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By: WebmasterUpdated: 19-06-2016 03:25

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The homepage has moved to www.xtraconchessopen.dk

By: Jacob PallesenUpdated: 19-06-2016 03:25

The homepage has moved to www.xtraconchessopen.dk


Save 100 DKK on the entry fee

By: Thomas LarsenUpdated: 15-06-2016 19:50

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 before July 1st, you will get a discount worth 100 DKK.


Interview with endgame study composer Steffen Slumstrup Nielsen

By: Tom SkovgaardUpdated: 14-06-2016 23:52

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. Sergei Didukh is the reigning champion."

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 Tg3! Please notice this for later purposes.
2... Ta1+ 3. Kb5 Tb1+ 4. Ka6 Ta1+ 5. Kb7
Or 5. Kb6
5... Tb1+ 6. Ka7 Lg1+
6... Ta1+ 7. La6+ is winning.
7. Ka8 Ta1+ 8. Kb8 Lh2+
8... Tb1+ 9. Lb7 Lh2+ 10. Kc8 Tc1+ 11. Kd8 Td1+ 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...Lxg3+ 10. Kb7 Tb1+ 11. Ka6 Not at all. The king returns.
11...Ta1+ 12. Kb5 Tb1+13. Ka4 Ta1+ 14. Kb3 Tb1+ 15. Kc2
This is the same positon as in the note after White's second move. With one slight difference.
15... Tb2+ 16. Kd3 Tb3+ 17. Ke4
And now we all see it. Black's rook cannot go to g3 because the square is blocked by the bishop
17... Tb4+ 18. Kf5 1-0


Simuls with young GMs Mads Andersen and Rasmus Svane

By: Tom SkovgaardUpdated: 09-06-2016 11:46

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/German IM 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 on this page - link here, 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

By: Thomas LarsenUpdated: 06-06-2016 23:16

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 organiser@xtraconchessopen.dk 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!

By: Tom SkovgaardUpdated: 11-05-2016 21:19

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

By: Tom SkovgaardUpdated: 20-03-2016 13:57

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 herehttp://en.chessbase.com/post/granda-zuniga-supreme-in-andorra.

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.



By: Thomas LarsenUpdated: 28-02-2016 21:48

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

By: Thomas LarsenUpdated: 14-02-2016 00:42

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.


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