Welcome on the homepage of the 8th Winterthur Chess Week!
(October 3rd-11th, 2008)


Round 9
Added October 11, 2008 By Rolf Benz
The winners of the Winterthur Chess Week 2008
IM Anthony Wirig (ACCENTUS Young Masters), GM David Howell (Master Open), Heinz Ernst (General Open)

Observers of the ACCENTUS Young Masters saw a dramatic final round. IM Anthony Wirig missed his chance to play the winning move against Jonathan Rosenthal. After 33… Qf1? (instead of 33. Qc2! with an easy win), Rosenthal could a achieve a draw by perpertual with the surprising move 34. Bb2. Nevertheless, it is IM Anthony Wirig, who has won the ACCENTUS Young Masters with a margin of half a point to his pursuers, for Nikolai Pokazanjev lost his duel of the highest-rated players of the tournament against the Hungarian IM Peter Prohaszka in the final round.

All ten participants displayed enourmous fighting spirit and played spectacular games till the very end. Although the Swiss participants were not able to achieve the 6 points needed for an International Master norm, they could score against the favourites on various occasions. Remarkable ist the record of Jonathan Rosenthal, who made 2 out of 3 against the International Masters, against the other two foreign players 1 point, but only 1 out 4 against the other Swiss participants.

Gabriel Gähwiler is being honoured by OC president Rolf Benz and tournament director Stefan Zollinger for his International Master norm

In the Master Open, 14 year old Gabriel Gähwiler caused a sentation: due to his strong opponents, his 5½ allowed him to exceed the performance of 2450, necessary for an International Master norm, by one Elo point.

Sieger Meister Open
The winners of the Master Open
GM Axel Bachman (2.), GM David Howell (1.) und IM David Berczes (3.)

The Master Open saw an impressive finish of GM David Howell. With his three wins in the last three rounds he was able to catch up GM Axel Bachmann to edge him out by one Buchholz point in the final standing. It was also Howell, who played the last game of the Winterthur Chess Week 2008 against GM Joseph Gallagher.

In the General Open a veteran player had an edge in the end. Heinz Ernst won the tournament with 7 points out of 9 like the junior players Julian Schärer and Chrisitian Binggeli, whose Buchholz points were slightly inferior.

Round 7
Added October 9, 2008 by Rolf Benz
Jonathan Rosenthal
Jonathan Rosenthal

Jonathan Rosenthal makes the ACCENTUS Young Masters exciting again with his win against the clear tournament leader Nikolai Pokanzajew. Anthony Wirig beat Marco Lehmann, too, and is now half a point behind Pokanzajev. Emanuel Schiendorfer could decide the duel against his team-mate Kambez Nuri from the SG Winterthur in his favour. Axel Rombaldoni and Julien Carron as well as Peter Prohaszka and Alexander Verzhansky played a draw.

There is a race between young talents in the Masters Open, too: 18 year old GM David Howell demonstrated with his convincing win against David Berczes  (Hungary) that he did not resign to chase the tournament leader, 19 year old GM Axel Bachmann from Paraguay, who is still on first place with a narrow margin of half a point.

In the General Open Julian Schärer (Frauenfeld), Marko Petrovic (Slowenia) and Srecko Skreblin (Zürich) closed up with Christian Binggeli (Chur) and now lead the tournament with 5½ points.

The Team Blitz Tournament was won by the Brazilian squad „Vai Vai“ with a tiny margin ahead of a group of Swiss junior players.

Round 6
Added October 8, 2008 by Rolf Benz

Today's round in the ACCENTUS Young Masters was dominated by the favourites: Nikolai Pokazanjev (who first won a pawn and then the game against Emanuel Schiendorfer), Anthony Wirig (who beat Kambez Nuri), Peter Prohaszka (winning against Marco Lehmann, who unnecessarily complicated the game in an equal position) and Julien Carron (who profited from a tactical oversight by Jonathan Rosenthal). A hard-fought game between Alexander Verzhansky and Axel Rombaldoni, finally ended in a draw.


Axel Bachmann
GM Axel Bachmann

In the Master Open, GM Axel Bachmann could convert his positional advantage against IM Diego Di Berardino (Brazil) and now leads the tournament one point ahead of his pursuers, who were not able to win today.

After their draw on the top-board, Christian Binggeli and Kirivongkat Poun still share the lead in the General Open, with a margin of half a point.

Runde 5
Added October 7, 2008 byRolf Benz
Kambez Nuri
Kambez Nuri:
first win

In the ACCENTUS Young Masters, Nikolai Pokazanjev seems unstoppable: having beaten Anthony Wirig with the black pieces, he won his fourth game in a row. Wirig hasn't found to his game in this round, although he had played a convincing tournament; still he is ranked second with 3 points, but already 1½ points behind Pokanzajew. Kambez Nuri proved great fighting spirit, and was finally rewarded for his adventurous and attractive play; his opponent Marco Lehmann had to go for an inferior endgame that could not be defended on the long run. Axel Rombaldoni performed well too: he beat the top-seeded Hungarian International Master Peter Prohaszka. Julien Carron chose the same opening against Emanuel Schiendorfer as he did the day before yesterday against Kambez Nuri. Again, he was under enormous pressure – before he was able to change the course of the game.

Gabriel Gähwiler
giant killer
Gabriel Gähwiler

GM Axel Bachmann defended his leading position in the Master Open with a win against IM Martin Ballmann from Winterthur. The illustrious field of pursuers is formed by GM David Howell (England), the five-time Swiss Champion GM Joseph Gallagher and the two Brazilian International Masters Andre Diamant and Diego Di Berardino; with 4 points each, they lie in waiting half a point behind Bachmann. A small sensation was caused by Gabriel Gähwiler from Winterthur, who was Swiss Junior Champion in 2007 (U14), and now defeated IM Arseny Kargin (RUS) with the black pieces.

In tomorrow's 6th round of the General Open we will see the top-board-encounter Kirivongkat Poun vs. Christian Binggeli; these players lead the tournament now with 4½ points each, thanks to their wins today.

Round 4
Added October 6, 2008 by Rolf Benz
Glenn Petr
Glenn Petr

The first winner of the Winterthur Chess Week is found: Glenn Petr (Zürich) won the Youth Open with 6 points followed by Krisztian Kassay from Hungary.

History repeating in the ACCENTUS Young Masters: As in round 2, only Nikolai Pokanzajev was able to score the full point. The other four games ended in a draw.

Charles Nydegger
Charles Nydegger

In the first-board encounter of the Master Open, David Howell (England) lost a pawn in time trouble against his Paraguayan opponent Axel Bachmann, wo eventually converted his material advantage. The tournament is now lead by a group of three players with 3½ points each: Axel Bachmann, Martin Ballmann (Winterthur) and Zoltan Hajnal (Hungary); the latter two International Masters suprised by winning with black against their higher rated opponents David Berczes (Hungary) and Krikor Mekhitarian (Brazil), respectively.

The General Open is now lead by Charles Nydegger (Winterthur), Andreas Georgiadis (Wädenswil), Kirivongkat Poun (Glattbrugg) and Christian Binggeli, all having 3½ points.

Round 3
Added October 5, 2008 by Rolf Benz
Anthony Wirig
IM Anthony Wirig

Fighting spirit in the ACCENTUS Young Masters Tournament - four out of five games were decided in today's round: Anthony Wirig's strong attacking play was crowned by a spectacular king's hunt against Alexander Verzhansky. After Jonathan Rosenthal had accepted a pawn sacrifice in the early opening of his game against Axel Rombaldoni, he pooved a better understanding of the ensuing complications and could beautifully trap his opponent's knight in the end. Nikolai Pokazanjev played not without risks against Marco Lehmann, too; an exchange sacrifice allowed him to create a strong pair of passed pawns, one of which he could eventually promote. Kambez Nuri had a very good game against Julien Carron, but overexcited matters in a rook endgame with an extra pawn. Only Emanuel Schiendorfer went for a calm game against the highest-rated player of the event, Peter Prohaszka, leading to the only draw of this round.

David Howell
GM David Howell

In the Master Open, GM David Howell scored his third point convincingly and is now the sole leader of tournament.

In the General Open, ten players now share the lead with 2½ points.


Round 2
Added October 4,2008 by Rolf Benz
IM Nikolai Pokazanjew, today the only winner in the Young Masters Tournament

The ACCENTUS Young Masters Tournament saw a lot of positional maeneuvering today. While Alexander Verzhansky was lucky to achieve a draw against Kambez Nuri in a strategically difficult position, the only decided game of today was won by his fellow countryman Nikolai Pokazanjev who succeeded in decisively penetrating on the c-file against Julien Carron.

IM André Diamant, the youngest of the three International Masters from Brasil

The Master Open, is pretty international this year, with participants from 17 different nations, as was reported already yesterday. Among them, there is also a delegation of five Brazilian players who made an intermediate stop in Switzerland on their way to the Olympic Mind Sports Games in Beijing. For the International Masters Krikor Mekhitarian, Diego Di Berardino and Andre Diamant (Nos. 5, 7 and 10 of the starting list), instead of samba, today there were three draws against Bruno Kamber (Switzerland), Zoltan Zambo (Hungary) and Alyona Goreskul (Ukraine), respectively. Gladly we refer to the entertaining blog of the Brazilian Krikor Mekhitarian; Portuguese language skills are of advantage. Details about the chess week are also reported by the "Landbote," the regional daily newspaper, on their front page and in the local section.

In the General Open, points were shared seven times on the first eight boards. The tournament is now lead by 12-year-old Offer Kopelevitch from Israel, Andreas Georgiadis (Wädenswil) and Kirivongkat Poun (Glattbrugg).

The single blitz tournament was won by Krzysztof Jakubowski (Poland) followed by Anthony Wirig (France) and André Diamant. "Winterthurer Stadtmeister" became Nedeljko Kelecevic, followed by Martin Ballmann.

Round 1
added October 3, 2008 by Rolf Benz

Never has the Winterthur Chess Week been so international: players from as many as 17 different countries (located at four continents) are participating in this year's edition of the tournament.

Marco Lehmann
Marco Lehmann

The highlight of the 8th Winterthur Chess Week is the ACCENTUS Young Masters. Five Swiss talents are opposing five masters from France, Italy, Hungary and Russia, striving to achieve an International Master's Norm. The best start had Marco Lehmann, the Swiss Junior champion of 2007, who defeated the highest rated Swiss player in this round-robin, Julien Carron, with the black pieces. Kambez Nuri (Swiss Junior champion 2008), however, lost against Peter Prohaszka from Hungary. The longest game was the one of the other two Swiss players, Emanuel Schiendorfer und Jonathan Rosenthal, which finally ended in a draw by repetion.

With 24 participating titled players (including four Grandmasters and twelve International Masters), the Master Open is stronger than ever. In the first round, there were few surprising results: Grandmaster Florian Jenni, who has won the Chess Week in 2006, was lucky to achieve a draw against Daniel Good from Zurich; the veteran player Harry Oesch even managed to obtain the full point against the Polish WIM Joanna Worek.

The General Open saw upsets, too. Here, the junior player Kaiwan Nuri, and Georg Walker, long-time president of the Swiss Correspondence Chess Federation, were able to win against their higher-rated opponents.

The seven-round Junior Open, which lasts until Monday, is played by 19 young talents, including several children from Hungary.

Winterthur Chess Week starts today
Added October 3, 2008 by Webmaster

Winterthur is prepared for the Chess Week 2008
Combinations of the participating Grandmasters, Part 2
added September 23, 2008 by Webmaster

Logo NeuerungIn the second part of the combinational series, we focus on the games of the Swiss GM Florian Jenni, who has won the Winterthur Chess Week 2005 and will also participate this year.

The solution will be published on October 1st. Have a lot of fun!

Solutions to the tactical exercises
Added August 31, 2008 by Webmaster

Logo NeuerungThe solutions to the tactical exercises from the games of GM David Howell can now be downloaded!


Combinations played by the participating grandmasters
Added June 29, 2008 by Webmaster

Logo NeuerungTo get you in the right mood for the Winterthur Chess Week 2008, we present a series of combinational exercises, each involving one of the participating grandmasters. As a starter, we have chosen six combinations from the games of the young British GM David Howell. The solutions of the excercises will be published in the last week of august.

Have a lot of fun finding these tactical blows!

Excercises from previous Chess Weeks:

Novelties for the Winterthur Chess Week 2008
Added May 6th 2008 by Webmaster

Logo NeuerungDuring the Chess Week 2008, a number of changes will be carried out. The most important of these are:

Two categories:
For the first time, there will be two categories of the open. In the the Master Open, players with an Elo of 1900 or above compete with each other, whereas the International Open is open to all players up to Elo 2000.

Focus on young players:
This year's edition of the Chess Week comprises the ACCENTUS Young Masters Invitational tournament. It is a round-robin with ten participants not older than 25 years (five players being from Switzerland, five from abroad). Each player will have the chance to gain an International Master's norm.

The time control in the open will now be 100 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 50 minutes for the rest of the game, with 30 seconds added per move starting at move one. This leaves the usual two hours for the first 40 moves untouched, but prevents severe time-trouble by ensuring a minimum of 30 seconds for each move.

A look back on the Winterthur Chess Week 2007
Added May 6th, 2008 by Webmaster

Logo RueckblickTo spark your interest for the Winterthur Chess Week 2008 we have prepared a list of links where you can take a look back on last year's edition of the tournament.

The results, standings and a selection games can be found on the following pages: Open, Youth Open, Single Blitz, Team Blitz.

In the collections "Photos Open, Part 1", "Photos Open, Part 2" you can really look back on the Winterthur Chess Week 2007.