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Over the Board

Next to my academic activity, I am also an avid chess player, particularly in team competitions. I was awarded the title of International Master at the age of 18; however, it took me about the same time (17 years) to become an International Grandmaster (GM). Currently, I am playing regularly for Schachfreunde Berlin in Germany, Leidsche Schaakgenootschap in the Netherlands, and Šahovski Klub Brda (Split) in Croatia.

Below you can replay some games I played from 2010 onwards with my annotations. Including some losses, of course, they tend to be more interesting. Look above all at my game against Dutch IM Xander Wemmers! Apart from this lost game, I also like my four games against long-time world-class player Loek van Wely.

Many of my games are replayable online, too. Some of my more notable victories are replayable here (Sprenger-Kasimdzhanov, Bundesliga 2002/03) and here (Sprenger-Shirov, Bundesliga 2005/06), while this intense game shows overall a good defensive showing against a strong opponent (Wojtaszek-Sprenger, Bundesliga 2018/19).

I have also an avid interest in the psychology and "phenomenology" of chessplaying and decision-making over the board. Here you can find an article about this topic, illustrated with a game from the first-person perspective (in German).

Composition

Since recently, I am composing endgame studies. They are, in a nutshell, stylized endgames where White has to find the unique way to draw or to win, dependent on the stipulation.

The artistic value of these compositions is promoted by the depth, the visual beauty and the economy of the (often surprising, but always unique) solution. In many endgame studies, there are also thematic tries ("false trails") which look almost like the solution, but fail to a clever defense by Black.

Some of my published studies are reprinted below. I owe a lot to my lessons from chess composition Grandmaster and current Vice World Champion Martin Minski, with whom I am also collaborating regularly.