chess24 Feb 18, 2020 | 5:17 PMby chess24 staff

The Week Ahead: 18-24 February 2020

The Prague Masters is all set for an exciting finish this week, while the super-strong Aeroflot Open starts Wednesday in Moscow, with Vladislav Artemiev the top seed. It’s another Chess Bundesliga weekend as the teams come to terms with one of their rivals dropping out, while we have a number of regular and irregular shows, including Jan playing Blindfold Banter Blitz. Monday will be special, as it’s chess24’s 6th birthday, with more details to follow!

Top-level tournaments

Vidit won three of his first five games in the Prague Masters to reach 4/5 and take a 1-point lead on the rest day, but anything could still happen in the Prague Chess Festival. Don’t miss the final rounds, with the likes of Boris Gelfand and Loek van Wely already having dropped in to provide live commentary.

Vidit entered the world Top 20 with a win over Firouzja | photo: Vladimir Jagr, official website

The big event only starting this week is the Aeroflot Open. Now in its 18th edition, the top group of this 9-round tournament in the Cosmos Hotel in Moscow is once again a hybrid between an open and a strong invitational event. The average rating is over 2550 and top seed Vladislav Artemiev will face competition from an army of young talents that includes Parham Maghsoodloo, Nodirbek Abdusattorov and Praggnanandhaa, while some of the “old talents” such as Baadur Jobava and Adhiban can also be relied upon to spice things up.

The iconic Cosmos Hotel is once again hosting the Aeroflot Open | photo: Russian Chess Federation

It’s another Chess Bundesliga weekend, with the shock withdrawal of SV Lingen, whose money ran out, in some ways adding new intrigue to the event. All-conquering Baden-Baden were looking more likely than ever to win another title after Lingen had beaten their traditional title rivals SG Solingen and SV 1930 Hockenheim in the opening four rounds, but those results will now be annulled. That means Hockenheim are, like Baden-Baden, back on a 100% score, though they’ve played one match less. Baden-Baden don’t play Saturday (they were due to play Lingen), but they do play Sunday and as always we can expect plenty of top players to be in action - though we can't promise more top-quality film work by Jan:

We can’t end without mentioning the 12th Batavia Chess Tournament – partly because the event in the Café Batavia 1920 in Amsterdam has a beer glass in its logo, but mainly because Lawrence Trent is making an appearance as the bottom seed for the 10-player classical round-robin. It should be emotional!

In fact that's just one of the weekend's "beer tournaments", since we also have the Bunratty Masters in Ireland. There's no Lawrence this time, but Nigel Short is top seed for that 6-round open, and he's not even the only ND Short in action:

For a look further ahead check out our 2020 Chess Calendar. It was today announced that everyone had accepted their Grand Chess Tour invitations, so the regular players for the slimmed down 2020 Tour will be Magnus Carlsen, Ding Liren, Fabiano Caruana, Wesley So, Anish Giri, Alexander Grischuk, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Levon Aronian, Hikaru Nakamura and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave.

chess24 Shows

Here’s the preliminary schedule in English for the next seven days, including some more blindfold Banter Blitz from Jan. At the moment of publication Jan is live playing some regular blitz:

Birthday Bonanza

Monday 24th February is chess24’s 6th birthday and once again everyone’s invited to the celebrations! Expect a Banterthon with many of our top players, and also some surprises. For instance, we may find out what Jan, Peter Heine Nielsen and Laurent Fressinet were up to in Hamburg last week. Be afraid, be very afraid.

More details will follow in our News section, but for now you can find everything that's been scheduled on our Live Shows and Events page.

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