-zuerich.html

Time control: 90 minutes per game plus 30 seconds increment per move from move one.

Nakamura is king again

The winner of Zurich Chess Challenge (ZCC) 2015 and 2016 is also on top in 2017, now named Kortchnoi Zurich Chess Challenge (KZCC).

Hikaru Nakamura took his third Zurich Chess Challenge in a row. Additionally, he claimed victory in all three formats: the "opening blitz" (4 min plus 2 sec increment) which did not count for the overall classement but was used for the seedings and colours, won on better tie-break above Gelfand, the so-called "new classical" (45 min plus 30 sec increment), supposed to be Elo rated as a rapid, won outright, and the "final blitz" (10 min plus 5 sec increment), called "semi-blitz" by the spectators, won on better tie-break above Nepomniachtchi. GM Nakamura thus won the overall combined point standings as claer first (with the 'new classical games' counting double, 2 points for a win and 1 point for a draw). Hopefully, we did not mess up things..

Note: The closed Zurich Chess Challenge Tournament 2017 is not rated at all !! See for instance GM Anand’s FIDE chess profile (player card): https://ratings.fide.com/hist.phtml?event=5000017 (no games in April 2017). This seems bizarre - and was not communicated by the organisers, and thus not mentioned by most of the media.

In the 2017 KZCC Master Open, five players shared 1st place after seven rounds: GM Eltaj Safarli (winner on tie-break), GM Alexander Motylev, GM Aleksandr Rakhmanov, GM Ferenc Berkes and GM Gadir Guseinov. This additional Open (swiss system, classical chess, with 90 min plus 30 sec increment, Elo rated by FIDE) during the traditional ZCC, was held for the first time, and using a 'Korchnoi Memorial' claim.

Zurich Chess Challenge
is existing
since 2012. The first edition as a match, since 2013 as invitational round robin event with special scoring, at the beginning classical and rapid chess combined, now no longer classcial chess. Zurich CC is played in week-end type of rapid and blitz exhibition held from a Thuersday evening or Friday to Monday). The KZCC 2017 edition exceptionally took place in the Kongresshaus, Zurich, all others in the Hotel Savoy, Zurich.

Zurich shows an exhibition type of tournament, similar at the former Amber chess tournament ambience, which explains some laxness and a comparatively brief duration of the whole event.

Korchnoi Memorial (Open) in St. Petersburg 2017

That Korchnoi Memorial took place as an open tournament 15-25 August 2017 in St. Petersburg, Russia during the traditional St. Petersburg Summer Chess Festival. Top players included five-time US Chess Champion GM Gata Kamsky, GM Alekseev, GM Shimanov, or GM Burmakin (243 players, most of them from Russia).

Evgeny Alekseev won the Korchnoi Memorial (Open) in St. Petersburg on better tie-break above Dmitry Kokarev, Gata Kamsky, and Aleksandr Shimanov, all at 7.5/9, as well as a rapid event that followed the open tournament.

http://en.spbchesstournaments.com/memorials/peterburgleto/informacziya-2017.html (Official Tournament Website)

https://www.fide.com/component/content/article/4-tournaments/10114-st-petersburg-summer-2017-and-m-chigorin-memorial-2017.html (FIDE)

http://theweekinchess.com/html/twic1190.html#11 (The Week In Chess)

http://es.chessbase.com/post/memorial-korchnoi-en-san-petersburgo-2017 (Chessbase in Spanish language)

Chigorin Memorial (Open) in St. Petersburg 2017

Nordirbek Abdusattorov, Uzbek talent, youngest living GM, at Sharjah Masters in March 2017. Photo: Maria Emelianova, Chess.com

The yearly Chigorin Memorial Open had been played later from 21st to 29th October 2017 at St. Petersburg, too. Kirill Alekseenko edged out David Paravyan, SP Sethuraman and Alexey Sarana on tie-break after all scored 7.5/9. Many participants of the massive horde of strong 'anonymous' players from the former Soviet areas, and promising youngsters:

By securing his third and final gm norm, 13 year young Nodirbek Abdusattorov of Uzbekistan became the second youngest grandmaster in chess history. Only Sergey Karjakin got the title at a younger age.

Nordirbek Abdusattorov , born 18 September 2004, fulfilled all requirements for the grandmaster title on 29 October 2017, at the age of 13 years, 1 month and 11 days. That was faster than Parimarjan Negi  from India, who became a grandmaster at 13 years, 4 months and 22 days, and Magnus Carlsen  from Norway, who got the title at 13 years, 4 months and 27 days.

The record is still in the hands of Sergey Karjakin  (then Ukraine, today Russia), who became a grandmaster when he was 12 years, 7 months and 0 days. Abdusattorov is now, obviously, the youngest living grandmaster in the world.


The Chigorin Memorial Tournament in St. Petersburg, Russia, has had a long tradition. It is named after the first influencer of the Soviet Chess School, Mikhail Chigorin, one of the leading players of his time and the major source of inspiration for the "Soviet School of Chess", which dominated the chess world in the middle and latter parts of the 20th century.

Akiba Rubinstein, Emanuel Lasker, Mikhail Botvinnik, Vassily Smyslov, Mikhail Tal, Boris Spassky, Svetozar Gligoric, Mark Taimanov, Lev Polugaevsky, and Viktor Korchnoi — each of them did something special that changed our sport in numerous ways. They may have all passed away, but their ideas still lead generations of chessplayers forward. Something else is common between these greats: All have won the Chigorin Memorial tournament at some point in their lives, as well as Alexander Beliavsky or Alexander Grischuk.

The first and most important edition was organised in 1909 in St. Petersburg, a year after Chigorin had died.

Further unregular Memorial tournaments had been held in 1947, 1951, 1961, and 1972, played in diverse venues.

Later on, an international invitation Memorial series was established, and mainly played in the Black Sea resort Sochi (1963 to 1990).

From 1993 the venue returned to his hometown, the Memorial is now played as an Open event.

Viktor Korchnoi won in 1966 (Polugaevsky sole second, Spassky shared fifth-sixth with Lein).

Record winner of the strong international invitation Chigorin Memorial is Lev Polugaevsky who won four times, in 1963, 1974, and 1976 in Sochi, plus 1972 in Kislovodsk (the closed editions are not to mix with the later and ongoing Open tournament series in St. Petersburg).

As Sergey Volkov who (co-)won in 1998, 1999, and in 2009, Kirill Alekseenko is now a triple winner of the Chigorin Memorial. He claimed clear first or first on tie-break in 2015, 2016 & 2017:

http://theweekinchess.com/chessnews/events/chigorin-memorial-2017 (The Week in Chess)

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chess.pl?tid=91532&crosstable=1 (Chessgames)

(ChessBase, Chigorin Memorial 2017)

(ChessBase, Chigorin Memorial 2016)

(ChessBase, Chigorin Memorial 2015) 

ZURICH all (incl. Horgen)

Tournaments and series of international importance, Candidates 1953 (with Neuhausen SH), Weihnachtsopen (ex Nova Park) since 1977, CS-Masters Horgen 1994 & 1995, Zurich Chess Challenge since 2012.

Carlsen and Kasparov both won a strong tournament in Switzerland: Carlsen the ZCC in 2014 (rapid and classical chess combined), Kasparov the PCA Horgen ZH in 1994. Photo: Heiko Junge, NTB.no scanpix

Smyslov, the winner of the Candidates Tournament 1953 in Neuhausen SH and Zurich. Photo: zurich-cc.com


The winner list include Mikhail Ulibin (winning or co-winning a record four times), David Howell, Maxim Rodshtein, Rainer Buhmann, Axel Bachmann, Florian Jenni. Young Fabiano Caruana was 4th in 2007.

Swiss Rapid Chess Masters PFÄFFIKON 2008 (2012) – 2015

A one-day rapid event, played in the Casino Seedamm Plaza at Pfäffikon.

Stars like Bacrot, Caruana, Jussupow, Korchnoi, Ponomariov, Vallejo Pons, Volokitin, mixed with amateur and club players!

LIECHTENSTEIN OPEN 1983 – 2014 (32 editions)

Launched in 1983 with Viktor Korchnoi up to Nona Gaprindashvili in 2014, Liechtenstein had been host for thousands of chess players from over 50 countries. Renowned Pete Doggers reports from his play.