I wasn’t able to play this year, but the field is again impressive (even without my participation), both in the number of participants and titled players. One interesting fact is that all the winners of the previous editions are playing.
There weren’t many surprises in the first round, but quite a few in the second. Perhaps the morning round had its toll as for example the German GM Kraemer lost by default. Double-round days are always a torture.
In view of the upcoming ECC also to be held in Skopje, in October and in the same Aleksandar Palace hotel, this tournament strives to put Skopje and Macedonia back in the limelight from the 1970s with the Chess Olympiad and Solidarity Tournaments being the promiment features of the chess calendar of the times.
I hope to be able to visit the playing hall in the following days so stay tuned for more news. In the meantime you can follow the results here.