Hess and Krush Ride Winning Streak to Qualification

U.S. Chess Championships report by FM Mike Klein

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GM Robert Hess and IM Irina Krush kept up their winning streaks in round six of the 2011 U.S. Chess Championship and U.S. Women’s Championship, respectively. In the penultimate round of preliminary play, Hess won his fourth game in a row and Krush her fifth. They have both become the first two players to automatically qualify for the semifinals in each tournament. The events are taking place from April 14-28 at the Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis.

As in round five, Hess tried to play solidly again out of the opening. He accepted GM Larry Christiansen’s pawn sacrifice, after which he said he was “extremely satisfied” with his position. Christiansen had to play aggressively, as he began the round on the outside looking in at qualification. Hess said he is not overjoyed at his play, but “thankfully my opponents have been making mistakes as well. Fortunately I’m here with five out of six so I can laugh at my mistakes.” He added that winning four games in a row may be a rarity at the U.S. Championship but it was not as important as winning the title itself. He has already clinched sole first place in the group and with it a $2,000 bonus. Since scores are erased when the semifinals begin, his game against GM Yasser Seirawan tomorrow will only really matter for his opponent.

In the U.S. Women’s Championship, second-ranked IM Irina Krush, the defending champion, continued her domination of the field by posting her fifth win in a row after suffering an opening-round upset. In round six she took out WIM Iryna Zenyuk to become the first woman to qualify for the semifinals.

Krush is trailed by a cavalcade of players with four points. WGM Sabina Foiser and WGM Camilla Baginskaite had the quickest draw of the tournament to cement their placements. WFM Tatev Abrahamyan drew FM Alisa Melekhina in a wild affair to equal them. “My games have been so bad,” a relieved Abrahamyan said. Foisor, Baginskaite and Abrahmyan would have all earned certain qualification were it not for the timely win by top-seeded IM Anna Zatonskih, who partially bounced back with a win as Black to get to three points.

The scenarios in the women’s event for round seven are either simple or complicated, depending on Zatonskih’s game. She will play Foisor tomorrow needing a win. If she loses or draws, then Foisor, Abrahmyan and Baginskaite all join Krush in the semifinals. If Zatonskih wins, she will tie Foisor and perhaps the other two women, depending on their results. The tiebreak procedures vary depending on the number of women and the number of semifinal openings, but suffice to say they are complicated and every woman involved asked to have them explained by assistant arbiter Tony Rich after round six.

With Hess already in, the remainder of the pack in his group tried to keep up. GM-elect Sam Shankland rebounded after a round five loss by drawing local GM Ben Finegold. Their game was one of the few in the tournament to be settled with imbalances everywhere. “I’m really disappointed with my game today,” Shankland said. “Ben sacrificed a pawn for what I thought was insignificant compensation.” Asked why he agreed to the draw, Shankland said there was too much risk in the position. “I’m either going to get mated or run my pawns through. I saw that Alex (Onischuk) had a bad position. But I don’t like losing a White against the lowest player in the competition.”

Shankland was looking over his shoulder at GM Alexander Onischuk to make sure he would not be passed in the standings. Onischuk went on to draw his game, the longest of the round, to remain tied with Shankland. The pair are the only players in the group with 3.5/6 and they are slated to play tomorrow (Onischuk has White). Should the game be decisive, the winner will join Hess in advancing past group play. If they draw, they will play again on Friday in a playoff. They could also be joined by Seirawan in that scenario, who would need to win as Black versus Hess to enter the picture.

Gata Kamsky square 6

Gata Kamsky

In the other U.S. Championship group, defending champion GM Gata Kamsky outplayed IM Daniel Naroditsky from an equal position. By trading queens early, Kamsky said his teenage opponent made his first psychological mistake. “It showed me he was playing for a draw,” Kamsky said. “He was probably giving me too much respect.” The win puts Kamsky at 4.5/6 and a half-point edge over second place GM Yury Shulman, who has quietly kept up with the leader.

Shulman tried everything he could to beat GM Ray Robson, at one point eschewing several chances to repeat the position. Eventually the attack petered out and Shulman agreed to terms with his opponent when his rook and three pawns could not overcome Robson’s rook and bishop.

Round seven will also be intriguing for this group as Kamsky and Shulman, the two highest seeds in the group, are paired. Conventional wisdom suggests Kamsky will be content with a draw to ensure first place in the group. If so, Shulman would be guaranteed no worse than a playoff for the second qualification spot. He would only enter the tiebreaker match if GM Alexander Ivanov could somehow beat GM Ray Robson as Black.

All other players in the U.S. Championship have been officially eliminated from title contention, but each difference in final placement means $1,000 of prize money, so there is still much left to play for.

Official website / Round 1 report / Round 2 report / Round 3 report / Round 4 report / Videos

Round 5 report

Live games with computer analysis

53rd Torneo di Capodanno in Reggio Emilia – Round Six

Four decisive games, Vallejo Pons still leading by wide margin

Great show today with four decisive games in round six of the Reggio Emilia tournament. The first to finish was the exciting game between Vugar Gashimov and Vassily Ivanchuk. In the post-mortem Vugar pointed that 17.Rb3 was a novelty after which the position is clearly favoring white. The activation of the Rook via c3-c7 is inevitable and devastating and Ivanchuk couldn’t coordinate the pieces to escape the back-rank disaster.

Nigel Short sacrificed two pieces for an all-out attack against Sergei Movsesian, but black calmly repositioned the Queen to make a room for the King and then white simply run out of resources.

Energetic play of David Navara refuted the opening strategy of Michele Godena who was dropping pawns without compensation. Navara created a nice mating net to quickly bring the full point home (replay bellow).

Reggio Emilia Paco Vallejo

Francisco Vallejo Pons (Photos by Maria Bolshokova)

Alexander Morozevich achieved nearly winning position but then started hitting mistakes before the time control. Alexander Onischuk turned the tables and scored his first victory. Another undeserved loss for Morozevich, who instead of leading together with Vallejo is now on -1 score.

Vallejo held the Italian champion Fabiano Caruana to a draw with black pieces and continues to lead the race with a full point advantage.

Live games with computer analysis

Official website

53rd Reggio Emilia index page

Reggio Emilia David Navara 1

David Navara

Reggio Emilia Roberto Mogranzini

Roberto Mogranzini (tournament director) and Cristina Rigo (chief arbiter)

Round 6 results:

Vugar Gashimov – Vassily Ivanchuk 1-0

Fabiano Caruana – Francisco Vallejo Pons draw

David Navara – Michele Godena 1-0

Nigel Short – Sergei Movsesian 0-1

Alexander Morozevich – Alexander Onischuk 0-1

Round 6 standings:

1. Francisco Vallejo Pons ESP 2698 – 4.5

2-4. Vugar Gashimov AZE 2733, Sergei Movsesian SVK 2721 and Alexander Onischuk USA 2683 – 3.5

5-7. David Navara CZE 2708, Vassily Ivanchuk UKR 2764 and Fabiano Caruana ITA 2709 – 3.0

8-9. Alexander Morozevich RUS 2700 and Nigel Short ENG 2680 – 2.5

10. Michele Godena ITA 2549 – 1.0

Singapore International Chess Festival 2010

Round 6 report by Tournament Director Philip Chan

After 6 rounds, the big names in the ASEAN Chess Championship now taking place in Singapore at the 7th Singapore International Chess Festival 2010 continued their winning form.

GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili, now a Singapore Permanent Resident and donning Singapore colours and who originally hails from Georgia continue to front the tournament despite the no show of GM Le Quang Liem and Nguyen Ngoc Troung Son from Vietnam. He leads the table into the tournament with 5.0 points after dropping half a point each to FM Nguyen Duc Hua from Vietnam in Round 2 and Indonesian GM Megaranto in the 5th round.

Out of big time action for a while, you can bet he will deliver the results in due course. Just half a point away sits ‘Pinoy’ IM Oliver Barbosa and 4 others chasing the front pack. These include Vietnam’s IM Nguyen Van Hai and GM Dao Thien Hai and also Filipinos IMs Steven Yap and Richard Bitoon.

SICF 2010 Tourney 010

GM Zurab Azmaiparashvili on the top board

The ASEAN Women Championships has the Vietnamese women in the driving seats with WGM Nguyen Thi Than An leading with 5 points and half a point behind are WGM Le Thanh Tu and WIM Nguyen Thi Mai Hung. Indonesian’s darling WGM Irine Sukandar Kharis looks jaded after a long season dropping points to WGM Nguyen Thi Thanh An and Vietnam champion WIM Nguyen Thi Mai Hung.

Singapore’s best bet WFM Jeslin Tay is finding it tough keeping up with the ‘professionals’ and she is 2 points away from the lead in ninth position.

White knight in shining armour, GM Wen Yang from China is unstoppable in the Singapore Open winning all his games and is expected to continue his winning run. The very experienced and seasoned IM Gokhale Chandrashekar from India is one point behind in second place and just marginally half a point ahead of 8 other players including Andre Jerome Eng from Singapore and GM Villamayor Buenaventura from the Philippines who is a trainer with a local company.

SICF 2010 Tourney 016

Possibly one of the richest youth age group tournament (in term of cash awards) around the region, the inaugural Singapore International Youth Championships have foreign participants threatening to run away with all the age group titles. In the Open Under 8, Singaporean Alfred Chua and Cyrus Low Zhen Yu are just half a point behind leader Wong Yinn Long from Malaysia.

Krystal Valerie Soh and Steffi Lim Yan Yu are currently the only Singaporeans helming the top 2 position in the Girls Under 8 section whilst FM Tin Jinyao has maximum points from the first six rounds in the Open Under 11 and like GM Wen Yang in the Singapore Open looks unstoppable. In the Girls’ Under 14, Yuan Wei Ting and WFM Raja Jawahar Monisha are hoping to prevent the foreign field from having a free run.

Report by Tournament Director Philip Chan

SICF 2010 Tourney 018

SICF 2010 Tourney 022

SICF 2010 Tourney 057

SICF 2010 hall 003

2nd SCS International Grandmaster Chess tournament

Maxim Turov shares lead, Vaibhav Suri holds two Grandmasters to draw

In the last two round day, 13 year old Delhi boy Vaibhav Suri (2347) continued to impress holding GMs Vorobiov Evgeny (2612) and Hera Imre Jr (2558) at the 2nd SCS International Grandmaster Chess tournament, Bhubaneswar. Playing four Grandmasters in a row in a Open tournament is no mean show, and drawing with three of them and defeating a GM is a dream performance. That is how it has been going for this talented lad. With a rating performance of Elo 2519 Vaibhav is in line for a Grandmaster Norm, if he keeps going this way.

The fifth and sixth round saw the top seed Russian Grandmaster being held to fighting draws by GMs Aleksej Alexandrov and Zoltan Varga in contrasting games. Fellow Russian Grandmaster Maxim Turov continued his hold on top with a fluent black victory in the morning against Uzbek Grandmaster Marat Dzhumaev. Turov comfortably drew his afternoon game against GM Anton Kovalyov of Argentina. Chennai Open 2010 winner Turov shares the lead with 5.5 points along with Hungarian Grandmaster Czebe Attila.

Seven Grandmasters along with International Master Atanu Lahiri share the third spot with 5.0 points. Further half a point down were a bunch of Grandmasters including top seed Alexey Dreev.


Grandmasters Ruslan Pogorelov top seed Alexei Dreev relaxing after the game

Round 5 top results:

GM Dzhumaev Marat UZB 2495 – GM Turov Maxim RUS 2624 0 – 1

GM Dreev Alexey RUS 2655 – GM Aleksandrov Aleksej BLR 2604 ½ – ½

GM Kovalyov Anton ARG 2615 – IM Lalith Babu M R IND 2493 1 – 0

GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J IND 2488 – GM Kokarev Dmitry RUS 2612 ½ – ½

GM Bocharov Dmitry RUS 2592 – IM Satyapragyan Swayangsu IND 2463 ½ – ½

GM Czebe Attila HUN 2480 – GM Lafuente Pablo ARG 2587 1 – 0

GM Neelotpal Das IND 2453 – GM Fier Alexandr BRA 2581 0 – 1

GM Hera Imre Jr HUN 2558 – IM Suvrajit Saha IND 2380 ½ – ½

IM Sangma Rahul IND 2358 – GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2546 0 – 1

IM Tirto INA 2358 – GM Kasparov Sergey BLR 2504 0 – 1

GM Vorobiov Evgeny E RUS 2612 – Vaibhav Suri IND 2347 ½ – ½

IM Girinath P D S IND 2389 – GM Maletin Pavel RUS 2584 0 – 1

IM Kaiyrbekov Rustam KAZ 2386 – GM Khusnutdinov Rustam KAZ 2525 ½ – ½

GM Ismagambetov Anuar KAZ 2524 – IM Shyam Nikil P IND 2385 ½ – ½

Palit Somak IND 2385 – GM Simonian Hrair ARM 2521 0 – 1

IM Lahiri Atanu IND 2348 – GM Ovetchkin Roman RUS 2519 1 – 0

Round 6 top results:

GM Turov Maxim RUS 2624 – GM Kovalyov Anton ARG 2615 ½ – ½

GM Aleksandrov Aleksej BLR 2604 – GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2546 ½ – ½

GM Fier Alexandr BRA 2581 – GM Czebe Attila HUN 2480 0 – 1

GM Kasparov Sergey BLR 2504 – GM Bocharov Dmitry RUS 2592 0 – 1

GM Varga Zoltan HUN 2479 – GM Dreev Alexey RUS 2655 ½ – ½

GM Kokarev Dmitry RUS 2612 – IM Satyapragyan Swayangsu IND 2463 1 – 0

GM Maletin Pavel RUS 2584 – IM Prathamesh Sunil Mokal IND 2411 1 – 0

Vaibhav Suri IND 2347 – GM Hera Imre Jr HUN 2558 ½ – ½

GM Simonian Hrair ARM 2521 – IM Rathnakaran K IND 2397 1 – 0

GM Hossain Enamul BAN 2499 – IM Lahiri Atanu IND 2348 0 – 1

IM Suvrajit Saha IND 2380 – GM Dzhumaev Marat UZB 2495 ½ – ½

IM Koshy Varugeese IND 2310 – GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J IND 2488 ½ – ½

IM Debashis Das IND 2400 – GM Vorobiov Evgeny E RUS 2612 ½ – ½

GM Lafuente Pablo ARG 2587 – IM Kaiyrbekov Rustam KAZ 2386 1 – 0

GM Ibrayev Nurlan KAZ 2390 – GM Luther Thomas GER 2541 0 – 1

GM Khusnutdinov Rustam KAZ 2525 – IM Sangma Rahul IND 2358 1 – 0

Round 6 standings (249 players):

1-2. GM Turov Maxim RUS 2624 and GM Czebe Attila HUN 2480 – 5.5

3-10. GM Kokarev Dmitry RUS 2612, GM Aleksandrov Aleksej BLR 2604, GM Kovalyov Anton ARG 2615, GM Bocharov Dmitry RUS 2592, GM Maletin Pavel RUS 2584, GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2546, GM Simonian Hrair ARM 2521 and IM Lahiri Atanu IND 2348 – 5.0

11-28. GM Dzhumaev Marat UZB 2495, GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J IND 2488, GM Dreev Alexey RUS 2655, GM Fier Alexandr BRA 2581, GM Hera Imre Jr HUN 2558, GM Lafuente Pablo ARG 2587, Vaibhav Suri IND 2347, IM Suvrajit Saha IND 2380, GM Varga Zoltan HUN 2479, GM Ismagambetov Anuar KAZ 2524, IM Kamble Vikramaditya IND 2412, IM Adhiban B IND 2510, GM Kasparov Sergey BLR 2504, IM Koshy Varugeese IND 2310, WGM Gara Ticia HUN 2357, GM Harutjunyan Gevorg ARM 2460, GM Luther Thomas GER 2541 and GM Khusnutdinov Rustam KAZ 2525 – 4.5 etc

Round 7 top pairings:

GM Czebe Attila HUN 2480 - GM Turov Maxim RUS 2624

GM Kovalyov Anton ARG 2615 - GM Maletin Pavel RUS 2584

GM Kravtsiv Martyn UKR 2546 - GM Kokarev Dmitry RUS 2612

IM Lahiri Atanu IND 2348 - GM Aleksandrov Aleksej BLR 2604

GM Bocharov Dmitry RUS 2592 - GM Simonian Hrair ARM 2521

GM Dreev Alexey RUS 2655 - IM Kamble Vikramaditya IND 2412

GM Dzhumaev Marat UZB 2495 - GM Lafuente Pablo ARG 2587

GM Deepan Chakkravarthy J IND 2488 - GM Fier Alexandr BRA 2581

GM Hera Imre Jr HUN 2558 - GM Varga Zoltan HUN 2479

GM Luther Thomas GER 2541 - IM Suvrajit Saha IND 2380

GM Harutjunyan Gevorg ARM 2460 - GM Khusnutdinov Rustam KAZ 2525

GM Ismagambetov Anuar KAZ 2524 - WGM Gara Ticia HUN 2357

Vaibhav Suri IND 2347 - IM Adhiban B IND 2510

IM Koshy Varugeese IND 2310 - GM Kasparov Sergey BLR 2504

GM Vorobiov Evgeny E RUS 2612 - IM Girinath P D S IND 2389

GM Sundararajan Kidambi IND 2520 - IM Shyam Nikil P IND 2385

GM Iuldachev Saidali UZB 2511 - FM Vishnu Prasanna V IND 2345

GM Sriram Jha IND 2507 - WIM Padmini Rout IND 2319

San Sebastian Open – Round Six

IM Alvarez Pedraza grabs a sole lead with 5.5 points

San Sebastian 2010

The 33rd edition of San Sebastian International Tournament is taking place from March 28th to April 4th in the basque city of San Sebastian (Donostia in Basque language). The playing venue is at Gros Xake Taldea, a chess club which has recently inaugurated its playing area next to the Anoeta Football stadium at the “fronton” Karmelo Balda.

Cuban IM Alvarez Pedraza defeated the experienced Russian GM Mikhail Ulibin in round six and took over the pole position, with 5.5 points. In the Grandmaster encounters, Kevin Spraggett and Marko Tratar scored against Ruslan Pogorelov and Pablo San Segundo Carrillo, respectively, while Oleg Korneev and Alexis Cabrera played out a draw.

Talented juniors from Ireland are playing extremely well as Ryan Rhys Griffiths (2195) drew GM Roberto Cifuentes Parada and is holding 4.5 points, while Oisin Benson is with 4.0 points.

Round 6 top results:

IM Alvarez Pedraza Aramis - GM Ulibin Mikhail 1 – 0

GM Cabrera Alexis - GM Korneev Oleg ½ – ½

GM Pogorelov Ruslan - GM Spraggett Kevin 0 – 1

GM Gleizerov Evgeny - IM Barria Zuniga Daniel ½ – ½

IM Alsina Leal Daniel - IM Argandona Riveiro Inigo ½ – ½

GM Tratar Marko - GM San Segundo Carrillo Pablo 1 – 0

IM Collins Sam E - GM Movsziszian Karen 0 – 1

GM Cifuentes Parada Roberto - Griffiths Ryan Rhys ½ – ½

IM Andonov Bogomil - IM Llaneza Vega Marcos 0 – 1

Martin Alvarez Inigo - IM Alonso Rosell Alvar 0 – 1

IM Bae Torstein - Navarrete Espi Samuel 1 – 0

Acosta Garcia Alfonso Carlos - IM Marholev Dimitar ½ – ½

FM Cruz-Lopez Claret Carlos - FM Almeida Toledano Daniel ½ – ½

FM Alvarez Fernandez Enrique - FM Trepat Herranz Joan 1 – 0

IM Piasetski Leon - FM Andres Gonzalez Ivan 1 – 0

IM Jakobsen Ole - Diez Fraile David ½ – ½

Round 6 standings:

1. IM Alvarez Pedraza Aramis CUB 2486 – 5.5

2-7. GM Spraggett Kevin CAN 2580, GM Cabrera Alexis ESP 2533, GM Movsziszian Karen ARM 2530, IM Llaneza Vega Marcos ESP 2514, IM Alonso Rosell Alvar ESP 2509, GM Tratar Marko SLO 2486 – 5.0

8-19. GM Gleizerov Evgeny RUS 2565, GM Korneev Oleg RUS 2558, IM Alsina Leal Daniel ESP 2548, GM Cifuentes Parada Roberto ESP 2525, GM Ulibin Mikhail RUS 2516, IM Barria Zuniga Daniel CHI 2435, IM Bae Torstein NOR 2414, IM Argandona Riveiro Inigo ESP 2388, FM Alvarez Fernandez Enrique ESP 2366, FM Thomassen Joachim NOR 2331, IM Piasetski Leon CAN 2280, Griffiths Ryan Rhys IRL 2195 – 4.5 etc

Round 7 top pairings:

IM Llaneza Vega Marcos - IM Alvarez Pedraza Aramis

GM Spraggett Kevin - GM Tratar Marko

GM Movsziszian Karen - GM Cabrera Alexis

IM Alonso Rosell Alvar - GM Gleizerov Evgeny

GM Korneev Oleg - FM Alvarez Fernandez Enrique

IM Barria Zuniga Daniel - IM Alsina Leal Daniel

IM Argandona Riveiro Inigo - GM Cifuentes Parada Roberto

GM Ulibin Mikhail - IM Piasetski Leon

FM Thomassen Joachim - IM Bae Torstein

Griffiths Ryan Rhys - GM Pogorelov Ruslan

GM San Segundo Carrillo Pablo - FM Nava Pereda Carlos

IM Ledger Andrew J - Hagemann Tim Dr

IM Marholev Dimitar - Uriarte Prieto Goyo

Diez Fraile David - IM Collins Sam E

Round 2 report

Official website

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

Slovenia Rules!

Gibtelecom Chess Festival Round Six Report

It is perhaps fitting that, after 6 rounds of the Gibtelecom Chess Festival a Slovenian player leads the way? Why? Well, the main sponsor Gibtelecom is half owned by the Gibraltarian government, but also half owned by Telekom Slovenije, the main telecom company in Slovenia!

The top two boards both saw decisive results and, coincidentally, both featured instructive rook and pawn endgames. On board 1, former World Junior Champion, Slovenian GM Alexander Beliavsky (2646) demonstrated his technical prowess against the co-leader, Greek GM Vasilios Kotronias (2603) to take the full point and move into clear first.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0–0 5.Bd3 d5 6.Nf3 c5 7.0–0 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Nbd7 9.a3 Ba5 10.Qd3 a6 11.dxc5 Nxc5 12.Qxd8 Bxd8 13.b4 Nce4 14.Nxe4 Nxe4 15.Bb2 b5 16.Bd3 Bb7 17.Rfc1 Bd5 18.Ne5 f6 19.Nc6 Nd2 20.Rc2 Nc4 21.Nxd8 Rfxd8 22.Bd4 e5 23.Bc5 e4 24.Be2 Ne5 25.Bd4 Bb3 26.Rc7 Bc4 27.Kf1 Rac8 28.Bxe5 Bxe2+ 29.Kxe2 fxe5 30.Rd1 Rxc7 31.Rxd8+ Kf7

Gibraltar r6 1

32.Rd6 Rc2+ [Passive defence with 32...Ra7 should be a matter of last resort as it allows the opponent the freedom to maneuver at will. Although White's king does not presently have a clear path to enter the game, a judicious trade of pawns in the centre will expose the weakness of Black's remaining centre pawn.] 33.Ke1 Ra2 34.Rxa6 Ra1+ 35.Kd2 Ra2+ 36.Kc3 Rxf2 So far, Black is handling his defence accurately. 37.a4 bxa4 38.b5 White’s passed pawn appears more dangerous at first as his king is well placed to stop his opponent’s rook from attacking the pawn from behind. 38…Re2 39.Rxa4 Rxe3+ But Black chooses the right plan by eliminating White’s e3 pawn and creating a passed pawn of his own. 40.Kc4

Gibraltar r6 2

40…Rd3?? [An unfortunate mistake. The correct strategy would have been to create more space for the rook to operate from behind enemy lines with 40...Re1 . Then, the advance of White's b-pawn could be countered by the advance of Black's e-pawn creating a dynamic balance. For instance, 41.b6 e3 42.Rb4 Rd1 43.Rb2 (43.b7? Rd4+ 44.Kc3 Rxb4 45.Kxb4 e2 46.b8Q e1Q+–+) 43...Rd2 44.Rb1 e2 45.b7 e1Q 46.Rxe1 Rb2 47.Rxe5 Rxb7=] 41.b6 Rd8 42.Kc5 Rc8+ 43.Kd6 Rd8+ 44.Kc7 Rd2 45.Rxe4 Rxg2 46.Rb4 Rc2+ 47.Kd6 Rd2+ 48.Kxe5 Re2+ 49.Kd6 Rd2+ 50.Kc6 Rc2+ 51.Kb5 Rc8 52.b7 There is no stopping this pawn. 52…Rb8 53.Kc6 Black resigns 1–0

Gibraltar r6 3

Alexander Beliavsky – Vasilios Kotronias

On board 2, Azeri GM Vugar Gashimov (2723) and Swedish GM Emmanuel Berg (2606) maneuvered their pieces around for a good 30 moves without any significant advantage to either player.

1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 4.Nf3 exd4 5.Nxd4 Be7 6.Bd3 0–0 7.0–0 Re8 8.h3 c6 9.Re1 Nbd7 10.Nf5 Bf8 11.Bg5 Ne5 12.Ne3 b5 13.a3 Bd7 14.Nf1 h6 15.Bh4 a5 16.Nd2 Be7 17.Bg3 Qb6 18.Bf1 Rad8 19.Kh1 Bc8 20.f4 Ng6 21.Bd3 Nd7 22.a4 b4 23.Ne2 Bf6 24.Rb1 Qc7 25.Rf1 Nc5 26.b3 Ba6 27.Bxa6 Nxa6 28.Bf2 c5 29.Bg1 Nb8 30.Ng3 Nc6 31.Qg4 Qd7 32.Qxd7 Rxd7 33.Rbd1 Bd4 34.Nc4 Nge7 35.Rfe1 Bxg1 36.Kxg1 Nd4

Gibraltar r6 4

37.Rd2 Nd5? [Black chose to make this rather extravagant move. It is difficult to see how White could make any progress if Black were to play more conservatively with 37...Nec6 38.Re3 g6 39.Kf2 Kg7=] 38.Nf5 Nxf5 39.Rxd5 This indirect trade of knights allows White to exert more pressure on Black’s weak d-pawn. 39…Nd4 40.Nxd6 Re6 41.e5 Nxc2 [Instead, Black might have tried 41...f6 42.Re4 fxe5 43.fxe5 Kh7 but White's better rook position and more active king give him excellent winning chances. 44.Rg4 Rc7 45.Nb5 Nxb5 46.axb5 Rb6 47.Kf2 Rxb5 48.Ke3 Rb8 49.Rc4 Rbc8 50.Ke4 Kg6 51.Rd6+ Kf7 52.Kd5±] 42.Rb1 Nd4 [42...Rc7 does not save the c-pawn. 43.Rc1 Ne3 44.Rdxc5 Rxc5 45.Rxc5+-] 43.Kf2 Nf5 44.Rbd1

Gibraltar r6 5

44…Nxd6 Trading off the second set of knights only helps White reach a strategically winnning rook and pawn endgame. 45.exd6 g6 46.Rxc5 Rexd6 47.Rxd6 Rxd6 48.Ke2! White denies Black any entry squares along the d-file. As passive defence of the a6 pawn will lose in the long run once the White king invades through c4 and b5, Black has to seek whatever counterplay he can find. 48…Re6+ 49.Kd2 Rd6+ 50.Kc2 Re6 Black threatens to penetrate to e2, but it is too late. 51.Rxa5! White is more than happy to jettison a kingside pawn or two in return for obtaining connected passed pawns on the other side. 51…Re2+ 52.Kd3 Rxg2 53.Rb5 Rg3+ 54.Kc4 Rxh3 55.a5 h5 56.a6 The White pawns are faster. Black resigns 1–0

Gibraltar r6 6

Vugar Gashimov – Emanuel Berg

Joining Gashimov in second place on 5/6 is Boris Avrukh after he defeated Pia Cramling nicely in a Queen and Pawn ending. Then an amazing 17 players are tied on 4½/6. Socko and Svidler played out an interesting draw in 32 moves, whilst Nakamura’s conquerer Arnaud Hauchard gained another good result, this time a draw with Vadim Milov (53 moves). Del Rio v Berkes and the all Israeli clash between Roiz and Golod both ended in draws after 31 moves.

However the game on board 12 between many time US Women’s Champion, IM Irina Krush (2457) and Indian GM Sandipan Chanda (2568) was a long awaited rematch from Gibraltar 2007. In the last round of that tournament, Irina had needed only a draw for her second GM norm and for a share of the Women’s prize. Chanda defeated Irina to rob her of both. Could revenge be in the air? 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 Bg7 4.e4 0–0 5.f4 The Four Pawns Attack against the King’s Indian Defence. Irina is out for blood! 5…d6 6.Nf3 c5 7.d5 e6 8.Be2 exd5 9.cxd5 The aggressive line, inviting complications with 9…Re8 10.e5 9…Bg4 But Sandipan decides to sidestep into a more sedate variation. 10.0–0 Nbd7 11.Re1 Re8 12.h3 Bxf3 13.Bxf3 a6 14.a4 Rb8 15.Be3 [The most popular alternative is 15.a5 . Irina selects a move that has not met with much success in the past.] 15…b5 16.axb5 axb5 17.Bf2 b4 18.Na4 Nb6 19.Nxb6 Qxb6 20.e5

Gibraltar r6 7

20…Nd7? [It would be better to trade pawns before retreating the knight so that the e5 square would be available to the knight when attacked. 20...dxe5 21.fxe5 Nd7 22.e6 Ne5] 21.e6 Nf8 Suddenly, Black’s knight is confined to the back rank. 22.Qe2± Qc7 23.Ra6 Qe7 24.Bg3 f5?! Releasing the tension makes it more difficult to get the knight back into action. 25.b3 Ra8 26.Qb5 Bd4+ 27.Kh2 h5 28.Re2 h4 29.Be1 Rab8 30.Qc6 Rec8? [More accurate is 30...Red8 31.Kh1 Rbc8 32.Qa4 . Sandipan sacrifices a pawn hoping to create winning chances by advancing his queenside majority.] 31.Qxd6 Qxd6 32.Rxd6 c4 33.bxc4 b3 34.e7 b2 35.Rxb2! An unexpected resource! Irina sacrifices an exchange to eliminate all of Black’s pawns. 35…Bxb2 36.Bxh4 Ba3 37.exf8Q+ Kxf8 38.Rxg6 Rxc4 39.Rf6+ Kg7 40.Rxf5

Gibraltar r6 8

and then there were none! 40…Bc5 41.Kg3 Rc2 42.Kg4 The avalanche of pawns and assorted pieces is too much to handle. Black resigns 1–0

Gibraltar r6 9

Irina Krush vs Sandipan Chanda – The Rematch!

Pairings round 7 (Monday, 02 February 2009)

GM Gashimov, Vugar 5 AZE 2723 - GM Beliavsky, Alexander G 5.5 SLO 2646

GM Harikrishna, Pentala 4.5 IND 2673 - GM Avrukh, Boris 5 ISR 2645

GM Svidler, Peter 4.5 RUS 2723 - GM Stefanova, Antoaneta 4.5 BUL 2557

GM Milov, Vadim 4.5 SUI 2669 - GM Del Rio De Angelis, Salvad 4.5 ESP 2532

GM Kotronias, Vasilios 4.5 GRE 2603 - GM Sokolov, Ivan 4.5 NED 2657

GM Berkes, Ferenc 4.5 HUN 2651 - GM Lopez Martinez, Josep Manu 4.5 ESP 2540

IM Hammer, Jon Ludvig 4.5 NOR 2532 - GM Roiz, Michael 4.5 ISR 2647

GM Golod, Vitali 4.5 ISR 2575 - GM Socko, Bartosz 4.5 POL 2631

GM Gurevich, Mikhail 4.5 TUR 2624 - GM Hauchard, Arnaud 4.5 FRA 2497

IM Krush, Irina 4.5 USA 2457 - GM Ganguly, Surya Shekhar 4.5 IND 2614

IM Nemeth, Miklos 4 HUN 2472 - GM Nakamura, Hikaru 4 USA 2699

GM Vachier-Lagrave, Maxime 4 FRA 2696 - IM Zatonskih, Anna 4 USA 2462

Full details can be found on the tournament website www.gibraltarchesscongress.com

Report compiled by Sean Hewitt with games annotated by Sunil Weeramantry.

GM Sipke Ernst Leading At The Vlissingen Open

Large group of players only half point behind

The Hogeschool Zeeland Chess Tournament 2008 is taking place on 2-9th August in Vlissingen, Netherlands. The Saturday opening saw a large turnout as 249 people registered for participation. The prize fund of 6.600 Euro is distributed into 15 parts, 1st prize being 2.000 Euro. Last year was Fabiano Caruana, then still with the title of International Master.

Round 6 results:

IM Gonzalez, Yuri CUB 2464 – GM Bruzon, Lazaro CUB 2592 ½-½

GM Ernst, Sipke NED 2581 – GM Akesson, Ralf SWE 2480 1-0

GM Nijboer, Friso NED 2564 – IM Spoelman, Wouter NED 2448 ½-½

IM Mekhitarian, Krikor BRA 2504 – GM Fier, Alexandr BRA 2558 ½-½

GM Amonatov, Farrukh TJK 2650 – IM Llaneza Vega, Marcos ESP 2468 1-0

GM Ikonnikov, Vyacheslav RUS 2592 – FM Tan, Matthew NED 2319 1-0

FM Bezemer, Arno NED 2324 – GM Sandipan, Chanda IND 2588 ½-½

Duijker, Rick NED 2220 – GM Van den Doel, Erik NED 2567 0-1

IM Di Berardino, Diego BRA 2471 – IM Diamant, Andre BRA 2393 ½-½

IM Brandenburg, Daan NED 2431 – FM Van Eijk, Sander NED 2315 0-1

Round 6 standings:

1. GM Ernst, Sipke NED 2581 – 5,5

2-14. GM Amonatov, Farrukh TJK 2650, GM Bruzon, Lazaro CUB 2592, GM Ikonnikov, Vyacheslav RUS 2592, GM Van den Doel, Erik NED 2567, GM Nijboer, Friso NED 2564, GM Fier, Alexandr BRA 2558, IM Mekhitarian, Krikor BRA 2504, IM Gonzalez, Yuri CUB 2464, IM Spoelman, Wouter NED 2448, IM Zaragatski, Ilja GER 2419, IM Jerez Perez, Alfonso ESP 2410, FM De Jong, Migchiel NED 2324 and FM Van Eijk, Sander NED 2315 – 5.0

Friso Nijboer square 1

GM Friso Nijboer

Round 7 pairings:

GM Ikonnikov, Vyacheslav 2592 – GM Ernst, Sipke 2581

IM Spoelman, Wouter 2448 – GM Amonatov, Farrukh 2650

GM Bruzon, Lazaro 2592 – FM De Jong, Migchiel 2324

GM Van den Doel, Erik 2567 – IM Zaragatski, Ilja 2419

FM Van Eijk, Sander 2315 – GM Nijboer, Friso 2564

GM Fier, Alexandr 2558 – IM Gonzalez, Yuri 2464

IM Jerez Perez, Alfonso 2410 – IM Mekhitarian, Krikor 2504

Van Assendelft, Floris 2227 – GM Landa, Konstantin 2615

GM Sandipan, Chanda 2588 – Sprangers, Remco 2217

GM Akesson, Ralf 2480 – Steenbekkers, Franck 2219

Bok, Benjamin 2212 – IM Di Berardino, Diego 2471

IM Llaneza Vega, Marcos 2468 – In ‘t Veld, Daan 2170

IM Diamant, Andre 2393 – Roggeveen, Pieter 2093

More information on the tournament website

GM Boris Savchenko with perfect score at the Politiken Cup

he has won all six games thus far

GM Boris Savchenko won a wonderful game against GM Jacob Aagaard to move into the sole lead after six rounds of 2008 Politiken Cup. The 22-years old Russian from St.Petersburg attacked the Naidorf Sicilian with an unusual move order and already on 15th move started opening the gates around Black King which was left stuck in the center. Aagaard defended well after the nasty 18. Nac5! but then erred on 23rd move which allowed White to create a nice mating net (games bellow).

Young Ukrainian GM Yurij Kuzubov beat the top-seeded GM Pavel Eljanov and established himself on the 2nd place. It was a nice lesson on how Queen and Bishop can sometimes dominate Queen and Knight in the endgame.

Round 6 results:

GM Boris Savchenko – GM Jacob Aagaard 1-0

GM Yurij Kuzubov – GM Pavel Eljanov 1-0

GM Vladimir Malakhov – GM Sergey Tiviakov draw

GM Alexei Iljushin – GM Michael Roiz draw

GM Peter Heine Nielsen – GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili draw

GM Michal Krasenkow – GM Vitali Golod draw

IM Christian Jepson – GM Bartosz Socko 0-1

GM Konstantin Landa – IM Tania Sachdev 1-0

GM Emanuel Berg – IM Olivier Moor 1-0

GM Artur Kogan – GM Arkadi Eremeevich Vul draw

IM Vladimir Eljanov – GM Alexander A. Evdokimov 0-1

Round 6 standings:

1. GM Boris Savchenko 2578 – 6.0

2. GM Yurij Kuzubov 2578 – 5½

3-19. GM Vladimir Malakhov 2689, GM Jacob Aagaard 2531, GM Sergey Tiviakov 2645, GM Emanuel Berg 2592, GM Sune Berg Hansen 2542, GM Michael Roiz 2680, GM Vitali Golod 2578, GM Alexei Iljushin 2546, GM Alexander A. Evdokimov 2555, GM Peter Heine Nielsen 2652, GM Konstantin Landa 2615, IM Ashwin Jayaram 2436, GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili 2604, GM Bartosz Socko 2628, GM Jonny Hector 2537, Djurre den Heeten 2278 and IM Bengt Lindberg 2432 – 5.0 etc

(280 players)

Politiken Nielsen-Hansen

Danish derby: GM Peter Heine Nielsen vs GM Sune Berg Hansen

Round 7 pairings:

GM Yurij Kuzubov – GM Boris Savchenko

GM Sune Berg Hansen – GM Vladimir Malakhov

GM Michael Roiz – GM Vitali Golod

GM Alexander A. Evdokimov – GM Peter Heine Nielsen

GM Sergey Tiviakov – GM Jonny Hector

GM Bartosz Socko – GM Alexei Iljushin

IM Ashwin Jayaram – GM Konstantin Landa

GM Mikheil Mchedlishvili – IM Bengt Lindberg

GM Jacob Aagaard – GM Emanuel Berg

Djurre den Heeten – GM Artur Kogan

GM Pavel Eljanov – Jakob Aabling-Thomsen

More information on the official website

Politiken Kogan-Roiz

Israeli derby: GM Arthur Kogan vs GM Michael Roiz

Politiken Berg-Brynell

Swedish derby: GM Emanuel Berg vs GM Stellan Brynell

Boris Savchenko also played a simul on one evening and won all 17 games. A wonderful winning streak for the young Grandmaster!

Politiken Savchenko1

GM Boris Savchenko in action

Politiken Savchenko2

Karen Asrian Memorial – Round 6

Four players sharing the lead

After the shocking news of the sudden death of the reigning Armenian champion and 2006 Olympiad gold medal winner, Karen Asrian, the organizing committee of the Yerevan Chess Giants decided to postpone the rounds scheduled for the 10th and the 11th of June. The tournament is now renamed to “Karen Asrian Memorial” and will become a traditional event in the memory of the young champion.

The play has resumed today with rounds 3-6. Round three saw all games finishing in draws, but already one hour later, in the round four, the players with Black pieces have scored three wins. Armenian GM Gabriel Sargissian surprised the top-seeded Alexander Morozevich.

The popular “Moro” recovered in the next round and beat Mickey Adams, while Levon Aronian managed to outplay Boris Gelfand in the Queen’s Indian defence. Round six again brought all draws.

Another four rounds will be played tomorrow, and then on Saturday the tournament resumes with originally planned two rounds per day.

Round 6 standings:

1-4. Gabriel Sargissian 2643, Alexander Morozevich 2774, Levon Aronian 2763 and Peter Leko 2741 – 3.5

5. Michael Adams 2729 – 3.0

6-7. Vladimir Akopian 2673 and Boris Gelfand 2723 – 2.5

8. Bu Xiangzhi 2708 – 2.0

Tournament website

Vassily Ivanchuk signed first draw at the 2008 Mtel Masters

Former World Champion Boris Spassky arrived in Sofia

Mtel Masters 2008: General page / Photos from Mtel

Mtel Masters live: Day 1 / Day 2 / Day 3 / Topalov – Ivanchuk / Radjabov – Aronian

Report: Round 1 / Round 2 / Round 3 / Round 4 / Round 5

Round 6 results:

Ivanchuk Vassily 2740 UKR ½ – ½ Radjabov Teimour 2751 AZE

Bu Xiangzhi 2708 CHN 0 – 1 Cheparinov Ivan 2695 BUL

Topalov Veselin 2767 BUL 1 – 0 Aronian Levon 2763 ARM

Thursday (14 CET): Live game commentary by GM Vladimir Dimitrov and live blog with the Chessdom team in Sofia. See you there!

Vassily Ivanchuk was finally held off to a draw in the 6th round of 2008 Mtel Masters. Teimour Radjabov played his favorite Sveshnikov Sicilian, introducing a late novelty with 20…Rbe8. Ivanchuk assessed that grabbing a pawn on a6 would allow black to build an attack with Be5, Re6-g6 and decided to play safer Nc6. There followed many exchanges and the game was driven into a drawish Rook endgame. Ivanchuk is still holding a full point lead ahead of Veselin Topalov who punished Levon Aronian’s experiment attack while being a pawn down. The two leaders are scheduled to meet tomorrow in the 7th round.

Mtel Masters cage 6

The games are taking place inside the soundproof glass aquarium

Bu Xiangzhi is still fighting to find his real playing form. He quickly ended up in passive position with white pieces and you don’t have to wave red flag in front of Ivan Cheparinov’s nose twice. The young Bulgarian recklessly attacked on the kingside, and even after missing a few stronger shots, he reached a winning pawn endgame with cute zugzwang at the end.

Former World Champion Boris Spassky landed in Sofia and Bulgarian President Parvanov immediatelly honored him with special audience. Spassky will play a simultaneous exhibition with 16 journalists and participate in numerous other events, mostly with juniors.

On the rest day, a football match between FC Levski and Chess United took place at the local stadium. Chessers succumbed and lost 2-3 only after stiff resistance, when particularly goalkeeper Vassily Ivanchuk was brilliant among the bars. Ivanchuk was awarded with Man of the Match title.

Current standings:

1. Ivanchuk Vassily 2740 UKR – 5.5

2. Topalov Veselin 2767 BUL – 4.5

3. Cheparinov Ivan 2695 BUL – 3.0

4. Radjabov Teimour 2751 AZE – 2.5

5.Aronian Levon 2763 ARM – 1.5

6. Bu Xiangzhi 2708 CHN – 1.0

Round 7 pairings:

Ivanchuk Vassily 2740 UKR – Topalov Veselin 2767 BUL

Radjabov Teimour 2751 AZE – Bu Xiangzhi 2708 CHN

Cheparinov Ivan 2695 BUL – Aronian Levon 2763 ARM

Mtel Masters Spassky 1

Ivan Cheparinov analyzing his game with Boris Spassky

Mtel Masters Ivanchuk Radjabov

Vassily Ivanchuk and Teimour Radjabov during the press conference

Mtel Masters football 1

Football match Levski vs Chess United

Mtel Masters football

Topalov and Ivanchuk after the football match

Russian team chess championship round 6

Ural lost but still in the lead. Results, standings, games

chessdom logo

Participants / Round 1 / Round 2 / Round 3 / Round 4 / Round 5

Powerful Ural succumbed to “64″ Moscow but retained two points lead as other results favored them. Shirov and Grischuk lost against Gelfand and Wang Hao respectively and Malakhov scored the only full point for Ural. Teimour Radjabov didn’t play this round.

Chinese are playing extremely well, this time Ni Hua brought home decisive point for Economist 1 in the tight match with Shatar Buryatia. Economist 1 joined the bulk of teams on the 2nd place tie.

Alexander Morozevich booked third consecutive win and enabled Tomsk 400 to get two points from otherwise even match against SHSM. South Ural stunned Politekhnik when two IMs on the lower boards beat Grandmasters for clean 4-2 match win.

Round 6 results:

64 (Moscow) – Ural (Yekaterinburg) 3.5-2.5

GM Boris Gelfand – GM Alexei Shirov 1-0

GM Pentala Harikrishna – GM Gata Kamsky draw

GM Wang Hao – GM Alexander Grischuk 1-0

GM Evgeny Bareev – GM Vladimir Malakhov 0-1

GM Alexander Khalifman – GM Vladimir Akopian draw

GM Maxim Rodshtein – GM Alexander Motylev draw

Shatar Buryatia – Economist 1 (Saratov) 2.5-3.5

GM Vugar Gashimov – GM Evgeny Alekseev draw

GM Bu Xiangzhi – GM Evgeny Tomashevsky draw

GM Pavel Tregubov – GM Pavel Eljanov draw

GM Boris Avrukh – GM Ni Hua 0-1

GM Farukh Ammonatov – GM Michael Roiz draw

GM Alexander Lastin – GM Alexander Galkin draw

South Ural (Chelabinsk) – Politekhnik (Nizhny Tagil) 4-2

GM Anatoly Karpov – GM Zahar Efimenko draw

GM Alexander Riazantsev – GM Alexander Areshchenko draw

GM Viktor Korchnoi – GM Boris Grachev draw

GM Igor Kurnosov – GM Igor Lysyj draw

IM Pavel Ponkratov – GM Dimitri Bocharov 1-0

IM Sergei Matsenko – GM Dimitry Kokarev 1-0

SHSM (Moscow) – Tomsk 400 2.5-3.5

GM Alexander Onischuk – GM Alexander Morozevich 0-1

GM Karen Asrian – GM Sergey Karjakin draw

GM Sergey Grigoriants – GM Dimitry Jakovenko draw

GM Vladimir Potkin – GM Loek Van Wely draw

GM Michal Krasenkow – GM Artyom Timofeev draw

GM Stanislav Novikov – GM Andrei Belozerov draw

TPS Saransk (Saransk) – Economist 2 (Saratov) 4-2

GM Vassily Ivanchuk – GM Dimitry Andreikin draw

GM Konstantin Sakaev – GM Alexander Evdokimov draw

GM Andrei Volotkin – GM Alexei Iljushin 1-0

GM Emil Sutovsky – GM Evgeny Shaposhnikov draw

GM Mikhail Kobalia – GM Alexei Korneev 1-0

GM Sergey Volkov – IM Mihail Lushenkov draw

Finek Gazprom (Sankt Petersburg) – Spasio-Swiss (Moscow) 3-3

GM Peter Svidler – GM Ruslan Ponomariov draw

GM Sergey Movsesjan – GM Igor Khekin draw

GM David Navara – GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov 1-0

GM Nikita Vitiugov – GM Ernesto Inarkiev 0-1

GM Vassily Yemelin – GM Vladislav Tkachiev draw

GM Marat Makarov – GM Alexei Aleksandrov draw

Current Standings

Team / Match points / Game points (click here for the team lists)

1. Ural (Yekaterinburg) 10 (22.5)

2-5. Finek Gazprom (Sankt Petersburg) 8 (20.0)

2-5. Economist 1 (Saratov) 8 (20.0)

2-5. TPS Saransk (Saransk) 8 (19.5)

2-5. Shatar Buryatia 8 (19.0)

6. 64 (Moscow) 7 (17.5)

7. SHSM (Moscow) 6 (19.0)

8. Spasio-Swiss (Moscow) 5 (17.0)

9. Tomsk 400 4 (16.5)

10-11. Politekhnik (Nizhny Tagil) 3 (15.5)

10-11. Economist 2 (Saratov) 3 (14.0)

12. South Ural (Chelyabinsk) 2 (15.5)

Selected games from round 6:

Mediterranean Chess Championship – round 6

IM Esen Baris and IM Doric Darko leading

Round 6 results:

GM Atalik Suat 2599 ½ – ½ WGM Sedina Elena 2358

IM Estremera Panos Sergio 2400 ½ – ½ IM Marzolo Cyril 2478

IM Hernando Rodrigo Jose Maria 2359 0 – 1 IM Doric Darko 2470

IM Esen Baris 2453 1 – 0 WIM Drljevic Ljilja 2270

Njili Kamel 2397 1 – 0 IM Belouadah Saad 2305

Krivokapic Marko 2349 1 – 0 Ferhi Djamel 2117

IM Ezat Mohamed 2440 ½ – ½ Mihailidis Anastasios 2266

Laouini Sami 2229 0 – 1 IM Atalik Ekaterina 2404

Round 6 standings:

1-2. IM Esen Baris (2453 TUR) and IM Doric Darko (2470 CRO) 5.0/6

3-8. GM Atalik Suat (2599 TUR), IM Marzolo Cyril (2478 FRA), WGM Sedina Elena (2358 ITA), IM Estremera Panos Sergio (2400 ESP), Krivokapic Marko (2349 MNE) and Njili Kamel (2397 TUN) 4.5

9-15. FM Adnani Mokhlis (2263 MAR), IM Hernando Rodrigo Jose Maria (2359 ESP), WGM Milliet Sophie (2395 FRA), IM Atalik Ekaterina (2404 TUR), Chahrani Ibrahim (2274 LBA), WIM Drljevic Ljilja (2270 MNE) and IM Belouadah Saad (2305 ALG) 4.0

Round 4 report and games

More information on the official website

Sousse 1

Sousse 2

Sousse 4

Sousse 3

Round 5 games:

Russia men leading, Poland and Russia tied in the women section

ETCC Round 6

Official site

Videos from ETCC 2007

Results and standings

General European Team Chess Championship page

Russia’s men team is firmly holding the lead after storming through
Israel in the sixth round. Evgeny Alexeev finally stopped Michael Roiz’s
winning streak, while Jakovenko and Svidler scored full points for the
final 3-1 win. Slovenia continues with upsetting big guys. This time
their victim was Azerbaijan after the top three boards were drawn and IM
Borisek won against GM Guseinov.

ETCC 2007 Round 6 M01

Russia is marching towards the title winning against Israel 3:1

ETCC 2007 Round 6 M02

Slovenia proved to be a tough opponent for Azerbaidjan and thanks to IM Borisek who won on

desk four came victorious with 2.5:1.5

Ukraine, Armenia, and France played safe, scoring 3 draws and one
win against Czech, Hungary, and Bulgaria respectively. More excitement
was seen in Spain-Greece. Alexei Shirov won his first game, while
Francisco Vallejo Pons won third game in a row holding elo
performance of 2874. Norway and Netherlands have split the cake after
IM Espen Lie beat the much higher rated GM Daniel Stellwagen.

ETCC 2007 Round 6 M03

The match between the Czech Republic and Ukrain was also decided on board four where GM

Areshchenko took the point for Ukraine and the final result became 1.5:2.5

ETCC 2007 Round 6 M04

Hungary:Armenia – 1.5:2.5 thanks to GM Akopian on board two for Armenia who took a win while

everyone else finished a tie

ETCC 2007 Round 6 M05

France and Bulgaria also gave us a similar result – three games finished a draw and it was for

the last, forth board, to decide. There GM Chatalbashev fought well, but lost to GM Bauer, France:Bulgaria –


ETCC 2007 Round 6 M06

Spain decisively won against Greece with 3:1 with wins of GM Shirov and GM Vallejo

Georgia and Poland made four draws on the top table in female section.
Russia’s team immediately seize opportunity to catch up with Poland
on first place after sending Slovenia home with 3.5-0.5. Ukraine
wiselyused white pieces against Hungary, achieving two wins and
two draws for 3-1.

ETCC 2007 Round 6 F01

The female teams Georgia and Poland gave us a flat game with four draws

ETCC 2007 Round 6 F02

Slovenia:Russia – 0.5:3.5 – Russia crushed Slovenia with three wins and a draw and is now

closer to the top

Greece and France women exchanged one win each for a 2-2 tie, while
Netherlands blasted the higher rated Serbia 3.5-0.5. Bulgaria seemsto
be in good shape
after demolishing the solid team of Spain with 4-0. The big derby Russia-Georgia
is set for tomorrow.

ETCC 2007 Round 6 F03

Hungary lost to Ukraine in a rather difficult and mixed game with 1:3

ETCC 2007 Round 6 F04

Greece and France did not elect a winner and finished a 2:2 draw

ETTC 2007 Round 6 F05

The Netherlands demolished Serbia

ETTC 2007 Round 6 F06

Bulgaria made the only 4:0 this round against Spain proving that they are still a dangerous


Linex Magic on top, OSC Baden-Baden e.V. draw

round 6 of the European Club Cup

Linex Magic won the round 6 match against Tomsk-400 and are sole leaders with 11 MP from 12 possible. As usual it was GM Rublevsky and GM Cheparinov to pull the team to victory. They won against the ex world champion GM Kasimdzhanov and GM Bologan and turned a difficult day into a triumph. They were helped by GM Kamsky not losing on board one against the always unpredictable GM Morozevich, by a sraw of GM Sargissian against GM Inarkiev, and by the GM scalp taker IM Manuel Perez Candelario, who drew GM Smirnov. With the team being on +2 GM Adams lost against GM Karjakin, without affecting the final outcome. With the total score 2½:3½ Linex Magic got a magical win again and full match points.

Linex Magic has 5 wins and one draw until now. This draw was exactly against Ashdod City Club, the chess team that stopped today the number 1 seeded OSC Baden-Baden e.V. In an exciting match GM Svidler and GM Bacrot were able to pull their team at +2 with victories against GM Smirin and GM Smirin. However, GM Eljanov was able to hold the tired from Mexico Anand for a draw, and give wings to the team. The inspired today GM Sutovsky finished with the resistance of GM Magnus Carlsen and GM Moiseenko won against GM Nisipeanu to equalize the match and sink OSC Baden-Baden e.V. into trouble.

Anand Svidler

Anand and Svidler are worried about OSC Baden-Baden e.V.

The surprising leader until last round, Alkaloid, did not have luck today either. With 5 draws, it was GM Galkin who stole the victory for Economist SGSEU-1 Saratov.

Exactly on the opposite pole were Bosna Sarajevo (led by a fantastic GM Ivanchuk) against Keystone. Even though Ivanchuk could not win his game against GM Ponomariov, the team won with decisive games by GM Movsesian and GM Sokolov.

European Club Cup reports

European Club Cup round 1

European Club Cup round 2

European Club Cup round 3

European Club Cup round 4

European Club Cup round 5

Round 6 top boards results

Tomsk-400 - Linex Magic – Merida2½:3½
Clichy Echecs 92 - Ural Sverdlovskaya 3 : 3

Keystone - Bosna Sarajevo 2 : 4
Alkaloid - Economist SGSEU-1 Saratov 2½:3½
Ashdod City Club Rtg - OSC Baden-Baden e.V. 3 : 3

Gros Xake Taldea Rtg - Cercle d’Echecs de Strasbourg 4 : 2

Bank King Yerevan Rtg - SK Rochade Eupen Kelmis 4½:1½

Vilnius Chess-Bridge club ”NSEL30” - Chess Club Zagreb 1 : 5

Cannes Echecs- Chess Club Zeljeznicar Sarajevo 2 : 4

Current standings

1 Linex Magic – Merida 11 MP 24,5 GP

2 Ural Sverdlovskaya 10 MP 27,0 GP

3 Economist SGSEU-1 Saratov 10 MP 26,0 GP

4 Bosna Sarajevo 10 MP 24,0 GP

5 Tomsk-400 9 MP 25,5 GP

6 OSC Baden-Baden e.V. 9 MP 24,5 GP

7 Clichy Echecs 92 9 MP 23,0 GP

8 Gros Xake Taldea 9 MP 22,0 GP

9 Chess Club Zagreb 8 MP 27,0 GP

10 Keystone 8 MP 24,0 GP

11 Bank King Yerevan 8 MP 23,0 GP

12 Alkaloid 8 MP 22,5 GP

13 Chess Club Zeljeznicar Sarajevo 8 MP 22,5 GP

14 Aquaprofit Chess Club Nagykanisza 8 MP 22,0 GP

15 Ashdod City Club 8 MP 21,0 GP

Biel 2007 – Round 6

Radjabov and Polgar win, Motylev three loses in a row

Teimour Radjabov enlisted his first win and Boris Avrukh suffered first defeat after extremely complicated middlegame in Sicilian Scheveningen. Avrukh eventually forgot about the King’s safety and resigned after Radjabov offered devastating Rook sacrifice. Alexander Motylev lost his third consecutive game, this time by hands of Judit Polgar. 29…e5! proved to be decisive breach. Other three games were drawn, not without fire – use the replay form bellow for review.

Radjabov in action Polgar happy 1

Round 6 winners: Teimour Radjabov and Judit Polgar

Round 6 results:

Teimour Radjabov – Boris Avrukh 1-0

Alexander Onischuk – Bu Xiangzhi draw

Alexander Grischuk – Magnus Carlsen draw

Alexander Motylev – Judit Polgar 0-1

Yannick Pelletier – Loek van Wely draw

Round 6 standings:

1. Magnus Carlsen (Norway 2710) 4.5

2-4. Alexander Onischuk (USA 2650), Judit Polgar (Hungary 2707) and Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan 2746) 3.5

5-7. Bu Xianghzi (China 2685), Boris Avrukh (Israel 2645) and Alexander Grischuk (Russia 2726) 3.0

8. Yannick Pelletier (Switzerland 2583) 2.5

9. Alexander Motylev (Russia 2648) 2.0

10. Loek van Wely (Netherlands 2679) 1.5

Biel Round 3 report

Biel Round 4 report

Biel Round 5 report

Black Pieces’ Magic

The two lowest rated players are leading the field after six rounds of Bosna 2007 tournament. For people that know them, this can hardly be surprise. Sergey Movsesian is an ultra-solid player coming from Armenian background. As Levon Aronian pointed out, the Armenians are not heavy theoreticians, but they have highly competitive spirit.

The Bosnian top player, Borki Predojevic, was a national chess project. For a few years, sponsors have provided conditions for him to work with best coaching team in Belgrade. The investment is paying off as Borki is gradually improving to become stable 2600+ player. He surely deserves more invitations for round robins.

short 1

GM Nigel Short

The title is referring to Alexander Morozevich’s performance. While browsing the websites, we have read predictions that Morozevich will display his usual “crush-under 2700″ players and gain enough rating to jump on the 1st or 2nd place on the FIDE rating list. Amazingly, Moro lost all three games with White pieces, while winning two with Black. We’re curious to see how he does in the last four rounds, but he has to work on performance with White in any case if he plans to do something in the 2007 World Championship.

Round 6 Standings:

1. Sergei Movsesian (SVK 2642) 4.5
2. Borki Predojevic (BIH 2609) 3.5
3. Ivan Sokolov (NED 2655) 3.0
4. Alexander Morozevich (RUS 2762) 2.5
5. Nigel Short (ENG 2691) 2.5
6. Artyom Timofeev (RUS 2658) 2.0

Bosna 2007 Preview

Kamsky strikes back!

Report, videos, replayable games

This afternoon we witnessed exciting chess games and intrigue in the ranking – all six players are in only one point distance. Topalov and Kamski climbed up and Mamedyarov and Adams kept their previous scores to reach the current situation: Mamedyarov and Sasikiran split the pole position with 3 and a half points each, Topalov and Adams follow with 3, and just half a point below are Kamsky and Nisipeanu with two and a half points.

All the excitement is yet to come, like in a good suspense movie – the tournament turn in such way that we will stay alert and entertained until the very end.

Rank Name FED 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts
1 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE ** ½ 1 ½ 1 0 ½
2 Sasikiran Krishnan IND ½ ** 0 ½ 1 1 ½
3 Topalov Veselin BUL 0 1 ** ½ ½ 0 1 3
4 Adams Michael ENG ½ ½ 0 ½ ** ½ 1 3
5 Kamsky Gata USA 0 1 0 ½ ½ ** ½
6 Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter ROM ½ ½ 1 0 0 ½ **

The rest worked well for the Mtel Masters players and they delivered some fantastic games in the 6th round. Gata Kamsky, placed last before this round, cooked the crosstable after beating the tournament leader Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. All players are now ranked within only one point distance, and this makes the final results completely uncertain.

The video above : Action in Nisipeanu-Topalov and Kamsky-Mamedyarov as the time control was closing (high quality video).

Mamedyarov’s Pirc was kind of a surprise for Gata, but he has played these lines before. He just needed a lot of time to find the correct moves. Kamsky opted for a solid build-up, testing Mamedyarov’s patience to run for complications. He indeed tried that, but with a not that effective 12…c4, as revealed later at the press conference.

Kamsky once referred to himself as a “Preventative Specialist” (pointed out by our reader Alan Benson) and the press conference comments seems to fully justify it. When GM Ian Rogers asked if 24.Be3 would have been better move, Gata replied that he wanted to eliminate the potentially dangerous Bg7 and any kind of counterplay. very important win for Gata Kamsky. His confidence before the Candidate matches must be much higher now.

Video above : the final moments in Kamsky-Mamedyarov and the press conference (high quality, be patient please).

Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu tried an of-beat line against Veselin Topalov’s Naidorf, but the later was well prepared. Topalov revealed that Ivan Cheparinov drew his attention to 8…g6 just before the game. Our reporter Dragomir Anachkov asked Topalov why he likes to play h5 from the Black side of Sicilian, as seen in many of his games. Topalov explained that he wants to stop g4, and besides, move h5 has other positional ideas. Nisipeanu added that after he played h3, he expected to see only h5 from Topalov. When asked about his chances to win the tournament, Topalov said: “It would be great to fight for the first place in third consecutive year, but to do so, I must win with both colours, not only with black.”

Michael Adams is famous for his deep understanding of the Queen’s Indian defence, but in the game against Krishnan Sasikiran he committed horrible blunder with 18…Nd5. That costed him an exchange. He missed the move 20.Qc4 in his calculation. The Indian Grandmaster increased the advantage with great determination, not giving the slightest chance to his opponent.