Akobian Claims 2008 Doeberl Cup

Report, photos and videos (updated)

American Grandmaster Varuzhan Akobian won the last round game against direct competitor GM Dejan Antic to claim the trophy at the 2008 Doeberl Cup. Yet another anti-draw mishap and again Antic was involved (see also our round four report). After the initial inaccuracy in our version of the incident, GM Ian Rogers contacted us with the explanation: “In fact it was Akobian who was forced to play on, not Antic. Antic was deemed to have not so much choice but Akobian had many other good moves available apart from repeating. Akobian used up a lot of time before playing the Bg5 and Be5 plan
Also, Antic made his move before claiming the draw by repetition, so he had no reason to be upset when it was refused. (Of course Akobian would also have tried to claim the draw had it been permitted.)”

Lloyd Fell earned a deserved honorary mention as this was his 46th consecutive appearance at the Doeberl Cup. He even won the 1966 event. Blair Mandla efficiently concluded his run in the Major Group by drawing the last round game which was enough for the clear first place. Emma Guo had no mercy in the Minor Group and annihilated the opposition with perfect 7 out of 7 score. WGM Li Roufan scored the only IM norm, congratulations!

IM Igor Bitansky, Israeli player on the tour around the world, is proudly presenting his fantastic 8th round game against IM Andras Toth:

Round 9 results:

2599 GM Akobian Varuzhan (6.5) 1 – 0 GM Antic Dejan (6.5) 2480

2579 GM Ganguly Surya (6) ½ – ½ GM Zhang Zhong (6) 2617

2553 GM Gagunashvili Merab (6) ½ – ½ GM Jones Gawain (6) 2562

2398 IM Kizov Atanas (6) ½ – ½ IM Bitansky Igor (5.5) 2424

2468 IM Solomon Stephen J (5.5) 1 – 0 FM Bjelobrk Igor (5.5) 2381

2383 IM Wang Puchen (5.5) ½ – ½ WGM Zozulia Anna (5.5) 2344

2600 GM Malakhatko Vadim (5) 1 – 0 Samar Raul (5) 2254

2459 IM Smerdon David C (5) ½ – ½ Rej Tomek (5) 2283

Premier Group final standings:

1. GM Akobian Varuzhan 2599 7.5

2-8. GM Zhang Zhong 2617, GM Ganguly Surya 2579, GM Jones Gawain 2562, GM Gagunashvili Merab 2553, GM Antic Dejan 2480, IM Solomon Stephen 2468 and IM Kizov Atanas 2398 6.5

9-14. IM Wang Puchen 2383, GM Malakhatko Vadim 2600, WGM Li Roufan 2425, IM Bitansky Igor 2424, WGM Zozulia Anna 2344 and Ambrus Endre 2378 6.0

Major Group final standings:

1. Mandla Blair 1991 6.0

2-4. Norman Brendon, Bliznyuk Andrey 2200 and Stead Kerry 2083 5.5

5-7. Voon Richard 1990, Tionko Efrain 1782 and Viner Phillip 2203 5.0

See also video analysis of GM Ian Rogers. More videos available on the official website. All photos courtesy of Amiel Rosario, see The Closet Grandmaster blog for more information about the Doeberl Cup.

Zhang Zhong

GM Zhang Zhong

Caoili square

WIM Arianne Caoili

Gawain Jones square

GM Gawain Jones

Doeberl hall 1

Playing hall


GM Jones shaking hands with Australian champion IM Solomon

Sweden wins Four Nations Chess Challenge

exciting matches in Norway

Four nations chess challenge has finished yesterday in Norway with a clear victory for the team of Sweden. They managed to win their three matches with convincing 3 match victories, 20 game points, 16 games won, 8 drawn, and only 6 lost. Besides, GM P. Cramling has a perfect score on board 1 for the Sweden women team. Best results on Swedish boards achieved GM E. Agrest, GM J. Hector, GM P. Carlsson, and WFM E. Frisk, giving Sweden a total of 5 gold individual medals.

Second place was for England with 2 match victories (4 match points), 14 game points, and one board gold medal by K. Bathia.

The third place was decided on game points. Both Latvia and Norway finished with 1 match point, but Latvia grabbed 1st place with a game point more – 13,5 vs 12,5. Besides, Latvia took several gold medals on boards – GM N. Miezis, WIM I. Berzina, WFM V. Ni, WFM R. Praude. For Norway gold medal got GM L.E. Johannessen who also scored a perfect score. GM K. Lie also finished without a lost game.


Round 1: Latvia - Norway 5 – 5 ; Sweden - England 7½ – 2½

Round 2: Sweden - Norway 6½ – 3½ ; England - Latvia 5½ – 4½

Round 3: Norway - England 4 – 6 ; Latvia - Sweden 4 – 6

Final standings

1. Sweden 20.0 G.P. 6 MP

2. England 14.0 G.P. 4 MP

3. Latvia 13.5 G.P. 1 MP

4. Norway 12.5 G.P. 1 MP

Results and stanings by board

Four nations chess challenge photos

By Ole Valaker, Nettavisen and Øivind Johansen, official website


Yerazik Khachatourian (NOR), board 5 for Norway


GM Pontus Carlsson (SWE) vs IM Espen Lie (NOR)


GM Evgenij Agrest (SWE) vs GM Berge Østenstad (NOR)


GM Kjetil A. Lie (NOR) was board 1 for Norway


GM Pia Cramling vs IM Sheila B. Sahl (NOR)
GM Pia Cramling scored a perfect 3,0/3


Author and publisher IA Øystein Brekke (NOR)


Øivind Johansen, organizer and treasurer of the Norwegian Chess Federation,
is keeping the score list updated


Torill Skytte (NOR) in action

Four nations berg gawain

GM Berg vs GM Gawain Jones, the battle on board one from the first day

Four nations wfm silje bjerke

WFM Silje Bjerke (NOR) with important draw against WIM Tatjana Voronova

Four nations kjetil

GM Kjetil A. Lie (NOR) is the top board of Norway

Four nations krakops leif

GM Maris Krakops (LAT) vs GM Leif E. Johannessen (NOR)

Four nations sheila barth

WIM Sheila Barth Sahl (NOR)

Four nations ellen

WIM Ellen Hages�ther (NOR)

Four nations organizers

Dag Danielsen from the Norwegian Chess Federation and Gausdal organizer Hans Olav Lahlum

Four nations torstein bae

Game commentator IM Torstein Bae (NOR)

Casino di Lugano

Final Report

Michele Godena

GM Michele Godena

First Casino di Lugano International has ended today with four players sharing the honors. The event went without significant upsets, with 10 Grandmasters scoring well among 72 participants. Kudos to David Camponovo for putting up a great tournament on the short time-limit. We hope the sponsors are happy with the festival and will continue to support chess activities in Lugano. Prize fund was 18.600 CHF.

Final standings:

1-4. GM Robert Zelcic 2554, GM Joseph Gallagher 2509, GM Nenad Sulava 2549 and GM Michele Godena 2558 with 5.0 points from 6 rounds

5-10. GM Aleksander Delchev 2600, IM Mihajlo Stojanovic 2588, IM Sabino Brunello 2454, GM Vadim Malakhatko 2598, GM Artur Kogan 2566 and IM Branko Rogulj 2387 with 4.5 points etc.

On 27th May IM Elena Sedina and IM Mihajlo Stojanovic were hosting a simul, where Mihajlo won all of his games and Elena lost only one. Blitz tournament took place on 28th May, GM Aleksander Delchev finished first, followed by IMs Mihajlo Stojanovic and Branko Rogulj.