diagonal: The sixth edition of the annually recurring and steadily growing <Sunway Sitges International Chess Festival> (Open) took place December 13-22, 2019 in Sitges, a tourist town near 40 kilometers south of Barcelona.
Venue was the Hotel Sunway Playa Golf & Spa de Sitges along the Balearic Sea.
The event featured a 10-round Swiss system with 311 players in the A-group and 139 players in the B-Group.
Headliner was legendary Vassily Ivanchuk who had just won the Tournament of Peace at Zagreb, a strong International Invitation Tournament in November 2019. Further prominent players in the field included Parham Maghsoodloo, one of the most outstanding players of the impressive generation of Iranian chess athletes, Anton Korobov, Hrant Melkumyan, Krishnan Sasikiran, Maxime Lagarde, Edouard Romain, and Kaido Kulaots.
The total prize fund was 27,155 Euros with a 5,000 first prize.
Leading the tournament from start to finish, <GM Anton Korobov of Ukraine won as clear first at 8.5 points>. A fine victory for Korobov!
Anton Korobov arrived in Sitges as number three to four on the entry list behind Vassily Ivanchuk and Parham Maghsoodloo, but he dominated the tournament from the outset. Korobov started with six wins out of six games and only made his first draw against Ivanchuk in round seven. With a final sprint of two out of three, he then secured the sole tournament triumph.
The German grandmaster Rasmus Svane started as number 22 on the entry list but impressively reached 8 out of 10 to tie for second place along with Vasif Durarbayli from Azerbaijan, just a half point behind Korobov. Durarbayli then beat Svane 1½:½ in a two-game blitz match to snag the second place.
Promising youngster Nihal Sarin from India, finished unbeaten as shared fourth to twelfth at 7.5/10 points, American chess child prodigy Awonder Liang surprisingly defeated Ivanchuk, both eventually finishing at 7/10.
Swiss system can be brutal: Kulaots, the winner of the strong Aeroflot Open in Moscow at the beginning of this year (2019), had a bad tourney this time, achieving only 50% (three wins, three losses, four draws), finally finishing at position 147.
Pictorial Report (6th edition of 2019):
For more impressions from Sitges compare also:
Albo d’Oro (since first edition in 2014, won by Baklan):