One of my favorite tournaments in germany has always been the Boeblingen Open. There are several reasons for this. First of all, there is an extremely familiar atmosphere to it. The tournament takes place in the Mercure hotel in Boeblingen near Stuttgart. This hotel is basically run by the chess club during this time (the catering and the bar :-)) and they make some very fair prices for accomendation. Additionally, the tournament organizer Mario Born has 37 years of experience and his team is well instructed. Furthermore, the head arbiter Jens Wolter and his team is one of the best in business, so everything is running smoothly. The tournament took place during easter (14.4-18.4) and is as usual run in five days which means we have four double rounds. This sounds like a lot of chess and it really is, but on the other hand the splendid logistics make it managable and the limited amount of holiday required make it really attractive for all the unfortunate people that cannot play chess for a living. Of course the tournament is usually held between christmas and silvester, but as we all know the pandemic situation made things very tricky and the 2020 and 2021 editions had to be cancelled. My probs goes to the organizers for taking the risk to make this easter edition happens despite the unclear regulations in germany. But strangely nothing changed too much despite the terasse being available for analysis and relaxing, which was quite welcome for connecting to some chess players and their families.
The tournament this year was a bit weaker than usual ( normally an IM-Norm is always possible and even a GM-norm on a good day). Nevertheless there were a lot of strong, hungry and probably underrated yound german players between 2200-2400 elo rating, so the tournament was not a walk in the park at all. Unless you are below 25, the strategy in these kind of tournaments is to manage ur energy Level and take 1-2 drawing spots (preferably with Black against an equal opponent 😉 ). In this tournament however, the average players age on the top were below 25, so you had to choose ur poison. The strongest player turned out to be pre tournament favorite Spartak Grigorian. ‘Spo’ has a very classical style mixed with strong modern preparation and calculation and i wouldn’t be too surprised if he is able to snatch his GM title this year. My own tournament went quite well in the first seven rounds until i decided to commit suicide in round 8 against the very strong german FM Niklas Schmider. Playing for a win in an equal position i overlooked a tactical detail and was forced to bail out into a difficult endgame which was objectivly holdable, but not for me on this day 😀. As one misfortune rarely stays alone, i overpressed my position as well in the ninth Position against a young talent and ended the tournament with a slight minus. Shit happens, we will strike back in the Heraklion chess tournament during 25.4-4.5 in Creta. Overall i would like to thank the organizers, arbiters and my fellow colleagues for having such a great time in Boeblingen. I have heard rumors that it might not be the lass edition this year… Cheers, Giso