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Trio of Pre-Olympiad Chess Events

  • FM MikeKlein
  • on 7/28/14, 2:17 PM.

With the 2014 Chess Olympiad right around the corner, several GM tournaments are squeezing themselves into the busy tournament calendar.

Here's a quick look at three events around the world before the Chess.com/news section starts its reporting live from the Norway Olympiad.

1. Canadian Open (Championnat Ouvert du Canada)

The 9-round Swiss was held in Montreal from July 19-26 in the "Grand Salon" of the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, a hotel famous enough for its own Wikipedia page. Eleven grandmasters and two WGMs competed in the top section of 43 players.

Top-seeded chess journeyman GM Sergei Tiviakov won his last-round game against an FM to catch the leaders at 6.5/9.

GM Sergei Tiviakov, racking up the frequent flier miles

Tiviakov finished in a tie with Iranian GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami and GM Robin van Kampen. Tiviakov edged them both on tiebreaks. (The official site does not list if they are all co-champions, but in the past co-champions have been allowed.)

Here's the last-round game that made it two Dutchmen on the podium, and gave a Chess.com columnist more artillery for his articles:

Canadian GM Eric Hansen, winner in 2012 and co-winner in 2013, could not make it a three-peat as he finished a point back. GM Anton Kovalyov was the highest-finishing Canadian player with 6/9.

Tiviakov has now added another country to his list of recent tournaments. Earlier this month, he played in his native Dutch Championship. Before that Tiviakov competed in Lebanon, Malaysia, Indonesia, Belgium, Germany, Belarus, Panama, and Turkey -- all in the last eight months.

Full results are here. Note that some federations are inaccurate. GMs John Fedorowicz and Nick De Firmian, both still Americans, did not defect while there.

2. British Championships

The 101st edition will actually overlap the Olympiad at its end, but not for the top tournament.

The British tournament runs July 19-August 2, and the Olympiad begins August 1, with the first games beginning August 2. Theoretically a top player could complete the British Championships ending July 30, travel to Norway July 31, and make it in time for the opening ceremony August 1.

It does seem that this Herculean effort will be attempted! GM David Howell is listed as board four of the English Olympiad team, and after nine of the 11 rounds of the British Championships, he's in second place along with GM Mark Hebden with 7/9. IM Jonathan Hawkins started with six straight wins and leads all with 7.5/9.

GM David Howell, ironman (photo: Wikipedia)

Besides Howell, other masters could also attempt the draining feat, since top players from federations like Singapore and Wales are also competing in the British Championships.

Here is Howell advancing all his pawns early in the game to take out one of those players.

3. Politiken Cup

Part of the Copenhagen Chess Fesitval, the 10-round Politiken Cup is slated for July 21-29 in Helsingor, Denmark.

Fans of classic literature may wish to use its English name, Elsinore, the setting for William Shakespeare's "Hamlet." In the play, Denmark is on the brink of war with Norway, making the connection even more apropos on the eve of the Olympiad.

Many Olympiad players have come to warm up here, including GMs Richard Rapport (Hungary), Alexander Moiseenko (Ukraine), and another Englishman, second-board Gawain Jones -- among many others.

Although it is the strongest of the three events in this report, the Politiken Cup is being handled easily by former prodigy GM Bu Xiangzhi.

GM Bu Xiangzhi, a grandmaster before his 14th birthday (photo: Wikipedia)

He leads all with 8.5/9, including wins over top-seeded Moiseenko and four other 2650+ GMs.

Here he shows that opposite-colored bishops do not always make draws.



6152 reads 22 comments
5 votes

Comments


  • 3 months ago

    CP6033

    inselschaker  you are correct, though i didn't realize that Rex Sinquefield was funding the prize money for the tournaments. Yeah it is true it's not easy for any GM (except maybe 2700+) to make good money off of chess. 

  • 3 months ago

    inselschaker

    @CP6033: The prize fund of the US Championship was actually even more generous: 12,000$ for 5th place, still 4,000$ for 12th and last place. But that's one event sponsored by Rex Sinquefield, and (even) he probably wouldn't spend as much money if the field didn't have several 2600+ and at least one 2700+ player (FIDE Elo, not inflated USCF ratings). Sad that Canada doesn't have a billionaire who cares about chess?

    Life isn't all easy either for European players with Elo around 2600. True, they have some regular guaranteed income from team competitions (with the possibility to play in several countries). Swiss opens are also hit or miss, the difference being that there are more events to play and maybe better conditions (appearance fees) for GMs.

  • 3 months ago

    ErwinSachs

    Just been reading Susan Polgars blogspot where she gives some detail on the top ten seeded nations.......what bet France for the title??......Really strong looking side they have now.

    http://susanpolgar.blogspot.pt/2014/07/chess-olympiad-2014-preview.html?showComment=1406694955228

  • 3 months ago

    b2b2

    Somewhat disappointing that some women are not listed in the Olympiad.

    India - No team captain and no Humpy Koneru
    China - No Ruan Lufei
    Lithuania - No Victoria Cmilyte
    USA - No Nadezdha Kosintseva, no Tatiana Kosintseva (both higher rated than Irina Krush)

    Russian women golden (with Kateryna Lahno).

    Chinese men favorite to take gold, even without Bu Xiangzhi. (Vladimir Kramnik, Peter Svidler, and Ian Nepomniachtchi have been very inconsistent.  Ditto, Levon Aronian and Vladimir Akopian)

  • 3 months ago

    mjm16

    Nice

  • 3 months ago

    b2b2

    Going by population size China (PRC) must be considered one of the strongest nations in chess.  Bu Xiangzhi, Wei Yi, Yangyi Yu, Wang Hao, Wang Yue are just a few of the many.  Little wonder then that China is often in the top 3 at the Olympiad (both men and women).

  • 3 months ago

    mugenpower

    Hébert is still playing.

  • 3 months ago

    Anubhav_2000

    lol, i am not in any of that hustle, a few months ago i played at hart house open in which bator sambuev came overall first but i came first in the u1600 section, relatively easy and won 500 bucks XD

  • 3 months ago

    CP6033

    inselschaker true, it is relatively small, but do you have any idea what a USA GM can win in the USA championship? plenty. If Sambuev, Kovalyov, and Hansen were american they could win a couple thousand easily (i think the prize for maybe 5th was something around $7,000, though i could be completely wrong). Hansen is almost a 2600 FIDE player, yes he played in europe, but only because there is no money anywhere else. Lets say 2587 FIDE, this could win a lot of money in the USA but not in Canada. I was commenting on the fact that this was rather sad.

  • 3 months ago

    ChessMN16

    Meeting Tiviakov in person was a great pleasure Smile. Some great tournaments going on right now; thanks for the report, Mike!

    Wow, have a look at 2700chess.com - Bu went from #54 in the world to #24, with a live rating of 2731.4! Amazing!

  • 3 months ago

    FM MikeKlein

    Glad everyone liked the coverage - sorry we couldn't do more. As they say on ESPN's "Pardon the Interruption" --

    "Good night Canada!"

  • 3 months ago

    ErwinSachs

    lol imsplori.....crazy play from a 2000 ELO rated player.

    Looks like the sort of thing that I would be doing!......Laughing

  • 3 months ago

    imsplori

    Nice games in Plitike cup ... here is the first game by Rapport... he won in only 5 moves !!!!!!!! 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Qe2 de4 4. Ne4 Nd7 5. Nd6#

    http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1763088

  • 3 months ago

    ErwinSachs

    That's an interesting thought superqueen....can you provide some evidence to substantiate such a sweeping statement??

  • 3 months ago

    Superqueen500

    Bu xianghzi has been used an engine for the past ~40 games.

  • 3 months ago

    Chuckieman

    Good to see the Canadian Open getting some coverage here.  What happened to the Canadian Closed this year?  And why is CFC voting for Kirsan Ilyumzhinov?

  • 3 months ago

    inselschaker

    View from the other side of the Atlantic: Canada is a relatively small/weak chess country, why should there be lots of money for chess and/or guaranteed prize money for Canadian players if foreigners were better in the given event?

    Eric Hansen played not just the Reykjavik Open, but several other European opens and several European team competitions (Spain, England, Germany) - in the latter case probably getting paid well enough to make intercontinental travel worth the effort, or does he actually have a second home somewhere in Europe?

  • 3 months ago

    CP6033

    extra sad becasue the USCF is loaded with money and prizes for tournaments. Canada is thinking about hosting a World cup! I mean are you serious? canada has one of the worst soccer (football for euorpeans) teams! (except the womens team). Pouring millions into Olympics, FIFA world cups, they can't spare anything for chess. I just don't get it. (then again i don't really like olympics or soccer (football)

  • 3 months ago

    CP6033

    iberville Sadly for Canadian there is little money in chess. I mean for the youth players they can get a little, but for Hansen and Sambuev and other top GM's it's really hard. though Hansen did well in the World Blitz/Rapid championship, and in the reikevich Open.

  • 3 months ago

    elmoustro

    I agree iberville ... that is really sad!

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