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Live commentary

Thank you for now - see you again in 2017
af Tom Skovgaard     31/7-2016

Copenhagen Chess Federation, the organizers, the arbiters, the assistants, and the team behind Copenhagen Chess Festival thank all of you for coming this year, and we are looking forward to seing you again next year, when

Xtracon Chess Open is played 22 - 30 of July, 2017, at Konventum.


Xtracon Chess Open in the media
af Tom Skovgaard     9/8-2016

Here, a week after the end of Xtracon Chess Open 2016, we take a quick look at the extensive - and very positive - coverage of the tournament in the national and the international chess media.


In Norway, the tournament was covered on the general chess sites "Bergens Schakklub" and "Matt & Patt", and also on "Sjakkselskapet" and on Tromsø Skakklubs home page. And in the daily newspaper VG GM Simen Agdestein has covered the tournament with games in the daily chess column (not availaile online).


In Sweden, the tournament has been covered on the general chess sites "Inte Bare Schack" (Lars Grahn) and Schacksnack.

And in Denmark, the tournament was followed in GM Sune Berg Hansens daily chess column in the newspaper Politiken (the chess column is not online), on the på home page of the Danish Chess Federation and on other sites as well, e.g. on "Christophers Skakhjørne".


In Germany, the tournament was covered on the German version of Chessbase and on Chess International.


And there is coverage on the international chess sites and TWIC.


Chess24 followed the tournament with daily live coverage, including live streaming from the commentary room, and after the tournament there is a follow-up coverage on Chess24.

And, finally, there is now a Wikipedia entry on Xtracon Chess Open!


Photos and videos from Xtracon Chess Open 2016
af Tom Skovgaard     3/8-2016

From the photo page you can find lots of nice photos from Xtracon Chess Open, and also from the many side events which were held. Have a look here!

And there are close to 50 videos also, long as well as short videos, with games being shown, interviews, blitz etc. Find these from the videolinks on top of this page, or on the YouTube channel of the organizer. And the inspiring and entertaining lecture by GM Boris Gelfand, assisted by GM Jacob Aagaard, can be seen in its full length by clicking on the picture to the left.


GM Matthias Bluebaum won Xtracon Chess Open 2016
af Tom Skovgaard     31/7-2016

The German Grandmaster Matthias Bluebaum won Xtracon Chess Open 2016 ahead of GM Alexey Shirov in 2nd place (at the right in the picture) and GM Bassem Amin in 3rd place (at the left in the picture). 7 players made 8 points out of 10 and the final rankings were based on tie-breaks.

In each rating group there were two prices. The winners of the rating groups were:
2301-2400: Joseph McPhillips, England - 7½
2201-2300: Alexander Rosenkilde, Denmark - 7
2101-2200: Jacob Brorsen, Denmark - 7
2001-2100: Paul Johansen, Norway - 6
1901-2000: Alseit Kizatbay, Norway - 6
1801-1900: Dag Andersen, Norway - 6
1701-1800: Tor Arne Heim Andberg, Norway - 5
1501-1700: Janus Skaale, Faroe Islands - 5½
     .. -1500: Fredrik Lytomt Jacobsen, Norway - 4½

All final rankings, also in the rating groups, can be seen on the homepage here.


The two brillancy prices awarded
af Tom Skovgaard     31/7-2016

The two brillance awards, donated by New In Chess, were won by GM Jean-Marc Degraeve (left) og Ib Skovgaard (right), in the categories over respectively under rating 2000. The winning games, chosen by tournament commentator FM Per Andreasen, are:

Aleksey Dreev - Jean-Marc Degraeve (Round 9)
Ib Skovgaard - Simon Wilbrandt (Round 8) 

You can play through the games by following the link and clicking the small board-icon for the game.


Impressive winning score in the Pub Quiz
af Tom Skovgaard     31/7-2016







The Puc Quiz on Saturday evening in the conference room included issues such as earlier Copenhagen Open's, the match USSR - Rest of the World in 1970, Chess Olympics, Kasparov's recent blitz games, Nordic Grandmasters, and the impressive 1990 generation of super Grandmasters. And when the question about Fischer's 1st move against Spassky in the 6th match game in 1972 came up, one of the participants said that he was a spectator to this game! The winning team made the fantastic score just 2 from the maximum achievable score!

1. "Tranum 1974" (photo bottom right) with Jens Kristiansen and Palle Skov - 31 points
2. "Nordlys" (photo bottom right) with Gunnar Finnlaugsson and Jens Riis - 25 points

See the questions here - the answers will follow in a few days.


Kids Cup results and photos
af Tom Skovgaard     31/7-2016


The traditional Kids Cup were, as usual, played Saturday morning at Konventum. 26 kids participated in the four age groups U08, U10, U12, and U14. See all results here - and a series of nice photos here.

The winners in the 4 age groups were:

  • U14: Mats Nærheim, Norway
  • U12: Hannibal Valeur Jaques, Denmark
  • U10: William Østergaard-Nielsen, Denmark
  • U08: Arjun Cithu Vijay, Norway


Last round started
af Tom Skovgaard     31/7-2016

At 10:00 the 10th and last round of Xtracon Chess Open 2016 started with 4 players in the lead with 7½ out of 9, and these 4 players meet each other on the two top boards:

  1. GM Bassem Amin - GM Matthias Bluebaum
  2. GM Jean-Marc Degraeve - GM Jon Ludvig Hammer

See the short video below showing the first few minutes of the top games.

And follow the live games from 47 boards, and live commenting (in Danish) through links from this homepage.


Sunday - Events and Checklist
af Tom Skovgaard     30/7-2016

Remember the following events on Sunday, July 31th:

  • 10:00: Round 10 - the last round - starts
  • 16:30 - 17:00 (estimated time): Prize ceremony

And we wish all of you a safe journey home - and hope to see you again next year!

Xtracon Chess Open 2017 will be played at Konventum 22. - 30. July 2017.


Norm chances in round 10
af Thomas Larsen     30/7-2016

No norms were made in round 9, but there is another chance in round 10:

Paul Johansen makes IM norm, if he wins against Julian Kramer.


Buy a T-shirt to bring home from Xtracon Chess Open
af Tom Skovgaard     30/7-2016

We still have T-shirts for sale in the tournament office! Pass by and have a look if you want to bring a T-shirt home from Xtracon Chess Open!

The price is 125 DKK.



Round 9 is live now
af Tom Skovgaard     30/7-2016

Round 9 started at 13:00 with the top game between leading GM Bassem Amin of Egypt with the black pieces and GM Daniel Naroditsky of USA with the white pieces. See the short video below showing the first few minutes of this top game.

And follow the live games from 47 boards, and live commenting (in Danish) through links from this homepage.


More short talks / interviews with top players
af Tom Skovgaard     30/7-2016

Two more short talks with top players have been made, and also videos with players showing their games in the commentary room. Still more will follow, stay tuned - and enjoy the videos from the links below. All videos are available on the YouTube channel of the Copenhagen Chess Federation here.



GM Boris Gelfand won the blitz tournament
af Tom Skovgaard     30/7-2016

114 players, including 6 GM's, competed in Friday evenings blitz tournament which was won convincingly by the world class player GM Boris Gelfand who made 2-0 in the semifinal as well as in the final! Only one player achived a draw with Gelfand, in the second stage groups of the tournament, and the player was IM Christian Jepson from Sweden, who ended up playing Gelfand in the final!

Enjoy the videos from the semifinal and the final on YouTube here.

All results from the tournament, and the games from the semifinals and the final, is available on the homepage here.


Saturday - Events and Checklist
af Tom Skovgaard     29/7-2016

Remember the following events on Saturday, July 30th:

  • 08:00 - 08:30: Kids Cup registration
  • 08:30: Kids Cup starts (ending 12:30) - cf. here 
  • 13:00: Round 9 starts
  • 14:00 - 16:00: Last opening hours for the chess shop (closed on Sunday)
  • 20:00: Pub Quiz (in Damgårdssalen) - No registration, just show up, teams of 2 persons - more info here 


Norm chances for round 9
af Tom Skovgaard     29/7-2016

The following players have the possibility to score a norm in round 9 of Xtracon Chess Open:

  • GM norm to Kevin Goh Wei Ming for a win (with black) against Sebastian Maze
  • GM norm to Erik Zude with a draw (with white) against Rasmus Svane
  • IM norm to Paul Johannesen with a draw (with black) against Jonathan Carlstedt


Follow the blitz finals live tonight
af Tom Skovgaard     29/7-2016

The blitz tournament is underway with 110 participants. 4 players will qualify for the semifinals and the final which expectedly will be played shortly after 11 pm.

The semifínals and the final can be followed live here.


GM Bassem Amin in sole lead
af Tom Skovgaard     29/7-2016

Egyptian Grandmaster Bassem Amin is in sole lead with 2 rounds to go with the score of 7 out of 8, after todays draw against GM Dreev. 12 followers have 6½ points.

In the 9th round tomorrow, GM Bassem is black against GM Daniel Naroditsky on the top board.


ChessBase in the chess shop
af Tom Skovgaard     29/7-2016

Xtracon Chess Open received this from the chess shop:

Martin Fischer from ChessBase has now joined the Dansk Skaksalg Chess Stall.

He has brought a wie variety of the ChessBase-products with him. In addition Martin is able to offer good deals for many ChessBase-products, so it seems worth to have a visit.

Martin will be available too if you have any questions about ChessBase or ChessBase products.


Friday - Events and Checklist
af Tom Skovgaard     29/7-2016

Remember the following events on Friday, July 29th:

  • 11:00: GM Boris Gelfand signs books outside the auditorium
  • 13:00: Round 8 starts!
  • 15:00: GM Boris Gelfand joins FM Per Andreasen in the commentary room

  • 16:00: Latest signup for the blitz tournament - however, only as long as there are free places, so signup are likely to be closed earlier!
  • 18:00: Deadline for paying the entrance fee for the blitz tournament.
  • 19:30: Blitz Tournament - cf. here.


New In Chess - special offer at Xtracon Chess Open
af Tom Skovgaard     28/7-2016

Xtracon Chess Open receiving the following from New In Chess:

New In Chess will be at Xtracon Chess Open during the weekend, and will have a special offer for new subscribers. 

New In Chess has regular contributions from all the world’s best players. Magnus Carlsen, Fabiano Caruana, Anish Giri, Hikaru Nakamura, Vladimir Kramnik, Levon Aronian, Vishy Anand, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Sergey Karjakin, Veselin Topalov, Alexander Grischuk, Judit Polgar, Hou Yifan. You name them, we have them. Perhaps that’s why New In Chess is also their favourite chess magazine!

With a New in Chess subscription you get:

  • 8 issues a year
  • 800 pages a year of the very best in chess
  • game annotations by the best players on the planet 
  • on-the-spot tournament reports
  • columns both serious and hilarious
  • in-depth interviews
  • 'Secrets of Opening Surprises' 
  • chess history that comes to life
  • endgames and studies
  • chess anecdotes and curiosities
  • great pictures and drawings
  • an honest GM opinion on the latest chess books
  • exclusive columns by Judit Polgar, Nigel Short, Hans Ree and Parimarjan Negi


Grandelius og Aagaard won the Pair Blitz
af Tom Skovgaard     28/7-2016

Wednesday evenings pair blitz tournament had 42 teams participating with team names like: "Dumb & Dumber 3", "Low Quality Chess", "Bossen & Bumsen" (the Danish title of the Eddie Murphy movie "Trading places", meaning "The boss and the pimp"), "Team Amarone", "Vi ka' bestikkes" (We take bribe) og "No Quality Chess".

The winning team was "Reserver for Boris" with the grandmasters Nils Grandelius and Jacob Aagaard scoring 17 out of 18 - Aagaard had a single loss. Second came the Norwegian team "Sjakkhestene" with Joakim Solbjerg og Pal Royset scoring 15, and in third the Danish team "New In Chess" with Jesper Thybo og Rasmus Thøgersen scoring 13.

All results can be seen here.

In the pictures the winning team, at left with GM Boris Gelfand watching. See also the pictures from the Pair Blitz here.


Round 7 live now
af Tom Skovgaard     28/7-2016

Xtracon Chess Open Round 7 started at 13:00 with 3 players in the lead with 5½ out of 6: Sebastien Mazé, France, Bassem Amin, Egypt, and Sabino Brunello, Italy. All top games (47 games) can be followed live from the homepage, or on See a short impression from the start of the top games in round 7 below.


Thursday - Events and Checklist
af Tom Skovgaard     27/7-2016

Remember the following events on Thursday, July 28th:

  • 13:00: Round 7 starts!
  • 20:00: GM Boris Gelfand lecture - cf. here. Registration & Payment required.



Pair blitz
af Thomas Larsen     27/7-2016

Follow the results of the pair blitz tournament here:

Results and standings


A free book to all participants from Quality Chess
af Tom Skovgaard     27/7-2016

All participants in Xtracon Chess Open has been offered a gift from Quality Chess! Vouchers were placed on the boards today for all players, and if you bring your voucher to the chess sales shop (basement level) at the latest before round 8 starts (!), you can choose a book from the piles of books from Quality Chess placed there as gifts! Ask for advice in the shop.


Short talks / interviews with top players
af Tom Skovgaard     27/7-2016

During Xtracon Chess Open we have had short talks with a few of the top players, and also other videos - short as well as longer videos - have been made, including players showing their games in the commentary room. More will follow, stay tuned - and enjoy the videos from the links below. All videos are available on the YouTube channel of the Copenhagen Chess Federation here.


GM Rasmus Svane won 8 out of 9 in his simul
af Tom Skovgaard     27/7-2016

Young GM Rasmus Svane won convincingly 8 out of 9 in his simul on Tuesday evening. The only loss was to his younger brother Frederik Svane who grabbed the chance to score a victory against his older brother!

All the games from the simul can be viewed / downloaded from the homepage here.


Gelfand and Aagaard ready for the Thursday lecture
af Tom Skovgaard     27/7-2016

Enjoy this small appetizer video, taken here in Elsinore on yesterday, with Boris Gelfand and Jacob Aagaard - ready for the lecture on Thursday at 20:00! Tickets to the lecture (including a copy of the new book!) are available as long as there are free places (maximum 250). Tickets are sold in the tournament office until 19:00, and - if there are still free places - also outside the auditorium until the start of the lecture. Payment shall be in cash! Danish Kroner 225,-.
Important! Those who payed on the net need to collect their ticket in the tournament office before 19:00!


Wednesday - Events and Checklist
af Tom Skovgaard     26/7-2016

Remember the following events on Wednesday, July 27th:

And round 6 starts Wednesday at 13:00!


Boris Gelfand arrived
af Tom Skovgaard     26/7-2016

Grandmaster Boris Gelfand arrived today in Elsinore with GM Jacob Aagaard, visiting Xtracon Chess Open, and preparing for the lecture on Thursday evening at 20:00.

Gelfand will, together with Jacob Aagaard, present his new book from Quality Chess "Dynamic Decision Making in Chess" - read more here.

Breaking news! Gelfand and Aagaard just signed up for the pair blitz!


Did you play a brillancy game to win a price?
af Tom Skovgaard     26/7-2016

New In Chess is sponsoring 2 prices for brillancy games in Xtracon Chess Open - each 1 years free subscription to the magazine New In Chess! The 2 prices go to the most brillant games played by respectively a player under 2000 (FIDE/ELO rating) and a player with rating 2000 or more.

Games, to be considered for the brillance prices, are to be handed in to the tournament office - the sooner the better.



Henrik Juel (DK) won the problem solving contest
af Tom Skovgaard     26/7-2016

20 problem solvers took part in the solving contest on Monday evening - the open Danish championship in chess problem solving helt here at Konventum in Elsinore. 16 Danes were supplied by 2 from Norway, 1 from Sweden and 1 from Poland.

As the tradition, 18 "Mate in two" problems had to be solved within 2 hours - 6 "easy", 6 "not-easy", and 6 "tuff"! Every correct answer gave 2 pts. so the max score was 36.

The winner was, as also last year, Henrik Juel (DK), achiving 32 pts. 2nd came Jimmy Mårdell (S) with 30 pts., and 3rd was Aage Olsen (DK) with 28 pts. In 4th was FM Poul Rewitz (DK), also on 28 points, however, using 5 minutes longer that Olsen to solve the problems.


Convincing 11½ out of 12 in GM Mads Andersens simul
af Tom Skovgaard     26/7-2016

The Danish champion, GM Mads Andersen, made convincing 11½ in 12 games in his simul on Monday evening. Only one opponent, Alseit Kizatbay, managed to score, achieving a draw.

The last game to finish, after a little more than 2 hours of play, was a long endgame with bishops of different colours. Mads won this game after 90 moves with good endgame play.

All the games from the simul can be viewed / downloaded from the homepage here.


Tuesday - Events and Checklist
af Tom Skovgaard     25/7-2016

Remember the following events on Tuesday, July 26th:

And round 5 starts Tuesday at 13:00!


Round 4 live now with 31 players with maximum score
af Tom Skovgaard     25/7-2016

31 players have maximum score, 3 pts., after the first 3 rounds, and todays round 4 brings the first games between grandmasters at the top 5 boards and on board 10.

47 games can be followed live, and live commentary (mostly in Danish) is streamed on YouTube. All relevant links can be found easily in the top part of the homepage.

Additional to the live games, all games of the tournament are available on the home page - normally just 1 hour after each round is finished, the games can be found in pgn format, and in playable format! See the photos here for quick guidance on how to find the games!


The chess shop is now open daily
af Tom Skovgaard     25/7-2016

The chess shop "Dansk Skaksalg" is now open daily all of this week until Saturday (included). You will find the shop on the basement level close to the hallway besides the conference room with the top boards.

Ole Knudsen, manager of the chess shop, has speciel offers all of this week, and Martin Fischer from ChessBase will be in the shop to assist customers with products and guidance on using ChessBase products on the last days of the week.

Opening hours can be seen in the time schedule, and you can read more about the chess shop this week here.


Monday - Events and Checklist
af Tom Skovgaard     24/7-2016

Remember the following events on Monday, July 25th:

And round 4 starts Monday at 13:00!


Dhanush Bharadwaj won a ticket to the Gelfand lecture
af Thomas Larsen     23/7-2016

Dhanush Bharadwaj won the second puzzle solving competition. Congratulations! The winner receives a ticket to the Gelfand lecture and a signed copy of Gelfand's new book ”Dynamic Decision Making in Chess”. Dhanush Bharadwaj was one of 3 puzzle solvers with a correct answer.

The solution to the puzzle:

White to move and win.

A classical king hunt is coming up:  1. Ng5+ Kf6 2. Re6+! (Not 2. Re1? Kxg5 3. gxh4 Kxh4=)
2…Kxg5 3. f4+ Kh5 4. Rg6! Nf6+ (4…Nf3 5. Bf5 Nf6+!? 6. Rxf6 Ng5+ 7. Kg7! Nf7!? 8. Rg6 g1=Q 9. Bg4# or 4…Nxg6 5. Bxg6#)
5. Rxf6 b1=Q 6. Rg6! Nf3! (6…Nxg6 7. Be2# or 6…Bxb1 7. g4#)
7. Bf5!! (7. Bxb1? g1=Q= 8. Bf5 Qa7+=)
7… Qxf5 8. g4+ Qxg4 (8…Kh4 9. gxf5 g1=Q 10. Rxg1 Nxg1 11 f6 and White wins easily)
9. Rh6#


Xtracon Chess Open 2016 started
af Tom Skovgaard     23/7-2016

Xtracon Chess Open started today at 14:00 with close to 400 players at Konventum in Elsinore, Denmark. 27 grandmasters and 11 international masters tops the field with participants from 27 countries - from Denmark 156 players, and from Norway 122, from Germany 33, from Sweden 20, and from England 12.

The complete field of players can be seen in the tournament table here. At the top board, GM Julio Granda Zuniga plays for the first time in Denmark, while other well known chess names in the field include Laurent Fressinet, France, Alexei Shirov, Latvia, Aleksey Dreev, Russia, Jon Ludwig Hammer og Simen Agdestein, Norway, Mihail Marin, Romania og Jan Timman, Netherlands.

The tournament can be followed live on the net, where 47 games are transmitted (with a 10 min. delay), see links to the live pages in the menu. And the live commentary, by FM Per Andreasen, is streamed in YouTube here. The commentary is mostly in Danish, however, GM's and IM's often join Per Andreasen to go quickly through their game after it is ended, so stay tuned!

A short video shows a few impressions from the opening of Round 1 here:


First lecture Saturday evening: How to handle the bad bishops
af Thomas Larsen     22/7-2016

Book presentation: The Secret Life of Bad Bishops (Quality Chess 2014)
Saturday Juli 23rd at 8 pm (In English)

By: Silas Esben Lund

The book presentation will be held after the 1st round of XtraCon Chess Open 2016, on Saturday July 23 at 8 pm (20:00), and will last approx. 1½ hours.

This ambitious volume deals with the subject of good and bad bishops - and when they are actually not so bad as the visual impression. All phases of the game are covered, from opening to endgame - but the focal point of the author is the complex middlegame and how to understand and successfully deal with it. The book is wrapped up with an exercise section to test the newly enhanced understanding.

”The Secret Life of Bad Bishops” has received excellent reviews - take a look at: Quality Chess’ webpage.

Relevant game extracts from round 1 of the tournament will be included in the book presentation!

It is possible to buy a copy of the book at the presentation.


Pay the entry fee online - or at the sign in
af Thomas Larsen     18/7-2016

The online payment site is open until the sign in, which takes place at the playing venue Saturday 23rd July from 10.45 to 11.30. It is not necessary to sign in, if you have a green checkmark  at the participants list.

Please note that you can't pay with credit card at the sign in. The only option is cash (DKK).


GM Marin analyzes classical World Championship games
af Thomas Larsen     15/7-2016

For the second year in a row we have the pleasure to present a lecture by the Romanian grandmaster Mihail Marin. This year the subject is classical World Championship matches. Marin will analyze games in which the challenger beats the champion with his own weapons.

The lecture will be held Tuesday July 26th at 20:00 in the auditorium. Entrance is free. The lecture will be in English.

Marin has written a number of well-received books including "Learn from the Legends", which was named the 2005 ChessCafe Book of the Year.


Norwegian GM Simen Agdestein to play Xtracon Chess Open!
af Tom Skovgaard     13/7-2016

A top name in Norwegian chess, the 49-year-old GM Simen Agdestein, is ready for Xtracon Chess Open! 

Through many years, Simen has played a significant role in Norwegian chess, not just as a strong grandmaster but also as a top chess trainer on the elite sports high school “Norges Toppidrettsgymnas”. Here, Simen has trained numerous young Norwegian chess talents, including the current chess world champion Magnus Carlsen.

Simen Agdestein has won the Norwegian chess championship 7 times! And the talents of Simen Agdestein also includes soccer and Simen has played on the Norwegian national soccer team and now also teaches soccer on the sports high school! Simens brother, Espen Agdestein, is Magnus Carlsen’s manager.

With more than 100 Norwegian players in Xtracon Chess Open, it is great also to have such a Norwegian top name as Simen Agdestein in the tournament, and we are really looking forward seeing Simen in Xtracon Chess Open.


New In Chess sponsorship
af Thomas Larsen     5/7-2016

We are proud to present the chess magazine New In Chess as a sponsor of Xtracon Chess Open again this year. Just like last year the two winners of the Best games prizes gets a one year subsciption of New In Chess. 

The New In Chess sponsorship will also cover a book prize "My first chess opening repertoire" in each of the four age groups in Kids Cup. More about this book here.

We expect that New In Chess will be present during Xtracon Chess Open. More information about this will be added later.


Niels Chr. Jensen won a ticket to the Gelfand lecture - A new chance to win starts here
af Thomas Larsen     3/7-2016

Niels Chr. Jensen won the first puzzle solving competition. Congratulations! The winner receives a ticket to the Gelfand lecture and a signed copy of Gelfand's new book ”Dynamic Decision Making in Chess”. Niels Chr. Jensen was one of 15 puzzle solvers with a correct answer.

The solution to the puzzle (diagram to the right):

1. d8=Q+ Nc8 2. Qb6+ Nxb6 3. d7+ Ka8 4. d6+ Kb8 5. d8=Q+ Nc8
Or 5…Qxd8 6. d7+ Qc7 8. d8=Q+winning. 6. Qb6+ Nxb6 7. d7+ 1-0

If you missed the first chance to win the ticket for the lecture, then here comes another chance. To participate you must solve the puzzle below. ”White to move and win.” A correct solution contains as a minimum the main line until white’s move number 7 (included).

This study by Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen is dedicated to Xtracon Chess Open:

White to move and win.

Solutions must be sent to with the subject ”Gelfand” no later than Friday July 22nd. The winner of the prize will be announced at the opening ceremony.


Copenhagen Chess Festival t-shirt
af Thomas Larsen     24/6-2016

Now you can order and buy a Copenhagen Chess Festival t-shirt via the online payment. The price is 125 DKK.

We also have t-shirts from earlier years for sale at the tournament office. The price is 50 DKK.

Go to online order and payment


New tournament home page
af Tom Skovgaard     16/6-2016

The home page for Xtracon Chess Open has been revised and is now located at the following web address:

In addition to the move to the new address, the home page has been technically revised for a new platform. The design and the functionality is, though, basically unchanged from the earlier version of the home page, and all data has been ported to the new home page. Only the pictures of the players will be ported and tagged over a few days before they are also fully available on the new home page.

The only drawback for the visitors of the page is that the tournament history from previous years are no longer available, due to the redirection from the old web address. We are sorry for this, and we hope to find a solution for this issue.


Save 100 DKK on the entry fee
af Thomas Larsen     15/6-2016

You can sign up for the tournament until the very last moment on the first playing date July 23rd, but if you pay the entry fee latest at July 1st, you will get a discount worth 100 DKK.


Interview with endgame study composer Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen
af Tom Skovgaard     14/6-2016

The Danish endgame study composer Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen has composed and donated 2 of his endgame studies to Xtracon Chess Open 2016! Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen won in 2013 the first price in the “Jan Timman 60 Jubilee Tourney”in competition with some of the worlds best study composers, and his winning study was included in Jan Timmans very popular lecture on studies last year in Copenhagen Chess Festival.

The 2 studies, donated by Steffen Slumstup Nielsen, are published up to this years tournament, the first one being published already, and solvers will have a chance to win a ticket to the Gelfand lecture, with a book included (!), this year, as can be seen in another news post.

We give you here a small interview with Steffen, who is a 2150 club player, about endgame studies, including an endgame study which Steffen find to be one of the best he has ever seen. Enjoy!

About his interest in composing endgame studies - - 

"The interesting thing about composing endgame studies is the exploration of the game of chess. Each day I discover positions, tricks or manouevres that I didn't know existed the day before. I sit down at my computer, set up some pieces, and quite quickly things begin to happen. Recently I discovered at position where King and lone bishop can draw against King, Rook and bishop. The stronger side is on the move and seemingly has three adequate moves, but they all fail. To me, it is pure happiness discovering these hidden secrets with few pieces. I can't believe I have this privilege."

About contacts with other study composers - - 

"Composing studies is quite a lonely venture, at least in Denmark. Only once a year, at the World Conference of Chess Composition do I get the chance to meet face to face my fellow study composers."

About working with studies vs. playing chess over the board - - 

"I am more of an explorer than a winner. I love the drama of the over the board game and the extensive history connected with it, but I don't have the necessary focus and endurance (and probably talent) to succeed or even improve. When I create studies I am instead driven by my thirst for discovery. To be honest I also get quite nervous playing, at times. I even seem to favor the post mortem or casual analysis rather that playing the actual game."

About the number of studies you can create each year - - 

"I am quite active these years. I maybe create around 20 studies a year and send them to various competitions - both online and in printed publications. Other composers, like for instance GM Jan Timman, have years when the compose more that 100 studies. Of the great Georgian composer David Gurgenidze at his peak it was said that he would go to the bathroom and return with a new study. And that was only when he went to pee.  A joke, of course, but there certainly are people for whom composing is a calling if not an obsession. No one has ever succeeded in making a living of composing, of course, so one has to remember one's day time job."

About a “world elite”and competitions for the words best composers - - 

"There are two composer who stand above the rest at present. Russia's Oleg Pervakov and Ukraine's Sergei Didukh. Chasing them, there is a field of perhaps 20-30 strong composers of approximately the same strength. I wouldn't know who to put in third, fourth or fifth place. Jan Timman and the great promoter of studies, Yochanan Afek, are in this group. So am I, but at the bottom. Every three years there is a world championship for individuals where each composer presents 6 of his best studies. Oleg Pervakov is the reigning champion from 2016 (I was in 8th place), before him it was Sergei Didukh."

About studies and chess in general - - 

"Some people consider chess solely a game. To me it is mixture of game, art and science. I know that there are many chess players who only deal with endgame studies (if at all) in order to improve their playing performance. And run away from any other kind of chess problems. That is undoubtedly the way to go if their main aim is to improve their rating. But I can't help feel that this is a poor and narrow defintion of chess. I prefer the defintion of Austrian composer Friedrich Chlubna: Game + Problem = Chess. (Partie + Problem = Schach)."

About a favorite study - - 

"It is hard to chose af favorite study. Dolgov is a relatively unknown composer, but this is just a miracle that deserves to be wider known. Only seven pieces and a winning plan Magnus Carlsen would (surely) fail to find over the board. Even the computer struggles with it."

Vasili Dolgov, 1st prize Shakhmaty V SSSR 1966

White to play and win

You can find the solution a bit further down below!



The solution

1. g7 Rb1+ 2. Ka4!
Not 2. Ka2 Rb2+ with a draw. And  2. Kc2 doesn't work because Black replies 2...Rb2+ ! 3. Kd3 Rb3+ 4. Ke4 Rg3! Please notice this for later purposes.
2... Ra1+ 3. Kb5 Rb1+ 4. Ka6 Ra1+ 5. Kb7
Or 5. Kb6
5... Rb1+ 6. Ka7 Bg1+
6... Ra1+ 7. Ba6+ is winning.
7. Ka8 Ra1+ 8. Kb8 Bh2+
8... Tb1+ 9. Bb7 Bh2+ 10. Kc8 Rc1+ 11. Kd8 Rd1+ 12. Ke7 and White wins.
What has White been doing? Fleeing to b8 seems quite pointless after this bishop check.
9. g3!!
A desperado move before the inevitable perpetual?
9...Bxg3+ 10. Kb7 Rb1+ 11. Ka6 Not at all. The king returns. 
11...Ra1+ 12. Kb5 Rb1+13. Ka4 Ra1+ 14. Kb3 Rb1+ 15. Kc2
This is the same positon as in the note after White's second move. With one slight difference.
15... Rb2+ 16. Kd3 Rb3+ 17. Ke4
And now we all see it. Black's rook cannot go to g3 because the square is blocked by the bishop
17... Rb4+ 18. Kf5 1-0


Simuls with young GMs Mads Andersen and Rasmus Svane
af Tom Skovgaard     9/6-2016

Two of the young GMs in the tournament give simuls on Monday and Tuesday evening in the Xtracon Chess Open side events. On Monday, 20:00, the Danish champion GM Mads Andersen, 21 years old (picture left), play a simul against up to 24 players, and on Tuesday, 20:00, the Danish/GermanIM Rasmus Svane, 19 years old (picture right), play a simul, also against up to 24 playes. Rasmus Svane scored his third and final GM norm in the Bundesliga this year, and expects to be appointed GM by FIDE in September.

You can register for the simuls from the top menu on this page, as long as there are free places.

See also the overview of all side events at Xtracon Chess Open in the time schedule here.


Solve this puzzle - and win a ticket to the Gelfand lecture
af Thomas Larsen     6/6-2016

Now is the chance to win a ticket to the Boris Gelfand lecture ”Dynamic Decision Making in Chess”, which is held Thursday July 28th at 8 pm. at Konventum. A signed copy of Gelfand’s new book is included in the prize.

To participate in the draw of lots for the prize, you must solve this puzzle. ”White to move and win.” A correct solution contains as a minimum the main line until white’s move number 7 (included).

Solutions must be sent to with the subject ”Gelfand” no later than Saturday July 2nd. The winner of the prize will be announced shortly hereafter.

This study is the first of two studies dedicated to Xtracon Chess Open by the Danish chess composer Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen. Steffen won the first prize in ”Jan Timman 60 Jubilee Tourney”, where some of the worlds best chess composers participated.

Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen during the Danish Chess Puzzle Solving Championship.


Boris Gelfand to visit Xtracon Chess Open!
af Tom Skovgaard     11/5-2016

Boris Gelfand, world elite player through more than 20 years and WCC challenger in 2012, visits the Danish Xtracon Chess Open tournament July, 27 – 30!

Boris Gelfand is an institution in chess. He was no. 3 in the World in 1990 and has been in the top ever since. He was 2nd-3rd at the 2007 Mexico World Championship tournament, won the 2009 World Cup, 2011 Candidates tournament and lost the 2012 World Championship match in the tiebreaks. In 2013 he was one of the World’s most successful tournament players, winning three World class round robins as the only one, in front of all of the top players in the World.

Latest Boris Gelfand won the "ECF 2015 Book of the Year" for his collaboration with Danish GM Jacob Aagaard, "Positional Decision Making in Chess". They are currently working on the follow-up, "Dynamic Decision Making in Chess", which will be published in hardback at the end of August, by Quality Chess.

At Xtracon Chess Open 2016 Boris Gelfand will, assisted by Jacob Aagaard, give a lecture, talking about the two books. The entry fee for the lecture is 225 DKK, which includes a free hardback copy of "Dynamic Decision Making in Chess" and a chance to get it signed be the authors.

As an extra bonus, Boris Gelfand will also participate in the blitz tournament on Friday evening, 29th of July!

The lecture will take place after the 7th round, Thursday the 28th of July in the commentary room at 20.00 and will take between an hour and a half and two hours. Registration, and payment, can be done here from the tournament website - link here.


Julio Granda Zuniga plays Xtracon Chess Open
af Tom Skovgaard     20/3-2016

GM Julio Granda Zuniga from Peru joins the field of players ready for Xtracon Chess Open 2016! Granda Zuniga, placed no. 52 with rating 2688 on FIDE's rating list of March, is admired by many not just for his strong play and fighting spirit, but also for his natural talent for playing great chess!

Granda Zuniga has a long list of top results in his chess career, following his achivement of the GM title at the age of 19 in 1986. In recent years, the FIDE World Cup 2013 will come to mind, where Granda eliminated none less than Melkumyan, Peter Leko, and Anish Giri before he was eliminated himself by Caruana! And the convincing victory this summer in Andorra Open with 8 points in 9 rounds also impressed, as covered by Chessbase.

And Danish chess fans will remember Granda Zuniga sharing 1st place with Bent Larsen in Mar del Plata 1993.

It is the first time, Granda Zuniga plays the Xtracon Chess Open, and maybe also Granda's first visit to Denmark.


af Thomas Larsen     28/2-2016

More than 100 chessplayers have already signed up for Xtracon Chess Open 2016. Will the record from last year fall?


Familiar faces at Xtracon Chess Open
af Thomas Larsen     14/2-2016

Even though the tournament name now is Xtracon Chess Open, a lot of things haven't changed since the recent years of Politiken Cup. There will be some familiar faces among the participants:

Aleksey Dreev has been a member of the Russian chess elite for several years. In 1996 he peaked at the World rankings with a 9th place. His list of results is quite impressive: World Under-16 Champion, European Junior Champion, Biel Winner, Hoogovens winner, European rapid chess champion, European blitz chess champion, etc. He has also reached a World Championship quarter final and won 3 olympic gold medals with the Russian team.

Dreev won 16th prize in Politiken Cup 2009 and 4th prize in 2012. This year he will surely be one of the contestants for the tournament victory.

Daniel Naroditsky showed his blitz skills last year where he won the Oddset Blitz. The american grandmaster finished only a half point behind the winner of Politiken Cup 2015, and he will be one of the favourites for the tournament win this year.

Learn more about GM Naroditsky by visiting his website:

Vladimir Burmakin finished a half point behind the winner of Politiken Cup 2012. The experienced Russian grandmaster has a lot of fine tournament wins including Chigorin Memorial and Cappelle-la-Grande.

His ELO is currently 2556 and he peaked at 2627 in July 2009.

Sabino Brunello is a good friend of Danish chess. He has played for Sydøstfyn Chessclub in the Danish chess league, and the Italian GM has multiple participations in Politiken Cup on his resume.

His best performance was in 2013 where he was in the lead before the last round, but after a loss to the tournament winner Negi, he had to settle for 7th prize.

Last but not least we will get another visit from Mihail Marin, who gave an interesting lecture and took 8th prize in Politiken Cup 2015. Marin has written a number of well-received books including "Learn from the Legends", which was named the 2005 ChessCafe Book of the Year.

Tania Sachdev unfortunately had to cancel her participation.


French re-visit
af Thomas Larsen     6/2-2016

3 French top-players will return to Konventum and Xtracon Chess Open. They all participated in Politiken Cup last year.

GM Laurent Fressinet is probably best known as Magnus Carlsen's second at the 2014 World Championship match. His 2700 ELO makes him one of the tournament favourites, just like last year where he took the 4th prize.

A video from Politiken Cup 2015 going through Fressinet's fine win against Kramnik:


GM Sebastien Mazé is participating for the third time. In 2015 he took 7th prize and and in 2013 he finished 4th. Among his best results is the 2nd prize in Reykjavik Open 2012 behind Caruana.

IM Axel Delorme has the playing strength of a grandmaster, which his 2500+ ELO indicates. He is still missing the norms to become a GM, but maybe he can achieve one in Xtracon Chess Open?


Online room booking
af Thomas Larsen     4/2-2016

The online booking for accommodation during the Xtracon Chess open 2016 is open.

Go to online booking here. The language can be changed in the top right corner of the booking page.

Room Prices:

Single room:
Incl. breakfast: 690 DKK
Incl. full board: 999 DKK

Twin bedded room:
Incl. breakfast: 870 DKK
Incl. full board: 1520 DKK

De luxe room: Additional 300 DKK


Norweigian Grandmasters plays Xtracon Chess Open
af Thomas Larsen     16/1-2016

It is a pleasure to present a 2700+ grandmaster at Xtracon Chess Open 2016. Right now Jon Ludvig Hammer is just below 2700, but according to he will pass this milestone next month.

Hammer is a clear number 2 in Norway, and he is known for his entertaining style of play. He won the prize for best game in Politiken Cup 2015, and was placed third in the overall standings. He will without any doubt go for the tournament victory this year.

Update 6th April 2016: Unfortunately GM Aryan Tari will not be playing Xtracon Chess Open this year. We hope to see the the talented young Norwegian on another occasion.


For the 5th consecutive year: GM Jan Timman plays Xtracon Chess Open 2016
af Thomas Larsen     12/12-2015

Another world class chess player will be playing in Xtracon Chess Open 2016. For the 5th consecutive year the Dutch GM Jan Timman is participating. He has been a part of the world's top players for more than a decade, and in that period he was considered to be the best non-Soviet player. He has been a World Championship candidate several times and in 1993 he lost a match against Karpov for the World Championship title.

The organizers behind Xtracon Chess Open are looking forward to have the Dutch legend in the field of strong chess players.


Shirov plays Xtracon Chess Open 2016
af Thomas Larsen     7/12-2015

We are proud to present GM Alexei Shirov in the field of strong chessplayers that will compete for the first prize in Xtracon Chess Open 2016. The 43 year old Latvian has been as high as number 4 on the world ranking and in January 2008 he reached his highest rating ever: 2755!

Shirov became Grandmaster in 1990 and has collected a lot of tournament wins through the years. His finest result was the victory in M-Tel Masters 2009 ahead of Carlsen og Topalov. In 1998 he beat Kramnik in a match to select the World Championship challenger for Kasparov. However the Kasparov-Shirov match was never played. He also made an attempt at a World Championship title in 2000, where he lost to Anand at the final of the FIDE World Chess Championship.

Shirov played first board for Latvia at the Chess Olympiad in Tromsø and he has played 4 times for Latvia. In the period from 1996 to 2010 he represented Spain with 7 appearances.

It is the first time Shirov is playing a tournament in Denmark since Kerteminde 1991 where he took first place ahead of Curt Hansen. We are looking forward to enjoy his entertaining style of play at Xtracon Chess Open 2016.

Shirov's games, results and much more


Player profile photos and flags
af Thomas Larsen     27/11-2015

Right now 20 chess players have signed up for Xtracon Chess Open 2016, and we expect more than 300 participants in the open tournament. Check the participants list here. We don't have photos of all the players, so if they have a good picture of themselves, they can send it to

It is important that the use of the photo doesn’t violate any copyrights.
The picture must be 200 x 200 pixels or better.

Occasionally we get signups from countries which haven't been represented in Politiken Cup before. Unfortunately we don't have all the country flags, but this will be corrected before the start of the tournament.


Room prices
af Thomas Larsen     22/11-2015

Prices for rooms at Konventum during Xtracon Chess Open 2016:

Single room:
Incl. breakfast: 690 DKK
Incl. full board: 999 DKK

Twin bedded room:
Incl. breakfast: 870 DKK
Incl. full board: 1520 DKK

De luxe room: Additional 300 DKK

When the online booking system is open it will be announced here on this website.


The IT company Xtracon is the new main sponsor for the Danish chess tournament Copenhagen Open
af Thomas Larsen     13/11-2015

The IT company Xtracon A/S becomes the new main sponsor for the largest Danish chess tournament “Copenhagen Open”, also known as “Politiken Cup” after its previous main sponsor through decades, the Danish newspaper “Politiken”. In the future, the chess tournament will be named “Xtracon Chess Open”.

Through recent years, Copenhagen Open has been played over a week in July/August at the attractive resort “Konventum” / “LO-skolen” in the scenic surroundings of Helsingør in the northern part of Sealand. With more than 400 participants from more than 20 countries, including many strong Grandmasters, the tournament has become not just a major chess event of Denmark, but also a significant and highly recognized international event.

The IT company Xtracon is a Danish company specializing in IT hosting and IT operations. The owner of Xtracon, Henrik Mølvig, is himself a strong chessplayer who normally participates in the tournament that will from now on bear the name of his company. Xtracon is already known for sponsoring other chess events in Denmark, including the top league of the Danish team championship, “Xtracon Skakligaen”, as well as other open GM tournaments over the years.

The Copenhagen Chess Federation (KSU) is the organizer of “Copenhagen Open” which has been held yearly since 1979. The newspaper “Politiken” has been the main sponsor in most of the years since the first tournament, why the name “Politiken Cup” is very well known and recognized nationally as well as internationally. The president of KSU, Sigfred Haubro, states that KSU has been very satisfied with the long relationship and the cooperation with “Politiken”. KSU welcomes, though, the new sponsorship, which has been agreed for a period of three years, 2016 – 2018.

Sigfred Haubro adds that “Xtracon Chess Open” will continue based on the same concept as of recent years, and as a part of the “Copenhagen Chess Festival” also including blitz tournaments, simultaneous events, kids cup and many other events.

With the record high number of participants of this year, over 400, KSU are looking forward to organizing “Xtracon Chess Open” also in the years to come as an attractive and major chess tournament which international professional chess players and club players will enjoy attending. In 2016, “Xtracon Chess Open” will be played July, 23rd – 31st. More information, in Danish, can be found on (Copenhagen Chess Federation) and (Danish Chess Federation).

The tournament site will be up and running in the near future on

Henrik Mølvig and Sigfred Haubro after signing the sponsorship.

Online Payment
Pay the entry fee online


IO Lars Bech Hansen
+ 45 27 57 63 58

Program 2016

Download here