Surprise Winners at Reykjavik Open 2015

L'ami

Erwin L’ami

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From March 10 to 18 2015, the traditional chess tournament Reykjavik Open was staged for the 51st time by the Icelandic capital.

Among the 274 participants from 37 countries were 35 international grandmasters, elevating the event to world-class level.

93 of these participants originated from Iceland, 36 came from Norway, 15 were Germany, each 13 from the United States and Denmark, and another 10 from Canada and France travelled to Iceland to make sure that their countries were well-represented at the tournament.

The upper thirty ranks of the worldwide standings were embodied only by Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, David Navara, and Pavel Eljanov.

Dutchman Erwin L’ami who was not considered a favorite player with an ELO of 2605 points, delivered and excellent performance. Even the last critics were convinced in Round 7 when he defeated Mamedyarov (ELO 3756). He managed to remain completely undefeated until the final round – only then he lost to Eljanov. Nevertheless, he won the overall tournament: with 8.5 out of 10 points, he secured first rank which was absolutely deserved after an ELO-performance of incredible 2826 points.

Brazilian player Alexandr Fier surprised as well, ranking 4th after beating Navara in Round 8. The Frenchman and bronze-medal-winner Fabien Libiszewski performed high above his usual gaming level with an extra 200 ELO points.

The first ten ranks were rewarded with prize money ranging from €350 (10th) to €5.000 (1st).

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Final Results Top 30
Rk.   Name FED Pts.
1 GM L’ami Erwin NED 8,5
2 GM Eljanov Pavel UKR 8
3 GM Libiszewski Fabien FRA 8
4 GM Fier Alexandr BRA 7,5
5 GM Naroditsky Daniel USA 7,5
6 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 7,5
7 GM Melkumyan Hrant ARM 7,5
8 GM Hansen Eric CAN 7,5
9 GM Hammer Jon Ludvig NOR 7,5
10 GM Gupta Abhijeet IND 7,5
11 GM Stefansson Hannes ISL 7,5
12 GM Danielsen Henrik ISL 7,5
13 GM Jussupow Artur GER 7,5
14 GM Grandelius Nils SWE 7,5
15 GM Gao Rui CHN 7
16 GM Granda Zuniga Julio E PER 7
17 GM Gretarsson Hjorvar Steinn ISL 7
18 GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 7
19 GM Maze Sebastien FRA 7
20 IM Norowitz Yaacov USA 7
21 GM Grover Sahaj IND 7
22 GM Idani Pouya IRI 7
23 WGM Khademalsharieh Sarasadat IRI 7
24 GM Cornette Matthieu FRA 7
25 GM Le Roux Jean-Pierre FRA 7
26 GM Rombaldoni Axel ITA 7
27 GM Movsesian Sergei ARM 7
28 IM Sarkar Justin USA 7
29 FM Antal Tibor Kende HUN 7
30 FM Rosner Jonas GER 7

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The ELO-rating is only a guideline and has only limited validity in determining a player’s strength – which the Reykjavik Open proved yet again.

While David Navara with an ELO of 2736 points didn’t even make it to the Top 30, other players like Johaneson (ELO 2212), Antal (ELO 2317), Khadermalsharieh (ELO 2357), or Sarkar (ELO 2376) surpassed him in means of playing performance.

The youngest participant was American Hans Niemann who came off 80th at an incredibly young age of eleven.

Find pictures, videos, and game sheets on the official website

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Russia Scores at World Mind Games in Beijing

From December 11 to 17 Beijing was stage to this year’s SportAccord World Mind Games.

Participants competed in tournament style in the disciplines Bridge, Chess, and Checkers, as well as the Asian strategy games Go and Xiangqi, which have not yet gained popularity in the western world.

World Mind Games 2014

32 players from 15 countries competed in our favorite discipline chess – 16 men and 16 women. Amongst them were several Chinese prodigies, one of them current World Champion of Women Yifan Hou. Others were Asian Women’s Championship runner-up Ju Wenjin, Grand Master Wang Hao and WGM & GM Zhao Xue (who impressed with an ELO performance of 2828 points at the 2011 edition of the Grand Prix).

France, India, Poland, Russia, Georgia, Ukraine, Hungary, Cuba, Sweden, Bulgaria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Israel, and Germany sent further top-class players, such as Etienne Bacrot, Hari Krishna Pentala, Radoslav Voitaszek, Alexander Grishchuk, Leinier Dominguez Perez, Levon Aronian, Boris Gelfand, and Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, which added the little bit of extra spice to the event.

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Overview of Laureates
Event Date Medal Name Country
Men’s Rapid Event FRI 12/12 GOLD GRISHCHUK Alexander RUS
SILVER VACHIER-LAGRAVE Maxime FRA
BRONZE WANG Hao CHN
Women’s Rapid Event FRI 12/12 GOLD GUNINA Valentina RUS
SILVER HOU Yifan CHN
BRONZE USHENINA Anna UKR
Men’s Blitz Event MON 12/15 GOLD GRISHCHUK Alexander RUS
SILVER VACHIER-LAGRAVE Maxime FRA
BRONZE RADJABOV Teimour AZE
Women’s Blitz Event MON 12/15 GOLD HOU Yifan CHN
SILVER GUNINA Valentina RUS
BRONZE MUZYCHUK Anna UKR
Men’s Basque Event WED
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12/17

GOLD NEPOMNIACHTCHI Ian RUS
SILVER RADJABOV Teimour AZE
BRONZE VACHIER-LAGRAVE Maxime FRA
Women’s Basque Event WED 12/17 GOLD HOU Yifan CHN
SILVER KOSTENIUK Alexandra RUS
BRONZE ZHAO Xue CHN

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Russia took home six medals – more than any other participating nation. China lies closely behind with five medals, while France ranks third with three medals.

Find detailed information on the official website:

http://www.worldmindgames.net/en/

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe

Two Victors at the FIDE Grand Prix in Baku

Baku Grand Prix

The first tournament of the new FIDE Grand Prix Series was scheduled to run from October 1 to 15 in Baku, Azerbaijan. The World Championship series of 2014/15 consists of four tournaments, which is rather extraordinary, as until now a full cycle always has always been made up of six tournaments. The FIDE remains silent and names no reasons for this significant chance. People are speculating, though, that there weren’t enough applicants willing to host the events.

The total prize fund for each tournament holds 120,000 EUR, of which the victor receives 20,000 EUR. Both winner and runner-up are also granted the right to participate in the Candidates’ Tournament.

The tournament in Baku was staffed with twelve top-class super-grandmasters with ELOs of 2700 and above: Dominguez Perez, Tomashevsky, Karjakin, Gelfand, Nakamura, Mamedyarov, Radjabov, Svidler, Andreikin, Caruana, Grischuk, and Kasimdzhanov. Fabiano Caruana with starting number 10 had been the top-favorite competitor all along, holding the highest ELO-rating of 2844 points. Despite having the lowest ELO-rating of all participants, Evgeny Tomashesky managed to obtain a terrific 6th rank.

First rank was shared by Fabiano Caruana (4 victories) from Italy and the Israeli Boris Gelfand (3 victories):

FINAL RESULTS

Rank SNo. Name Rtg FED Pts
1 10 Caruana Fabiano 2844 ITA
2 4 Gelfand Boris 2748 ISR
3 3 Karjakin Sergey 2767 RUS 6
4 11 Grischuk Alexander 2797 RUS 6
5 8 Svidler Peter 2732 RUS 6
6 2 Tomashevsky Evgeny 2701 RUS 6
7 5 Nakamura Hikaru 2764 USA 6
8 7 Radjabov Teimour 2726 AZE
9 6 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 2764 AZE 5
10 12 Kasimdzhanov Rustam 2706 UZB 5
11 9 Andreikin Dmitry 2722 RUS
12 1 Dominguez Perez Leinier 2751 CUB 3

The ELO-rating may be an indicator for a player’s strength and abilities, but is certainly not the only measure for a player’s performance. This is quite obvious when studying the rounds’ individual results.

Round 1. October 2, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Dominguez Perez Leinier ½ – ½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam
Tomashevsky Evgeny ½ – ½ Grischuk Alexander
Karjakin Sergey 0 – 1 Caruana Fabiano
Gelfand Boris 1 – 0 Andreikin Dmitry
Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½ Svidler Peter
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Radjabov Teimour
Round 2. October 3, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Kasimdzhanov Rustam ½ – ½ Radjabov Teimour
Svidler Peter 1 – 0 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Andreikin Dmitry 0 – 1 Nakamura Hikaru
Caruana Fabiano ½ – ½ Gelfand Boris
Grischuk Alexander ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
Dominguez Perez Leinier ½ – ½ Tomashevsky Evgeny
Round 3. October 4, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Tomashevsky Evgeny ½ – ½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam
Karjakin Sergey 1 – 0 Dominguez Perez Leinier
Gelfand Boris 1 – 0 Grischuk Alexander
Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½ Caruana Fabiano
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry
Radjabov Teimour ½ – ½ Svidler Peter
Round 4. October 5, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Kasimdzhanov Rustam ½ – ½ Svidler Peter
Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Radjabov Teimour
Caruana Fabiano 1 – 0 Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Grischuk Alexander ½ – ½ Nakamura Hikaru
Dominguez Perez Leinier ½ – ½ Gelfand Boris
Tomashevsky Evgeny ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
Round 5. October 7, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam
Gelfand Boris ½ – ½ Tomashevsky Evgeny
Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½ Dominguez Perez Leinier
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Grischuk Alexander
Radjabov Teimour ½ – ½ Caruana Fabiano
Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry
Round 6. October 8, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 1 – 0 Andreikin Dmitry
Caruana Fabiano 1 – 0 Svidler Peter
Grischuk Alexander 0 – 1 Radjabov Teimour
Dominguez Perez Leinier ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Tomashevsky Evgeny ½ – ½ Nakamura Hikaru
Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Gelfand Boris
Round 7. October 9, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Gelfand Boris ½ – ½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam
Nakamura Hikaru 0 – 1 Karjakin Sergey
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Tomashevsky Evgeny
Radjabov Teimour ½ – ½ Dominguez Perez Leinier
Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Grischuk Alexander
Andreikin Dmitry 1 – 0 Caruana Fabiano
Round 8. October 10, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Kasimdzhanov Rustam ½ – ½ Caruana Fabiano
Grischuk Alexander ½ – ½ Andreikin Dmitry
Dominguez Perez Leinier 0 – 1 Svidler Peter
Tomashevsky Evgeny ½ – ½ Radjabov Teimour
Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Gelfand Boris ½ – ½ Nakamura Hikaru
Round 9. October 12, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Nakamura Hikaru 1 – 0 Kasimdzhanov Rustam
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar 1 – 0 Gelfand Boris
Radjabov Teimour ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Tomashevsky Evgeny
Andreikin Dmitry 1 – 0 Dominguez Perez Leinier
Caruana Fabiano 0 – 1 Grischuk Alexander
Round 10. October 13, 2014. 3 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Kasimdzhanov Rustam 0 – 1 Grischuk Alexander
Dominguez Perez Leinier 0 – 1 Caruana Fabiano
Tomashevsky Evgeny 1 – 0 Andreikin Dmitry
Karjakin Sergey ½ – ½ Svidler Peter
Gelfand Boris 1 – 0 Radjabov Teimour
Nakamura Hikaru ½ – ½ Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
Round 11. October 14, 2014. 1 p.m.
Name Res. Name
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar ½ – ½ Kasimdzhanov Rustam
Radjabov Teimour ½ – ½ Nakamura Hikaru
Svidler Peter ½ – ½ Gelfand Boris
Andreikin Dmitry ½ – ½ Karjakin Sergey
Caruana Fabiano ½ – ½ Tomashevsky Evgeny
Grischuk Alexander 1 – 0 Dominguez Perez Leinier

Italian superstar Fabiano Caruana had to comply with defeats in the duels against Dmitry Andreikin (ELO 2722), Alexander Grischuk (ELO 2797), and Leinier Dominguez Perez (ELO 2751) in rounds 7, 9, and 10. Quite a surprise, considering the fact that Andreikin and Dominguez Perez are in last and second-last place in the final rankings.

Sixteen competitors will participate in the Grand Prix Series. In accordance with the rule set, each player can compete in three of the four tournaments. Along with the twelve participants of Baku, chess enthusiasts can look forward to seeing Anish Giri, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Dmitry Jakovenko, and Ehsan Ghaem Maghani in action. The next tournament of the series is scheduled from October 20 to November 3 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

written by Sarah, translated by Birthe