The Cappelle la Grande Open is one of the most prestigious tournaments in the world and attracts hundreds of chess players every year. Besides being a very strong competition, the organizers do their best to make the players feel welcome and maintain a friendly and professional atmosphere.
Cappelle la Grande is a small village situated in the North of France, but with great love for chess. The tournament has reached its 32nd edition and the officials promise that there are many more to come. The playing venue is the spacious Palais des Arts that is adapted to the players’ needs by the team of volunteers who help throughout the whole event.
While all the action takes place in Cappelle, most of the players stay about 15 minutes away in Dunkerque, the main city in the region and third-largest harbor in France. The distance is nothing to worry about, as the organizers have thought about everything. Everyday, there is a bus that takes players to and from the playing venue. And for those who don’t like to be on a schedule, there is the option of using the city buses that connect Dunkerque to Cappelle la Grande.
This year, the tournament saw 537 participants out of which almost 200 titled. Starting as top seed was American Grandmaster Gata Kamsy, followed by super-strong players such as Ferenc Berkes, Tigran Gharamian, Martyn Kravtsiv, Andrey Vovk, Krishnan Sasikiran and many others.
As always, Cappelle la Grande isn’t only about strong, experienced players showing their class. It is also a tournament for young talents to make their debut. This year all eyes were on India’s Nihal Sarin, of only 11 years, who made his first IM norm.
Gata Kamsky on fire. What can we say about Kamsky that hasn’t been said before? The top class Grandmaster showed an excellent form and it was an absolute delight to follow his games day by day. Here we have selected some positions that we consider worth watching a few times. Have a look!
Gata Kamsky (2667) – D’Costa, L (2408)
White to play and win!
Gata Kamsky (2667) – Gopal, GN (2525)
White to play
Gata Kamsky (2667) – Kazhgaleyev,M (2580)
White to play
This whole game was very nice. In the above position white is clearly winning but the finish chosen by Kamsky was spectacular. Can you see it?
Gata Kamsky (2667) – D’Costa, L (2408) : 25.Rxf7! Bxf7 26.Rxf7 Kxf7 27.Qxh7+ Ke8 28.Qxg6+ Kf8 29.Qh6+ Ke8 30.Bb5+ Qd7 31.Qg6+ Kd8 32.Bb6+ 1-0
Gata Kamsky (2667) – Gopal, GN (2525) : 25.Nxd6! exd6 26.Bxd6 Nxb6 27.c4 Bxb2 28.Rab1 with a clear advantage.
Gata Kamsky (2667) – Kazhgaleyev,M (2580) : 37.Rh8! Kg6 (if 37…Kxh8 38.Qe8+ and Qxe4+) 38.Qe8+ Kf5 39.Qxe4+! Nice finish!
In the end, we’d like to thank the organizers and all the volunteers who, year after year, make great efforts in coordinating this fantastic event.