chessbase india logo

Marienbad Open – Playing Chess in a Fairytale Town

by Prashant Mullick - 27/04/2018

The Marienbad Open 2018 was held in the Czech Republic as a part of the Czech Tour. Father and son duo Prashant and Raahil Mullick visited the tournament. Raahil won quite a few rating points and Prashant brings you high quality reporting. Marienbad, known as Marienske Lazne, is a fairy tale town covered white with snow. The festival had eight events - two GM norm tournaments, three IM norm events, one open classical, one rapid and one blitz. A lot of Indians participated. One of India's top female players Bhakti Kulkarni sends us her win over a 2566 GM - Plat Vojtech and we also have for you the interview with Czech Tour director Jan Mazuch. All the information to help you plan your trip for the next Czech Tour. 

Seventeen continuous years of successfully running a chess tour, the organizers of the Czech Tour are confident of further growth and participation from chess players from all over the world for more. The 17th Marienbad Open was a multi-format chess tournament held between 20-27th January 2018 in the picturesque spa town of Marienske Lazne, Czech Republic. The tournament included five closed events and three open tournaments comprising all the three formats of standard, rapid and blitz chess. The closed events included two grandmaster round-robin and 3 International Master round robin tournaments.

Marienske Lazne is a small town that forms the West Bohemian spa triangle with the towns of Karlovy Vary and Frantiskovy Lazne in the Czech Republic. Winding through the small lanes of the town, you will find a small boutique hotel, Hotel Polonia where the 17th Marienbad Open was held. This elegant, ornate hotel provided the venue for some exciting chess and played host to total of 200 players amongst 61 FIDE titled players from 23 countries all across the world from Europe, UK, Australia, Singapore and India.

Hotel Polonia, the venue of the tournament | Photo: Prashant Mullick

The entrance of the playing venue where usually the parents would wiaait for the ir children | Photo: Prashant Mullick

The playing hall | Photo: Prashant Mullick

All covered in snow. The view from the room | Photo: Prashant Mullick

The wide and spacious tournament hall was well secured from the freezing temperatures of the Bohemian winter snow outside. You could even see several players taking a quick walk into the wintery outsides during the game to cool-off! We spoke to the Tournament Director Dr. Jan Mazuch about how the tournament has changed over the years from a small event and handful of players to the 200-participant strong event it is today. He also talks about what makes this tournament special in comparison to the other concurrent tournaments in Europe in January.

Interview with Dr. Jan Mazuch, the tournament director of the Marienbad Open 2018

Several of the Indian players who played at the preceding Prague Open travelled to Marienske Lazne to participate. After securing his 2nd IM norm in the Prague Open, Raahul VS played some tough games in the B1 International Masters category in this event and scored 2 wins against International Masters but fell just short of securing the 3rd IM norm. Other players from India including WGM Bhakti Kulkarni, FM Srinath Rao, FM Nitish Belurkar had good outings with FM Nitish Belurkar even scoring a podium finish with 2nd place in the Blitz tournament.

Nitish Belurkar (centre) finished second at the Blitz tournament | Photo: Prashant Mullick

The position was equal, but our ratings were not!

Bhakti Kulkarni doing what she does the best. Fighting hard.

After the tournament we asked Bhakti as to how it felt to play in the GM norm tournament. She replied, "It was great. I learnt a lot." Although she was able to score just 3.0/9, she played a lot of fighting chess and shares her win against a 2566 GM Plat Vojtech. Plat played the exchange variation in the Slav and the game looked like it was equal. But as Bhakti nicely put it, "The position was equal, but our ratings were not!" Enjoy the game with Bhakti's annotations:

An amazing defensive effort:

Bhakti Kulkarni vs Milan Pacher

Bhakti, who was white, was winning throughout the game. White's last move Red2 was not the best. Now Black has a wonderful defensive idea up his sleeve. Can you find it?

The Czech Republic accounted for the largest contingent of players, the strong players from Poland impressed everyone with their attacking tactical play, especially the young Polish players in the Open event. Poland secured 4 out of the top 5 finishes with first place going to FM Grela Kacper. 2005 born Filip Luczak created a sensation by remaining unbeaten and finishing in 3rd place. Here in this interview, Filip talks about his favorite chess players. You will also find a mention of India’s sensation IM Praggnanandhaa and what the Polish kids think of his games.

Interview with two Polish talents and their fathers

The Czech Tour is concluded with the final leg at the Liberec Open held between 24th February to 3rd March 2018. This winds up the 10 tournament chess calendar of the Czech Tour organized by AVE-KONTAKT under the leadership of Dr. Jan Mazuch. 

The schedule of the Marienbad Open 2018 | Photo: Prashant Mullick

Chess always brings with it the battle of generations! | Photo: Prashant Mullick

Marienske Lazne, you will be missed! | Photo: Prashant Mullick

And also you, Mr. Snowman! | Photo: Prashant Mullick

Results of A1 GM norm tournament:

Rk.SNo NameTypsexGrFEDRtgIRtgNPts. TB1  TB2 
FMChekletsov IlyaFRUS237306,526,000,0
GMChernyshov KonstantinFRUS248006,525,500,0
GMPlat VojtechFCZE256905,522,250,0
FMYurtseven MelihFTUR240405,521,250,0
FMLiu YiFAUS233705,520,000,0
FMPopov MikhailFRUS241604,519,500,0
IMLizak PeterFHUN245804,014,500,0
WGMKulkarni BhaktiwFIND230603,011,750,0
GMPacher MilanFSVK244403,09,250,0
Miesbauer JanFCZE227601,04,500,0

Results of A2 GM norm tournament:

Rk.SNo NameTypsexGrFEDRtgIRtgNPts. TB1  TB2 
GMStocek JiriFCZE256607,030,000,0
GMStefansson HannesFISL252306,024,500,0
GMNeuman PetrFCZE245205,523,750,0
IMNguyen Thai Dai VanFCZE251005,519,500,0
WIMObolentseva AlexandrawFRUS231505,018,500,0
FMJanik IgorFPOL241105,016,500,0
FMSrinath Rao S VFIND227003,515,000,0
FMYeritsyan AramFRUS230902,511,250,0
FMSari YasinFTUR230902,510,000,0
IMLow Zhen Yu CyrusFSGP243702,59,500,0

Results of B1 IM norm tournament:

Rk.SNo NameTypsexGrFEDRtgIRtgNPts. TB1  TB2 
Navrodskiy BorisFRUS210107,029,500,0
IMPlischki SebastianFGER239506,024,250,0
IMPena Gomez ManuelFESP249106,022,750,0
Raahul V SFIND220505,021,250,0
Siekanski JanuszFPOL227204,517,750,0
FMRosko LubosFCZE230104,017,000,0
WFMKubicka AnnawFPOL225603,514,500,0
WFMKochukova AnnawFRUS211003,513,250,0
German NikitaFRUS222903,09,750,0
IMVaritski IgorFUKR224602,513,000,0

Results of B2 IM norm tournament:

Rk.SNo NameTypsexGrFEDRtgIRtgNPts. TB1  TB2 
FMLee Qing AunFSGP227706,025,750,0
GMSolozhenkin EvgeniyFRUS245106,025,250,0
FMHoefelsauer ThomasFGER235605,020,750,0
FMNitish BelurkarFIND227005,019,500,0
Csiki EndreFHUN209304,521,500,0
IMJurek JosefFCZE226004,520,250,0
IMChudinovskikh Alexander MFRUS222504,017,000,0
Turner JanFCZE236803,515,250,0
Steiner BrunoFAUT213503,513,500,0
WIMSolozhenkina ElizavetawFRUS219003,014,250,0

Results of B3 IM norm tournament:

Rk.SNo NameTypsexGrFEDRtgIRtgNPts. TB1  TB2 
FMChkhaidze NikolozFGEO230607,529,500,0
IMFrolov ArturFUKR240706,023,750,0
IMPisk PetrFCZE233305,522,000,0
IMVulfson VladimirFRUS240105,019,250,0
Makarian RudikFRUS213804,521,000,0
Lukasiewicz KrzysztofFPOL221804,515,750,0
Voinikonis NikitaFRUS221804,014,750,0
Narendran GouthamanFIND210603,515,750,0
FMSivakumar AshvinFSGP220803,09,750,0
FMHeimrath ReinerFGER226001,56,000,0

Open Tournament:

Rk.SNo NameTypsexGrFEDRtgIRtgNPts. TB1  TB2  TB3 
13FMGrela KacperFPOL229407,543,055,06
22IMDambrauskas VirginijusFLTU231507,040,052,06
318CMLuczak FilipFPOL206907,040,051,05
421Kolasinski KrzysztofFPOL205307,039,551,05
56IMMolnar BelaFHUN227807,039,550,56
64IMNeckar LubomirFCZE229306,538,549,05
719CMLee Jun WeiFSGP206406,536,046,05
823Chekletsov EgorFRUS203906,535,045,05
95FMCertek PavelFSVK228606,042,554,54
101IMKolbus DietmarFGER232206,042,052,54
1120Baum JonaszFPOL206406,041,052,56
127IMVolodin ViktorFRUS220706,039,050,04
1314Tatarintsev EgorFRUS210006,038,048,06
1452CMOchedzan TymonFPOL179606,038,046,04
1525WCMStrukova KseniawFRUS202406,034,545,55
1617FMTchernyi ViktorFRUS207106,034,544,55
1713Laszczak PrzemyslawFPOL210006,033,544,55
1830Ochmann ReimundFGER198706,033,542,05
1911Domanski LukaszFPOL212106,033,042,06
2012Chojnowski MarcinFPOL211505,538,048,55

Final Standings

About the author:

Prashant Mullick likes to call himself a ChessDad. He loves the game of chess and is a FIDE-rated player himself. However, most of his trips to the tournaments are made to accompany his son Raahil Mullick who is 10-years-old and one of the rising talents of our country. The Mullicks are a chess family with mom Rupali Mullick being famous for her interview with Praggnanandhaa after the latter became World's youngest IM at the age of 10 years and 10 months.

Also read:

Raahul VS scores his second IM norm at Prague Open 2018

Contact Us