11. - 22. February 2020
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The Second Festival Annual Will Take Place in February

21 Jun 2019

The second annual of the Prague International Chess Festival will take place from the 11th to the 22nd of February 2020 at the four-star hotel Don Giovanni. The participants will be able to take part in the Masters tournament, the Challengers tournament, the Open tournament and Rating tournaments and compete for sets of medals.

The preparations for the second annual of the Prague International Chess Festival are already in full swing. Its date was one of the first issues to be addressed. Moving the tournament from March to February prevents an overlap with the Czech Youth Championship.

"We definitely want our best junior and youth players to have the opportunity to participate in the festival," Petr Boleslav, festival director, states. "March is often filled with international events, too. February presents a less eventful month, certainly. I believe that after the Tata Steel Chess in January and the Gibraltar in late January and early February, our own chess festival will have a permanent spot on the world calendar, in the second week of February."

The traditional format of the festival remains the same. The Masters tournament will be for ten players from the World’s TOP 50. In the closed Challengers tournament, there will be ten further players who will be competing not only for first place but also for an advanced position in the tournament in the upcoming year. A small change is being implemented by the organizers of the Open tournament which will begin on Friday the 14th of February, thus avoiding the necessity of double rounds.

"I believe that the players will be pleased with leaving out the double rounds. After all, they will be competing for fine prizes and the winners will also be granted a pass for the Challengers tournament in the upcoming year. Therefore, I see that having one round per day as a more appropriate format," Petr Boleslav, festival director, adds.

We already know the names of several players who will be entering the closed tournaments. Russian grandmaster Nikita Vitiugov will attempt to reclaim his victory in the Masters tournament. Spaniard David Antón Guijarro will be able to enjoy the 2700 club company too, as he won the pass by winning the Challengers tournament last year. Icelander Hannes Stefansson, winner of the Open tournament, is guaranteed an invitation for the Challengers, as well as Czech player Lukáš Černoušek.

"Contracts with the players are currently being drawn up but we don’t want to give any concrete details yet," Petr Boleslav states. The complete list of Czech player nominees for the closed tournaments will be published on the 1st of September.