Press releases

Vienna Chess Open 2019: Italian Valsecchi wins – 12th Austrian Champion title for Stanec

Vienna. – The Italian GM Alessio Valsecchi won the 21st edition of the Vienna Chess Open in the impressive ambience of Vienna’s City Hall with 7 ½ points followed by Croatian GM Mladen Palac,  American Gabriel Blick and the Austrians GM’s Niki Stanec and David Shengelia, each of them with 7 points. Stanec defended also his Austrian champion title from last year und won his 12th national title in total.

The Vienna Chess Open 2019 reached a new record with 972 participants from 57 countries. The battle about cash prizes and titles was not decided until the last round. On the top-board Alessio Valsecchi succeeded in direct encounter with the American Gabriel Blick. Gabriel 48th of the ranking list was leader until round eight, finished on 3rd place and achieved another GM-norm. The second place of the experienced Croatian GM Mladen Palac was less surprising. The best woman in the Vienna Chess Open is Abdumalik Zhansaya, the young rising star from Kazakhstan. She received also a special prize donated by the legendary former vice world champion Nana Alexandria.


Vienna Chess Federation
President Johann Pöcksteiner
T: +43 664 2110806

Vienna Chess Open 2019: New record attendance

Vienna – The 21st edition of the Vienna Chess Open is coming up in August with a new record attendance: more than 900 chess players from 53 different countries, including 20 Grandmasters (GMs) and more than 30 International Masters (IMs) , are going to battle in the Festival Hall of the Vienna City Hall.

“We had to stop the online-registration in July and could have had even more than 1000 participants. The City of Vienna generously provided an additional hall but more than 900 players are not possible”, reports Johann Pöcksteiner, president of the Vienna Chess Federation.

In addition to the GMs and IMs there are 80 players with Elo-Rating of more than 2300: “The number of participants makes the Vienna Chess Open to one of the biggest tournaments in Europe, but also the concentration of the participating top players makes this tournament almost unique. Many players get the chance to achieve norms for international titles, only a few will fight for the grandmaster-norm.  

For the first time, the Austrian championship will be organized within the Vienna Chess Open. Veronika Exler and Niki Stanec want to defend their national champion title from the previous year.

From the international perspective Zhansaya Abdumalik (19 years) and Bibissara Assaubayeva (15 years) from Kazakhstan are outstanding in the women’s field. Zhansaya is already number 24 in the world ranking and Johann Pöcksteiner presumes she could be a future female world champion. In the men’s field the Norwegian Simen Adgestein, who discovered Magnus Carlsen, arrives with a team of young talents from his homeland: Nine rounds in eight days are challenging, even for potential future world champions. The Norwegians are also going to battle with the Austrian top-talents like Felix Blohberger or Florian Mesaros.

The economic value of the tournament for Vienna should not be underestimated. Christian Hursky, the president of the Austrian Chess Federation: “900 chess players from 53 countries are going to stay in Vienna for more than a week. Most of them with family members and friends. Nearly 6 000 overnight stays are a strong boost also for the tourism hot spot Vienna.”

Johann Pöcksteiner: “The amazing ambience in the Vienna City Hall, full of chessboards, and the numerous leisure time activities in Vienna are providing a powerful attraction for many players.”

The Vienna Chess Open takes place from 17th to 24th August 2019 in the City Hall of Vienna. Visitors are welcome, admission is free. The top-games will be live-streamed on video walls in the City Hall but also online at


Wiener Schachverband
President Johann Pöcksteiner
T: +43 664 2110806

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