Schachfestival Basel (ex Hilton Open) since 1999

Yoshiharu Habu, famous Shogi player & Chess FIDE Master. Basel was honoured to see him play in 2016. Photo: Wikipedia

In 1986, the city of Basel organised a training match between the reigning World Chess Champion Garry Kasparov and Anthony Miles, the first English born otb Grandmaster.

Great Gazza, the monster with thousand eyes (famous quote from Miles on Kasparov), won by 5.5 to 0.5.

Original media coverage, reprinted by Edward Winter:


Later, in 1999, an annual open tournament series started in Basel (since 2016 held in Riehen, a municipality near Basel):

Korchnoi, Ivkov, Andersson, Hort, Jussupow, Suetin, Tukmakov, Bologan, Bacrot, Naiditsch, Milov, Vachier-Lagrave, Wojtaszek, Rapport, Solak, Safarli, or Habu all played at Basel.

Record tournament winner is Andrei Sokolov, today rather forgotten, in his heydays he was a Top-Five ranked player in the world.

The fallen meteor

Andrei Sokolov pictured in 1988

The fallen meteor GM Andrei Sokolov, who was once ranked World No. 3= and was one step away from reaching a World Chess Championship match with then reigning Garry Kasparov.

However, exhausted from the Zonal, Interzonal and Candidate’s Tournament (Montpellier in 1985, Sokolov co-winner, 16 players including the former World Champions Spassky, Tal, and Smyslov, plus Korchnoi, Timman, Short, Portisch, or Beliavsky), the then following Candidate’s semi-final and final, which he both won over the other co-winners from the Candidate's...,

Sokolov lost then the additional «Super-Final» in 1987 to Anatoly Karpov who had been seeded directly (!) as the loser of the Karpov vs. Kasparov Championship title rematch from 1986; and never really recovered.

Sokolov is born in March 1963, just a few weeks before Kasparov. Andrei Sokolov was World Junior Champion in 1982, and won the USSR Championship in 1984 as clear first (18 players).

(quote from Sokolov) "Le long parcours des Candidats a puisé trop d'énergie dans mes réserves. Les années suivantes n'ont pas été aussi glorieuses ...":

Albo d'Oro Basel Chess Festival, Open

1999 A. Sokolov (1st edition)
2000 A. Sokolov
2001 Korchnoi
2002 Korchnoi
2003 Tukmakov
2004 Djuric
2005 A. Sokolov
2006 Malachatko
2007 Malachatko
2008 Starostīts
2009 A. Sokolov
2010 Lafuente
2011 Pelletier
2012 Grachev
2013 Grachev
2014 Wojtaszek
2015 Naiditsch
2016 Naiditsch
2017 Safarli
2018 Chatalbashev (20th edition)
2019 IM Krishna from India
2020 Martirosyan
2021 Stojanovic
2022(I) Li Min Peng

Official site:

BASEL Chess Festival, Open tournament

Schachfestival Basel (ex Hilton Open) since 1999
(survey in german language)