The first stage of the adult Kazakhstan Cup in the classics was completed within the framework of the international chess festival ASTANA OPEN – 2018. The tournament was attended by 153 competitors from 9 countries, including Russia, Latvia and the USA. Among them there are 14 international grandmasters (GM), 10 international masters (IM), 8 FIDE masters (FM). The total prize fund of the tournament was 4 300 000 tenge.

It is to be recalled that in the first Astana Open held in 2016 with the participation of 72 competitors from Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Belarus, a member of our team, IM Kirill Kuderinov from Aktobe, won. The top five included another Aktobe resident, candidate master (CM) Arystanbek Urazayev. By the way, in the final of that Cup the mentioned chess players won gold and bronze medals, respectively.

The tournament received a wide response and already in the next year nearly 170 chess players from 9 countries visited the competition. Mongolians, Egyptians and one Tajik joined the competition, who, by the way, won the gold. The Russian and the Belarusian also pushed back Kazakhstan from the medals. But Anuar Ismagambetov (GM), Astana resident managed to break into the top five grandmasters, whose ELO rating exceeded 2600. Among the best female chess players was competitor from Mongolia, a member of our national team Gulishkhan Nakhbayeva was only half a point from the winner.
Anuar Mukhtarovich, who is also the head coach of the junior national team of the country prepared thoroughly for the current Cup in classical chess. In 9 games he only once gave way to the grandmaster from Latvia and twice drew a tie. In the end – well-deserved silver medal!
– Shortly before the Day of the capital of our country, the first stage of the Cup became an excellent supplement to the program of cultural events. With the support of the Kazakhstan Chess Federation, which exercises overall supervision of the chess festival, a remarkable tournament was held with the participation of famous foreign chess players, – said the state chess coach of Kazakhstan, Dastan Kapayev.
Another competitor from Kazakhstan pleased us with victory. The member of the women’s national team of the Republic and concurrently the deputy executive director of the Kazakhstan Chess Federation (KCF), Gulmira Dauletova (WIM) from Almaty was recognized as the best chess player of the tournament! Silver passed to Astana resident, Amina Kairbekova (WCM), bronze – Alfiya Nasybullina (WFM) from Russia.

– This is the strongest ever tournament in Kazakhstan. Annually grandmasters from foreign countries compete here. Astana Open is the first stage of the Cup of Kazakhstan. The next two stages are held in Almaty (Almaty Open) and Pavlodar (Pavlodar Open). Thanks to such international tournaments held by KCF, our younger generation has a great opportunity to gain a great experience of games and fulfill international titles, said Gulmira Bekzatovna.

The gold medal of the tournament was won by the Latvian grandmaster, Igor Kovalenko, the bronze went to the Uzbek grandmaster Jokhangir Vahidov. GM Piotr Kostenko from Kostanay also entered the top ten chess players of the tournament.

– From year to year, the tournament gets more and more guests. Young Kazakhstan chess players have the opportunity to gain invaluable experience in competitions with foreign professionals without leaving the country, – said Ablai Tastambekov, President of the Chess Federation of Astana City.

In the blitz tournament, which also took place within the framework of Astana Open – 2018, the winning places went to Russians: gold – Ivan Bocharov (IM), silver – Dmitry Bocharov (GM), bronze – Semen Khanin (IM). In the top five was a chess player from the Pavlodar region – Denis Makhnev (IM).
The general supervision of the festival organization is exercised by the Kazakhstan Chess Federation, the Ministry of Culture and Sports of the Republic of Kazakhstan and ASTANA Central Chess Club.