Plovdiv is the second biggest city of Bulgaria and has hosted several chess tournaments within the past decades: The European Team Cup, individual and group tournaments for men, women, seniors and so on. Still, the tournament with the most longstanding tradition is the Open International Bulgarian Championship, the ‘Gregori Tringoy Memorial’ that is traditionally carried out in February. This year’s tournament is the 36th edition and was scheduled from February 2nd to 9th and hosted by the five star hotel Novotel Plovdiv. 243 players from 10 countries participated in the event; amongst them 16 GMs, 5 WMGs, 13 IMs, 4 WIMs, 12 FMs, and 5 WFMs.
Plovdiv Open – an old game in an old city!
Grandmaster Levente Vajda from Rumania had a fulminant start and immediately stated that he is eager to win the competition. He began with 5 out of 5. In round 6 he found himself in the decisive match against the Bulgarian grandmaster Krasimir Rusev in which he managed to turn a bad positioning into a victory, against all odds. For this he was rewarded with the lead, one full point ahead of the runner-up. On the final straight, grandmaster Nikola Djukic from Montenegro was able to make up ground. Djukic won the duels in rounds 7 and 8, and was was then equal in points with Vajda. After 8 rounds both had scored 7 points, and the direct duel in the following round had to decide over the final victor. This duel, though, ended in a draw and levente Vajda and Nikola Djukic had to comply with a shared 1st rank at each 7.5 points out of 9 rounds. Vajda, however, became 1st according to evaluation.
The Rumanian player and international master Tiberiu-Marian Georgescu became 3rd in evaluation but shared ranks 3 to 13 with ten other participants. Best Bulgarian player was grandmaster Atanas Kolev who ranked 4th.
Four other players finished the tournament with great successes: WGM Adriana Nikolova from Bulgaria not only ranked 6th but also reached the IM norm! Talents Milan Zajic (Serbia) and FM Bogdan Posedaru (Rumania) also reached IM norms, while the young Greek WFM Anastasia Avramidou secured the WIM norm.
Article and Picture by Iva Videnova
translated by Birthe