Today, November 30, the birthday of the current world champion, Magnus Carlsen, begins in Sant Boi, the third edition of the Llobregat Open Chess Tournament; in the civic center of Can Massallera. It is played in the afternoons, starting at 5 p.m., in nine rounds, and will end on December 8.
The rounds can be followed live on the Internet at: www.elllobregat.com/chess.
In Group A, 190 players from all five continents, from 46 different countries are competing. Of these, 52 are grand masters and 57 are international masters.
The initial ranking of the tournament is headed by the grandmasters, Vallejo (Spanish), the Chinese Yu Yangui, followed by the 19-year-old American Hans Niemann, who last September 4 in the prestigious St. Louis Masters tournament, the Sinquefield Cup, beat the current World Champion, Magnus Carlsen. Carlsen after the defeat accused Niemann of cheating and ignited the controversy: Niemann, last October filed in the courts of Missouri (USA) a lawsuit against Carlsen for defamation, in which he claims a multimillion-dollar compensation. Given the controversy that has arisen in recent weeks, Niemann asked the organizers of the Llobregat Open Chess Tournament not to announce his participation in the tournament until today, the first day of play. This will be his first competition in Europe, following the controversy.
There are 50 players competing in Group B, 23 from other countries and 27 Spanish federated players.
This year 2022 was designated as the year of women’s participation in chess. The participation of women in chess competitions is a pending objective of this sport. From the organization of the open, we have tried to make the tournament known among the players and stimulated their participation. This year, as prescribers of our third edition, we invited the masters Anna and Maria Muzychuk, who accompanied us during the first days of November in the official presentation of the championship. And finally, the number of registered players was 28; 22 of them with international qualifications, including the absolute grandmaster, the Bulgarian, women’s world champion (in the period 2004/2006), Antoaneta Stefanova and also the female grandmaster, the Iranian Atousa Porkashiyan.
The female participation is frankly improvable in future editions; in this edition of 2022, it represents 14% of the total number of participants in group A. However, we have to put the figure in relation to the number of federated players at international level: 9% in the European Union, 6% in Spain and 7% in Catalonia.