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The highlight of the season starts with drawing!

19 Jun 2023

PRAHA (ae) – The 5th year of the Prague International Chess Festival begins on Tuesday, June 20, with an opening ceremony and drawing at the Don Giovanni Hotel Prague. “The drawing will welcome philanthropist Karel Janeček. On Thursday he will also attend the Children’s Day, presenting his game Mateso and starting the second round with an opening move,“ revealed Petr Boleslav, the festival director. 

Top grandmasters, including the Chinese front-runner Hao Wang, American Samuel Shankland, Czech #1 David Navara, and #2 Thai Dai Van Nguyen, who finished third last year, have accepted the invitation to the festival. 
The Masters category will be livened up by another American player, Ray Robson, defending champion from India, Pentala Harikrishna, or Vincent Keymer from Germany. The top ten players also include Boris Gelfand from Israel, Bogdan-Daniel Deac from Romania, and Haik Martirosyan from Armenia.

“I’m looking forward to the festival. Its atmosphere is just great, which is not that common at other competitions,“ said David Navara about the highlight of the local chess season. The second most significant category Challengers comprises ten names including three Czech players. The legendary Hungarian GM Péter Lékó has become the ambassador of the Futures tournament which is going to see matches between six talented players under 13 years of age. Over 400 players have registered for the Karel Janeček Open tournament category. 

The festival has a great innovation – an improved and more sophisticated method of choosing the best game of the round. In last years, the best games were assessed and chosen by the committee, and now anyone can vote after entering the festival’s website. The visitors can attend various side events during the festival, such as side tournaments, a simultaneous exhibition, a book launch party, a theatre play, or a football match. 
"Thanks to our partners, Karel Janeček, Czech Inn Hotels, Komerční banka, and Ernst & Young we can invite the stars of the chess world to our tournament," says tournament director Petr Boleslav.

(photo Maria Emelianova/Chess.com)