MOSCOW: The Aeroflot Open 2018 international chess festival will be held from 19 February to 1 March at the Cosmos Hotel. The competition is one of the world’s oldest and most popular, and is traditionally held with support from Aeroflot. This year’s event is taking place in the Russian capital for the 16th time and brings together a strong line-up of participants.
The Aeroflot Open consists of three tournaments (A, B and C), into which competitors are entered according to their ratings. Players in all sections will play according to the Swiss system of nine rounds. Naturally much of the interest is centred on the “A” group, in which players must have a ranking of 2,550 or higher.
This year the “A” tournament starting list includes leading players such as Vladimir Fedoseev, winner of Aeroflot Open 2017 (Russia, 2,724); Vidit Gujrathi, winner of the Tata Steel Challengers 2018 tournament (India, 2,723); Dmitry Andreikin, champion of Russia 2012 (2,712), former European blitz champion Rauf Mamedov (Azerbaijan, 2,709); current European champion Maxim Matlakov (Russia, 2,709); Vladislav Artemiev, winner of the Higher League of the Russian Championship 2015 (2,697); ex-European champion Ernesto Inarkiev (Russia, 2,684); Evgeny Naer, ex-champion of Europe and winner of Aeroflot Open 2016 (Russia, 2,683); and many other stars.
More than 90 chess players from 23 countries will compete in the “A” tournament. The overall winner of the competition will receive a ticket to the elite tournament in Dortmund (12-23 July 2018).
The tournament has special prizes for the best results among veterans, women and juniors (a total of EUR 2,500). Each participant may receive only one prize. The total prize fund is EUR 120,000.
Aeroflot CEO Vitaly Saveliev said: “For many years, Aeroflot has provided comprehensive support in promoting sports events and popularizing various sports. The Aeroflot Open festival that we sponsor has a reputation as a global event and one of the most friendly and popular in the world of chess. Both professional grandmasters and amateur participants take part; for the latter, the event can kick-start a great sporting career.”
The Russian Chess Federation and the Association of Chess Federations are joint organisers of the competition. The Aeroflot Open is considered the most representative open chess tournament in the world. In 2004, it was included in the Guinness Book of Records for the number of grandmasters who have taken part in it.