23rd FIDE Senior Chess Championship has started

The 23rd FIDE Senior Chess Championship for men and women is taking place in Opatija, Croatia from 11th to 24th November 2013. The main organizer is the Chess Club of Rijeka.

Opatija is the oldest Croatian tourist resort, famous for its friendly climate, large botanic garden and the Central European architecture, unique in the Mediterranean area.

In the Open section 201 players from 40 countries are competing, including 10 Grandmasters, 25 International Masters and 33 FIDE Masters.

The largest number of participants are coming from Russia (26) followed by Germany (25) while there are 11 local players (Croatia).

The first seed of the tournament is Anatoly Vaisser (France) while the narrow circle of favorites includes GMs Krunoslav Hulak (Croatia), Evgeni Vasiukov (Russia), Viktor Kupreichik (Belarus) and Yuri Balashov (Russia).  Defending champion is GM Jens Kristiansen (Denmark)

The Women's tournament has 25 players from 9 countries, including 4 Grandmasters, 5 International Masters and 5 FIDE Masters. The first favorite of the tournament is legendary GM Nona Gaprindashvili (Georgia), the former world champion (1962-1978). Main challengers for the title will be the last year's winner Galina Strutinskaya along with Grandmasters Elena Fatalibekova (Russia) and Tamar Khmiadashvili (Georgia).

The first two rounds have been played, live games and photos at the official website is www.rijekachess.com