2nd SCS International Grandmaster Chess tournament

Martyn Kravtsiv Champion, second GM Norm for Adhiban

19-year-old Ukraine Grandmaster Martyn Kravtsiv edged out other GMs to emerge champion in the 2nd SCS International Grandmaster Chess Tournament, which concluded at Hotel Swosti Premium, Bhubaneswar. Joining Kravtsiv in the top were Alexandrov, Turov, Dreev, Adhiban and Kokarev, all with 8.5 points each from 11 rounds.

Kravtsiv’s better Buchholz tie-break score (76.5) gave him the title. In the absence of an outright winner, the top six cash prizes were shared by the top six with each pocketing Rs 87,667 each (approximately Euros 1540 each).

National champion Adhiban Baskaran gladdened the hearts of fellow Indians securing his second GM norm with a draw against top seed GM Alexey Dreev. With his present rating of Elo 2510, Adhiban with few more GM Norm events to come up shortly, could well become India’s next Grandmaster.

In another upset Delhi school boy Vaibhav Suri defeated International Master M R Lalith Babu. The impressive win also fetched Suri his maiden GM norm. Securing 8.0 points from 11 rounds with a rating performance of ELO 2579, Vaibhav stands to add ELO 56 points for his performance and would become India’s next International Master.

Overall, the tournament, offered prizes fund to the tune of Rupees 1,100,000 (approximately Euros 19325). By involving 85 title holders, including 34 GMs, 26 IMs and 3 WGMs, this event could as well be billed as the strongest of its kind in Asia. The success of the tournament can be measured where it produced three titles (two IM, one WGM) and seven norms (two GM, one WGM, four IM) respectively.

Next tournament in India is the 3rd Mumbai Mayor’s Cup, starting on 2nd June.


Star performers Padmini Rout (final WGM Norm) and 13-years old Vaibhav Suri (GM Norm)

Round 11 top results:

GM Dreev Alexey RUS 2655 – IM Adhiban B IND 2510 ½ – ½

GM Kovalyov Anton ARG 2615 – GM Aleksandrov Aleksej BLR 2604 ½ – ½

GM Bocharov Dmitry RUS 2592 – GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2546 ½ – ½

GM Turov Maxim RUS 2624 – GM Simonian Hrair ARM 2521 1 – 0

GM Maletin Pavel RUS 2584 – GM Kokarev Dmitry RUS 2612 0 – 1

GM Hera Imre Jr HUN 2558 – GM Ibrayev Nurlan KAZ 2390 1 – 0

Anwesh Upadhyaya IND 2419 – GM Lafuente Pablo ARG 2587 0 – 1

IM Konguvel Ponnuswamy IND 2412 – GM Khusnutdinov Rustam KAZ 2525 0 – 1

GM Iuldachev Saidali UZB 2511 – IM Praveen Kumar C IND 2391 1 – 0

GM Harutjunyan Gevorg ARM 2460 – GM Kasparov Sergey BLR 2504 1 – 0

Vaibhav Suri IND 2347 – IM Lalith Babu M R IND 2493 1 – 0

GM Czebe Attila HUN 2480 – FM Sai Krishna G V IND 2282 1 – 0

GM Vorobiov Evgeny E RUS 2612 – Shreyansh Daklia IND 2287 1 – 0

GM Luther Thomas GER 2541 – WGM Gara Ticia HUN 2357 1 – 0

GM Sundararajan Kidambi IND 2520 – Bitan Banerjee IND 2311 ½ – ½

Palit Somak IND 2385 – GM Ovetchkin Roman RUS 2519 ½ – ½

Ramnath Bhuvanesh R IND 2350 – GM Sriram Jha IND 2507 ½ – ½

GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J IND 2488 – FM Akshat Khamparia IND 2292 1 – 0

Final standings (249 players):

1-6. GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2546, GM Aleksandrov Aleksej BLR 2604, GM Turov Maxim RUS 2624, GM Dreev Alexey RUS 2655, IM Adhiban B IND 2510 and GM Kokarev Dmitry RUS 2612 – 8.5

7-15. GM Lafuente Pablo ARG 2587, GM Bocharov Dmitry RUS 2592, GM Kovalyov Anton ARG 2615, Vaibhav Suri IND 2347, GM Hera Imre Jr HUN 2558, GM Czebe Attila HUN 2480, GM Harutjunyan Gevorg ARM 2460, GM Khusnutdinov Rustam KAZ 2525 and GM Iuldachev Saidali UZB 2511 – 8.0

16-23. GM Maletin Pavel RUS 2584, GM Simonian Hrair ARM 2521, GM Ibrayev Nurlan KAZ 2390, GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J IND 2488, GM Vorobiov Evgeny E RUS 2612, GM Luther Thomas GER 2541, IM Debashis Das IND 2400 and FM Rajesh V A V IND 2302 – 7.5 etc

Humpy Koneru Claims First Women Grand Prix

6-19th March in Istanbul, Turkey

GM Humpy Koneru and GM Yifan Hou moved into the final round of the the first Women Grand Prix with equal points, but Koneru won with Black against GM Marie Sebag to capture the first place and 6.500 Euro prize. Yifan Hou drew against her compatriot Shen Yang, allowing IM Elina Danielan to catch her on the second place share. Danielan had a fantastic tournament, earning her second GM norm, as reported by the official website.

Women Grand Prix took place on 6-19th March in Istanbul, Turkey.

Istanbul GP Koneru prize

Humpy Koneru receiving her prize

Istanbul GP Elina prize

Elina Danielan

Istanbul GP Yifan prize

Yifan Hou

Round 11 results:

GM SEBAG Marie 2529 0 – 1 GM KONERU Humpy 2621

IM DANIELIAN Elina 2496 1 – 0 GM ZHAO Xue 2508

WGM SHEN Yang 2448 ½ – ½ GM HOU Yifan 2571

GM CHIBURDANIDZE Maia 2516 0 – 1 IM FIERRO Baquero Martha L. 2403

WGM MAMEDJAROVA Zeinab 2362 ½ – ½ WIM YILDIZ Betul Cemre 2214

GM STEFANOVA Antoaneta 2557 0 – 1 GM CRAMLING Pia 2548

Final standings:
1. GM Humpy Koneru 2621 IND – 8.5

2-3. IM Elina Danielian 2496 ARM and GM Hou Yifan 2571 CHN – 8.0

4. GM Zhao Xue 2508 CHN – 7.5

5. GM Marie Sebag 2529 FRA – 6.0

6-7. IM Martha Fierro Baquero 2403 ECU and GM Pia Cramling 2548 SWE – 5.5

8-9. GM Antoaneta Stefanova 2557 BUL and GM Maia Chiburdanidze 2516 GEO – 5.0

10-11. WGM Zeinab Mamedyarova 2362 AZE and WGM Shen Yang 2448 CHN – 2.5

12. WIM Betul Cemre Yildiz 2214 TUR – 2.0

Istanbul GP winners

Istanbul GP Group

Group Photo of players and organizers

Yifan Hou square

Yifan Hou

Sasikiran dominating in Pamplona

Internacional Ciudad de Pamplona, 22-29th December

Indian Grandmaster Krishnan Sasikiran convincingly won the 28th Internacional Ciudad de Pamplona that finished this Sunday. Sasikiran, who was also top-seeded player in the tournament, secured the trophy with three consecutive wins in rounds 4-6, against Caruana, Vallejo Pons and Roiz respectively.

Francisco Vallejo Pons, who played five decisive games out of seven rounds, and Vladimir Malakhov are tied on the second place. Italian star Fabiano Caruana finished on 50%, while Spanish junior champion Ivan Salgado Lopez couldn’t achieve more against the impressive opposition.

Sasikiran square

Krishnan Sasikiran

Round 7 results:

Michael Roiz 2677 ISR ½ – ½ Francisco Vallejo Pons 2664 ESP

Aleksander Delchev 2632 BUL ½ – ½ Krishnan Sasikiran 2694 IND

Vladimir Malakhov 2675 RUS ½ – ½ Fabiano Caruana 2640 ITA

Ian Nepomniachtchi 2616 RUS 1 – 0 Ivan Salgado Lopez 2556 ESP

Final standings:

1. Krishnan Sasikiran 2694 IND – 5.0

2-3. Francisco Vallejo Pons 2664 ESP and Vladimir Malakhov 2675 RUS – 4.0

4-5. Aleksander Delchev 2632 BUL and Fabiano Caruana 2640 ITA – 3.5

6-7. Michael Roiz 2677 ISR and Ian Nepomniachtchi 2616 RUS – 3.0

8. Ivan Salgado Lopez 2556 ESP – 2.0

Tournament website

Three Players Share Honors In Vlissingen Open

Bruzon, Sandipan and Amonatov with 7.5 points

Unlike the common practice of making quick draws in the last round in many open tournaments, the Hogeschool Zeeland Chess Tournament 2008 ended with fireworks today. GM Sipke Ernst, a sole leader after 6 rounds, lost to Indian GM Sandipan Chanda who propelled himself to the first place. Another Dutch player succumbed on the last day – GM Friso Nijboer lost with Black to GM Lazaro Bruzon. The third player on the first place tie is top-seeded GM Farrukh Amonatov, who invested lots of effort to convert the better endgame against GM Ikonnikov.

Bellow are selected games from 7th and 8th round (last round not available yet).

Round 9 results:

GM Ikonnikov Vyacheslav RUS 2592 – GM Amonatov Farrukh TJK 2650 0-1

GM Bruzon Lazaro CUB 2592 – GM Nijboer Friso NED 2564 1-0

GM Sandipan Chanda IND 2588 – GM Ernst Sipke NED 2581 1-0

GM Fier Alexandr BRA 2558 – IM Di Berardino Diego BRA 2471 ½-½

FM Bezemer Arno NED 2324 – GM Landa Konstantin RUS 2615 0-1

GM Van den Doel Erik NED 2567 – IM Afek Yochanan ISR 2321 1-0

FM De Jong Migchiel NED 2324 – IM Mekhitarian Krikor BRA 2504 ½-½

IM Llaneza Vega Marcos ESP 2468 – FM Bach Matthias GER 2272 ½-½

FM Tan Matthew NED 2319 – IM Gonzalez Yuri CUB 2464 ½-½

FM Van Eijk Sander NED 2315 – IM Jerez Perez Alfonso ESP 2410 1-0

GM Akesson Ralf SWE 2480 – Colijn Stefan NED 2107 1-0

Final standings:

1-3. GM Bruzon Lazaro CUB 2592, GM Sandipan Chanda IND 2588 and GM Amonatov Farrukh TJK 2650 – 7.5

4-7. GM Fier Alexandr BRA 2558, GM Landa Konstantin RUS 2615, GM Van den Doel Erik NED 2567 and FM Van Eijk Sander NED 2315 – 7.0

8-27. IM Mekhitarian Krikor BRA 2504, GM Ernst Sipke NED 2581, GM Ikonnikov Vyacheslav RUS 2592, IM Di Berardino Diego BRA 2471, IM Spoelman Wouter NED 2448, IM Gonzalez Yuri CUB 2464, IM Llaneza Vega Marcos ESP 2468, FM De Jong Migchiel NED 2324, GM Nijboer Friso NED 2564, IM Zaragatski Ilja GER 2419, IM Diamant Andre BRA 2393, GM Akesson Ralf SWE 2480, IM Sriram Jha IND 2429, FM Genzling Alain FRA 2326, Van Assendelft Floris NED 2227, Leenaerts Robin BEL 2161, FM Tan Matthew NED 2319, Provoost Simon NED 2213, Tiggelman Rene NED 2194 and FM Bach Matthias GER 2272 – 6.5

More information on the tournament website

Ikaros Chess Festival 2008

Aegean Open Championship 2008

The main event if Ikaros Chess Festival 2008, the Aegean Open Championship 2008, was concluded on Sunday 20th of July. The ultimate 9th round was a very combative one since after eight rounds seven players were sharing the first place with 6.5/8, while four others were following just half a point behind!

At the end the winner of the tournament was the Greek Grandmaster and national champion Christos Banikas who, in his last game, beat Alexander Shneider with white to reach 7.5/9. The same score was achieved by Robert Markus who beat Rafal Lubczynski but had a worse tie-break than Banikas.

Christos Banikas sq

GM Christos Banikas

Robert Markus sq

GM Robert Markus

The third place with 7/9 went to Evgeny Postny who, although with a very good start at the tournament, somehow lost pace in the final rounds and made three draws that cost him the first place. The same score with Postny but with worse tie-breaks was achieved by Thomas Henricks, Dusan Lekic and Sebastian Siebrecht.

Among women, the competition was also very interesting and after the final round only the tie-breaks could be used to declare the first woman in the tournament, since four ladies ended with 6.5/9! The final rank according to tie-breaks was: Liubov Kostiukova, Yana Melnikova, Irina Zakudjaeva and Ana Srebrnic.

Among the Aegean players Alexandros Koukoufikis was declared the Aegean Champion for 2008 while in the veteran category the first place went to Danish IM Bjorn Brinck-Claussen.

Evgeny Postny sq

GM Evgeny Postny

Liubov Kostioukova

Liubov Kostiukova

The end of the tournament found all participants very pleased, not only by the tournament itself, but also and more importantly by the friendly atmosphere during the event and the beauty of the island of Ikaria. Several participants, Greeks and foreigners, already confirmed their participation to next year’s event. The organization committee of Ikaria Chess Club and the Municipality of Aghios Kirykos (the main sponsor of Ikaros Chess Festival during the last decades) promised to do their best to provide participants with even better conditions and a better tournament!

Those of you who would like to get more information (results, standings, games, photos, reports) about Ikaros Chess Festival 2008 can check the official website of the festival or the web pages of the official media partner Chessdom while those who want to find out more about the picturesque island of Ikaria can check at: http://www.island-ikaria.com and http://www.icaria.gr or http://www.daki.gr/ (Municipality of Aghios Kirykos, in Greek language).

Report by Dimitris Skyrianoglou

Ikaros Chess Festival related articles

Tournament preview

Round 1 report

Round 4 report

Blitz tournament on F/B Sardinia Vera during the trip to Ikaria

Bjorn Brinck-Claussen

IM Bjorn Brinck-Claussen

Alexandros Koukoufikis

Alexandros Koukoufikis

Sideris Kefalos

Sideris Kefalos, son of the tournament director Mr. Kosmas Kefalos, was the youngest participant

Peter Leko’s Big Comeback

Leko wins his third Dortmund trophy

Loek Van Wely should be praised for boldly attacking Shakhriyar Mamedyarov in the last round despite of being tied on the bottom of the crosstable with only one point after six rounds. A double-edged endgame ensued after Van Wely collected Black central pawns and tried to push his own. Mamedyarov countered on the queenside, combining Knight’s dominating position with Rook’s mobility. The endgame was sharp but level until Van Wely blundered, presumably in time trouble.

Dortmund 2007 winner Vladimir Kramnik experienced a bumpy ride at this year’s event, mostly because his main weapon, Petroff defence, failed on two occasions. On the last day, he attempted to improve the play from the 3rd round, but Vassily Ivanchuk deviated earlier and we didn’t see what would Kramnik now do against Naiditsch’s novelty. To be fair, Kramnik’s main competition this year is World Chess Championship match against Vishy Anand, and hiding opening preparation in Dortmund caught him in disadvantageous position.

Peter Leko deservingly won his third Dortmund tournament. Hungarian ace had a rough period with a couple of under-performing events, but he finally reached his old playing form. First-time comers, Jan Gustafsson and Ian Nepomniachtchi, will be pleased with their score. Kramnik is rarely finishing in minus and this was surprising outcome for everyone who expected him to fight for the trophy. Van Wely, sharp as always but unlucky in some games, was left on the last place full two points behind Kramnik.

Round 7 results:

Vassily Ivanchuk 2740 – Vladimir Kramnik 2788 1 – 0

Peter Leko 2741 – Arkadij Naiditsch 2624 ½ – ½

Ian Nepomniachtchi 2634 – Jan Gustafsson 2603 ½ – ½

Loek Van Wely 2677 – Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2752 0 – 1

Final standings:

1. Peter Leko 2741 – 4.5

2-5. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 2752, Vassily Ivanchuk 2740, Jan Gustafsson 2603 and Ian Nepomniachtchi 2634 – 4.0

6. Arkadij Naiditsch 2624 – 3.5

7. Vladimir Kramnik 2788 – 3.0

8. Loek Van Wely 2677 – 1.0

Cautious First Round at Dortmund 2008

Burning Stage in Dortmund (Round 2)

Naiditsch Smashed Kramnik’s Petroff (Round 3)

Dortmund R4 – Nepomniachtchi Wins

Ivan Ivanisevic wins 2008 Serbian Championship

GM norms for Boban Bogosavljevic and Milos Pavlovic

Three players have entered the last round with same points, but only GM Ivan Ivanisevic managed to defeat his opponent and this valuable point brought him the championship trophy. Ivan had excellent finish, winning last three games in a row. GM Bojan Vuckovic tried his best to win with black pieces, but IM Dejan Leskur played safe variation against the Sicilian defence and was able to reach a draw rook endgame. Nevertheless, clear second place is excellent result for Vuckovic.

GM Dejan Pikula had a nice lead after 11 rounds, but then suffered two consecutive losses. He lost in the last round to FM Boban Bogosavljevic, who played very aggressive with black pieces because this point was necessary to reach GM norm. Bogosavljevic and Pikula finished tied on 3rd place. IM Milos M Pavlovic also earned his 2nd GM norm.

Spasojevic i Ivanisevic

Ivan Ivanisevic receiving the trophy

Boban Bogosavljevic square

GM norm for Boban Bogosavljevic

Round 13 results:

GM Markus Robert 2575 ½ – ½ GM Perunovic Milos 2570

IM Pavlovic Milos M 2457 ½ – ½ GM Kovacevic Aleksandar 2575

IM Leskur Dejan 2468 ½ – ½ GM Vuckovic Bojan 2556

GM Ivanisevic Ivan 2649 1 – 0 GM Sedlak Nikola 2568

GM Drazic Sinisa 2489 ½ – ½ GM Damljanovic Branko 2582

IM Velickovic Sasa 2401 ½ – ½ GM Miladinovic Igor 2604

GM Pikula Dejan 2524 0 – 1 FM Bogosavljevic Boban 2492

Final standings:

1. GM Ivan Ivanisevic 2649 9.0

2. GM Bojan Vuckovic 2556 8½

3-4. FM Boban Bogosavljevic 2492 and GM Dejan Pikula 2524 8.0

5. GM Milos Perunovic 2570 7½

6-8. GM Aleksandar Kovacevic 2575, GM Igor Miladinovic 2604 and IM Milos M Pavlovic 2457 7.0

9-10. GM Robert Markus 2575 6½

10. GM Branko Damljanovic 2582 6.0

11. GM Nikola Sedlak 2568 5½

12. GM Sinisa Drazic 2489 5.0

13. IM Dejan Leskur 2468 3½

14. IM Sasa Velickovic 2401 2½

Dejan Pikula square 1

GM Dejan Pikula receiving his prize

Spasojevic i Bogosavljevic

Srdjan Spasojevic, president of Serbian Chess Federation and Boban Bogosavljevic

Katanic Milivojevic

Arbiters: Petar Katanic-Vujic and Milivoje Milivojevic

Vladica Andrejic

Vladica Andrejic was in charge of live games transmission

Serbian championship players

Players in group photo

Artyom Timofeev directs drama in the Moscow Open last round

Timofeev first, eight players tied 2nd place

International Chess Festival “Moscow Open 2008″, that was held on 2nd-10th of February at the Russian State Social University, saw a thrilling finale after Artyom Timofeev (RUS 2664) fought a record 117 moves against the then-leading Ernesto Inarkiev to win the game and eventually a tournament. Timofeev, who earlier had a rough time in strong round robins like Montreal Empresa and Bosna Sarajevo, snatched a substantial first prize of $20.000 USD. Total prize fund was amounting close to $200.000.

moscow winners

Artyom Timofeev and Anna Muzychuk with trophies

Tied on the second place with 7.0 points out of nine rounds were Alexander Riazantsev (Russia 2628), Sergey Volkov (Russia 2623), Zahar Efimenko (Ukraine 2638), Alexander Lastin (Russia 2604), Baadur Jobava (Georgia 2643), Ernesto Inarkiev (Russia 2681), Murtas Kazhgaleyev (Kazakhstan 2594), Alexander Moiseenko (Ukraine 2643) and Igor Kurnosov (Russia 2577). Direct last round games in cash-hunt are bellow.

Baadur Jobava square

Baadur Jobava

The main tournament had 304 participants. At the same time, 414 Candidate Masters and lower rated players battled it out in in the B section. Khodjayan Vardan of Armenia won this race with impressive 8.5 points, leaving the only half point in the last round.

Generous prize fund in the C Group, reserved for female players, attracted a record 136 entries. IM Anna Muzychuk from Slovenia finished first with 8.0 points to earn solid $6.000 USD. IM Anna Ushenina (UKR 2484), who just played in Corus C event, was 2nd with 7.5, while WGM Natalia Zhukova (RUS 2443), IM Dronavalli Harika (IND 2455) and GM Kateryna Lahno (UKR 2475) are tied on 3rd-5th.

SL 2 Ana Muzicuk-Ana Usenina

Anna Muzychuk and Anna Ushenina during 2007 Serbian League

boris spassky

Chief arbiter: former world champion Boris Spassky

Most of the Grandmasters will be moving to famous Aeroflot Open which is starting on Thursday. Beside the equally huge prize fund of $200.000 USD, Aeroflot Open is also offering its winner a direct invitation for the super round-robin Dortmund 2008.

Zoltan Almasi grabs Reggio Emilia trophy

half point ahead of the competition

Zoltan Almasi clinched the first place at the 50th Reggio Emilia, half point ahead of pack of players. We warned you before the event to pay attention to his games, and Zoltan made sure to fulfill the expectations. Three crushing wins with white pieces and six draws were enough for the trophy.

Zoltan Almasi square 2

Winner: GM Zoltan Almasi

Key moment was in 8th round when Almasi beat David Navara. During the ETCC, Navara was employing Ruy Lopez Marshall, and when we asked him if he really believes it’s possible to play for a win with this deeply explored system, he said he’ll keep the answer for himself as professional secret. He is changing opening repertoire now, as he tried Zaitsev variation against Almasi. Nevertheless, Almasi was well prepared, and comfortably converted the advantage once he reached middlegame with opposite-colored Bishops.

Almasi quickly drew Vugar Gashimov, his only competitor, in the last round, while wins from Pentala Harikrishna and Hua Ni were good enough only for the 2nd place tie.


Decisive game: Navara – Almasi

Final standings:

1. Zoltan Almasi (HUN 2691) – 6.0

2-4. Pentala Harikrishna (IND 2668), Hua Ni (CHN 2641) and Vugar Gashimov (AZE 2663) – 5.5

5. Konstantin Landa (RUS 2678) – 4.5

6-7. David Navara (CZE 2656) and Viktor Korchnoi (SUI 2611) – 4.0

8-9. Mihail Marin (ROM 2551) and Sergey Tiviakov (NED 2643) – 3.5

10. Michele Godena (ITA 2535) – 3.0

Tournament website

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

Five players tied first on 2007 Politiken Cup

Krasenkow, Sargissian, Berg, de Firmian and Malakhov on the top – best tiebreak Krasenkow

2007 Politiken Cup ended with five players tied on the first place. Sargissian – Malakhov and Nybäck – Krasenkow were fighting draws, which allowed Nick de Firmian and Emanuel Berg to climb on the top by beating Peter Heine Nielsen and Lars Schandorff respectively. Michal Krasenkow takes the trophy on the better tiebreak. This year’s Politiken Cup broke all the records in numbers of participants and organizers are eager to make it even better in 2008.

Politiken 14

Top board: Gabriel Sargissian – Vladimir Malakhov draw

Round 10 results:

GM Gabriel Sargissian – GM Vladimir Malakhov draw

GM Tommy Nybäck – GM Michal Krasenkow draw

GM Peter Heine Nielsen – GM Nick de Firmian 0-1

GM Evgeny Agrest – GM Igor Khenkin draw

GM Lars Schandorff – GM Emanuel Berg 0-1

GM Stellan Brynell – GM Michele Godena draw

GM Alexander Stripunsky – IM Frank Holzke 1-0

IM Christian Kyndel Pedersen – GM Tiger Hillarp-Persson 1-0

IM Jon Ludvig Hammer – GM Jonny Hector 0-1

Politiken 12

Tommy Nybäck – Michal Krasenkow draw

Final round 10 standings:

1-5. GM Michal Krasenkow 2660, GM Emanuel Berg 2580, GM Gabriel Sargissian 2667, GM Nick de Firmian 2540 and GM Vladimir Malakhov 2676 with 8.0 points

6-17. GM Evgeny Agrest 2541, GM Stellan Brynell 2470, GM Igor Khenkin 2602, GM Tommy Nybäck 2567, GM Michele Godena 2547, GM Kjetil A. Lie 2536, IM Erik Zude 2399, FM Allan Stig Rasmussen 2450, FM Krzysztof Bulski 2396, GM Alexander Stripunsky 2589, GM Jonny Hector 2550 and IM Christian Kyndel Pedersen 2392 7.5 points etc. (total 280 players)

Brilliancy Prize

GM Sune Berg Hansen awarded brilliancy prize to Jens Herneise for his win in the 5th round. The Prize is sponsored by Elsinore City and consists of 500 DKK, 3 bottles of red wine and two candle holders.

Jens Herneise – Jørgen Hvenekilde

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 Bb6 6.Nxe5 Nxe5 7.dxe5 Nxe4 8.Qg4 Bxf2+ 9.Kd1 Qh4 10.Qxg7 Rf8 11.b4 Nxc3+ 12.Nxc3 Qxb4 13.Bd2 Bc5 14.Re1 Qd4 15.e6! Qxg7 16.exd7+ Kd8 17.Re8+ 1-0

Politiken Emanuel Berg 2

Wonderful finish: GM Emanuel Berg

Politiken 13

IM Christian Kyndel Pedersen – GM Tiger Hillarp-Persson 1-0

Politiken 15

IM Jon Ludvig Hammer – GM Jonny Hector 0-1

Politiken Cup – Round 9

Politiken Cup – Round 8

Politiken Cup earlier rounds

Vassily Ivanchuk continues winning streak

Ukrainian took yet another tournament

I am not a veteran! – said Vassily Ivanchuk in an interview for the newspaper “Komanda”. The Ukrainian leading player continues his impressive winning streak after he took Capablanca Memorial and Aerosvit Foros. This time he edged World Championship participant Alexander Grischuk by half point in the 10-player rapid Pivdenny Bank Chess Cup.

Having lost against Grischuk in the third round, Ivanchuk switched gear to win all three games on the 2nd day and additional two games on the last day. Grischuk couldn’t keep the pace and Radjabov’s persistent defence in the last round handed the trophy to Ivanchuk.

Ivanchuk square 3

Fantastic run: GM Vassily Ivanchuk

Final standings:

1. Vassily Ivanchuk (UKR 2762) 7.0

2. Alexander Grischuk (RUS 2726) 6.5

3-4. Teimour Radjabov (AZE 2746) and Alexei Shirov (ESP 2735) 5.5

5. Boris Gelfand (ISR 2733) 5.0

6. Yuri Drozdovskij (UKR 2567) 4.0

7. Etienne Bacrot (FRA 2695) 3.5

8. Viktor Korchnoi (SUI 2610) 3.0

9-10. Vladimir Tukmakov (UKR 2551) and Ilia Smirin (ISR 2649) 2.5

Kramnik grabs 8th Dortmund trophy

Vladimir Kramnik won by clear point ahead of the others

Perhaps Dortmund Chess Meeting should be renamed to Kramnik’s lodge. World Champion has defended his last-year title and scored 8th victory in Dortmund over the last 15 years. Definitely, this is his event. All the remarks about the short tournament and peaceful players were overshadowed by his full-point triumph ahead of rest of the field.

Kramnik’s participation was confirmed only one day before the start as he was struggling with respiratory infection. The illness left no scars on his determination, Kramnik played nice and innovative chess and used all the opportunities to score full points.

Kramnik is in trouble

Vladimir Kramnik

Tied on 2nd place are Aeroflot-qualificant Alexeev, Anand and Leko, all with single win and six draws. Kramnik, Anand and Leko are probably pleased with their form before the Mexico World Championsip. Anand will still play in a rapid knockout tournament in Leon. 4th Mexico participant, Boris Gelfand, arrived in Dortmund after two exhausting Candidate matches, and he will seek to raise his level over the next two months. Gelfand will be preparing with his old friends GM Huzman and Gorenje 2007 winner Michael Roiz.

Final Standings:

1. Vladimir Kramnik (RUS 2772) 5.0

2-4. Viswanathan Anand (IND 2786), Peter Leko (HUN 2738) and Evgeny Alekseev (RUS 2679) 4.0

5. Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE 2757) 3.5

6. Magnus Carlsen (NOR 2693) 3.0

7. Boris Gelfand (ISR 2733) 2.5

8. Arkadij Naiditsch (GER 2654) 2.0

Vassily Ivanchuk superior in Havana

Ukrainian took his third Capablanca Memorial

Havana must be on Vassily Ivanchuk’s favorites map as he won the Capablanca memorial for the third consecutive time. It was impressive run, too, he was looking at rest of the field from the two points distance. Rare result in short 9-round robins.

Ivanchuk Corus

Vassily Ivanchuk

Kudos to Cuban GM Walter Arencibia for the wonderful fighting spirit. Six decisive games, with only three draws, brought him to 50% score, but his attitude was refreshing and play fun to watch. This concludes our “to-praise” list.

Bad shape of Neuris Delgado Ramirez and, once Corus Group “A” participant, Lazaro Bruzon Batista, turned them into punching bags. Other players were drawing too much, in too few moves, to deserve honorable mention. Together with Bosna 2007 tournament, an important signal for the organizers.

Capablanca Memorial Final Standings:

1. Vasilly Ivanchuk (UKR 2729) 7.5
2. Leinier Domínguez (CUB 2678) 5.5
3. Vugar Gashimov (AZE 2644) 5.5
4. Walter Arencibia (CUB 2555) 4.5
5. Yuniesky Quesada (CUB 2541) 4.5
6. Kamil Miton (POL 2653) 4.5
7. Peter Heine Nielsen (DEN 2649) 4.0
8. Jesús Nogueiras (CUB 2552) 3.5
9. Lázaro Bruzón (CUB 2620) 3.0
10. Neuris Delgado (CUB 2547) 2.5

Round 4 report

Capablanca memorial preview

Parallel open tournament featured 87 participants. GM Csaba Horvath, IM Diasmany Otero and GM Holden Hernandez finished tied first with 7.5 points each.

Open Tournament Final Standings:

1. GM Csaba Horvath (HUN 2538) 7.5
1. IM Diasmany Otero (CUB 2366) 7.5
1. GM Holden Hernandez (CUB 2541) 7.5
4. FM Sandro Pozo Vera (CUB 2448) 7.0
4. IM Gaston Needleman (ARG 2416) 7.0
4. IM Oswaldo Zambrana (BOL 2512) 7.0
7. FM Jose Angel Guerra Mendez (CUB 2399) 6.5
7. IM Ramon Mateo (CUB 2448) 6.5
7. IM Fidel Corrales Jimenez (CUB 2479) 6.5
7. IM Aleksandar Colovic (MKD 2463) 6.5
7. FM Alexey Fernandez (CUB 2414) 6.5

Bosna 2007 Final Report

Sergei Movsesian wins with a clear point ahead of the others

Our previous report covered the first half of the tournament, an interesting start with many surprises. The second half, however, was as exciting as watching the bamboo growing. Top placed Sergei Movsesian and Borki Predojevic were clearly satisfied with the standings, thus reducing their pugnacity. Artyom Timofeev was in a poor shape and every short draw was like a divine gift for him. He will surely want to forget Bosna soon.

short 1

GM Nigel Short

Alexander Morozevich and Ivan Sokolov were trying to achieve more, but both scored one win, one loss and couple of draws. Nigel Short was the only eager to fight, having played the largest number of moves. He had his retaliation against Morozevich, but others have already switched to ultra-solid mode. It will be totally logical to see Sofia rule in Bosna next year.

Ivan Sokolov

GM Ivan Sokolov

Bosna 2007 Final Standings:

1. Sergei Movsesian (SVK 2642) 6.5
2. Borki Predojevic (BIH 2609) 5.5
3. Ivan Sokolov (NED 2655) 5.0
4. Alexander Morozevich (RUS 2762) 5.0
5. Nigel Short (ENG 2691) 4.5
6. Artyom Timofeev (RUS 2658) 3.5

Black Pieces’ Magic