Present

Alphabetical survey of significant closed supertournament *series* in classical chess in 2018:

since 2013 (5th) Baden-Baden / Karlsruhe, GRENKE Chess (10 players) Grenke Chess Classic + strong Open!
since 1968
(51th) Biel Chess Festival, GMT (6 players/drr) Biel chess tournament + strong Open!
since 2010 (9th) Danzhou City, Hainan Province (8 players) Danzhou
since 1973 (46th) Dortmund Sparkassen (8 players) Dortmund Sparkassen Chess Meeting
since 1962 (53th) Havana et al. (Capablanca Mem) (6 players/drr) Capablanca Memorial
since 2009 (10th) London Chess Classic (4 players/k.-o.) London Chess Classic
since 2013 (6th) Saint Louis, Sinquefield Cup (10 players) Sinquefield Cup
since 2014 (5th) Shamkir (Gashimov Mem) (10 players) Shamkir Chess
since 2013 (6th) Stavanger area, Norway Chess Altibox (10 players) Norway Chess
since 1938 (80th) Wijk aan Zee, TATA Steel (14 players) Tata Steel Chess Tournament
(from 1938 to 1967 held at Beverwijk, originally known as Hoogovens, later Corus tournament)


Since years, Wiijk aan Zee is the longest running closed world elite tournament in classical chess:

Wijk aan Zee Tata Steel, 13 rounds;  

Biel Grandmaster Tournament,
Havana Capablanca Memorial,
10 rounds (6 players drr);  

Baden-Baden / Karlsruhe Grenke, 
Saint Louis Sinquefield Cup,
Shamkir Gashimov Memorial,  
Stavanger area Norway Chess,   
all at 9 rounds;

Danzhou (Hainan), 
Dortmund, 7 rounds. 
 

> Wijk aan Zee, the Wimbledon of Chess, is the sole all-play-all international supertournament in classical chess to invite more than ten players today! (14 players each in A and B group) 

> Wijk aan Zee, the Wimbledon of Chess, is the only all-play-all international supertournament in classical chess still to offer a strong "B-group" as it was a longtime tradition: Wijk aan Zee, TATA Steel Challengers 

> Wijk aan Zee, the Wimbledon of Chess, is the only tournament with a complete database, including all games and detailed tournament information about every player who has participated at Beverwijk and Wijk aan Zee in the past eight decades on its Website: http://www.tatasteelchess.com/history 

> Biel Chess Festival regularly offers both, a closed invitation tournament (round robin) and an open tournament (swiss system) of high level calibre : the large and strong Open (MTO), sometimes forgotten / outshined by the Invitational (GMT).

> Since recently, GRENKE Chess Classic in Baden-Baden / Karlsruhe has established a strong closed invitation and open tournament, running parallel, too.
 

Footnote:

Grenke Chess Classic started in Baden-Baden and is played in Baden-Baden and Karlsruhe since 2017, it was pure national in 2014, and not held in 2016. Officially the series is not yet numbered. Prestigious Prequels: Baden-Baden


Other:

Further current and annually organized international invitationals of note, but not considered as a chess supertournament (Elo average consistently below 2700 and / or no global mix of players), for instance:

Barcelona (Magistral Ciutat, former Casino Masters), starting in 1996, international since 2004: https://ca.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magistral_d%27escacs_Ciutat_de_Barcelona

Malmö (TePe Sigeman & Co.), 1993 – 2014, and again since 2017: Malmö (TePe Sigeman & Co)

Poikovsky (Karpov tournament), annually since 2000: Poïkovski (tournoi Karpov)


Unregular:

Ljubljana, Portorož, Bled et al. (Vidmar Memorial), unregularly played, 20th edition in 2016: Vidmar Memorial

Moscow (Tal Memorial), in 2018 held as a Rapid and a Blitz event: Tal Memorial


Former world-class invitation tournaments, currently held as an annual (local) Open:

Hastings International Chess Congress since 1920/21 as Winter chess congress, with first Summer chess congress in 1895 (strong invitation round robin tournament, today as a middle strong international Open): Hastings International Chess Congress

Sarajevo, Bosna since 1957 with a ten-year break (strong invitation round robin tournament, today as a rather regional based Open): Sarajevo (Bosna)

Polonica-Zdrój (Rubinstein Memorial) since 1963 (today as a local event): Rubinstein Memorial


==> Survey of all international chess tournament *series*, past and present:

Tournament *series* - www.chessdiagonals.ch

==> Survey of the most important international Open chess tournament *series*, past and present:

Open Superseries - www.chessdiagonals.ch

Past

Three countries, Spain, The Netherlands, and former Yugoslavia organised the most invitation tournament *series* in the modern era of chess since WWII. Tournament series held from there, are summarized under the corresponding sites:

Spain invitationals - www.chessdiagonals.ch

Netherlands inv. - www.chessdiagonals.ch

Yugoslavia inv. - www.chessdiagonals.ch


Great Britain (international tournament tradition since 1851) and Belgium (the chess centre of the world in the mid- and late 1980s) are presented in full history:

Great Britain series - www.chessdiagonals.ch
(including present series and Open tournaments)

Belgium series - www.chessdiagonals.ch
(including present series and Open tournaments)


Three famous international invitation series running in Italy you find under the following link:

Reggio, Rome, Venice - www.chessdiagonals.ch


Special
: Switzerland's most important contributions to the international chess circuit are listed in separate links, regarding the hosting cities (Biel Festival, Basel Open, Geneva all, Zurich all, and history of Bern all, Lausanne all, Lucerne all, and Lugano Open; including the Chess Olympiads held in Lucerne and in Lugano)

A selection of further invitation tournament overviews from other countries:

ATHENS, Greece. Acropolis Festival 1968, 1977 – 2009

Athens Acropolis Festival, 1968 - 2009, starting as an international invitation tournament in 1968, held again in 1977, then played on a fairly regular annual basis, switching between closed and open tournaments, including sometimes a tournament for women and another subsidiary minor (open) tournament for men.

It was longest running international chess tournament in Greece with in total 24 editions. As said, the format varied across the series, switching several times between closed and open events.

ACROPOLIS survey

BAD HOMBURG, Germany 1927; 1996, 1997, 1998 (Soccer Score)

1927 Bogoljubov, 2. Réti

1996 Alterman, Gabriel
1997 Dautov, 2.= Svidler
1998 Korchnoi, 2. Svidler, incl. Jussupow, Torre, Larsen, Hort
=> First three-points-per-win scoring in an elite event!

BAD KISSINGEN, Germany 1928; 1980, 1981

1927 1. Bogoljubov, 2. Capablanca, 3./4. Euwe, Rubinstein, 5. Nimzowitsch, etc. (12 players)

1980 Karpov in a Quadrangular
1981 Korchnoi at 9/10

1983 Candidate's match Korchnoi vs Portisch 6-3

BAD NAUHEIM, Germany 1935, 1936; 1937 (held in three cities: Bad Nauheim, Stuttgart, Germisch-Partenkirchen)

1935 Bogoljubov
1936 Alekhine, Keres
=> Notable for Keres' first international win
1937 World Champion Euwe above 2./3. Bogoljubov, Alekhine, 4. Sämisch (Quadrangular)

1948 (national) Unzicker

CARLSBAD, Bohemia, today Czech Republic (held unregular in a numbered series 1907, 1911, 1923, 1929)

Four famous Carlsbad (Karlsbad; today Karlovy Vary) tournaments under the excellent supervision of Victor Tietz:

1907 Rubinstein
1911 Teichmann
1923 Alekhine, Bogljubov, Maroczy
1927 Tarrasch

ENGHIEN-LES-BAINS, France (biannually 1995 – 2003)

Enghien-les-Bains, well-to-do suburb of Paris, is a pretty small town with a scenic lake, a famous spa resort plus a casino, about 15 kms from the centre of Paris (direction North-East). The casino is the only one in the vicinity of Paris, located on the shores of the scenic lake of Enghien. Known as the biggest place to gamble near Paris, Enghien-les-Bains casino, which opened in 1901 was recently renovated to provide luxury and comfort to all tourists traveling to the capital of France.

'Le Masters of Enghien-les-Bains', the strongest closed French chess tournament at that time, was organiszed by Francis Gomet and Pierre Carbonnel at the local Casino every two years between 1995 and 2003 as a round robin of ten players.

The winners of the five Enghien-les-Bains tournaments were:
1995 Igors Rausis, 2./4. Bacrot, Fontaine, Payen, 5. WGM Ekaterina Borulya
This event was the 3rd norm for Etienne Bacrot who thus becomes then the youngest male IM (Judit Polgar was younger but female when achieving their male IM title at age of twelve)
1997 Etienne Bacrot and Viktor Korchnoi, 3. Dorfman, 4./6. Rausis, Nataf, Spraggett
Final GM norm for Bacrot who becomes the then youngest Chess Grandmaster in history
1999 Joel Lautier, 2. Bologan, 3./5. Ponomariov, Tkachiev, Bacrot
2001 Vladimir Akopian (cat.17), ahead of 2. Lautier, 3./5. Bacrot, Bareev, van Wely
2003 Evgeny Bareev (cat.17), ahead of 2. Adams, 3./4. Gelfand, Judit Polgar, 5. Fressinet 

Further prominent players participating in the Enghien-les-Bains series include Beliavsky, Grischuk, Radjabov, or Salov.

Bacrot played in the first four tournaments at Enghien-les-Bains. The event was also established to launch and support his international chess career.

Étienne Bacrot is the record Champion of France, <winning the National French Championship eight times so far>: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003 in a row, 2008, 2012 (shared) and 2017.

A former chess child prodigy, Bacrot became a Grandmaster in March 1997 at the age of 14 years and 2 months, making him the youngest person to that date to achieve the GM title (later that year in December, Ruslan Ponomariov took his record), when winning on tie-break the 2nd Enghien-les-Bains invitation tournament alongside Viktor Korchnoi. The same year, Bacrot ( born in 1983) and Korchnoi ( born in 1931) also played a friendly match in Albert, France, which Korchnoi won 4-2.

Still, Étienne Bacrot somehow has not fully fulfilled his early promises. His peak ranking was sole no.9 of the world in the consecutive FIDE Elo lists of January, April, July, and October 2005, he had later a higher nominal rating in 2013, but out of the top ten.

GAUSDAL, Norway, founded in 1970 by Arnold J. Eikrem, relaunched by Hans Olav Lahlum

Gausdal Chess Festival (Norway), 1970 - 2008, starting with an international Open in 1970, followed by very frequent open tournaments (eg. Troll Masters, Peer Gynt, Eikrem Memorial, and Arnold Cup). Thus it happened quite often that several events were held same year!

Plus the Gausdal Classics, with a GM group + IM group(s)) + Open as innovative invitational series from 2001 to 2008 (with two editions in 2003), see below for more informations in pdf.

Magnus Carlsen had his entry in an invitation tournament at the international level in a closed IM-group of Gausdal Classics in April of 2001, when Hans Olav Lahlum decided to invite him despite being unknown in the chess world at that time and with an Elo rating of just 2064!

Carlsen played in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and finally won the Gausdal Classics in 2007.

GAUSDAL CLASSICS, invitation tournament series 2001 – 2008, with two editions in 2003; Drammen Smartfish Chess Masters, invitation tournament in 2004/05

HANINGE, Sweden 1988 – 1990

1988 Polugaevsky
1989 Ftacnik
1990 Seirawan

This international invitation series, lasting three years (always played in May) at Haninge near Stockholm was the strongest in Sweden for a long time, followed by the Malmö Sigeman & Co. tournament series starting in 1993. For more, see under the following link (and scroll down):

Malmö (TePe Sigeman) - www.chessdiagonals.ch 

LODZ, Poland (unregular)

Prominent Triangulars, Matches, and Simuls

1906 (Quadrangular) 1. Rubinstein, 2. Chigorin

1907/08 (5th All Russian Master’s) Rubinstein
=> Rubinstein’s Immortal

1935 Tartakower
1938 Pirc

MALMÖ (TePe Sigeman & Co.), Sweden 1993 – 2014, since 2017

Malmö (TePe Sigeman) - www.chessdiagonals.ch 

Year

Winners

Year

Winners

1993

Ferdinand Hellers (first winner)

2004

Peter Heine Nielsen, Curt Hansen

1994

Ferdinand Hellers, Curt Hansen

2005

Krishnan Sasikiran, Jan Timman

1995

Ivan Sokolov

2006

Jan Timman

1996

Viktor Korchnoi (oldest winner at 65)

2007

Ivan Cheparinov

1997

Ferdinand Hellers

2008

Tiger Hillarp Persson

1998

Igor Miladinović, Joël Lautier

2009

Nigel Short

1999

Boris Gelfand

2010

Anish Giri (youngest winner at age of 16)

2000

Judit Polgar

2011

So, Giri, Tikkanen (three-way-tie)

2001

Boris Gulko, Jan Timman

2012

Fabiano Caruana

2002

Nigel Short

2013

Rapport, Short, Grandelius (three-way-tie)

2003

Vasily Ivanchuk

2014

Laurent Fressinet (end of first series)

 => Relaunch in 2017, now together with TePe: 1.-2. Grandelius, Jobava

MONTE CARLO, Monaco 1901 – 1904; 1967 – 1969

1901 Janowski
1902 Maroczy
1903 Tarrasch, 2. Maroczy
1904 Maroczy

1967 Fischer
1968 Larsen
1969 Smyslov & Portisch

Rapid and Blindfold Chess:
Amber series 1992 – 2011,
mainly in Monaco

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (unregular)

1921 (1° Torneo Sudamericano) Grau
1925 (2° Torneo Sudamericano) Palau
1938 (8° Torneo Sudamericano) Alekhine

1939 Alekhine

1941 Eliskases

1954 (UNESCO) Letelier, 2-3. Bernstein, Najdorf

NANJING (Pearl Spring), China 2008 – 2010

Supertournament series

Named after the venue, the Mingfa Pearl Spring Hotel, it was the first supertournament in China!

2008 Topalov (Elo number one)
2009 Carlsen
2010 Carlsen (Elo number one)

NOVGOROD Veliky, Russia 1994 – 1997

Supertournament series

Winners: Kasparov (3x*), Ivanchuk (1x*), Topalov (1x).
*Ivanchuk at better tie-break above Kasparov in 1994

Kramnik invited in all four editions, but failed to win

PAKS, Hungary, Marx György Memorial 2004 – 2011

Chess Festival with grandmaster and women gm tournament to commemorate physicist Marx György. 2003 Match, 2012 Open.

Among the winners: Almasi, Harikrishna, Vachier-Lagrave, Wojtaszek, and Korchnoi

ROSTOV-ON-DON, Russia (unregular)

1896 Match: Steinitz vs. Schiffers 6.5 - 4.5

1961 (Chigorin Memorial, Prequel) Taimanov
1993 (Bondarevsky Memorial) Tiviakov
Children and the widow of Igor Bondarevsky (1913-79) guests of honour!

SEMMERING, Austria, 1927; 1937 (Semmering / Baden bei Wien)

1926 Spielman ahead of 2. Alekhine, 3. Vidmar, 4./5. Nimzowitsch, Tartakower
1937 Keres above unbeaten 2. Fine, 3./4. Capablanca, Reshevsky, 5. Flohr

Frequently friendly matches of high calibre!

SOFIA, Bulgaria, M-Tel 2005 – 2009

Supertournament series

Winners: Topalov (3x), Ivanchuk (1x), Shirov (1x), all winning outright

World Champions Carlsen, Kramnik, and Anand (twice) played, but failed to win at M-Tel Masters!

SOLINGEN, Germany (unregular)

1968 Lengyel
1974 Polugaevsky, Kavalek (Pachman boycotted)
1986 Hübner

Fischer (simul exhibition), Spassky (SG Solingen club player), and Korchnoi (friendly match in 1973) visited Solingen, too

WELLINGTON, New Zealand 1978; 1988

1978 1. Quinteros, above 2. Torre, 3.-4. Mascarinas and Sarapu, etc. (14 players)

1988 (Plaza tournament in the New Zealand International Festival of the Arts)
1.-3. Spassky, first on tie-break, Chandler, Gufeld in a three-way-tie, 4./5. Rogers, Zsuzsa Polgar, etc. (12 players)

(In both tournaments, many participants from New Zealand)

WORLD EXPOSITIONS (19th century)

World exhibitions (World fairs) became a new phenomenon in the West in the nineteenth century. Industrialisation, scientific and technical progress were shown and cultural exchange developed.

About a dozen World Fairs were organised during the second half of the 19th century. Seven times a major chess tournament was part of a world exposition:

London 1851, London 1862, Paris 1867, Vienna 1873, Philadelphia 1876, Paris 1878, Paris 1900

The first modern international chess tournament took place during the first world fair, organised in London in 1851 (held under the name THE GREAT EXHIBITION).

Survey:

The winners of the international invitation chess tournaments part of World Exposition

London 1851          Adolf Anderssen (Germany), tournament in knock-out format

London 1862          Adolf Anderssen (Germany)

Paris 1867              Ignatz von Kolisch (Austro-Hungarian Empire, Slovakia)

Vienna 1873           Wilhelm Steinitz (Bohemia), play-off vs. Joseph Henry Blackburne

Philadelphia 1876 James Mason (Ireland/USA), it was also the 4th American Chess Congress

Paris 1878              Johannes Zukertort (German Empire / Poland), play-off vs. Szymon Winawer

Paris 1900              Emanuel Lasker (German Empire)


No chess events of significance accompanied at the other World Expositions in the 19th century.

Pro memoria – All World Fairs in the nineteenth century:
London 1851, Paris 1855, London 1862, Paris 1867, Vienna 1873, Philadelphia 1876, Paris 1878, Melbourne 1880, Barcelona 1888, Paris 1889, Chicago 1893, Brussels 1897, Paris 1900.


The tradition of world fairs and prominent international chess tournaments continued occasionally in the 20th century – but far less frequently!

Examples are Barcelona 1929 (Cuban Capablanca won undefeated at incredible 13.5/14, two full points ahead of Tartakower, while Colle finished sole third, 15 players, including Vera Menchik), or Liège (Belgium) 1930 (Tartakower won undefeated at 8.5/11, two full points ahead of second place Sultan Khan, followed by Nimzowitsch, Ahues, and Colle as shared third, twelve players).

WORLD EXPOSITION CHESS TOURNAMENTS

World Expositions (second half of 19th century) with a major international invitation chess tournament. A cultural chess review.

Note

If a pdf will be updated, then it changes its URL, that's why these tournament series above should be better linked under the general address (Furthermore (elite)) or directly downloaded as pdf.

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