GM Christian Bauer wins the strong tournament Vicente Bonil

GM Bauer ahead of 21 GMs and 33 titled players

Chessdom.com‘s commentator GM Christian Bauer won convincingly the 33rd edition of the strong tournament Vicente Bonil. GM Bauer came ahead of a strong group of titled players, among which the World Cup 2009 participant GM Iturrizaga, the German champion GM Daniel Fridman, the top seeded GM Kiril Georgiev, last year’s winner GM Mihai Suba , and a total of 21 GMs.

The tournament was a 8 rounds swiss system with rate of play 25 minutes per game. GM Bauer started with two realatively easy wins, but was surprised by GM Guliyev is round 3. From then on Bauer started rolling win after win. Before the last round he was sharing first GM Agrest and IM Ibarra. After a draw by GM Agrest in the last round and a direct match victory against IM Ibarra, GM Bauer took the first place.

This is the second victory of GM Bauer at the Vicente Bonil tournaments. The previous one was in the 2006 edition of the tournament. Today GM Bauer is back with his title and will be joining you for Chessdom live commentary.

Christian Bauer

The winner GM Christian Bauer in the first games of the competition

Kiril Georgiev

The top seeded GM Kiril Georgiev with a bithday on Saturday, the first day of the event

granada vicente

Granada Zuniga with good performance

vicente bonil opening

The opening ceremony of Vicente Bonil

Final standings

1 GM BAUER Christian FRA 2594 7

2 GM AGREST Eugenij SWE 2588 6.5

3 GM GULIYEV Namig AZE 2514 6.5

4 IM IBARRA JEREZ Jose Carlos ESP 2518 6

5 GM GRANDA ZUÑIGA Julio E. PER 2640 6

6 GM CORNETTE Matthieu FRA 2577 6

7 GM UBILAVA Elizbar ESP 2526 6

8 GM LALIC Bogdan CRO 2503 6

9 GM DREEV Alexey RUS 2655 6

10 GM ITURRIZAGA Eduardo VEN 2605 6

11 GM FRIDMAN Daniel GER 2649 5.5

12 GM RIVAS PASTOR Manuel ESP 2525 5.5

13 IM DOLEZAL Cristian ARG 2405 5.5

14 GM DJURIC Stefan SRB 2411 5.5

15 GM HAMDOUCHI Hichem FRA 2590 5

16 GM PLASKETT Harold James ENG 2495 5

17 GM MILOV Vadim SUI 2652 5

18 GM HERNANDEZ CARMENATES Holden CUB 2564 5

19 IM LARIÑO NIETO David ESP 2467 5

20 FM PEREZ MITJANS Orelvis CUB 2438 5

21 IM MORENO TRUJILLO Alejandro ESP 2434 5

22 GM SUBA Mihai ROM 2471 5

23 IM CLAVERIE Raul ARG 2384 5

24 GM GEORGIEV Kiril BUL 2672 5

25 GM KORNEEV Oleg RUS 2571 5

26 GM RIZOUK Aimen ALG 2500 5

27 GM ANDERSSON Ulf SWE 2582 5

28 PUERTAS MARTIN Savins ESP 1985 5

29 IM KOVACEVIC Slobodan SRB 2379 4.5

30 GM LIBISZEWSKI Fabien FRA 2518 4.5

31 IM KARIM Ismael MAR 2347 4.5

32 ARBOLEDAS FERNANDEZ Antonio Ab ESP 2072 4.5

33 LOPEZ PEREZ Juan Pedro ESP 1915 4.5

34 MARTINEZ RUBI Alberto ESP 2025 4.5

35 ALVAREZ MORALES Miguel ESP 2077 4.5

36 LOPEZ PEREZ Jose Joaquin ESP 2025 4.5

37 RODRIGUEZ RODRIGUEZ Sergio ESP 1766 4.5

38 FOMANI Mehdi ESP 2032 4.5

39 SANCHEZ LOPEZ Sergio ESP 1819 4.5

40 ASTURIANO MOLINA Francisco Jav ESP 2125 4

41 IM GRANERO ROCA Antonio ESP 2450 4

42 FM CANO SANCHEZ Josue ESP 2314 4

43 PINTOR AVILA Antonio ESP 1917 4

44 CANTOS CONEJERO Jose Miguel ESP 2053 4

45 GARCIA MARTINEZ Marcos ESP 1649 4

46 MORATA SANCHEZ Miguel Angel ESP 0 4

47 GARCIA MARTINEZ Joaquin ESP 0 4

48 MENA HERNANDEZ Diego ESP 1772 4

49 SOTO FEBRER Francisco Jose ESP 1886 4

50 RUBIO TAPIA Jose Juan ESP 2125 4

Total: 94 players

More information at the official site.

Italian Chess Championship 2009 – Round Six

GM Lexy Ortega is a sole leader

The 69th Italian Chess Championship is taking place from 23rd November until 4th December, in Sarre, Aosta Valley. Twelve players compete over eleven rounds of berger system for the title of Italian Champion and prize fund of 14.000 EUR.

Six rounds have been played before the rest day on Sunday and GM Lexy Ortega is a sole leader with 4.5 points. Make sure to replay (bellow) his beautiful win against FM Rombaldoni. Five time Italian champion GM Michele Godena also won in round six and is now half a point behind Ortega, sharing the second place with IM Carlo D’Amore. GM Daniele Vocaturo suffered another defeat, this time against the youngest participant, 16-years old Andrea Stella. Round 7 is on Monday.

Ita Stella

Andrea Stella

In the meantime, the best Italian player Fabiano Caruana is storming through the World Chess Cup, having eliminated the Russian GM Evgeny Alekseev, another member of the 2700-club.

Round 6 results:

Stella Andrea - Vocaturo Daniele 1 – 0

D’Amore Carlo - Valsecchi Alessio ½ – ½

Rombaldoni Denis - Garcia Palermo Carlos ½ – ½

Godena Michele - Bruno Fabio 1 – 0

Brunello Sabino - Genocchio Daniele ½ – ½

Ortega Lexy - Rombaldoni Axel 1 – 0

Round 6 standings:

1. GM Ortega Lexy 2459 – 4.5

2. GM Godena Michele 2537 – 4.0

3. IM D’Amore Carlo 2489 – 4.0

4. GM Vocaturo Daniele 2500 – 3.5

5. IM Bruno Fabio 2460 – 3.0

6. IM Brunello Sabino 2507 – 3.0

7. IM Rombaldoni Denis 2504 – 3.0

8. GM Garcia Palermo Carlo 2475 – 2.5

9. FM Genocchio Daniele 2464 – 2.5

10. FM Stella Andrea 2346 – 2.5

11. FM Valsecchi Alessio 2336 – 2.0

12. FM Rombaldoni Axel 2442 – 1.5

Round 7 pairings:

Rombaldoni Axel (1.5) - Stella Andrea (2.5)

Genocchio Daniele (2.5) - Ortega Lexy (4.5)

Bruno Fabio (3.0) - Brunello Sabino (3.0)

Garcia Palermo Carlos (2.5) - Godena Michele (4.0)

Valsecchi Alessio (2.0) - Rombaldoni Denis (3.0)

Vocaturo Daniele (3.5) - D’Amore Carlo (4.0)

Ita playing hall

The playing hall, photo by A. Scalfi

Round 3 report

More information on the official website


Wesley So Eliminated Gata Kamsky

World Cup round three report

Wesley So continues to hound top rated players at the 2009 World Chess Cup! After beating Vassily Ivanchuk in round two, today he sent the 2007 World Cup winner Gata Kamsky packing. With a draw agreed shortly after the time control, So wins the match 1.5-0.5 and qualifies for the 4th round where he will meet the winner of Eljanov-Malakhov tiebreaks. Gata Kamsky still has a place in the candidate matches as a semifinalist of the previous World Championship cycle.

world cup So Kamsky

Wesley So and Gata Kamsky

One of the most talented Russian players, Nikita Vitiugov, also progressed to the next round by eliminating his compatriot Konstantin Sakaev. Maxime Vachier-Lagrave allowed no surprises and won 1.5-0.5 against Yu Yangyi, who was also his opponent at the recent World Junior Championship.

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov was storming through the competition as he achieved five wins in that many games since the opening day. Today he “only drew” against Wang Hao, but this was good enough to progress to the next level. Alexei Shirov beat Evgeny Tomashevsky and Ruslan Ponomariov knocked Alexander Motylev, while the remaining matches will be settled in tiebreaks on Sunday.

world cup Mamedyarov

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

world cup Shirov

Alexei Shirov

world cup Jobava Gelfand

Baadur Jobava and Boris Gelfand

Round three results:

1-1 Polgar Judit (HUN) 1-0 Gelfand Boris (ISR)

1-1 Gashimov Vugar (AZE) ½-½ Li Chao b (CHN)

1-1 Naiditsch Arkadij (GER) ½-½ Svidler Peter (RUS)

1-1 Laznicka Viktor (CZE) ½-½ Bologan Viktor (MDA)

1.5-0.5 Vitiugov Nikita (RUS) ½-½ Sakaev Konstantin (RUS)

1.5-0.5 So Wesley (PHI) ½-½ Kamsky Gata (USA)

0.5-1.5 Motylev Alexander (RUS) ½-½ Ponomariov Ruslan (UKR)

1-1 Grischuk Alexander (RUS) ½-½ Jobava Baadur (GEO)

1-1 Areshchenko Alexander (UKR) 1-0 Jakovenko Dmitry (RUS)

1-1 Wang Yue (CHN) ½-½ Bacrot Etienne (FRA)

1-1 Malakhov Vladimir (RUS) ½-½ Eljanov Pavel (UKR)

1-1 Karjakin Sergey (UKR) 1-0 Navara David (CZE)

0.5-1.5 Wang Hao (CHN) ½-½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar (AZE)

1.5-0.5 Shirov Alexei (ESP) 1-0 Tomashevsky Evgeny (RUS)

1-1 Alekseev Evgeny (RUS) ½-½ Caruana Fabiano (ITA)

0.5-1.5 Yu Yangyi (CHN) ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave Maxime (FRA)

Round 3 selected games

More information on the official website

Wesley So – Gata Kamsky commented: game 1 and game 2

Round 2 report

The 22nd Belgrade Trophy

Gergely-Andras-Gyula Szabo and Momchil Nikolov leading after four rounds

The 22nd International Open “Belgrade Trophy” is being held from 24th November until 4th December in Obrenovac near Belgrade, Serbia. 212 players from 15 countries are taking participation and among them are 18 Grandmasters. The tournament is being played over nine rounds with Swiss pairing system and the prize fund is 7000 EUR. Top-seeded is GM Mihajlo Stojanovic.

Two International Masters, Gergely-Andras-Gyula Szabo from Romania and Momchil Nikolov from Bulgaria, are leading with perfect score after four rounds. The two are set to meet each other on the top board in the 5th round. Seventeen players are sharing the third place with 3.5 points each.

Gergely Szabo sq

IM Gergely-Andras-Gyula Szabo

Round 4 top results:

GM Strikovic Aleksa ½ – ½ GM Dziuba Marcin

IM Szabo Gergely-Andras-Gyula 1 – 0 IM Ninov Nikolai

IM Nikolov Momchil 1 – 0 FM Sredojevic Ivan

IM Stojanovic Dalibor 0 – 1 GM Stojanovic Mihajlo

GM Malaniuk Vladimir P 1 – 0 IM Govedarica Radovan

FM Tomic Bosko 0 – 1 GM Damljanovic Branko

IM Cvetkovic Srdjan 1 – 0 GM Parligras Mircea

FM Ristic Nebojsa B ½ – ½ GM Drasko Milan

GM Djukic Nikola 0 – 1 IM Arngrimsson Dagur

FM Lagerman Robert 0 – 1 GM Stanojoski Zvonko

GM Shishkin Vadim 1 – 0 FM Carnic Srdjan

Sarenac Ivan 0 – 1 GM Abramovic Bosko

GM Cabrilo Goran ½ – ½ Radlovacki Jovan

FM Sorgic Dragan ½ – ½ GM Rajkovic Dusan

IM Bozic Milan 1 – 0 FM Vujacic Borivoje

FM Menkinoski Riste ½ – ½ IM Gunnarsson Jon Viktor

GM Todorovic Goran M 1 – 0 FM Spasojevic Miodrag

IM Andonov Bogomil 1 – 0 Nadj Hedjesi Balind

IM Nestorovic Dejan 0 – 1 FM Mijovic Stefan

WFM Videnova Iva 0 – 1 IM Vassallo Barroche Mauricio

FM Enchev Ivajlo 1 – 0 WFM Mladenovic Jelena

IM Nestorovic Nikola 1 – 0 Tomic Miroslav Lj

GM Frolyanov Dmitry 1 – 0 FM Pucarevic Milenko

GM Blagojevic Dragisa 1 – 0 Pantic Ivica

IM Illijin Neboisa 0 – 1 GM Arizmendi Martinez Julen Luis

Djurasinov Branislav 0 – 1 GM Ivanov Mikhail M

Round 4 standings:

1-2. IM Szabo Gergely-Andras-Gyula ROU 2535 and IM Nikolov Momchil BUL 2529 – 4.0

3-19. IM Andonov Bogomil BUL 2276, GM Damljanovic Branko SRB 2558, GM Strikovic Aleksa SRB 2519, GM Dziuba Marcin POL 2573, IM Cvetkovic Srdjan SRB 2389, IM Vassallo Barroche Mauricio ESP 2425, GM Shishkin Vadim UKR 2507, GM Todorovic Goran M SRB 2448, FM Mijovic Stefan MNE 2324 3.5, GM Malaniuk Vladimir P UKR 2575, GM Abramovic Bosko SRB 2492, IM Arngrimsson Dagur ISL 2375, GM Stojanovic Mihajlo SRB 2585, FM Enchev Ivajlo BUL 2416, GM Stanojoski Zvonko MKD 2509, IM Nestorovic Nikola SRB 2408 and IM Bozic Milan SRB 2457 – 3.5 etc

Round 5 top pairings:

IM Nikolov Momchil – IM Szabo Gergely-Andras-Gyula

GM Stojanovic Mihajlo – IM Bozic Milan

IM Vassallo Barroche Mauricio – GM Malaniuk Vladimir P

GM Dziuba Marcin – GM Todorovic Goran M

GM Damljanovic Branko - FM Enchev Ivajlo

IM Arngrimsson Dagur – GM Strikovic Aleksa

GM Stanojoski Zvonko – IM Nestorovic Nikola

FM Mijovic Stefan – GM Shishkin Vadim

GM Abramovic Bosko – IM Cvetkovic Srdjan

GM Blagojevic Dragisa - IM Andonov Bogomil

IM Andrijevic Milan - GM Frolyanov Dmitry

GM Arizmendi Martinez Julen Luis - Dimitrov Atanas

GM Drasko Milan – FM Menkinoski Riste

IM Ninov Nikolai – FM Sorgic Dragan

FM Blesic Vaso – GM Cabrilo Goran

GM Rajkovic Dusan - Ibanez Aullana Jose Ramon

Radlovacki Jovan - IM Stojanovic Dalibor

GM Ivanov Mikhail M - Kahrovic Mersid

IM Gunnarsson Jon Viktor - FM Brujic Bozidar

FM Ilic Zoran - IM Arsovic Goran

FM Sredojevic Ivan – Milosavljevic Dusan

FM Radosavljevic Slobodan D - FM Ristic Nebojsa B

GM Parligras Mircea - Rakic Miodrag

Zivkovic Dejan – GM Djukic Nikola

World Chess Cup – Round Two

Vassily Ivanchuk – Chess is playing against me!

Following the shocking results in the first leg of the second round of the World Chess Cup, some of the top-seeded players were eliminated from the competition by scoring no more than a draw in the return games. Alexander Morozevich played for all or nothing against Viktor Laznicka, but the Czech kept a cool head and won another game for the overall 2-0 score.

Teimour Radjabov was sent home by Konstantin Sakaev, while Vassily Ivanchuk was that upset after elimination from Wesley So that he announced that his professional chess career will soon be over.

“It was not just a match, it was a crucial match. I am sure, from now on I should forget about any serious aims in chess.” – Ivanchuk said at the press conference – “(And) now chess is killing me. Chess is playing against me! Chess is destroying me! I would take it easy if my opponent would be much stronger than me, or he will be better prepared. But my loss was so stupid, it is a destiny sign, which screams: – Vasya, leave it, it is not your business.”

world cup Ivanchuk

Vassily Ivanchuk at the press conference

The full transcript is available on the official website. We would remind Ivanchuk only of his brilliant win at the 2008 Sofia Mtel Masters, where he scored 8 points out of 10 games. The list of his fantastic achievement is, of course, much longer, and fans from all over the world are probably sharing one common thought – Vassily, stay with us!

Peter Svidler bounced back against Tomi Nyback and progressed to the next round by 3.5-1.5 in tiebreaks. Alexei Shirov took a 1-0 lead against GM Fedorchuk, but remained faithful to his style and never calculated in the second game. The Ukrainian Grandmaster equalised the score, but then Shirov convincigly won in tiebreaks 4-1.

In the closely contested match Fabiano Caruana eliminated the top Cuban player Leinier Dominguez Perez. Only one out of six games finished with decisive score. Krishnan Sasikiran and Sandipan Chanda are also packing home and India will not have representatives in the remaining rounds. The 2007 World Cup winner Gata Kamsky won 1.5-0.5 against Zhou Weiqi and remained the last American in the competition.

Selected games

Round two final results:

0.5-1.5 Amonatov Farrukh (TJK) – Gelfand Boris (ISR)

1.5-0.5 Gashimov Vugar (AZE) – Zhou Jianchao (CHN)

1.5-3.5 Nyback Tomi (FIN) – Svidler Peter (RUS)

0-2 Morozevich Alexander (RUS) – Laznicka Viktor (CZE)

1.5-0.5 Sakaev Konstantin (RUS) – Radjabov Teimour (AZE)

0.5-1.5 Ivanchuk Vassily (UKR) – So Wesley (PHI)

2-4 Akobian Varuzhan (USA) – Ponomariov Ruslan (UKR)

1.5-0.5 Grischuk Alexander (RUS) – Tkachiev Vladislav (FRA)

0-2 Sandipan Chanda (IND) – Jakovenko Dmitry (RUS)

2-0 Wang Yue (CHN) – Savchenko Boris (RUS)

2.5-3.5 Inarkiev Ernesto (RUS) – Eljanov Pavel (UKR)

3.5-2.5 Karjakin Sergey (UKR) – Timofeev Artyom (RUS)

0-2 Milov Vadim (SUI) – Mamedyarov Shakhriyar (AZE)

4-1 Shirov Alexei (ESP) – Fedorchuk Sergey A. (UKR)

3.5-2.5 Caruana Fabiano (ITA) – Dominguez Perez Leinier (CUB)

1.5-0.5 Yu Yangyi (CHN) – Bartel Mateusz (POL)

2.5-3.5 Meier Georg (GER) – Vachier-Lagrave Maxime (FRA)

3.5-1.5 Alekseev Evgeny (RUS) – Fressinet Laurent (FRA)

2.5-3.5 Khalifman Alexander (RUS) – Tomashevsky Evgeny (RUS)

2-0 Wang Hao (CHN) – Ganguly Surya Shekhar (IND)

2.5-3.5 Shabalov Alexander (USA) – Navara David (CZE)

3.5-1.5 Malakhov Vladimir (RUS) – Smirin Ilia (ISR)

0-2 Sasikiran Krishnan (IND) – Bacrot Etienne (FRA)

2.5-3.5 Rublevsky Sergei (RUS) – Areshchenko Alexander (UKR)

0.5-1.5 Iturrizaga Eduardo (VEN) – Jobava Baadur (GEO)

1.5-0.5 Motylev Alexander (RUS) – Najer Evgeniy (RUS)

0.5-1.5 Zhou Weiqi (CHN) – Kamsky Gata (USA)

4.5-3.5 Vitiugov Nikita (RUS) – Milos Gilberto (BRA)

2-4 Cheparinov Ivan (BUL) – Bologan Viktor (MDA)

1.5-0.5 Naiditsch Arkadij (GER) – Onischuk Alexander (USA)

4.5-3.5 Li Chao b (CHN) – Pelletier Yannick (SUI)

4.5-3.5 Polgar Judit (HUN) – Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter (ROU)

Italian Chess Championship 2009 – Round Three

IM Carlo D’Amore leading with 2.5 points

The 69th Italian Chess Championship is taking place from 23rd November until 4th December, in Sarre, Aosta Valley. Twelve players compete over eleven rounds of berger system for the title of Italian Champion and prize fund of 14.000 EUR.

Despite the absence of Fabiano Caruana, who is busy playing at the World Chess Cup, the tournament is very strong with four Grandmasters and number of young and ambitious juniors participating. After three rounds have been completed, IM Carlo D’Amore is holding the lead with 2.5 points, following the wins against Axel Rombaldoni and Daniele Genocchio. GM Daniele Vocaturo started the campaign with two wins, but then lost to the former national champion IM Fabio Bruno. The 17-years old FM Alessio Valsecchi stunned GM Carlos Garcia Palermo is round three, reminding us how exciting Italian championships can be.

Italy ch 1

Aurelio Marguerettaz, the Assessor of tourism, sport and commerce of Regione Val d’Aosta, making the first move in the game Michele Godena- Andrea Stella

Round 1 results

Godena Michele – Stella Andrea 1 – 0

Brunello Sabino - Rombaldoni Denis ½ – ½

Ortega Lexy - D’Amore Carlo ½ – ½

Rombaldoni Axel - Vocaturo Daniele 0 – 1

Genocchio Daniele - Valsecchi Alessio 1 – 0

Bruno Fabio - Garcia Palermo Carlos 0 – 1

Round 2 results

Stella Andrea - Garcia Palermo Carlos ½ – ½

Valsecchi Alessio - Bruno Fabio ½ – ½

Vocaturo Daniele - Genocchio Daniele 1 – 0

D’Amore Carlo - Rombaldoni Axel 1 – 0

Rombaldoni Denis -Ortega Lexy ½ – ½

Godena Michele - Brunello Sabino ½ – ½

Round 3 results

Brunello Sabino - Stella Andrea 1 – 0

Ortega Lexy - Godena Michele 1 – 0

Rombaldoni Axel - Rombaldoni Denis ½ – ½

Genocchio Daniele - D’Amore Carlo 0 – 1

Bruno Fabio - Vocaturo Daniele 1 – 0

Garcia Palermo Carlos - Valsecchi Alessio 0 – 1

Round 4 pairings

Stella Andrea (0.5) - Valsecchi Alessio (1.5)

Vocaturo Daniele (2.0) - Garcia Palermo Carlos (1.5)

D’Amore Carlo (2.5) - Bruno Fabio (1.5)

Rombaldoni Denis (1.5) - Genocchio Daniele (1.0)

Godena Michele (1.5) - Rombaldoni Axel (0.5)

Brunello Sabino (2.0) - Ortega Lexy (2.0)

More information on the official website


Players blogging about the World Chess Cup

Josh Friedel, Alexandra Kosteniuk, and David Smerdon

Josh Friedel about the way to Khanty Mansiysk

Traveling to a desolate village in the middle of Siberia may sound like a hassle, but in fact it is… well OK it sucks. The first leg of my journey went easily enough. I travelled from Zurich to Moscow via Vienna. After arriving in Moscow is where the fun began. A couple days previous, I was notified that my flight from Moscow to Khanty-Mansiysk was cancelled. Luckily, I managed to book a new flight. Unfortunately, this flight was from a different airport in Moscow (there are three), so I had four hours to go from Domodedovo Airport to Vnukovo airport. Sound like enough time? The bus between airports I thought existed turned out hadn’t been running for two years, but this was unsurprising, as that would have been too easy. Cabs in Russia are a known hazard, so I took a train to the city, went on the metro for four stops, then waited for another train to take me to Vnukovo. I managed not to get lost during this process, which was in my mind nothing short of miraculous, but sadly I was still going to be too late! The woman at the train station told me the next airport train didn’t leave for almost an hour, so I’d only arrive thirty minutes prior to my flight, which wasn’t enough. Of course, I think that’s what she said, with my limited Russian and her speaking quickly she might have said the next train to the sheep factory didn’t leave for an hour. Still, I decided to try my luck at Vnukovo airport, maybe they would let me on.

Nyet. Not only that, the next day’s flights to Khanty-Mansiysk were completely booked. I was already drafting an email in my mind. “Dear Organizer- Sorry, made it to Moscow, but I can’t make it the rest of the way. – Amerikanetz” Then I had a thought. Luckily, at that point I found a guy who spoke a little English, and in a broken mixture of English and Russian I suggested that perhaps they could reroute me through Tyumen, a small city close to Khanty-Mansiysk. They searched, and sure enough, they were able to book me on a flight through Tyumen arriving in Khanty-Mansiysk the next night. After that it was a piece of cake. I just had to find a hotel in Moscow, figure out some weird thing with the luggage, wait several hours in the Tyumen Airport (which as Alex Onischuk aptly put it, is more like a bus stop), do the weird luggage thing again only it is different this time, squeeze in a plane the size of a Ford Pinto, and hope that the organizer arranged for my transportation from the airport in Khanty-Mansiysk. Somehow all this was managed, and I arrived in my hotel by 11.

Read the full entry and Josh Friedel’s official site

Smedron about the Khanty Mansiysk experience

After an extended delay, we are finally coming to you live from Khanty-Mansiysk, host city of the World Chess Cup. The trip here, despite being intra continental, has been arduous. An extra day in London was used to the full, and Manuel eventually picked Fi and I up from right outside Big Ben, next to Westminster Abbey and just beside a statue of Winston ‘Pug’ Churchill.

Usually, such an impractical pick-up would attract the attention of the London bobbies, but fortunately there was a massive protest going on at the same spot, which distracted from our rendezvous. Apparently, England wants its own parliament (having the chief seat of the British parliament is not enough). Tough talk from a nation that refused to recognise Irish, Scottish and Welsh anything for x amount of years (and let us not recall India, Hong Kong or even the US).

But I digress. The amended itinerary meant we only had half a day in Ekaterinburg before the domestic flight. We made good use of it, however, and to be honest, despite the cold shift, it really is a beautiful city. Around one and a half million people inhabit this large Russian city. It’s quite picturesque, with many statues, churches, parkes etc, and the famous ‘Temple of the Blood’, a cathedral marking the execution spot for the last Tsars.

The domestic trip was quite an experience. As you might expect, there wasn’t much written in Roman letters in the domestic airport, but I’m getting quite good at pronouncing words written in Russian text (though knowing what they mean is another matter). We also found a fantastic lady from Utair, our carrier, who was very enthusiastic about the chance to practice her English with us. While the plane was tiny and the usually anal safety procedures weren’t exactly followed (seatbelts, mobile phones, and upright seats optional), we made it safely and relatively painlessly.

On board our plane was Sergei Movsesian, a 2700 player I met a while ago in the Czech Republic (where he now resides). His English is flawless, so the bus ride to the hotel was a good chance to get the inside scoop on the town. But the big star-gazing moment came in the hotel itself, when Fi and I shared a tiny lift ride with none other than former world champion Anatoly Karpov (non-chessplayers: think Andre Agassi, but with more hair). When we got to our room and I told Fi who it had been, she was surprisingly excited – “We met a famous chess Russian!”. The celebrity spotting continues, as breakfast saw us jostling for eggs with Tiviakov, sharing the coffee pot with Ivanchuk, and getting translation assistance with the Ukranians Efimenko and Elijanov. (You’ll have to forgive my spelling – the internet is sparse here, so I’m pre-blogging ‘offline’ without spellcheck or google).

The hotel is pretty basic, but very warm (it was -11 degrees when we arrived) and has one English channel, where we can get our fill of Britney Spears and Robbie Williams music videos. Outside is amazingly beautiful, with perfect white carpets as far as we can see from the hotel window. Right now, we’re about to go exploring and hopefully get to the accreditation site in preparation for the opening ceremony tonight. It’s nice to finally have our feet on the (cold) ground at our destination, and start getting on with the reason we are both here: snowball fights.

More at the Official blog of David Smerdon

Kosteniuk in Khanty Mansiysk

18.11

Now I’m back since the World Blitz Chess Championship that took place on November 16-18, 2009 in Moscow has come to its end.

Magnus Carlsen won this event with a fantastic result – 31 out of 42! That’s 3 points ahead of Viswanathan Anand who took the silver medal of the championship!

In the last 4 days I played 59 blitz-games! Since just before the world blitz championship, on November 15, I took part in another strong GM’s tournament in Moscow. So I had a very long blitz marathon.

I did have some spectacular wins over very strong GM, for example two days ago I beat the world #1 rated Magnus Carlsen (who later went on to win the tournament). I am especially happy about yesterday’s (17th of November) where out of 14 blitz games in the super strong world blitz championship I took 7 out of 14, beating Grandmasters Anand (who is the current Men’s World Champion, Aronian, Judith Polgar, Tkachiev, Grischuk and Morozevich! In total I scored a respectable 12.5 points, which corresponds to 10 wins and 5 draws, against players on average 200 ELO points above me. It was a great experience, and I am so happy to have been able to play and beat such world renowned players. I will soon prepare for you some of my best games with comments and some in video.

Already tomorrow I will be flying to Khanty-Mansiysk where I will take place in the World Cup and will face in the first round GM Shakhriar Mamedyarov.

20.11

I’m in Khanty-Mansiysk right now. It’s my first trip to this town and I’m already pretty impressed with what I saw today. During the opening ceremony that took place today the Governor of the Ugra Region – Alexander Filipenko told that this Cup is the general repetition before the Chess Olympiad 2010 which will take place here from September 19 till October 4, 2010.

Read more at the official blog of Kosteniuk

Smedron about the tiebreaks

Well folks, I write to you on our last night in Khanty-Mansiysk. My dream run has come to an end, after I lost the final rapid game to go down in the tie-break 2.5-1.5. Painfully, the loss was due to a brain explosion right at the death, while the ‘obvious’ move would have seen a probable draw and progression into the blitz play-offs. And wouldn’t that have been something – blitz tiebreaks against the former world blitz champion!

Unfortunately, it was not to be, and so Fi and I are packing our suitcases in preparation for the 6am bus to the airport tomorrow. Our exodus is, naturally, a bit depressing, but I can’t really complain too much. I got the chance to clash wits with one of the world’s best, and I managed not to embarrass myself too much (though anyone who watched the final rapid game will surely be asking, “Why didn’t you play …Rd5, Dave? Why?!?).

We have tonnes of great photos from the tournament and from the town itself, and I’ll try and upload a couple from our next destination (Which is significantly more internet-friendly). After a brief stop-over again in Ekaterinburg, we’re heading to Helsinki for a couple of days being ‘normal’ tourists. Should Finnish grandmaster Nyback lose round two to Svidler, we’ll be catching up with him and his fiance in Helsinki. Of course, part of me hopes not to see him, which means he’s managed to upset the great Russian (and, bizarrely, cricket fanatic), but most likely we’ll get to meet up in Helsinki and swap world cup war stories.

More at the Official blog of David Smerdon

Chess media about World Cup round 1

national media praise local players

Cuban press about the advance of Dominguez in the World Cup

After five consecutive draws, Dominguez, with a 2.719 ELO, finally could win in the sixth game and beat Australian David Smerdon (2 525), 3.5-2.5 thus qualifying for the next round.

The 200 ELO point gap had made the specialists foresee a fast victory for the Cuban, but Smerdon opposed a strong game to make things complicated for Dominguez, though at the end he could make his skills prevail.

This Tuesday, in the second round, the Cuban GM will play against Italian
Fabiano Caruana (2652)
, who beat 1.5-0.5 another Cuban, GM Lazaro Bruzon
(2.619).

There were 20 other matches decided on the tie-breaks this Monday, including Venezuelan Eduardo Iturrizaga (2 605) beating 3.5-2.5 Dutch Sergei Tiviakov (2 664).

The third player for Latin America to make it to the round of 64 was Brazilian Gilberto Milos (2 603).

Cuba also lost GM Fidel Corrales (2 605), this time against Ukrainian Alexander Areschenko (2 664).

More: Agencia Cubana de Noticias

TOI, Sasikiran leads a group of 3 Indians into the World Chess Cup round 2

Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran scored a clinical victory over Erwin L’Ami of Holland in the first round of Rapid tie-break games to cruise into the second round of the World Chess Cup.

Sasikiran, a 2.5-0.5 winner over L’Ami, led a pack of three Indians out of seven who made it to the second round. The other two are Surya Shekhar Ganguly and Sandipan Chanda. Young GM Parimarjan Negi, Abhijeet Gupta, Abhijit Kunte and Sriram Jha will return home after losing their first round tie-break games.
It turned out to be an excellent day for Sasikiran and he was relentless after drawing the first game with black pieces. The second game saw the Indian in full swing from a Catalan opening with white pieces and it was a slow but steady progress thereon that gave Sasikiran a dangerous passed pawn in the middle game. L’Ami tried hard to salvage a difficult position but he was never in control. Sasikiran knocked down a couple of pawns before unleashing the final blow — a picturesque finale wherein all black forces were tied down. In the third game, the pressure was too much on L’Ami and he simply crumbled from a position of strength. It was a solid game the Dutchman and his English opening raised visions of a breakthrough but it remained just that. Sasikiran neutralised white’s advantage in quick time in the middle game and romped home in just 31 moves.

Parimarjan had a similar outing against Milov but the Indian was on the receiving end in this game. Milov drew the first game after surviving some anxious moments in the Berlin defense and came up with energetic display in the second game to go one up. This was a Grunfeld by Parimarjan that was squeezed with methodical display in the endgame. In the third game, Parimarjan could have drawn with repetition but he went for a very risky variation instead. Milov’s huge experience came in handy as he converted his superior position in to a full point.

The knock-out event that started with 128 players from 42 countries is now left with 64 players. A money feast the World Cup is, the first round losers went home richer by USD 6000 out of which they have to pay a 20 per cent tax to FIDE.

Those who reach second round are assured of USD 10000. The total prize fund is $1.6 million out of which $1,20,000 is reserved for the winner.

Source: Times of India

Wesley So to play Ivanchuk, Antonio and Laylo out of World Cup

GM Wesley So of the Philippines achieved another milestone when he reached the second round of the 2009 World Chess Cup at the Khanty-Mansiysk Festival of Arts.

So, at 15 already one of the world’s most-recognizable young players, eliminated GM Gadir Guseinov of Azerbaijan, 3-1, and moved forward to the tough, 64-player second round of this six-part competition being held in this Scandinavian resort-like town in Western Siberia.

The multi-awarded campaigner from Bacoor, Cavite, who rose to prominence by becoming the world’s seventh youngest player to earn a GM title, swept all three rapid tiebreak matches against Guseinov to become the only Filipino player to advance to the next round.

Laylo, the reigning Asian Zone 3.3 champion, lost to No. 21 GM David Navara of Czech Republic, 1-2, and joined compatriot GM Rogelio Antonio, Jr. as one of 64 first-round casualties.

The pride of Lipa City, Batangas, who made his second straight appearance in the world’s biggest chess competition, split the first two against the higher-rated Navara (ELO 2707) to send the match into the tiebreak stage. But after drawing with Navara in the first two rapid games, Laylo yielded the next two games and finally bowed out of contention.

Antonio, the most-experienced member of the three-man Filipino delegation, was the first casualty during the weekend matches. Antonio, who earned the right to play in the World Cup by virtue of his strong showing in the Asian Continental Chess Championship held in Subic early this year, bowed to defending champion and No. 27 seed GM Gata Kamsky of the United States, .5-1.5. Antonio lost the first match and managed only to draw the second game.

More: GMAnews.tv

World Cup 2009 round 2 with Ganguly and Chanda

Asian champion Surya Sekhar Ganguly and Sandipan Chanda progressed to the second round of the World Chess Cup. Ganguly, who already had one game under his belt, scored a fine victory over Anton Filippov of Uzbekistan.

Having won the first game with ease, Ganguly was in his elements yet again as he crushed Filippov who played the white side of a Sicilian Najdorf. The Indian went nearly an hour ahead, showcasing his deep preparation and, when opportunity came, went for wild complications wherein his extra time helped a great deal. Filippov lost a handful of pawns and resigned after 46 moves.

Playing the black side of a Sicilian Scheveningen, the Calcutta-based Chanda faced no trouble in the middle game and exchanged pieces almost at will to reach a slightly favourable endgame. Seeing that he had no chances, Kobalia proposed the draw on move 40.

GM Abhijit Kunte and IM Sriram Jha went out of the World Cup following losses, respectively, against stalwarts Alexei Shirov and Alexander Grischuk. Abhijit was saddled with a bad position out of the middle game and could not recover while unwarranted complications spelt disaster for Jha.

Source: PTI

Shabalov and Akobian Advance in World Cup

Four-time US Champion Alexander Shabalov won against GM Vladimir Baklan in a thrilling tiebreak match to advance to round two of the World Cup. In an even more grueling match, Varuzhan Akobian played a marathon series of games against GM Pavel Tregubov. It was by far the longest tiebreak of the tournament, going on till nearly 1 AM local time. But after two tied rapid matches, and four tied blitz matches, Akobian finally broke through.

More: US Chess Federation

Underdogs beating the odds

Ivanchuk, Morozevich, Svidler and Radjabov defeated

The second round of the World Chess Cup will remain a bitter memory in the minds of some of the top-seeded players. Wesley So quickly recharged the batteries after the difficult round one tiebreak match and shocked Vassily Ivanchuk with black pieces. The Czech hope Viktor Laznicka calmly offered an exchange to Alexander Morozevich and continued to develop the pieces to active positions. Eight moves later, Morozevich took the material, but his Rooks remained ineffective for the rest of the game as Laznicka skillfully created and pushed the passed pawn.

The seasoned Russian Grandmaster Konstantin Sakaev employed the solid h3-system against Teimour Radjabov’s favourite King’s Indian defence. Shortly before the time control, Radjabov overextended his position on both wings and Sakaev jumped on the opportunity to transpose into the winning endgame.

Peter Svidler experienced problems with the Gruenfeld Indian at the recent Mikhail Tal Memorial tournament, and now the Finnish GM Tomi Nyback breached his defences with apparent ease. White Rook entered the back ranks, combined the power with the Queen and the Knight’s devastating jump, after which black King found itself in huge trouble. Svidler resigned immediately after the time control.

Khanty Li Chao

Li Chao b

Khanty Maxime

World Junior Champion Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

Khanty arbiter

The chief arbiter speaking with Vugar Gashimov and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov

Round two, game one results:

0.5-0.5 Amonatov Farrukh (TJK) ½-½ Gelfand Boris (ISR)

0.5-0.5 Gashimov Vugar (AZE) ½-½ Zhou Jianchao (CHN)

1-0 Nyback Tomi (FIN) 1-0 Svidler Peter (RUS)

0-1 Morozevich Alexander (RUS) 0-1 Laznicka Viktor (CZE)

1-0 Sakaev Konstantin (RUS) 1-0 Radjabov Teimour (AZE)

0-1 Ivanchuk Vassily (UKR) 0-1 So Wesley (PHI)

0.5-0.5 Akobian Varuzhan (USA) ½-½ Ponomariov Ruslan (UKR)

1-0 Grischuk Alexander (RUS) 1-0 Tkachiev Vladislav (FRA)

0-1 Sandipan Chanda (IND) 0-1 Jakovenko Dmitry (RUS)

1-0 Wang Yue (CHN) 1-0 Savchenko Boris (RUS)

1-0 Inarkiev Ernesto (RUS) 1-0 Eljanov Pavel (UKR)

0.5-0.5 Karjakin Sergey (UKR) ½-½ Timofeev Artyom (RUS)

0-1 Milov Vadim (SUI) 0-1 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar (AZE)

1-0 Shirov Alexei (ESP) 1-0 Fedorchuk Sergey A. (UKR)

0.5-0.5 Caruana Fabiano (ITA) ½-½ Dominguez Perez Leinier (CUB)

1-0 Yu Yangyi (CHN) 1-0 Bartel Mateusz (POL)

0.5-0.5 Meier Georg (GER) ½-½ Vachier-Lagrave Maxime (FRA)

0.5-0.5 Alekseev Evgeny (RUS) ½-½ Fressinet Laurent (FRA)

0.5-0.5 Khalifman Alexander (RUS) ½-½ Tomashevsky Evgeny (RUS)

1-0 Wang Hao (CHN) 1-0 Ganguly Surya Shekhar (IND)

0.5-0.5 Shabalov Alexander (USA) ½-½ Navara David (CZE)

0.5-0.5 Malakhov Vladimir (RUS) ½-½ Smirin Ilia (ISR)

0-1 Sasikiran Krishnan (IND) 0-1 Bacrot Etienne (FRA)

0.5-0.5 Rublevsky Sergei (RUS) ½-½ Areshchenko Alexander (UKR)

0.5-0.5 Iturrizaga Eduardo (VEN) ½-½ Jobava Baadur (GEO)

1-0 Motyle, Alexander (RUS) 1-0 Najer Evgeniy (RUS)

0-1 Zhou Weiqi (CHN) 0-1 Kamsky Gata (USA)

0.5-0.5 Vitiugov Nikita (RUS) ½-½ Milos Gilberto (BRA)

0.5-0.5 Cheparinov Ivan (BUL) ½-½ Bologan Viktor (MDA)

1-0 Naiditsch Arkadij (GER) 1-0 Onischuk Alexander (USA)

0-1 Li Chao b (CHN) 0-1 Pelletier Yannick (SUI)

0.5-0.5 Polgar Judit (HUN) ½-½ Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter (ROU)

More information on the official website


Novi Sad Turbo Grandmaster Tournaments

Jure Skoberne and Mert Erdogdu claim GM norms

Article by GM Dragan Solak

During the first eighteen days of November, Novi Sad was host of three Turbo Grandmaster Tournaments. Each tournament was a 10-player round-robin event lasting six days, with three single and three double round days.

The most interesting fact about the tournaments was that draw offers were completely forbidden. Similar attempts were made in Sofia and Nanjing, during Olympiad in Dresden last year, and on many other top tournaments, always with positive effects. This rule gave very good results in Novi Sad too, probably because of the fact that only the players who were willing to fight took part in the tournaments. 47% of games (64 out of 135) still ended in draws by repetition, insufficient material, stalemate or 50 moves rule, but mostly after very interesting, well fought contests.

The first Turbo GM Tournament was won by Jure Skoberne from Slovenia, who fulfilled his first GM norm. He is a very talented player and there is no doubt that the remaining norms will come soon.

1st Turbo GM tournament, final standings:

1-2. IM Jure Skoberne (SLO 2498) and GM Dragan Solak (SRB 2579) – 6.0

3-5. IM Mert Erdogdu (TUR 2489), IM Baris Esen (TUR 2493) and FM Sinisa Saric (SRB 2424) – 5.0

6. GM Miroljub Lazic (SRB 2454) – 4.5

7-9. IM Misa Pap (SRB 2501), GM Dragan Kosic (MNE 2538) and Marko Krivokapic (MNE 2426) – 4.0

10. IM Umut Atakisi (TUR 2409) – 1.5

NS Skoberne

Jure Skoberne

NS Solak

Dragan Solak

The most interesting game was played in the final round of the second tournament: IM Misa Pap needed a draw with black to secure his second GM norm. IM Mert Erdogdu from Turkey had white pieces, but needed to win. Erdogdu was prepared for Misa’s favorite opening and got advantage after the opening, but Pap defended well. Finally, in difficult position, Misa Pap plays 42…h6, and after 43.Qd7 Kg8 44.Qh7+ Kf8 45.Qh8+ white wins the rook, the game and first GM norm.

NS diagram

2nd Turbo GM tournament, final standings:

1. IM Mert Erdogdu (TUR 2489) – 6.5

2-3. IM Misa Pap (SRB 2501) and GM Aleksandar Kovacevic (SRB 2558) – 6.0

4. IM Baris Esen (TUR 2493) – 5.5

5-6. GM Dragan Solak (SRB 2579) and FM Uros Petakov (SRB 2327) – 4.5

7. GM Dragan Kosic (MNE 2538) – 4.0

8. IM Umut Atakisi (TUR 2409) – 3.5

9. Marko Krivokapic (MNE 2426) – 3.0

10. Balind Nadj Hedjesi (SRB 2432) – 1.5

The last of the three tournaments was dominated by Grandmasters Aleksandar Kovacevic and Dragan Kosic. International Master Darko Doric from Croatia missed his chance to fight for the norm in the final round after he couldn’t convert an easily winning ending against FM Sinisa Saric in round eight.

3rd Turbo GM tournament, final standings:

1. GM Aleksandar Kovacevic (SRB 2558) – 7.0

2. GM Dragan Kosic (MNE 2538) – 6.0

3. IM Misa Pap (SRB 2501) – 5.5

4. GM Dragan Solak (SRB 2579) – 5.0

5-6. IM Darko Doric (CRO 2470) and FM Sinisa Saric (SRB 2424) – 4.5

7-8. IM Umut Atakisi (TUR 2409) and IM Mert Erdogdu (TUR 2489) – 4.0

9. IM Baris Esen (TUR 2493) – 3.0

10. Stevan Jovic (SRB 2292) – 1.5

NS Saric

Sinisa Saric

NS Petrovaradin

Petrovaradin fortress

NS square

One of the squares in Novi Sad

Novi Sad has a very long chess tradition. It was a host of 1990 Chess Olympiad and this year’s European Team Championship. It is a very pleasant place to stay in, and we hope that more chess players will visit us in the near future, when we will organize more interesting chess tournaments.

More information on the Perpetual Check website