The start of the 2017 KZCC has received widespread attention, mainly because of the fantastic exhibition game between main sponsor Oleg Skvortsov and Viswanathan Anand, where the Indian sacrificed a queen mainly from intuition for just a couple of pawns and thus achieved a beautiful victory.  We present you with the most prominent reactions on the internet:

The Kortchnoi Zurich Chess Challenge 2017 has had its first decisive result: The American Hikaru Nakamura won the Opening Blitz and thus made it very clear that he intends to repeat his success from 2015 and 2016 and therefore become the first player to win the tournament three times in a row.

Although the American's success could readily be expected, the course of the tournament indicated a small sensation at first - after the penultimate round, it was "Oldie" Boris Gelfand who was leading by half a point! But he failed to make the last step towards victory and fell victim to an unusual h4 by Ian Nepmniachtchi in the Najdorf Sicilian while Nakamura drew against Anand and therefore surpassed the Israeli with the better Sonneborn-Berger.

The 2017 Kortchnoi Zurich Chess Challenge began today with an impressive performance by the former World Champion Viswanathan Anand, who sacrificed his queen for just two pawns in the traditional exhibition match against main sponsor Oleg Skvortsov.

Skvortsov, who despite having retired from active chess due to his professional obligations is well known for his strong and aggressive play, began the rapid game with an unknown sideline of the Italien Opening that at first appeared to be a little awkward for white - black gained the bishop pair and went ahead in development, but white had strong counterplay connected to his annoying pawn on g7. Anand, however, kept his cool and sacrificed at first a knight and a few moves later an entire queen for a very strong attack that was almost impossible to parry, escpecially over the board and with limited time. It is amazing that Anand's sacrifice even held up against the computer's analysis - even with the best play Skvortsov would have had to fight desperately for a draw. However, under time pressure the Russian faltered and missed the strong defensive resource 19.Qg7 that would have allowed white to stay in the game. After 19.Bg5, however, white was already lost and Anand converted his positional advantage in a very impressive manner.

Game replay:

 

The 2017 Kortchnoi Zurich Chess Challenge will start on 12 April in the Hotel Savoy Baur en Ville with an impressive opening ceremony that is highlighted by a musical performance of four superb musicians:
Ilya Gringolts, one of the most inspirational violinists today, Boris Adrianov, a multiple international prize winner for his amazing cellist talents, Dmitry Illarionov, probably the most talented guitarists of modern Russia, and Leonard Schreiber, a Belgian violinist with a reputation of being a preeminent soloist, who has had the honour to play for several Heads of States and Royalties even in private concerts. The audience in the Savoy can therefore expect a musical performance of an outstanding artistic value.

In addition, the opening ceremony will welcome the 12th World Chess Champion and chess legend Anatoli Karpov, the 1993 Vice World Champion Jan Timman, the Russian/Dutch Grandmaster Gennadi Sosonko, who was, like Karpov and Timman, a long-time rival and competitor of Viktor Kortchnoi, plus several other honorable guests well-known throughout the chess world and beyond.

The ceremony will be followed by a round robin Blitz tournament of the 8 participants of the Grandmaster tournament. The entire event can be followed in a livestream that will be shown on the tournament website, www.zurich-cc.com

The hosts are also happy to announce, that to date 13 grandmasters with an ELO rating of 2600 and above have registered for the Kortchnoi Open that will be played parallel to the Grandmaster Tournament. Among them are well-known world class players like Alexei Shirov, Alexander Motylev, Eltaj Safarli, Eduardo Iturrizaga, Aleksandr Rakhmanov and Loek van Wely.

Date Wed, 12 April 2017 - Mon, 17 April 2017
Venue Opening: Hotel Savoy Baur en ville (Grand Ballroom), Paradeplatz, Zürich
Tournament: Kongresshaus (Gartensaal), Zürich
Participants GM Kramnik Vladimir (RUS), ELO 2811
GM Anand Viswanathan (IND) ELO 2786
GM Nakamura Hikaru (USA) ELO 2793
GM Nepomniachtchi Ian (RUS) ELO 2751
GM Svidler Peter (RUS) ELO 2747
GM Gelfand Boris (ISR) ELO 2724
GM Oparin, Grigoryi (RUS) ELO 2604
GM Pelletier Yannick (SUI) ELO 2541
Format/Time Control
  • 7 rounds New Classical with a time control of 45min + 30sec from 13 April to 16 April
  • 7 rounds Blitz with a time control of 10min + 5sec on 17 April
Program 12 April:
3 p.m.: Exhibition game Oleg Skvortsov vs Viswanathan Anand
5 p.m.: Briefing for the players of the Grandmaster tournament
6 p.m.: Opening ceremony with concert and Opening Blitz
13 April: 5 p.m.: New Classical, 1st round
14 April: 12:30 p.m.: 2nd round, 5 p.m. 3rd round
15 April: 12:30 p.m.: 4th round, 5 p.m. 5th round
16 April: 12:30 p.m.: 6th round, 5 p.m. 7th round
17 April: 11 a.m.: Blitz tournament, 5 p.m.: Closing ceremony
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