The Llobregat Open Chess is crowned as the strongest chess open in Spain.

The third edition of the Llobregat Open Chess Tournament Tnmt, held from November 30 to December 8, 2022, at the civic center Can Massallera in Sant Boi has concluded with good sensations and demonstrations of great masters.

The tournament was attended by 225 participants from 44 countries around the world, with Spanish players being the most present with 59 participants (26.3%), followed by India with 26 participants (11.6%) and Germany with 14 participants (6.3%). By category, the tournament attracted 49 Grand Masters (GM), 11 Women Grand Masters (WGM), 41 International Masters (IM), 2 Women International Masters (WIM), 44 FIDE Masters (FM), 3 FIDE Masters (WFM) and 9 Master Candidates (CM).

The Llobregat Open Chess 2022 started to warm up with the presentation campaign of the 3rd edition by the Ukrainian ambassadors of the tournament, Anna and Mariya Muzychuk, experts in a sport in which women need more opportunities. The first round of the competition took place on November 30. That day, Paco Vallejo showed his great chess skills by defeating the young Polish player Jakub Seeman (2375), while the Chinese GM Yangyi Yu did not have the same luck and was defeated by the Dutch IM Lars Ootes (2370).

On December 1, 2022 a second round took place in which Spanish GM Paco Vallejo won the game against IM Lubbe Nicolas (2486) with a brilliant performance with the black pieces.

On December 2 took place the Masters Blitz, an exclusive tournament for players who are GM, WGM, IM; players with more than 2500 standard ELO who participate in the nine rounds of the Blitz and with a fast time control set at 3 minutes per player and 2 seconds (3+2) for each move made in 9 rounds. The Masters was attended by 43 chess players, eight of whom were women. Eltaj Safarli, Azerbaijani, was the clear winner of the Blitz Masters with 7½ points, ahead of GM Matthias Bluebaum and Latvian GM Nikita Meshkovs, third. Germany’s Josefine Heinemann was the top female player with 4½ points.

That same day, the mayoress of Sant Boi, Lluïsa Moret; the general secretary of Esports of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Anna Caula; the deputy of the Parliament of Catalonia, Raül Romeva i Rueda; and the defender of the elderly, Antonia Barragán, visited the facilities of El Llobregat Open Chess Tnmt, accompanied by the director of the tournament IM Marcelo Panelo and the main organizer, Xavier Pérez Llorca.

The 3rd round, with a high level, offered masterful plays such as those of Paco Vallejo against the impeccable game of Argentine Tomás Sosa (2548). Some great games stood out, such as the one played by Hans Niemann, who knocked down the Georgian GM Nikolozi Kacharava (2532); and the incredible fight that kept the Bulgarian Ivan Cheparinov (2694) in tension for more than six hours to defeat the Azeri Read Samadov (2450), who was only 15 years old. At this point in the tournament, the eight participants with excellent scores were clearly defined.

During the 3rd and 4th rounds, the Female Blitz tournament took place, exclusively for the 15 players who played the 9 rounds of the Llobregat Open Chess Tnmt. of groups A or B with a fast time control of 3+2 to 7 rounds. WGM Atousa Pourkashiyan (2322) was proclaimed winner with 5½ points, leaving second place to Mongolian WGM Altan-Ulzii Enkhtuul (2302) and third place to Cuban WGM Maritza Arribas Robaina (2232),

A day later, on December 4, the tournament hosted the school championship in which 141 children from U-8 to U-12 competed, with a quick time control set at 10 minutes for each player in 7 rounds. The winner of the championship was Pau Manel Prada (1681) with 6½ points. In second place was Marc Lozano (1739) and the last podium position went to Alex Villa (1890).

That same day the 5th round was played in which the pairings pitted Niemann against Vallejo, reaching a close and decisive situation that resulted in a draw and both scored half a point. Niemann went on to face GM Kirill Alekseenko (2687) and the Spaniard Vallejo against GM Tin Jingyao (2,562). GM Aditya Mittal stood out with a great win in the 5th round with a flawless defeat of Bulgarian GM Ivan Cheparinov, the #50 against the #4 in the initial ranking of the championship.

With only three rounds to go, Paco Vallejo, Hans Niemann and Aditya Mittal were in the lead of the tournament. In the 6th round (December 5) Hans Niemann took the lead, followed by Matthias Bluebaum, Singapore’s Tin Jingyao and Indian GMs Chopra Aryan and Aditya Mittal. In group B, there was another 5-point tie between three players: India’s Arush Chitre, Malaysia’s Kaushal Khandhar and Turkey’s Alper Celik Ali, while Poland’s Klara Szczotka took eighth place with 4 points.

The protagonists of the 7th round started one of the most interesting games and from which the final victory would come out. It pitted German Matthias Bluembaum and Azeri GM Eltaj Safarli against each other and the American Niemann found himself with 5 points against Italian Daniil Dvirnyy, who accumulated 5½ points. In addition to these great players, Paco Vallejo faced Daniil Yuffa in the 8th round, who was looking like a possible winner of the tournament.

The end of the 8th round left the scoreboards with a 6½-way tie between Singapore’s Tin Jingyao and India’s Aditya Mittal in first place, while Vallejo and Niemann dropped to tenth and eleventh, respectively. Group B was led by India’s Arush Chitre, with 7 points and no relevant competitor, as second place went to Spain’s Joan Vallbona Domingo, followed in third place by Turkey’s Alper Celik Ali, with 5½ points.

Finally, the 9th and last round of the tournament, which was played on December 8, started with a three-way tie at 7 points. GM M. Amin Tabatabaei defeated Tin and Indian Aditya in the tiebreaker round, thus proclaiming himself the winner of the 3rd edition of El Llobregat Open Chess Tnmt. and leaving the Singaporean second and the Indian third. Meanwhile. In group B, as expected, the Indian Chitre was proclaimed winner with 7½ points, ahead of the Turkish Ali Alper Celik, who came second, and the Spaniard Joan Vallbona Domingo, in third place.

At the end of the third edition of the tournament, the organization of the Llobregat Open Chess Tnmt. accepted the offer of the City Council of Sant Boi to celebrate in the city the next four editions, with the aim that Sant Boi is recognized as the town that annually hosts the highest level chess tournament held in Spain.

49 Grand Masters (GM) 11 Women Grand Masters (WGM)

The 3rd edition of the Llobregat Open Chess set the bar high for the presence of the best of the Grand Masters (GM). In this select group A was the mysterious and controversial GM Hans Moke Niemann, a 19-year-old American with 2699 ELO. Niemann was a last-minute confirmation that caused a furor among the sports media. Along with the American, Spanish GM Paco Vallejo (2716) shone, tying with Chinese GM Yangyi Yu, world no. 28.

The players started the games on November 30 with an average ELO of 2,374. Group B had 50 participants, most of them Spanish, such as Josep Sort (2083), Rafael Rodríguez (2045), Sergio Díaz (1996), Andorra’s Esteve Mateu Guiu (2071) or Germany’s Robert Herzwurum (1990), among many other chess players.

Finally, a total of 49 Grand Masters (GM); 11 Women Grand Masters (WGM), 41 International Masters (IM) and 44 FIDE Masters (FM) participated in the edition. The tournament has had an average of 15% of women, doubling the average in Catalonia (7%), Europe (6%) and the world (9%), positioning itself as the open tournament with the highest level in Europe in 2022.


Closing ceremony and awards ceremony in El Castell

The closing ceremony of the third edition Llobregat Open Chess took place on December 8 at 16:30h at the Hotel El Castell de Sant Boi and culminated with the traditional award ceremony to the deserved winners presided over by the mayoress of Sant Boi, Lluïsa Moret The champion in group A was GM M. Amin Tabatabaei (Iran), who pocketed 10,000 euros; the second, GM Jingyao Tin (Singapore), awarded with 5,000 euros; and the third GM Mittal Aditya (India) who won 2,000 euros. In the women’s category, Serbian WGM Teodora Injac won, followed by WGM Evgeniya Doluhanova (Ukraine) and WGM Antoaneta Stefanova (Bulgaria). The winner among veterans over 50 was GM Gregory Kaidanov (USA) and among veterans over 65, Hector Giacomini (France).

Two Spanish veterans in Group B win in their respective categories

In group B, Arush Chitre (India) won, followed by Ali Alper Celik (Turkey) and Joan Vallbona Domingo. In the women’s category, the winner was Roquelina Fandino Reyes Roquelina (Cuba) and the runner-up was Klara Szczotka (Poland). The veteran over 50 years old who won in this group was the Spaniard Teodoro Asensio Linan and the veteran over 65 years old was also the Spaniard German Walter Travella.

The two Muzychuk ambassadors

The headquarters of the Barcelona Provincial Council received on November 9, 2022 the visit of the Ukrainian chess players Muzychuk, sisters and ambassadors of the 3rd edition of El Llobregat Open Chess, where they were received by the mayoress of L’Hospitalet and president of the Barcelona Provincial Council, Núria Marín, and by the mayoress of Esplugues de Llobregat and provincial deputy, Pilar Díaz, respectively. The meeting was also attended by Javier Ochoa, president of the Spanish Chess Federation; Pepo Viñas, president of the Catalan Federation; and the Consul General of Ukraine.

The activity of the Muzychuk sisters ended the following day with a visit to the Melcior Colet Museum and Center for Sports Studies, where they were received by the Secretary of Sports of the Generalitat de Catalunya, Anna Caula.

The secretary enjoyed a quick game with the Ukrainian sisters. Caula declared to be a firm defender of the presence of women in sport, especially in chess, a discipline in which women still have a long way to go (7% of federated female players in Catalonia). However, more and more women are showing the world their talent, such as the Muzychuk girls.

20 world champions on canvas

One of the great cultural surprises, as well as sporting, that has left this third edition of the Llobregat Open Chess has been the exhibition of paintings with oil portraits and watercolors of the 20 world chess champions, whose author is the artist from Leon, resident in Bilbao, Nístal Mayorga. The sample of canvases proposes a photographic tour from Wilhelm Steinitz, winner in 1886, to the last (and current) champion, Magnus Carlsen. All the winners of the third edition of the tournament received a copy of the book “Miradas de Campeones”, also authored by Nistal Mayorga. The work was presented during the chess championship.


Tabatabaei M. Amin Iran 10.000 €
Tin Jingyao Singapore 5.000 €
Aditya Mittal India 2.000 €
Safarli Eltaj Azerbaijan 1.600 €
Yu Yangyi China 1.300 €
Svane Rasmus Germany 1.000 €
Sanal Vahap Turkey 800 €
Yuffa Daniil Spain 700 €
Shevchenko Kirill Ukraine 600 €
10º Kulaots Kaido Estonia 500 €
Injac Theodora Serbia 1.000 €
Doluhanova Evgeniya Ukraine 800 €
Stefanova Antoaneta Bulgaria 600 €
Enkhtuul Altan-Ulzii Mongolia 400 €
Maltsevskaya Aleksandra Poland 200 €
Veteran +50
Kaidanov Gregory United States 700 €
Movsziszian Karen Armenia 500 €
Nijboer Friso Netherlands 300 €
Veteran +65
Giacomini Hector France 700 €
Martin Gonzalez Angel Spain 500 €
Montero Martinez Cristhian Chile 300 €
Chitre Arush India 500 €
Celik Ali Alper Turkey 400 €
Vallbona Domingo Joan Spain 300 €
Khandhar Kaushal Malaysia 250 €
Diaz Carrasco Sergio Spain 200 €
Fandino Reyes Roquelina Cuba 300 €
Szczotka Klara Poland 200 €
Asensio Linan Teodoro Spain 300 €
Menac Comas Joan Ramon Spain 200 €
Walter Travella German Spain 300 €
Fabregas Fontanet Antonio Spain 200 €
IM Aditya Mittal India GM
IM Samant Aditya S India GM
FM Samadov Read Azerbaijan IM
WGM Injac Theodora Serbia IM
FM Celik Hasan Huseyin Turkey IM
FM Seemann Jakub Poland IM
FM Hagner Bennet Germany IM
FM Yordanov Lachezar Bulgaria IM
FM Lye Lik Zang Malaysia IM
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