Friday, 20 April 2012

My next tournament, Bosna 2012

Sarajevo chess tournament
Click to enlarge
In the beginning of May I shall take part in open tournament Bosna 2012. The tournament will be played in Sarajevo, capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina from 5th May to 11th May this year. This is already 42th version of the tournament and by means of tradition only Wijk an Zee and Hestings can be compared. During a time tournament format was changed. I don´t know very well a long history of this tournament but what I know is it had a very strong field in the 80s with and leading World players took part in it (with exeption of Karpov and Kasparov). After the Bosnian war, in the late 90s, tournament was one of the three top tournaments in the World (together with Linares and Dortmund ) and almost all of leading players at that time were playing in the tournament. I don´t remember well, but Kasparov played two or three times, and other big names were Short, Bologan, Movsesian, Morozevic, Adams e.t.c.
However, in the 2010 organisers took decision to change tournament format and it was played like open tournament, open for all players. The prize fond was extremely high. If we compare prize money in Rilton cup in Sweden (tournament with the biggest prize money in Sweden) which is about 20 000 €, I can say that Bosna 2010 had  about 110 000 € and was close to the biggest prize fond in that year (I think that only European individual championship in Rijeka had bigger prize fond).
Chess Club Bosna Sarajevo Chess Bosnia
Click to enlarge
 That was for 40th anniversary of the tournament. There were several Swedish players, but I organizes small delegation with Anders Johansson, Michael de Verdier and  Nils Grandelius. It was very successful for Nils Grandelius because he made his third and final GM norm in the tournament and became a Grandmaster. Last year tournament was not as big as 2010 but it was very good event with plenty of Grandmasters and International Masters, and prize fond was about 51 000 € which is again extremely high compared with Scandinavian tournaments. It were some conditions for strong GMs (2650+) and strong juniors(2550+).
Click to enlarge

This year edition is somehow different. I´am not sure if tournament is in some kind of crises but Bosnian chess is definitely. From 1. January there are no Bosnian players on FIDE ELO list and we don´t know when will this issue be solved. However, tournament is still promising with quite good prize fond  (about 20 000 €) and very good conditions for GMs. Tournament format is somehow changed and it will be played A and B group. In the stronger A group players will be rated 2200+ ELO points, and in the B group under 2300 ELO points. Players between 2200 and 2300 can chose in which group will they play. This is very good novelty for norm aspiration players (they can avoid to play lower rated players in the first rounds) and for players under 2300 which wants to win a prize. It is not so good for players under 2200 which wants to meet IMs and GMs.
Chess is very popular in Sarajevo (like everywhere on Balkan) and there are a few squares in City where people are playing almost without break.
Chess Sarajevo outside
Click to enlarge

What I can say about tournament is that is still very attractive. Prize fond is very good and the tournament is cheap for those who usually plays many tournament around Europe without good conditions. Sarajevo is still cheaper than most of European cities and my recommendation is to book a Hotel which is not so expensive because level is unusually high. Food is very good (not so healthy but definitely very tasty), and perfect for those who like a meals with much meat (ask for "burek" or "cevapi" ).
The only drawback is it will be two double rounds which is not very attractive and maybe a very bad connections to Sarajevo airport. Those with adventure spirit can try to fly to Split, Dubrovnik or Belgrade because there are a preaty good connestions to Sarajevo by bus or train (very cheap) which takes four or five hours from Adriatic coast (Split and Dubrovnik) respectivly 8 hours from Belgrade.
All other information can be found on following links:
Official tournament site
A group registrated players
B group registreted players


  1. igras li u Sarajevu -,a nastupas li za Mostar

  2. Nastupam u Sarajevu, a igrat cu za Napredak.