The 35th edition of the “Villa de Benasque” International Open is taking place between 3 and 11 of July in Benasque, Spain. The event is well known for its strength and the number of participants it attracts every year. This year’s edition has gathered 412 players, among which 34 Grandmasters. Top seed is GM Maxim Rodshtein (2678), followed by GMs Ferenc Berkes (2664), Julio Granda (2652), Baskaran Adhiban (2627), Jorge Cori (2627) and Daniel Naroditsky (2622).
After six rounds, three players are sharing the lead with 5,5 points: GM Julio Granda, GM Sergey Grigoriants and GM Jorge Cori. The fight is tight, as they are followed by no less than 16 players with 5 points. Top encounters of the 7th round are:
Rounds 7-9 are scheduled at 4 PM local time, while round 10 will be played at 9 o’clock in the morning. Top 10 boards can be watched live here.
Besides the open and the traditional blitz event held every year during the tournament, the organizers have set up a new challenge this year – a team blitz match between Spain and the rest of the world. Every team consisted of 10 players who faced each other in a round robin tournament. It turned out to be a very strong and fun to watch event, as you can guess from the team composition:
After 2 fighting hours, the host emerged victorious, and the final score was 59 to 41. Full results can be found here for the blitz match and here for the main event. Here are some photos from the events: