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22 Feb 2024

Internationally renowned chess stars are heading to the Czech Republic again. Thanks to the 6th edition of the Prague International Chess Festival we should see a quality start led by the phenomenal Indians Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu and Vidit Santosh Gujrathi. Furthermore, Czech David Navara and Thai Dai Van Nguyen will participate in the prestigious Masters category.

“Praggnanandhaa became a grandmaster at the age of twelve, having become the youngest international champion in chess history two years prior. Together with his sister Vaishali, they became the first sibling pair to achieve the title of grandmaster and qualified for the Candidates Tournament," revealed tournament director Petr Boleslav.

Amongst the favourite players is also Uzbek Nodirbek Abdusattorov. During his country's victory at the last Chess Olympiad in 2022 he played on the first chess board. In 2018, as a thirteen-year-old, he became the youngest player in history when he scored 2,400 ELO points, in addition, he won the 2021 World Rapid Chess Championship as the youngest player.

"I am very happy about the participation of the Hungarian Richard Rapport because he played the opening year of this festival and then always had a schedule collision with another chess event. Negotiations for this year have been going on since the summer of 2023 and it finally worked out," admitted Boleslav.

No Russian player will start at the event, on the contrary, in the Challengers category, the Ukrainian number two Anton Korobov, who for example won the European Championship in blitz chess in 2013, will take part. Thanks to the Futures category, the youngest player on the main stage will be the eight-year-old Slovak talent Tomáš André, who placed 3rd  in his category at last year’s Youth World Championship.

The highest quality chess tournament in the Czech Republic will take place from February 27 to March 7 in the four-star Don Giovanni hotel in Prague. The opening ceremony and drawing of all categories will be a day earlier. The budget of the festival is 5.3 million Czech crowns, and the prize pool is 1.58 million. The organizer of the event is the 1st Novy Bor Chess Club, and the main referee is Pavel Votruba.

"We are only able to invite the stars of the world chess to the festival thanks to the general partners, such as The city of Prague, Karel Janeček, Czech Inn hotels, Hotel Don Giovanni Prague, Chess Association of the Czech Republic and K CERO Invest. The main media partner is Radiožurnál Sport," added event director Petr Boleslav.