Location: Neustadt an Weinstrasse (Germany)
There should be more tournaments in Europe like Pfalz Open. Of course, 2 rounds per day is not everybody’s taste. On the other hand, the costs for accommodation are substantially reduced, playing nine rounds and having a generous prize fund should attract a lot of chess enthusiasts. As far as the writer of these reviews knows, there is only one more tournament in Europe organized in such conditions, Grenke Open in Karlsruhe.
Well located, near Rhine Valley, at an almost equal distance between Frankfurt and Stuttgart, Neustadt a Weinstrasse is very well described by its name. One of the most famous wine regions in Germany offers not only the usual beer but also a good selection of wines.
The Pfalz benefits from almost perfect conditions for viticulture and is one of the warmest German wine growing regions with around 1,800 hours of sunshine per year. Summers are dry, but not too hot, and winters tend to be mild, creating near-Mediterranean microclimates. The climate is mild enough for almonds and other warmer weather plants to thrive.
Connections are excellent. Besides those two cities, each one with an international airport, there are also Bonn Koeln and Frankfurt Hahn (low budget flights). Therefore, once in one of these sky gates, arriving in Neustadt shouldn’t take more than 90 minutes. For those who are traveling by train, Mannheim is the nearest principal station, the duration of travel from there to Neustadt being around less than half an hour.
The town itself is small and pleasant.
Chesswise, the tournament is superbly organized. A very devout team takes care of everything so players can concentrate only on chess. Arbiters are discreet and competent. It looks like everything is fine with this open. Small wonder then 500 players are playing there each year?
Place: Neustadt, Germany
Date: 24 – 28.02.2017
Prize Fund: 1st 1688 EUR
Official Site: http://www.pfalzopen.de/