23rd Voronezh International Chess Festival
Alekhine Memorial
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The festival has finished, see you next year!

XXIII Voronezh international chess festival took place in its traditional terms (June 10-21). Since the previous festival some organization problems in Voronezh chess have been successfully resolved: the festival director GM Alexander Raetsky is now a president of Voronezh region chess federation, one of the key members of festival team Pavel Sirotin became the director of Voronezh regional chess club. Voronezh region governor Alexander Gusev and region government continue to support festival as well as its main sponsor regional association «Leader».  FIDE president Arkady Dvorkovich send a video with his greetings to Voronezh festival participants.

Clicking links, you can see participants, organizers and guests of the finished festival on the photos made by our press officer Elena Ponomareva with comments about the festival results. We wait you all in Voronezh in the year 2020 since June 10 to June 21!

There were six tournaments in the festival and only four winners. IM Zhamsaran Tsydypov (RUS, Ulan-Ude) waiting for GM title assignment won the Chess960 tournament and the Rapid tournament, he also was the second in Blitz tournament.

GM Boris Savchenko (RUS, Moscow) won the Blitz tournament and the main festival event Master Open, he also was the second in the Chess960 tournament and the third in the Rapid tournament.

Chess960 tournament participants and organizers on the photo taken in front of the festival venue (Voronezh regional chess club).

For each round of the Chess960 tournament one selected participant (e.g. Voronezh junior Egor Yaurov on the photo) chose the initial position and Alexander Raetsky announced it. Alexander Shushenkov shot videos of the festival events (see his Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/fantom29429).

GM Andrey Deviatkin (RUS, Moscow) is a Chess960 fan. He won prizes in Chess960 and Blitz tournaments and played in Rapid too but not in classical chess events.

IM Dmitry Rodin (RUS, Voronezh) already having 3 IM norms was the best local player in Chess960 and Rapid tournaments, he also achieved one more IM norm in Master Open.

The first round of the Master Open. Games on the 14 first boards are played in the hall on the photo and broadcasted to the Internet. The main arbiter IA Vladimir Staratorzhsky is well-known for his accuracy.

Behind the scene of the festival. IM Maxim Chetverik (left) has already finished to enlist tournament participants. The festival secretary Sergey Fomin (right) is inputting the current round results.

The festival director Alexander Raetsky is talking to Rupali Mullick, mother of the Master Open participant, who published some very interesting articles about Voronezh festival for ChessBase India.

GM Visakh (IND, Chennai) was the second on tie-break in Master Open without losing a single game.

GM Dmitry Kryakvin and his wife WIM Elena Tomilova (RUS, Rostov-na-Donu) met in the 2nd round and agreed a quick draw. Dmitry wrote nice stories about the festival for the Russian Chess federation site. Dmitry and Elena were guests оn Voronezh local TV program. Both were successful in Master Open.

Arseny Nesterov (RUS, Novgorod - left) achieved the GM norm and was the sole leader before the last round but lost a game against Visakh. Azamat Utegaliev (KAZ, Uralsk - right) achieved the needed performance for GM norm, but did not met three GMs. Azamat also took the third prize in Blitz tournament.

GM Evgeny Shaposhnikov (RUS, Saratov) won the 7th prize and commented all his Master Open games on his Youtube channel (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0CYX9nXxpAZPUAorhKSFHw, in Russian).

GM Nikita Meshkovs (LAT, Riga) played in Voronezh for the first time and won the 8th prize. He said that his grandfather lived in Voronezh and he is going to play in Voronezh again and to invite his Latvian national teammates to play in Voronezh.

IM Sergey Pavlov (UKR, Kyiv) was the Master Open sole leader after 4th round and was unbeaten until the last round but he missed an opportunity to achieve the last GM norm after a dramatical loss to Boris Savchenko.

Several Voronezh Air Force Academy cadets played in the festival tournaments. Alexander Krivtsov became the best local player in Master Open.

Festival organizers, honorary guests and foreign prize winners from India, Colombia, Armenia, Ukraine.

FIDE Open winner Alexey Beldyugin (RUS, Dimitrovgrad) with a well-known Voronezh politician and chess supporter Sergey Rudakov and Voronezh regional chess club director Pavel Sirotin.

83-year-old NM Yury Gorshkov (Penza, RUS) won some spectacular games and the second prize in FIDE Open!

Ashutosh Kumar (IND, Patna) has been a FIDE Open tournament leader since the first round, but after a loss in the last round the third prize is not bad too.

Andrey Skvortsov (RUS, Sarov) was the only player who played both in Master Open and FIDE Open (and he has achieved the decent results).

WGM Sandugach Shaidullina (RUS, Mytischi) played in FIDE Open with her son Taras and daughter Taisiya, both the mother and the son won the special prizes.

Several members of Kuwait Olympic team played in FIDE Open.

WCM Olesia Vlasova (RUS, Voronezh) gained more than 100 Elo points in FIDE Open.

FM Anatoly Kasantsev (RUS, Lipetsk) played in almost all Voronezh festivals.

WFM Elena Sizintseva (RUS, Voronezh) is an experienced and amiable arbiter.