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On Monday, August 7, at the International Exhibition Centre in Ķīpsala, the largest and one of the most prestigious international week-long chess festivals in Northern Europe «RTU Open 2017» was officially launched. Rector of Riga Technical University (RTU), Academician Leonīds Ribickis and the President of the Latvian Chess Federation and FIDE Baltic Zone President Āris Ozoliņš wished success to the participants. The Minister of Finance of Latvia, chess master Dana Reizniece-Ozola also extended her best wishes to all the participants of the chess festival.
“The first evening of the chess festival already shows how strong the chess players of «RTU Open 2017» are – even the players of A tournament middle stage are skilled enough to resist the two tournament favourites,” says «RTU Open 2017» festival organiser, director of RTU Sports Centre Egons Lavendelis.
Most of the tournament favourites in the first round of A tournament, which took place shortly after the opening ceremony, score a success. However, there were two surprises. The first was a draw in a game between the Russian chess amateur Anastasia Travkina (2265 Elo points) and Indian chess grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran ranked 56th in the world (2688 Elo points). The second surprise – a draw in a game between a multiple winner of the European Team Chess Championships from the German team Daniel Friedman (2640 Elo points) and Canadian chess amateur Mike Ivanov (2262 Elo points).
«RTU Open 2017» now in its seventh consecutive year consists of five tournaments. 319 participants from 41 countries take part in A tournament, and 88 chess players – in B tournament. 279 chess enthusiasts have applied for C, D, and E tournaments starting on Thursday and Friday.
For more information about the festival, visit «RTU Open 2017» home page rtuopen.lv. It will be possible to watch chess games of leading players online with live streaming at the «RTU Open 2017» website and the website of the Latvian Chess Federation sahafederacija.lv. Entry to the festival is free of charge for spectators.
The festival is organised by RTU and the Latvian Chess Federation. It is supported by RTU, International Exhibition Centre in Ķīpsala, Baltic Law Offices, Riga City Council, Riga Islande Hotel.