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Monday, 12 Jul 2021 15:13
Riga Technical University Open is back for a special 10th edition

In these uncertain times, we are pleased to announce some good news - the 10th edition of the Riga Technical University Open has just been confirmed for August 7-15. That means one of the biggest chess Festivals in Europe is back after a one-year hiatus (caused, of course, by the coronavirus pandemic).


GM Robert Hovhannisyan was the winner of the 2018 edition/Photo: Organisers

As we know the “absence makes the heart grow fonder” and it seems the organisers really missed the chess buzz in Riga. This summer they will warmly welcome back all the chess-lovers with 9 different tournaments (something for everyone!) and the record 28 000 Euros prize fund!

To make the 10th edition of RTU Open more special thanks to FIDE's financial support we have improved several things. Stronger anti-cheating measures will be taken to make sure that every participant will be playing only against his/her opponent. Another important improvement is that women and senior players will have significantly increased special prizes.

Despite coronavirus restrictions, it is expected to be as impressive as ever - according to the current guidelines international sporting events in Latvia can happen with an unlimited number of participants.


The playing hall is a very spacious Kipsala Exhibition Centre/Photo: Organisers

Last edition gathered more than 800 players from 44 different countries, 30 grandmasters and 50 international masters.

Winner of the 9th edition was GM Igor Kovalenko, vice-champion of the 2016 European Championship, and the best lady was IM/WGM Irina Bulmaga, winner of the bronze medal in the 2014 Chess Olympiad.

Many well-known players have participated in RTU Open over the years, just to name a few - GM Alexei Shirov, GM Richard Rapport, GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, GM Bartosz Socko, GM Hrant Melkumyan, GM Daniel Naroditsky, GM Daniel Fridman and ladies - GM Zhansaya Abdumalik, GM Monika Socko, IM Dinara Saduakassova and IM Tania Sachdev.

Some of the stars that has participated in the RTU Open over the years (from the left): GM Alexei Shirov (picture from facebook Isle of Man International), GM Zhansaya Abdumalik, GM Daniel Naroditsky (photo by David Llada), IM/WGM Tania Sachdev (photo by European Chess TV), GM Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa (photo by European Chess TV), GM Monika Socko (photo by Krzysztof Szelag)

This year there are already over 200 participants signed up, with over 100 from 25 different countries in Open A alone. Interestingly, that includes 20 grandmasters and 62 titled players. It should be a great treat for spectators and also an amazing destination for players who want to fight for norms and get new titles.

Riga Technical University Open is a perfect event for ambitious players, but also for chess-lovers with a… somewhat more relaxed approach or busier schedule. There are 3 Opens that only take 4 or even 3 days, so even the busiest of us can participate.

Interview with the man responsible for making this event so special, the tournament Director - FM Egons Lavendelis./Photo: Toms Kantans

Below you can find details regarding each open:

Open A - GRANDMASTER OPEN, 9th-15th August

ELO Tournament with GM, IM, WGM and WIM norms. 9 rounds, 90 minutes per game per player + 30 seconds per move starting from move 1. The tournament will be part of the ACP Tour

Open B - AMATEUR OPEN, 9th-15th August

Players with ELO until 2299. 9 rounds, 90 minutes per game per player + 30 seconds per move starting from the move 1.

Open Y - YOUTH OPEN, 9th-15th August

Players U14 with ELO until 2199. 9 rounds, 90 minutes per game per player + 30 seconds per move starting from the move 1.

Open C - WEEKEND AMATEUR OPEN, 12th-15th August

Players with ELO until 2199. 7 rounds, 60 minutes per game per player + 30 seconds per move starting from the move 1.

Open D - WEEKEND AMATEUR OPEN, 12th-15th August

Players with ELO until 1899. 7 rounds, 60 minutes per game per player + 30 seconds per move starting from the move 1.

Open E - WEEKEND AMATEUR OPEN, 13th-15th August

Players with ELO until 1599. 7 rounds, 30 minutes per game per player + 30 seconds per move starting from the move 1.

Open F - OPENING BLITZ TOURNAMENT, 7th August

Swiss system, 11 rounds, ELO rated

Open G - OPEN RAPID TOURNAMENT, 8th August

Swiss system, 9 rounds, ELO rated

.Open H - CLOSING BLITZ TOURNAMENT, 15th August

Swiss system, 11 rounds, ELO rated

The cherry on top is the venue - the Festival will be held in Riga, often called Paris of the North. A beautiful, classy and modern city, and quite a unique European capital. It has an amazing Old Town (UNESCO World Heritage Site), yet is still very green and close to the seaside. Even from the playing hall, which is just across the river from the city center, the famous Jurmala beaches are only 20-min drive away.

To find out all the necessary details about the event (and registration form! :) ) you can visit the main website - www.rtuopen.lv and follow tournament’s social media:  Facebook - www.facebook.com/rtuopen  and Instagram - www.instagram.com/rtu.chess.open/

Feel free to contact the organizers via email chess@rtu.lv.

*Considering a difficult situation in the world, there are some restrictions in Latvia.

The most important ones are: people with a covid pass can travel freely; people without the covid pass from the green zone require only a PCR test before arrival; people without the covid pass and from the red zone can also participate in the event, but 3 tests - 1st before the arrival, 2nd a day after the arrival and 3rd no later than 5 days after the arrival (self-isolation should be observed until receipt of the 2nd result).

Kids under the age of 10 can not participate in the event. All participants and guests have to be accredited.

For more information about the restrictions please check the government page or contact the organisers.