The special venue of the Hungarian National Gallery recently hosted the fourth Global Chess Festival on October 13, where participants of the event could play among fine art masterpieces spanning hundreds of years. Olympic chess champion Judit Polgar brought together 250 locations across 23 countries from around the world, with representatives from many nations – ranging from India and Chile to China and the US – also taking part in the festival’s programs.


For the first time at the festival the Goodwill Ambassador of Artistic Values of Chess was awarded to a number of artists whose work has been inspired or influenced by the great game of chess. These include French composer Jason Kouchak, who opened the ceremony with a concert, and the Chilean singer-songwriter Juga, who amazed the crowd with her singing. Others were also bestowed the award, such as artist Yoko Ono, who will receive the award from Polgar in New York this November. Ono’s long-time collaborator Sam Havadtoy was also honoured with the award, as was Hungarian pianist Gergely Bogányi.


The festival itself even received praise from famed Italian singer Andrea Bocelli, who expressed his support for the festival in a letter that emphasised his message that chess eliminates the differences between people. It is in this spirit that the special circumstances of those with visual or hearing impairments were also playing on the festival, allowing for their chess technique and tools to be a focal theme to this year’s event.


Nearly 100,000 viewers watched Polgar’s simultaneous online game on the eve of the event via Twitch TV, which streamed the event online in conjunction with Sam Copeland, a director of the latter, said that simultaneous online streaming tremendous treat for the entire chess community, and Polgar’s dynamic and energy was a blast to see on screen.


It is with the spirit of Polgar’s personal motto, “#Chess Connects Us”, that the fourth Global Chess Festival was held. Chess, the world’s oldest board game, was able to show it’s many faces during the event – including competitive sports, art and education – proving that chess truly does not have any boundaries. The Budapest-based local event was also joined by venues from across globe, including – among others – the United States, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, India and Nepal. The Netherlands participated with eight locations including the small island of Schiermonnikoog with a tiny population of almost a thousand inhabitants, who renamed the island in celebration of the event to become the Isle of Chess for the day. China was also a major partner of the Global Chess Festival, with 200 locations representing the event.

chess_danceThe stand out event of the festival was the simultaneous match held by Judit and Sofia  Polgar, for which hundreds of people applied. Ultimately nearly 50 players sat and played against the two multiple Olympic champions in tandem. All ages were represented by this mix of players, from the retired to the very young, with the central motto for the event strengthened when a visually-impaired little girl sat at the chess table to compare her skills against the Polgar sisters.


The young Argentine Grandmaster, Damian Lemos, also arrived in Budapest at the invitation of the festival, allowing for the most adventurous of players to test their abilities against the champion of Argentina. At the close of the festival, Lemos noted the surprising strength of the Hungarian chess players he was facing, regardless of their age.
The ability for chess to educate was once again highlighted this year, with Judit Polgar’s Chess Palace and Chess Playground educational programs also playing a major role at the festival. These programs were developed for the younger generation to help them tackle the challenges of the 21st century and to teach them how to navigate the digital age and face the constant barrage of information that we are all required to endure on a daily basis.
goodwill_ambassador_of_artistic_values_of_chess__juga“Chess is a world, but a precious one, without the lies. It is a pure form of art” – said Arkady Dvorkovich, the newly elected president of the International Chess Federation (FIDE), who acknowledged the festival’s motto of connectedness. “It gives us an opportunity to have an honest relationship with others and ourselves. This Festival has the power to gather all the generations, and to bring everyone close to everyone, to meet each other in socializing and to transmit that energy further. The idea that Judit Polgar put into focus, fact that chess have power to connect people, is the guiding principle for all of us.”

Chess Connects Us
GCF team




China is taking home two team gold medals from the 43rd Chess Olympiad which took place from 23rd September – 5th October in Batumi, Georgia.


After 11 rounds played in both sections, the Winner of the 43rd Chess Olympiad was determined by the additional criteria. Three teams tied for the first place in Open section with 18 points each, but the tie-break favoured China to claim the gold. USA was silver, while Russia took the bronze after a strong finish. The team of Poland played amazingly well throughout the event but narrowly missed the podium, finishing on shared 4th with England.

Final list- Open section


In a thrilling finale of the Women section China held Russia to a tie and finished the event with 18 match points, as Ukraine. Eventually, according to the tie-breaks, China won gold, while Ukraine finished silver. The bronze medal went to the team of Georgia 1 with 17 match points.

Final list- Women Section


Mr Arkady Dvorkovich is elected new President of FIDE at the General Assembly in Batumi, Georgia.


Members of the Presidential Ticket of Arkady Dvorkovich are elected into office:

  • Bachar Kouatly – Deputy President
  • Sewa Enyonam Fumey – General Secretary
  • Mahir Mammedov – Vice President
  • Julio Granda Zuniga – Vice President
  • Zhu Chen – Treasurer


The 4th edition of the annual Global Chess Festival will take place on Saturday, 13th of October, in the exclusive location of Hungarian National Gallery in Budapest.


The Global Chess Festival event is organized with aim to connect chess lovers from all around the world and to inspire chess enthusiasts to sign up with their own events with calling attention to the fact that chess is a common language and a significant part of culture and education. Last year the event has gathered chess lovers coming from more than 20 countries who participated a plenty of special events organized for children, parents and chess enthusiasts.


The organization team invites everyone to join the Global Chess Festival and to propose new events with having an unforgettable day and inspiring the whole world to play chess on 13th October. “Chess has an exceptional power to bring people together. We call for chess enthusiasts around the world to be part of the GCF and wish to encourage organizers from all over the world. Moreover we wish to inspire chess players, teachers and artists worldwide to organize chess related events and share it on the GCF website.

Also, the organizers are inviting everyone to participate the 24-hour Global Chess Festival Online, which will start on the 12th of October afternoon with online simul played against Judit Polgar.


Over 120 countries have already joined the Chess Map, which can be viewed here. The GCF aims to expand the Chess Map with more countries, events and individuals connecting to it. The GCF strongly believes that Chess is a sport, an experience, an educational method, and a special connection, a common language.

“Our mission has not changed”, says Judit Polgar, who is responsible for the organisation of the Global Chess Festival. “The Global Chess Festival promotes the 1000 faces of chess all around the world. We aim to share the beauty of chess with 5 million people by 2025, to connect and enjoy chess-related activities on the day of the festival. The power of chess connects people.”

Official Website of the event


CZECH OPEN 2018- Final Press Release

In the main tournament Pardubice Open, 309 players (43 GMs and 66 IMs) from 38 countries were presented.

P1270446Before the last round, GM Movsesian was half a point ahead and because in the final ninth round of the open grand master tournament Pardubice Open the matches of the first two boards ended in draw, Sergei Movsesian became the winner of this year’s tournament. He became historically the first player to win the Czech Open main tournament three times. „It was a big challenge for me, because after last year’s break, I played the grand master tournament again. It’s true that year after year, it seems to me that it is harder. Czech Open is always a high-quality tournament,“ said GM Sergei Movsesian. Second place went to IM Lukasz Jarmula from Poland. Bronze goes to Germany thanks to IM Christopher Noe. The best performace among Czech players was achieved by GM Thai Dai Van Nguyen on the 24th place.


The best woman in the tournament proved to be FM Nurgyul Salimova (2317) from Bulgaria, who showed great performance, fulfilled norm of IM and finished 29th. Best player in the U18 category was IM Kumar Jena Rakesh (2385) from India, who took 22nd place with 6.5 points. The trophy for the best senior player went to the Czech GM Marek Vokac (2384), who finished 76th with 5.5 points. In total, 14 international norms were distributed this year, out of which there were three norms of GM (Lukasz Jarmula, Johan-Sebastian Christiansen, Kacper Drozdowski).

MOTORGAS OPEN – ELO FIDE < 2300 rating tournament

 The winner of this tournament was WGM Elmira Mirzoeva from Russia, who dominated this tournament with 8.5 points. The second place took Aleksei Aliferenko from Ukraine and FM Mohsen Gabr from Egypt finished third.


GASCO OPEN – ELO FIDE < 2100 rating tournament

 The 7.5 points winner of this tournament was Sergei Polich from Ukraine, followed by Dejan Dimitrov and Alexandr Igumnov from Russia. All three players had the same number of points – 7.5.


DOSTIHOVY SPOLEK OPEN – ELO FIDE < 1700 rating tournament

 The gold medal in this tournament went to Batkhishig Udval from Mongolia, who scored 8.5 out of 9 points. Silver goes to Ukraine thanks to Myhaylo Zhukovskyi and third was Igor Igumnov from Russia.


The results and photographs of all tournaments and games are available on

Jubilee 30th International Chess and Games festival CZECH OPEN is going to be held 11. – 28. 7. 2019.

Adam Joska

Czech Open 2018


The best female chess player in history, Judit Polgar, designed educational program for China. Multiple Olympic champion’s innovative educational chess programs Chess Palace and Chess Playground are set to be introduced into Chinese schools to help the younger generation prepare for the challenges of our future.

In the 21st century, chess is more than just a sport but an opportunity, at least according to Olympic chess champion Judit Polgár who believes that by learning the game we can also learn to handle the excessive amounts of data that, in the digital age, we are constantly facing on a daily basis. Considered to be the best female chess player ever and having won multiple olympic gold medals in the sport, Polgár has gone on to pioneer two playful education programs called Chess Palace for schools and Chess Playground for kindergartens. These teaching methods are now being adopted in China after their previous success in her home country of Hungary, where they have helped children to improve their competencies by 40% when tested in key school subjects within the National Core Curriculum.


From September the Chess Palace and Chess Playground educational programs will begin in Chinese schools, with Polgár on-hand to help implement the method for learning by introducing it to headmasters as well as giving a lecture on chess as an educational tool. As a part of this cooperation, Polgár attended a special festival in Beijing between 18-22 July called Chess Skill = The Ability to Survive in the Future.

This unique five-day event was built around the tenets of the grandmaster’s educational programs, intended to give its young participants an understanding of skills and experience that they might need in their future lives. Teams of kids took part, teaching them not only the logical thinking needed on the chessboard but also aspects of teamplay, a sense of community and a greater understanding of wider social issues. To make this extra special, Polgár also gave a simultaneous exhibition by playing against a number of talented young chess players from across the country – an event that was also streamed online.

jppress201807_5The concept of the Chess Skill event is based on and precedes the Global Chess Festival, which is an annual event in Budapest organised by Polgár’s Foundation and is due to once again take place this October.

“Talks to make our programs accessible to Chinese children between 4-10 years-old began in 2016,” said Polgár of the exciting move to bring Chess Palace and Chess Playground to Asia. “Our cooperating partner, Chess Ivy, also believes that the use of chess is of great help for the younger generation of the 21st century by helping them to master the skills that are essential for success as adults. We believe that chess will allow children to adapt to changing situations later on in their lives.” Polgár emphasised how playing chess can teach children values like decision-making and help them to learn responsibility for their actions.

The success of these educational programs has already been proven in Hungarian schools where they were first introduced, becoming a part of Hungarian National Core Curriculum in 2013. Since then they have been introduced into 350 schools and have been utilised by over 15,000 young students.

As a part of this, almost 1,000 teachers have completed a 30-hour accreditation training program since Chess Palace and Chess Playground were first introduced. These teachers do not teach chess, but teach by the rules of chess. As part of the training program they are taught how to use the game as a toolkit for education, the rules of chess – and the values that can be earned by those who play it – being applied to the study of other compulsory subjects. As a result, a rather impressive 40% of the children participating in these programs have managed to achieve better results in subject competency tests when compared to control groups that did not take part, highlighting the value of the teaching method.

Polgár lives by her motto of “Chess connects us”, and it is with this in mind that the Chess Palace and Chess Playground programs were developed. As part of this message, she is opening the Global Chess Festival for the fourth year in 2018. This year it will be hosted by the Hungarian National Gallery and will take place at the Buda Castle in Budapest on 13 October 2018.


CZECH OPEN 2018- 2nd Press release

Many chess tournaments took place in Pardubice during last week. One of the most important and star-studded was rapid chess tournament Pardubicky kraj Open, with participation of 29 GMs.

“This is one of the strongest rapid tournaments and we are really happy about the interest for taking part in it,” said director of Czech Open Jan Mazuch. The winner of this tournament was GM Vitaliy Bernadskiy from Ukraine. „Rapid is my favorite discipline, I am satisfied with lots of games. I hope that the victory will motivate me to the next games in Czech Open. I feel good, a couple of months before this tournament I spent training and I am ready to fight for the victory in the main tournament Pardubice Open“ said the winner of rapid chess tournament GM Bernadskiy.


Interesting performances were also shown by the Indian players, remarkable 14th place got 12 years old IM Gukesh (1519). „It could have been even better, in the 4th round I lost the winning game with Chinmay Kulkarni. I have not played the rapid chess tournament in the last four years, so I have such a low rating and I can be at least partially satisfied. Recently I got the title of International Master, in Pardubice it is my goal to fight for the Grand Master’s norm“ said the promising Indian.

 Final standing of rapid chess tournament:

  1. GM Vitaliy Bernadskiy (Ukraine)
  2. GM Sergei Movsesian (Armenia)
  3. GM Philipp Schlosser (Germany)

This rapid tournament was played also as Open Czech Championship. The best Czech player was GM Jiri Stocek.

Final standing of Czech Championship:

  1. GM Jiri Stocek
  2. GM Vojtech Plat
  3. GM Vitezslav Rasik

The main Grand master tournament Pardubice Open has started on Friday 20th July. The total of 309 players registered, including those from South Korea, Singapore, Malaysia, Israel, United States of America, India and many European countries. “In this tournament, we have many players, who are really strong and we are glad that many people abroad are interested in our festival. There are big delegations especially from Germany, India, Russia and Ukraine” said Jan Mazuch, the director of Czech Open. In the main event of festival, 43 GMs, 3 WGMs, 66 IMs and 7 WIMs participate. “The starting list is very strong, like every year for that matter,” summed up Mazuch.


Number one seeded for this year is GM Jorden Van Foreest (2640) from Netherlands. Number two in starting list is Russian GM David Paravyan (2638) and number three is GM Sergei Movsesian (2635) from Armenia.

In the first four rounds there were two players who won all their games, that are GM Nitzan Steinberg from Israel and IM Vojtech Zwardon from Czech Republic. Zwardon is a big surprise of the tournament and he confirms a great form. Every year, a lot of foreign players   come to Pardubice and they make a lot of surprises in tournament just like this year. “The strength of this tournament in Pardubice is very high, because there is a lot of unknown young players from all of the world. We can see here, as last year, the most promising youngster of the world, indian GM Praggnanandhaa  (2529)  ” explained festival chess expert IM Petr Pisk.


The results of all tournaments and games are available on

Adam Joska

Czech Open 2018

CHEZH OPEN 2018- Press release

The 29th International Chess and Games Festival Czech Open started on July 12th. As usual take place in hockey ČSOB Pojišťovna Arena in Pardubice.

Czech Open 2017

The first tournament of Czech Open was really successful for Czech teams. In Cesky Lev Kolesovice Open, 121 four-member teams participated. “We are very happy to have 121 teams in this tournament, the number of teams from foreign countries is higher than last year. There are traditionally very strong players and teams, the tournament played GM Viktor Laznicka (2669), second best player of Czech Republic” said the director of festival Jan Mazuch.

This tournament is also played as Championship of Czech Republic. After seven rounds gold medals remained in Pardubice, because 2222 SK Polabiny A won. On the second place of final ranking was team SK Oaza Praha A, third ended team TJ Pankrac from Czech Republic too. On starting list were 9 GMs, 2 WGMs, 13 IMs, 2 WIMs and the best player of the event was Czech player GM Tomas Polak, who scored 6,5/7.


The first weekend of the event was traditionally dedicated to games. There are tournaments in various disciplines, such as backgammon, go, gomoku, mancala, scrabble and many others. The new game was a PubQuiz, which was also played as Championship of Czech Republic. After the weekend, the other chess tournaments were proceeding – blitz chess, superblitz and blitz marathon. One of the most popular event was the Fischerrandom chess tournament with GM Vitaliy Bernadskiy or GM Vojtech Plat. Winner of this tournament became Ukrainian Vitaliy Bernadskiy (2586). The best player in the Czech Open is Pentala Harikrishna, who has rating 2734. He is the 22nd world player and he played open pairs blitz tournament. Another star-studded tournament is the two-day rapid-chess tournament, which started on Wednesday. There are 29 grandmasters in the start list,  top seeded is GM Sergei Movsesian (2650) and GM Vitaliy Bernadskiy (2631).


Czech Open Festival draws to a phase, when the competitors taking part in the main tournament meet in the ČSOB Pojišťovna Arena. This tournament will begin on Friday 20th July and continue up to the Saturday 28th July.

The results of all tournaments, photogallery and games are available on

Adam Joska

Czech Open 2018


The fourth edition of the biennial tournament in memory of Gideon Japhet – a lawyer, Jerusalem man and an avid lover of chess and sports, was concluded last Friday Hebrew in Jerusalem. The event was organized by the capital’s chess club Jeruchess in collaboration with the Association of Chess Professionals (ACP) under the auspices and the sponsorship of the Japhet family.

Japhet closing group

The crown group, Gideon Japhet Cup with six world class players in a five-day double round rapid competition, was won by Russian Jan Nepomniachtchi – 6/10 ahead of Peter Svidler (Russia), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine), Boris Gelfand (Israel) and Georg Meier (Germany)5 each and Anna Muzychuck (Ukraine) 4.

Japhet- closing Nepo

More than 200 players took part in four open rating categories. In the main section 68 players competed in a 7 rounder including 14 GMs.  No.1 rated Arkadij Neiditsch defended his title from the third edition wit 6/7 ahead of the Israeli champion Tamir Nabaty, former world champion Maria Muzychuk (Ukraine), Evgeny Zanan, Tal Baron, Nitzan Steinberg (all Israel) 5.5 each; Former world champion Anna Ushenina and Israel’s No.1 IM Yuliya Shvaiger 5 each etc.

Japhet closing Naiditch

The Open B section (43 participants) was dominated by Igor Goldberg who led the field all the way through, scoring 6 points in 7 rounds undefeated ahead of 4 deputies: Alex Landa, Roy Wagman, Igor Barenboim and Natan Levin with 5.5 points each.etc.

The players of the crown group were treated to a walking tour in old Jerusalem and a hike in the Dead Sea.

Japhet dead sea Anna Muzychuk (1)

GM Alex Khuzman played a simul against 16 players beating 15 and losing just to the tournament director Alon Cohen.

All the results and games are available on the Official website.

Photos: Ritvo photography

Press release by: Yochanan  Afek

 Videos made during the games and interviews can be found here.

Jerusalem Hosts the 4th Japhet Tournament

The Israeli capital has hosted over the years quite a few major International chess events. The fourth edition of the International tournament in memory of Gideon Japhet (1928- 2013) a lawyer, a Jerusalem man and an avid enthusiast of chess and sports, will be opened next Sunday. The tournament is organized by Jeruchess club under the direction of IA Alon Cohen and his team, in collaboration with the ACP (Association of Chess Professionals) with the generous support and sponsorship of the Japhet family. It will be held on July 1-6, in the Lerner Sport Centre of the Hebrew University.

Japhet- prize-giving podium (1) (1)

The prize giving podium of the third Japhet tournament 2016, By: Ritvo photography

The crown group of the event is Gideon Japhet Cup, a rapid super tournament featuring 6 world class players who will play a double round all play all contest.

The participants are GMs Ian Nepomniachtchi (Russia 2770), Peter Svidler (Russia 2747), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine 2682), Boris Gelfand (Israel 2674), Georg Mayer (Germany 2662) and Anna Muzichuk (Ukraine 2611).

In addition to the crown competition, some 200 players will compete in 4 classical chess open tournaments. In the major 7 round group 60 players will participate, including 16 GMs and 10 IMs. The top ten are: 1. Arkadi Najditsch (Azerbaijan) 2697, the winner of the 3rd Japhet tournament 2. Tamir Nabaty (Israel’s current champion) 2692 3. Daniil Yuffa (Russia) 2557 4. Avital Boruchovsky (Israel) 2558 5. Alexander Bagrationi (Ukraine) 2539  6. Semen Dvoirys (Russia) 2539 7. Tal Baron (Israel) 2530 8. Maria Muzychuk (Ukraine) 2521 9. Nitzan Steinberg (Israel) 2521 10. Uri Kobo (Israel) 2508. The senior players in the main category are the former Israeli champions GM Yehuda Gruenfeld and IM Nathan Birnboim. .

Anna& Marya Muzychuk (1)Female chess is notably represented. In addition to the former women world champions, the Ukrainian GMs Maria Muzychuk and Anna Ushenina Israel’s No.1, IM Yuliya Shvayger, Israel current champion WFM Michal Lahav, Georgian IM Salome Melia and WGM Inga Khurtsilava and the Swedish WIM Inna Agrest. The Israeli youth is led by IMs David Gorodetzky and Ariel Ehrenberg as well as local hero Shoham Cohen-Revivo.

A simultaneous exhibition will be held on July 3rd with GM Alex Khuzman.

The prize fund is 60,000 Nis and special prizes in natura. The games in the crown group as well as those on the leading boards in open A will be transmitted live on both Jeruchess and the Israeli federation websites with the commentary of GM Emil Sutovsky.

The official website:

And on the ICF website:  

The full participant lists may be seen here:

Text by: Yochanan Afek