legendary chess players in Romania
The Bazna King’s has collected 11 living chess legends in the 2008 edition of the tournament. Khalifman, Vaganian, Beliavsky, Portisch, Andersson, Mecking, Sokolov, Suba, Timman, Short, and Andrei started playing the round robin tournament today, May 24. The time control is 40 moves in 90 minutes with additional 30 seconds per move followed by other 30 minutes with additional 30 seconds / move. The winner of the tournament will take the first prize, which is 7000 eur.
Games start daily at 14:30 CET and can be followed on the official website.
Round 1 results
GM Suba – GM Timman 1/2 – 1/2
GM Beliavsky – GM Portisch 1/2 – 1/2
GM Murariu – GM Anderson 1/2 – 1/2
GM Sokolov – GM Vaganian 1/2 – 1/2
GM Short – GM Mecking 1/2 – 1/2
GM Khalifman starts playing tomorrow
The history of Bazna
Bazna was documentary attested in 1302. The German colonists established on the other side of the hills. Later, they discovered the beauty of Bazna Valley and they moved here and built a fortified church in the center. The resort is situated on the right side of the valley, at the foot of the hills, close to the oaks and beech forest. Natural gases and salty springs with iodine drew the attention of Transylvanian researchers from the 18th century. Salty water springs have been studied in 1752, for the first time, by the chemist George Bette from Sibiu. The priest Andreas Caspari left a manuscript with his impressions from 1762-1779. He describes more therapeutic springs which he calls “The Church Bath”, The Beggars Bath” and “the Sour Well” In 1808, the Government from Vienna sent a group of chemists and physicians to study the curative effects of the salt and climate from Bazna. In 1843, 4 people from Medias founded a company, their objective being to create a resort in Bazna. In 1905, the Evangelic community took the resort and transformed it in “a pearl among the Transylvanian spas”. In the same year, people could find here a chemist’s shop and a therapist. At the same time, people started to produce the famous salt of Bazna.
Alexander Khalifman, the winner of 2007 edition is born at 18 January 1966 in Sankt Petersburg (ex-Leningrad).
He achieved the IM title in 1986 and became a GM at the New York Open in 1990. He is best known for becoming FIDE World Champion in 1999 by winning a knockout tournament in Las Vegas. He lost the title in the next knockout, held the following year in New Delhi. Viswanathan Anand eliminated him in the quarterfinals.
Khalifman’s other successes include the Russian Championship of 1996 and first place in Essent 2000 with 5.5 points out of 6. According to the January 2007 edition of the FIDE ratings list, he has a rating of 2619, placing him joint 97th in the world.
Rafael Artemovich Vaganian
Rafael Artemovich Vaganian was born on the 15th of October 1951 in Yerevan, Armenia. Awarded the GM title in 1971 he was a Candidate twice. In 1986 he lost to Andrei Sokolov (+0, =4, -4) and in 1988 he lost to Lajos Portisch (+0, =5, -1). He won the USSR Championship in 1989 and played on the 1984 and 1986 USSR Olympiad teams. In 1984 he played Board 5 for the USSR in the USSR versus The Rest of the World Match against Zoltan Ribli. He has achieved some excellent tournament victories, including Vrnjacka Banja 1971, Sao Paulo 1977, Las Palmas 1979, Manila 1981, Hastings 1982-83, Biel 1985 and Leningrad 1987. Today he remains a strong grandmaster, still maintaining a top-100 FIDE world ranking.
Alexander Genrikhovich Beliavsky
Alexander Genrikhovich Beliavsky was born in Lvov on December 17, 1953, in what is now the Ukraine. He currently lives in Slovenia and he plays for the Olympic team there. He is noted for his uncompromising style of play and for his classical opening repertoire, including openings such as the Queen’s Gambit, Ruy Lopez and French Defence. He won the World Junior Chess Championship in 1973 and the USSR Chess Championship in 1974 and 1990. He became a Grandmaster in 1975. In the January 2005 FIDE list, Beliavsky had an ELO rating of 2635, making him world number sixty-two and Slovenia’s number one.
Lajos Portisch was born in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary on April 4, 1937. He won the Hungarian Championship for the first time in 1958, and in 1961 he became a grandmaster. In 1960, he qualified from Madrid Zonal for Stockholm Interzonal 1962 where he came equal 9th. In 1963, he won Halle Zonal ahead of Borislav Ivkov and Bent Larsen and advanced to Amsterdam Interzonal 1964 where he came 8th. Over the course of his career he qualified for the Candidates eight times and played for his country in nineteen consecutive Olympiads (1956-1996). He had another fine tournament finish with an equal 2nd with Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian after Anatoli Karpov at Milan 1975. At Biel Interzonal 1976, he qualified again with an equal 2nd after Bent Larsen, and went on to beat Larsen in Candidates quarter final 1977, but then lost the semi-final to Boris Spassky. He led the Hungarian team to an unprecedented 1st place finish ahead of the Soviets at Buenos Aires Olympiad 1978. He lives in Hungary, and is still active in local tournaments.
Henrique Mecking was born in Brazil on January 23rd, 1952. In 1965, when just thirteen years old, he won his country’s championship. For this victory, many chess critics hailed him as “the next Fischer,” referring to the fact that Robert James Fischer had won the U.S. championship at fourteen. Mecking was awarded the title of International Grandmaster in 1971, and he won two Interzonal events in 1973 and 1976, ahead of some of the best players of that time!! (Spassky, Geller, Portish, Smyslov, Polugaevsky, Keres etc.)
These and other tournament victories vaulted him to third place on FIDE’s world rankings list in 1977, behind only World Champion Anatoli Karpov and Viktor Korchnoi.
In 1979, Mecking was attempting his third consecutive Interzonal victory when he was forced to withdraw from the tournament, having been stricken with near-fatal illness.
Despite doctors have given a few months of life, he survived, he attributes God his recover – he is a feverous Catholic Nowadays. It took several years for him to recover enough to resume his chess career. He lives in Brazil and maintains a high rating, although he has not yet managed to rejoin the world’s elite.
Ulf Andersson was born on the 27th of June 1951 in Vasteras, Sweden. Awarded the IM title in 1970 and the GM title in 1972 he was Swedish Champion in 1969. During the 1972-82 period he was in the World’s top ten and had first prizes at Belgrade 1977, Buenos Aires 1978, Hastings 1978-79, Phillips & Drew 1980, Phillips & Drew 1982, Turin 1982, Wijk aan Zee 1983, Reggio Emilia 1985 and Rome 1985 and 1986. He drew a six-game match with Mikhail Tal in 1983 and played top board in the Second USSR versus The Rest of The World Match in 1984. He led the Swedish Olympiad Team during the 1970′s and 80′s and is a very tenacious player. He can be regarded as the all-time drawing master among the top GMs. Recently he has devoted himself to correspondence chess.
Andrei Y Sokolov was born on the 20th of March 1963 in the USSR. Awarded the IM title in 1982 and the GM title in 1984 he became a Candidate in 1985. He was World Junior Champion in 1982, USSR Champion in 1984 and joint Moscow Champion in 1981. In the Candidates matches he beat Rafael Vaganian (+4, =4, -0), pipped Artur Yusupov (+4, =7, -3) in 1986 and then met Anatoli Karpov. Sokolov lost this match (+0, =7, -4) and since then he has failed to repeat his earlier successes.
Mihai Suba was born on the 1st of June 1947 in Bucharest, Romania. Awarded the IM title in 1975 and the GM title in 1978 he was Romanian Champion in 1980, 1981 and 1986. He first came to wide attention in 1982 when he finished 2nd= with Gyula Sax after Zoltan Ribli at Baile Herculane. At the Las Palmas interzonal 1982 he came 3rd behind Ribli and Vasily Smyslov (who both became Candidates). He was 1st at Dortmund 1983, 1st= at Prague 1985 and 1st= at Timisoara 1987. In August of 1988, Suba sought political asylum in Britain, and he played for England at the 1989 European Team Championship.
Jan Hendrik Timman was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands on December 14, 1951. He was awarded the GM title in 1974 and gradually climbed up the ranks of the chess elite. His tournament successes include first place finishes at Mar Del Plata 1982, Bugojno 1984, and Tilburg 1987. This 9-time Dutch Champion was a consistent contender for the world title throughout the 1980′s and early 1990′s, and in 1993 he contested a match for the FIDE World Championship with Anatoli Karpov, but fell short, losing 6-2 with 13 draws. He is also the younger brother of Ton Timman and a well respected chess author. His “The Art of Chess Analysis” can be found in the library of many chess players worldwide
Nigel Short is born at 1 June 1965 in Leigh-Lancashire (Great Britain). At 19 years he became GM. In 1993 he played the final of the World Championship against Garry Kasparov (in the version of the new created Profesional Chess Association, founded by Garry Kasparov, outside of FIDE, in order to attract the sponsors towards chess). He lost the match, however his aggressive style brought him a lot of international victories. In FIDE rating list of April 2008, Nigel Short is the second in the hierarchy of Great Britain.
Andrei Murariu is born at 17 February 1986 in Roman. He won Open ROMGAZ 2007 in Eforie Nord, victory who qualified him for Kings Tournaments 2008. From 2006 he is GM and he won many international competitions (between them two editions of Victor Ciocaltea Memorial). Two medals with the national youth team of Romania, at the European Championships in 2003 and 2004. Member of the national team of Romania for the European Championship of 2007.