Reggio Emilia started on Saturday

Tournament celebrating 50th anniversary

50th Reggio Emilia tournament launched on Saturday with ten Grandmasters to play in round robin system. Fearless Zoltan Almasi of Hungaria and famous theoretician Mihail Marin of Romania are leading with 1.5 points after two rounds. It appears that Italian opening is regaining trust of the top players as it is being used more often than Ruy Lopez, at least in Reggio Emilia. Zoltan Almasi blasted Pentala Harikrishna off the board in one such line, while author of the “Beating the Open Games” bestseller, Mihail Marin, used his knowledge to hold against Sergey Tiviakov’s aggression and win the game in devastating counterattack.

Zoltan Almasi square Tiviakov canada

Zoltan Almasi and Sergey Tiviakov

Round two standings:

1-2. Zoltan Almasi (HUN 2691) and Mihail Marin (ROM 2551) 1.5; 3-8. Pentala Harikrishna (IND 2668), Hua Ni (CHN 2641), Konstantin Landa (RUS 2678), Vugar Gashimov (AZE 2663), Viktor Korchnoi (SUI 2611) and David Navara (CZE 2656) 1.0; 9-10. Michele Godena (ITA 2535) and Sergey Tiviakov (NED 2643) 0.5

Francisco Vallejo Pons wins Ciudad de Pamplona

half point ahead of the competition

Francisco Vallejo Pons routinely drew with white against Wang Yue in the last round to claim clear first place at the Internacional Ciudad de Pamplona. Two wins at the start were good enough to keep him on the poll position. Half of the prize fund, 3500 Euros, will be divided according to number of wins.

Combative Baadur Jobava and solid Wang Yue are tied on the 2nd place with four points each. Alexander Beliavsky and Sergei Movsesian both earned full points in the last round to settle on 50% score. Talented junior Maxim Rodstein played pretty well and probably only lack of experience held him on three points. Gabriel Sargissian of Armenia finished on the same score, after some disastrous start. The player with the most decided games, Ibragim Khamrakulov, ended on the last place with 2.5 points.

Baadur Jobava square Alexander Beliavsky square

GM Baadur Jobava and GM Alexander Beliavsky

Round 7 results

Alexander Beliavsky (SLO 2646) – Maxim Rodstein (ISR 2615) 1-0

Sergei Movsesian (SVK 2670) – Ibragim Khamrakulov (ESP 2604) 1-0

Gabriel Sargissian (ARM 2673) – Baadur Jobava (GEO 2644) draw

Francisco Vallejo Pons (ESP 2660) – Wang Yue (CHN 2703) draw

Final standings

1. Francisco Vallejo Pons (ESP 2660) 4.5; 2-3. Baadur Jobava (GEO 2644) and Wang Yue (CHN 2703) 4.0; 4-5. Alexander Beliavsky (SLO 2646) and Sergei Movsesian (SVK 2670) 3.5; 6-7. Maxim Rodstein (ISR 2615) and Gabriel Sargissian (ARM 2673) 3.0; 8. Ibragim Khamrakulov (ESP 2604) 2.5;

Tournament website

Big upsets at the first round of Hastings Chess 2008

The underdogs surprise most of the top seeded players

The first round of the Masters tournament at the Hastings Chess Congress 2008 brought many surprises at the top tables. The highest rated player, GM Vadim Malakhatko lost with white against Sebastien Bogner. GM Chatalbashev, GM V. Georgiev, and GM Gawain Jones drew their games against Richard Bates, Florian Dinger, and Simon Knott respectively. GM Milos Pavlovic could not escape with the full point as well and drew with Peter Marusenko.

More about hastings

Hastings chess 2008 preview and participants

Official website

hastings chess

Hastings 2008, round 1

1 MALAKHATKO,Vadim 2596 0 – 1 BOGNER,Sebastian 2383

2 BATES,Richard 2378 ½ – ½ CHATALBASHEV,Bor 2581

3 GEORGIEV,Vladimi 2576 ½ – ½ DINGER,Florian 2378

4 KNOTT,Simon 2366 ½ – ½ JONES,Gawain 2567

5 MAMEDOV,Nidjat 2565 1 – 0 SHAKIL,Abu Sufia 2361

6 AFEK,Youchanan 2349 0 – 1 HEBDEN,Mark 2542

7 CONQUEST,Stuart 2540 1 – 0 ZOZULIA,Anna 2343

8 RUDD,Jack 2332 0 – 1 TAHIROV,Farhad 2540

9 PERT,Nicholas 2539 1 – 0 PROSVIRIAKOV,Vla 2319

10 MARUSENKO,Peter 2304 ½ – ½ PAVLOVIC,Milos 2536

11 BINDRICH,Falko 2512 1 – 0 EAMES,Robert 2304

12 HASAN,Mehdi 2287 0 – 1 HASLINGER,Stewar 2502

13 FLEAR,Glenn 2493 ½ – ½ FORMANEK,Edward 2276

14 BRISCOE,Christop 2273 0 – 1 GORMALLY,Daniel 2484

15 WILLIAMS,Simon 2475 1 – 0 LEDGER,David 2266

16 FURMAN,Boris 2264 0 – 1 SENGUPTA,Deep 2447

17 GREET,Andrew 2441 1 – 0 GRANT,Alan 2251

18 KWIATKOWSKI,Feli 2237 0 – 1 ROY CHOWDHURY,Sa 2418

19 HOUSKA,Jovanka 2404 1 – 0 SNAPE,Ian 2230

20 JACKSON,Oliver 2219 0 – 1 SATYAPRAGYAN,Swa 2404

Hastings 2008 round 2, pairings

1 SENGUPTA,Deep 2447 (1) – MAMEDOV,Nidjat 2565 (1)

2 HEBDEN,Mark 2542 (1) – GREET,Andrew 2441 (1)

3 ROY CHOWDHURY,Sa 2418 (1) – CONQUEST,Stuart 2540 (1)

4 TAHIROV,Farhad 2540 (1) – HOUSKA,Jovanka 2404 (1)

5 SATYAPRAGYAN,Swa 2404 (1) – PERT,Nicholas 2539 (1)

6 BOGNER,Sebastian 2383 (1) – BINDRICH,Falko 2512 (1)

7 HASLINGER,Stewar 2502 (1) – COLLINS,Sam 2401 (1)

8 GORMALLY,Daniel 2484 (1) – RENDLE,Thomas 2397 (1)

9 THOMSON,Ian 2309 (1) – WILLIAMS,Simon 2475 (1)

10 GURBANZADE,Erkin 2179 (1) – MALAKHATKO,Vadim 2596 (0)

11 FRUTEAU,Sabine 2169 (1) – GEORGIEV,Vladimir 2576 (½)

12 CHATALBASHEV,Bor 2581 (½) – MANSSON,James 2161 (1)

13 DICKSON,George 2160 (1) – FLEAR,Glenn 2493 (½)

14 JONES,Gawain 2567 (½) – POOBALASINGAM,Pe 2158 (1)

15 HAGESAETHER,Arne 2153 (1) – ISLAM,Kh Aminul 2390 (½)

16 PAVLOVIC,Milos 2536 (½) – ATAKO,Chino 2149 (1)

17 LALIC,Bogdan 2500 (½) – DONOVAN,Nigel 2121 (1)

18 SUGDEN,John 2116 (1) – BATES,Richard 2378 (½)

19 ZHOU,Yang-Fan 2068 (1) – KNOTT,Simon 2366 (½)

20 KAUFMAN,Raymond 2393 (½) – GOODGER,Martyn 2067 (1)

Magistral Ciudad de Pamplona, round 5

many players tied on 2nd place with 50 percent score

Ibragim Khamrakulov was the only one to score a win in the 5th round of Ciudad de Pamplona and reach 50% score. On the Black side of Queen’s Indian against Alexander Beliavsky, and in virtually harmless position, Khamrakulov played a squence of resolute moves (15…Qc8, 16…Bb4, 17…Qe8!) to grab the initiative. Beliavsky didn’t defend precisely and was forced to resign on 27th move.

The game between Baadur Jobava and Maxim Rodstein will attract plenty of attention from opening theoriticians. Rodstein defended in Semi-Slav Botvinnik variation in which even Kramnik and Topalov were defeated. Fierce tactical battle emerged after Jobava improved the line with 21. Rfc1. At the end of the day, Rodstein forced perpetual check in the Queens endgame.

Gabriel Sargissian – Wang Yue and Sergei Movsesian – Francisco Vallejo Pons also finished in draws. Vallejo Pons is leading the race with 3.5 points after five rounds, Gabriel Sargissian is knocked on the bottom end with 1.5, while all the others are standing in the middle with 2.5.

Round 5 results

Alexander Beliavsky (SLO 2646) – Ibragim Khamrakulov (ESP 2604) 0-1

Baadur Jobava (GEO 2644) – Maxim Rodstein (ISR 2615) draw

Gabriel Sargissian (ARM 2673) – Wang Yue (CHN 2703) draw

Sergei Movsesian (SVK 2670) – Francisco Vallejo Pons (ESP 2660) draw

Round 5 standings

1. Francisco Vallejo Pons (ESP 2660) 3.5; 2-7. Alexander Beliavsky (SLO 2646), Ibragim Khamrakulov (ESP 2604), Baadur Jobava (GEO 2644), Maxim Rodstein (ISR 2615), Wang Yue (CHN 2703) and Sergei Movsesian (SVK 2670) 2.5; 8. Gabriel Sargissian (ARM 2673) 1.5;

Magistral Ciudad de Pamplona, round 4

Francisco Vallejo Pons continues leading

ETCC 2007 Arrival Day 04

GM Jobava during the ETCC

Francisco Vallejo Pons continues leading Magistral Ciudad de Pamplona. After four rounds the Spanish GM is on top with 3,0/4, two wins and two draws. He is closely followed By Beliavsky with 2,5/4.

Round 4 saw only one decisive game. GM Baadur Jobava won with black against GM Khamrakulov. All other games finished draw and nothing changed at the top of the table. Here are the standings and the replayable games.

Standings

1 GM VALLEJO PONS, Francisco 2660 ESP 3,0

2 GM BELIAVSKY, Alexander G 2646 SLO 2½

3 GM WANG, Yue 2703 CHN 2

4 GM MOVSESIAN, Sergei 2670 SVK 2

5 GM JOBAVA, Baadur 2644 GEO 2

6 GM RODSHTEIN, Maxim 2615 ISR 2

7 GM KHAMRAKULOV, Ibragim S 2604 ESP 1½

8 GM SARGISSIAN, Gabriel 2673 ARM 1

Francisco Vallejo Pons wins again

Second round of Internacional Ciudad de Pamplona

Francisco Vallejo Pons beat Baadur Jobava to take the sole lead after the second round at Internacional Ciudad de Pamplona tournament. In a game with lots of maneuvering, Vallejo Pons decided to sacrifice a pawn and play on the weak position of opponent’s King. Jobava muffed under salvo fire of White pair of Bishops and resigned when piece was lost without compensation.

Maxim Rodstein convincingly refuted Gabriel Sargissian’s positional exchange sacrifice in Ragozin variation of Queen’s Gambit Declined. After this defeat, Sargissian remains knocked on the bottom of the crosstable without points. Sergei Movsesian – Alexander Beliavsky was drawn in the early stage of the game since White achieved no advantage whatsoever. Ibragim Khamrakulov took a grip on Wang Yue’s isolated d-pawn to secure an easy draw.

Round 2 results

Francisco Vallejo Pons (ESP 2660) – Baadur Jobava (GEO 2644) 1-0

Maxim Rodstein (ISR 2615) – Gabriel Sargissian (ARM 2673) 1-0

Sergei Movsesian (SVK 2670) – Alexander Beliavsky (SLO 2646) draw

Wang Yue (CHN 2703) – Ibragim Khamrakulov (ESP 2604) draw

Round 2 standings

1. Francisco Vallejo Pons (ESP 2660) 2.0

2-3. Maxim Rodstein (ISR 2615) and Alexander Beliavsky (SLO 2646) 1.5

4-5. Wang Yue (CHN 2703) and Sergei Movsesian (SVK 2670) 1.0

6-7. Baadur Jobava (GEO 2644) and Ibragim Khamrakulov (ESP 2604) 0.5

8. Gabriel Sargissian (ARM 2673) 0.0

Paco Vallejo and Beliavsky victorious

First round of Internacional Ciudad de Pamplona

Francisco Vallejo Pons successfully started Pamplona campaign by beating his ETCC roommate Ibragim Khamrakulov. It was a modern treatment against Giuoco Piano where Black keeps its King in the center while initiating kingside conflict with g5-g4. Exactly 9…g5 was an important novelty to which Khamrakulov didn’t react in best fashion. Paco eventually castled long and continued to press on the open g-file and against weak f5 pawn, until everything was over on move 44.

The oldest participant, Alexander Beliavsky, allowed Armenian representative Gabriel Sargissian to play Queens Indian defence. At one point, the two have established some kind of Benoni pawn structure, which was clearly in White’s favor after Black’s pieces stood on clumsy positions. Beliavsky was threatening to roll over with his massive center and Sargissian decided to give up a pawn for some compensation over the open files. After some exchanges, it looked like Black will get counterplay, but White suddenly created mating net and Sargissian had to throw the towel.

Gabriel Sargissian square Alexander Beliavsky square

Gabriel Sargissian and Alexander Beliavsky

Baadur Jobava justified his reputation of an enterprising player. He sacrificed a piece right after the opening, but Sergei Movsesian was able to find unique moves and hold his position. Jobava eventually had to settle for draw with perpetual check. Top seeded Wang Yue of China held longterm small advantage against junior Maxim Rodstein, but Black defended stubbornly to achieve well-deserved draw.

Round 1 results

Ibragim Khamrakulov (ESP 2604) – Francisco Vallejo Pons (ESP 2660) 0-1

Alexander Beliavsky (SLO 2646) – Gabriel Sargissian (ARM 2673) 1-0

Baadur Jobava (GEO 2644) – Sergei Movsesian (SVK 2670) draw

Wang Yue (CHN 2703) – Maxim Rodstein (ISR 2615) draw

2007 Central Serbia Championship

Winners GM Dejan Pikula and WFM Marija Urosevic

The 2007 Central Serbia Championship was held on December 10th-16th in the spa resort Vrnjacka Banja. Championship for men acted as a qualifier for the 2008 Serbia Championship, top two finishers GM Dejan Pikula and GM Sinisa Drazic will proceed to the next level. Total prize fund of $3200 USD attracted 59 players and among them 11 Grandmasters. Dejan Pikula took the trophy on better additional criteria.

Final Standings (9 rounds Swiss):

1-2. GM Dejan Pikula 2494 and GM Sinisa Drazic 2493 – 7.0 points

3-4. GM Goran M Todorovic 2470 and GM Miodrag R Savic 2539 – 6.5

5-12. IM Zoran Arsovic 2459, GM Vladimir G Kostic 2402, WGM Irina Chelushkina 2351, Ivan B Zivkovic 2222, GM Goran Cabrilo 2497, IM Slobo Vratonjic 2453, IM Goran Arsovic 2478 and FM Ivan Sredojevic 2357 – 6.0

13-16. GM Miroslav Tosic 2422, GM Borko Lajthajm 2512, IM Branimir Maksimovic 2367 and Ljubomir Biljanic 2291 – 5.5

Women Championship saw five ladies to play double round robin. New champion is WFM Marija Urosevic (2076) with 5.5 points, full point ahead of the second placed Sandra Djukic (2204). Third is WIM Marija Petrovic (2168), while Jovana Milosevic and Marija Dragojevic have tied 4-5th.

SL 8 WFM Marija Urosevic square SL 10 Sandra Djukic square

WFM Marija Urosevic and Sandra Djukic

Greek Chess Championships 2007

New star is born

57th Men and 30th Women Championship of Greece took place on 30 November – 9 December in Igoumenitsa. Big news is that untitled 19-years old Ioannis Papadopoulos convincingly won the Men Championship full two points ahead of the group of established Grandmasters. Impressive score having in mind that tournament was short 9-games round robin.

Experienced WGM Marina Makropoulou had Women Championship under control and clinched the title with 6.5 points, half point clear ahead of young WIM Ekaterini Fakhiridou. Best Greek female player IM Yelena Dembo didn’t take participation because she is playing at strong Salona 2007.

Ioannis Papadopoulos Marina Makropoulou

Champions: Ioannis Papadopoulos and WGM Marina Makropoulou

Final standings (men):

1. Ioannis Papadopoulos 2445 – 7.5/9

2. GM Hristos Banikas 2591 – 5.5

3. GM Vasilios Kotronias 2614 – 5.0

4. Ioannis Georgiadis 2377 – 5.0

5. GM Athanasios Mastrovasilis 2529 – 5.0

6. GM Ioannis Nikolaidis 2525 – 4.5

7. Nikolaos Galopoulos 2172 – 4.0

8. IM Nikolaos Gavrilakis 2437 – 3.5

9. GM Spyridon Skembris 2463 – 2.5

10. FM Antonios Hadzimanolis 2329 – 2.5

Final standings (women):

1. WGM Marina Makropoulou 2243 – 6.5/9

2. WIM Ekaterini Fakhiridou 2270 – 6.0

3. Maria Manelidou 1933 – 5.5

4. WIM Vera Papadopoulou 2218 – 5.5

5. WIM Ioulia Makka 2191 – 5.0

6. Georgia Grapsa 2106 – 4.5

7. Yvonni Manolaraki 2088 – 3.5

8. Haritomeni Markantonaki 2161 – 3.5

9. Fotini Pambalou 2164 – 2.5

10. Ekaterini Pavlidou 2003 – 2.5

Photos courtesy of the official website.

Chess festival in Benidorm

Special simul by the World Champion Vishy Anand

The Benidorm Chess festival took place this week in the traditional chess venue Hotel Bali. The chess fans could enjoy a true celebration of chess as close to 1000 chess players assited to the event. It consisted of two amateur groups, one U16 group, a blitz tournament, an advanced chess demonstrative matches, a Masters event (with GM Delchev, GM Dreev, etc.), and a tournament of “stars” (GM Malakhov, GM Jobava, GM Tkachiev, GM Fedorchuk, FM Recuero, WIM Nebolsina).

The cherry of the cake was a simul by the World Chess Champion himself, Vishy Anand.

WCC Anand

Anand simul

The World Chess Champion Vishy Anand played a simul against 35 players on the 5th of December. On 35 tables Vishy played 25 different openings showing the best of his repertoire. Vishy started with 10 fast victories. Then came the first surprise of the day. In a KID, Ivan Rasskin got a draw against Anand. Only five minutes later F. Beckinh (Belgium) won his game on table 7. J.A. Soler, Miguel Cubillo, David Gomez Benitez, A. Bendayan also got draws.
The final score of the simul +29 -1 =5.

Download the PGN from the simul

Vishy lives quite close to Benidorm, in Collado Mediano, Spain. A nice gesture by the World Champion, to assist one of the most massive chess events in Spain this year. Last year, a similar gesture was made by Veselin Topalov, who came during the previous edition of the festival.

Politiken Vladimir Malakhov

Tournament of the stars

The third edition of “El torneo de estrellas de Benidorm” was a six players round robin event, similar to the Mtel Masters format. It featured GM Tkachiev, GM Jobava, WIM Nebolsina (U20 World Champion), FM Recuero Guerra, GM Malakhov, and GM Fedorchuk. The Georgian top GM Jobava had a nice start and was leading the tournament after the first five rounds. However, with a very nice second half, soon became leader. In round six Malakhov won against Jobava and continued with victories over FM Recuero, GM Fedorchuk, WIM Nebolsina, and a draw against GM Tkachiev secured the first place for him. This way GM Malakhov joins the previous winners, GM Judith Polgar and GM Veselin Topalov.

Download the PGN file of the tournament

Final standings

1. GM Malakhov 8,5

2. GM Jobava 8,0

3. GM Tkachiev 6,5

4. GM Fedorchuk 3,5

5. FM Recuero 2,0

6. WIM Nebolsina 1,5

Round 1

WIM Nebolsina Vera ½ – ½ FM Recuero Guerra David

GM Tkachiev Vladislav 1 – 0 GM Fedorchuk Sergey A

GM Jobava Baadur 1 – 0 GM Malakhov Vladimir

Round 2

FM Recuero Guerra David 0 – 1 GM Malakhov Vladimir

GM Fedorchuk Sergey A 0 – 1 GM Jobava Baadur

WIM Nebolsina Vera 0 – 1 GM Tkachiev Vladislav

Round 3

GM Tkachiev Vladislav ½ – ½ FM Recuero Guerra David

GM Jobava Baadur 1 – 0 WIM Nebolsina Vera

GM Malakhov Vladimir 1 – 0 GM Fedorchuk Sergey A

Round 4

FM Recuero Guerra David 0 – 1 GM Fedorchuk Sergey A

WIM Nebolsina Vera 0 – 1 GM Malakhov Vladimir

GM Tkachiev Vladislav ½ – ½ GM Jobava Baadur

Round 5

GM Jobava Baadur 1 – 0 FM Recuero Guerra David

GM Malakhov Vladimir 1 – 0 GM Tkachiev Vladislav

GM Fedorchuk Sergey A 1 – 0 WIM Nebolsina Vera

Round 6

FM Recuero Guerra David 0 – 1 WIM Nebolsina Vera

GM Fedorchuk Sergey A ½ – ½ GM Tkachiev Vladislav

GM Malakhov Vladimir 1 – 0 GM Jobava Baadur

Round 7

GM Malakhov Vladimir 1 – 0 FM Recuero Guerra David

GM Jobava Baadur 1 – 0 GM Fedorchuk Sergey A

GM Tkachiev Vladislav 1 – 0 WIM Nebolsina Vera

Round 8

FM Recuero Guerra David 0 – 1 GM Tkachiev Vladislav

WIM Nebolsina Vera 0 – 1 GM Jobava Baadur

GM Fedorchuk Sergey A 0 – 1 GM Malakhov Vladimir

Round 9

GM Fedorchuk Sergey A 0 – 1 FM Recuero Guerra David

GM Malakhov Vladimir 1 – 0 WIM Nebolsina Vera

GM Jobava Baadur ½ – ½ GM Tkachiev Vladislav

Round 10

FM Recuero Guerra David 0 – 1 GM Jobava Baadur

GM Tkachiev Vladislav ½ – ½ GM Malakhov Vladimir

WIM Nebolsina Vera 0 – 1 GM Fedorchuk Sergey A

ETCC 2007 Closing 17

GM Delchev with the bronze medal from ETCC

Masters group

The Masters group of the Benidorm chess tournament had strong participation. Top seeded was the ETCC bronze medalist GM Aleksander Delchev, followed by GM Alexey Dreev, GM Kogan, GM Moskalenk, IM Sanchez Joseph, IM Garcia Fernandez, etc. It was an 11 round Swiss event with time controk 15 min + 15 sec. The exciting battle which was not resolved until the last round. GM Delchev was constantly leading the event, but never got an advantage of more than 1/2 point. The competition got very close after round 10. GM Delchev was still first with 8,0, but he had to share the lead with GM Dreev and IM Sanches. GM Delchev won against FM Hristodorescu with black to secure the first place on a better tiebreak. GM Dreev won his game as well and took the second place. IM Sanchez secured the third place by drawing his game

With that Delchev won 1500 eur. GM Dreev got 1000 eur, and IM Sanches got 600 eur.

Download the PGN file

Final standings

1 GM Delchev Aleksander BUL 9,0

2 GM Dreev Alexey RUS 9,0

3 IM Sanchez Joseph PHI 8,5

4 IM Campos Gambuti Luis Maria ESP 8,0

5 GM Moskalenko Viktor UKR 8,0

6 GM Kogan Artur ISR 7,5

7 IM Reyes Larena Juan PER 7,5

8 IM Garcia Fernandez Carlos ESP 7,5

9 IM Purtseladze Maka GEO 7,5

10 WGM Djingarova Emilia BUL 7,5

11 IM Granero Roca Antonio ESP 7,0

12 FM Hristodorescu Daniel ROU 7,0

13 FM Valmaña Canto Jaime ESP 7,0

14 Scharrer Patrick ITA 7,0

15 FM Motyka Michal POL 7,0

16 Torres Sanchez Jose ESP 7,0

17 IM Vidarte Morales Arturo ESP 7,0

More info: official website