The 2023 FIDE Grand Swiss and Women’s Grand Swiss chess competitions took place at the Villa Marina recently.
The open tournament, probably one of the strongest organised to date, took place between October 23 and November 5, sponsored by the Scheinberg family and was organised by tournament director Alan Ormsby with support from committee members and FIDE officials.
The open Swiss competition consisted of 114 players with another 50 in the women’s event, many of whom brought family members.
Many of the world’s top 100 players took part in this gruelling 11-round event, including well-known established heavyweights such as Fabiano Caruana, Levon Aronian (USA), Anish Giri (Netherlands) and upcoming prodigies Alireza Firouzja (France), Gukesh and Praggnanandhaa (India).
The gathering of the world chess elite led to fans from the UK to visit to watch their favourite players.
Like all tournaments, there was there a cash prize but there was an additional incentive of the top two players qualifying for the Candidates tournament. This is an eight-player qualifying event taking place in Toronta, Canada next which will determine who challenges the current world chess champion Ding Liren.
The open tournament was won by Indian Grandmaster Vidit Santosh Gujrathi who ended with 8.5 points and a cash prize of $80,000, an amazing achievement considering he lost his first game. Hikaru Nakamura, who is also a well-known chess streamer, finished second with eight points and Andrew Esipenko finished third with 7.5.
The women’s tournament, which consisted of 50 players, was also won by an Indian player Vaishali Rameshbabu who also finished with 8.5 points and won $25,000. Anna Muzychuk came second with eight and Tan Zhongyi was third with 7.5.
Local players Li Wu and Dietmar Kolbus also participated in the open Grand Swiss. They are by far the strongest players in the Isle of Man but when compared to the chess elite of the world they are quite a way behind the rest of the pack.
Special mention to Li as he was the only player in the open tournament who does not have a master title and finished with 3.5 points.
There was also a minor and major tournament for amateur players. The major was won by Koichi Nicholas and Triin Narva came second, both of whom finished with six points, while David Spence was third with five.
The best performing Manx players were Keith Allen, Zahed Miah and Silvestor Sipos who all finished with 4.5 points.
The minor tournament was won by John Allen with 4.5 points, while Jay Carr was second and local player Paul Smith finished third.
Additional information about the Isle of Man international chess tournament and the games that took place are free to view at http://iominternationalchess.com/