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Melkumyan Edges Out Rapport on Tiebreak, Wins Riga Technical University Open

  • PeterDoggers
  • on 8/25/14, 1:37 AM.

On Sunday. GM Hrant Melkumyan won the fourth edition of the Riga Technical University Open in Latvia. The Armenian grandmaster edged out Richard Rapport of Hungary on tiebreak after both finished on 7.5/9. Melkumyan won his first six games and then drew his last three.

Melkumyan won his first five games in Riga, as reported earlier, and he duly continued winning. In the sixth round he beat Eduardo Iturrizaga, the number one player from Venezuela who clearly had an off-day.

Besides Iturrizaga, Igor Kovalenko of Latvia and Richard Rapport of Hungary were the only two players on 4.5 points. Rapport was the one who kept pace with Melkumyan as his opponent didn't handle the irregular middlegame well enough:

Richard Rapport

Round seven saw the big clash between Rapport and Melkumyan, and yet again the Hungarian started the game creatively. His hand went to his king's pawn, but he only pushed it one square! 1.e3 is known as the Van't Kruijs Opening (easy to find out in our Game Explorer!), named after the Amsterdam player Maarten van't Kruijs who lived in the 19th century.

The move usually transposes to a different opening, and here it quickly became an English after 2.c4. However, Rapport then continued in original fashion with 4.g4!? and 6.h4!? after which the game quickly reached an equal endgame. If anyone had chances, it was Melkumyan as 23...Nb4 looks interesting.

In the penultimate round, Melkumyan split the point with Boris Savchenko of Russia. Rapport moved to shared first thanks to the following pretty win. Dutch GM Benjamin Bok lost the thread right after the opening and then showed good sportsmanship, allowing a nice queen sac followed by checkmate:

Melkumyan apparently had enough, and decided to take a quick draw in the final round with Tamas Banusz of Hungary (1.Nf3 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Be7 5.d4 O-O 6.O-O dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.a4 Bd7 9.Qxc4 Bc6 10.Bf4 “Draw?” “Yeah, sure.”). This meant that Rapport could still finish clear first and win the 3000 EUR envelope, and he certainly tried!

He got involved in what was probably the game of the tournament, which deserves a deeper analysis. Below you'll find two critical moments as it seems that both were winning at some point!

Hrant Melkumyan won the tournament on tiebreak.

One of the players to finish half a point behind Melkumyan and Rapport was Chess.com author Daniel Naroditsky, who managed to cross the 2600 Elo mark in this tournament. The 18-year-old grandmaster didn't lose a single game and won five -– the first three and the last two. Here's his game from the final round:

Update: Another player that should be mentioned is 15-year-old Aravindh Chithambaram of India, who scored 7.0/9 and clinched his third and final GM norm, only nine months after his first! Here's his win in the last round against top seed Alexei Shirov. More about Aravindh can be read in Nongsha_A  's blog

Aravindh Chithambaram only needs a few more Elo points to become a GM. 

The Riga Technical University Open was held August 15-24 in the Exhibition Centre Kipsala in Riga, Latvia. The total prize fund was 25,000 EUR. 

Riga Open 2014 | Final Standings (Top 30)

Rk. Title Name Rtg FED Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 GM Melkumyan Hrant 2655 ARM 7,5 43 55,5 2792
2 GM Rapport Richard 2704 HUN 7,5 43 55 2809
3 GM Iturrizaga Bonelli Eduardo 2653 VEN 7 42 54 2731
4 GM Naroditsky Daniel 2587 USA 7 41,5 53,5 2712
5 GM Savchenko Boris 2596 RUS 7 41 52,5 2693
6 GM Banusz Tamas 2585 HUN 7 40 51,5 2674
7 GM Fridman Daniel 2639 GER 7 39 50 2641
8 IM Aravindh Chithambaram Vr. 2467 IND 7 38,5 49,5 2718
9 GM Bok Benjamin 2587 NED 6,5 39 51 2600
10 GM Molner Mackenzie 2509 USA 6,5 39 50 2630
11 GM Boruchovsky Avital 2483 ISR 6,5 39 50 2620
12 GM Goganov Aleksey 2604 RUS 6,5 38,5 49 2625
13 GM Aleksandrov Aleksej 2595 BLR 6,5 36,5 47 2593
14 GM Werle Jan 2511 NED 6,5 36,5 47 2534
15 GM Danin Alexandre 2572 RUS 6,5 35,5 44,5 2541
16 IM Steinberg Nitzan 2420 ISR 6,5 34,5 44,5 2541
17 GM Baron Tal 2519 ISR 6,5 32 41,5 2449
18 GM Kovalenko Igor 2650 LAT 6 40 51 2613
19 GM Kveinys Aloyzas 2527 LTU 6 39,5 50,5 2599
20 GM Oparin Grigoriy 2546 RUS 6 39 49 2556
21 GM Yemelin Vasily 2573 RUS 6 38,5 49,5 2526
22 GM Neiksans Arturs 2572 LAT 6 38 49,5 2541
23 Sarana Alexey 2341 RUS 6 38 47,5 2555
24 GM Antipov Mikhail Al. 2508 RUS 6 36,5 46 2506
25 IM Swayams Mishra 2479 IND 6 36 47 2514
26 IM Krivonosov Oleg 2442 LAT 6 36 47 2454
27 FM Ben Artzi Ido 2395 ISR 6 36 44,5 2506
28 IM Vavulin Maksim 2425 RUS 6 35,5 46,5 2421
29 IM Ris Robert 2408 NED 6 35,5 46 2526
30 GM Gavrilov Alexei 2505 RUS 6 35,5 44 2493

(Full final standings here)

Photos by Katrina Skinke and Matiss Silis courtesy of the Riga Technical University Open.


6215 reads 10 comments
2 votes

Comments


  • 4 months ago

    arjuniyer

    a.c. will win of course and win a gm norm

  • 4 months ago

    jbeest

    Rapport definitely seemed to be channeling M. Basman in the opening of his game vs Melkumyan !

  • 4 months ago

    yogiOK

    Good to see that Naroditsky also fared well.

  • 4 months ago

    Crazy_Assassin

    Pleasure is all mine @ Peter

  • 4 months ago

    Parku

    Congrats Aravindh. Hope to see you soon in the elite players group!!

  • 4 months ago

    PeterDoggers

    Thanks Nongsha_A!

    Aravindh's last round game deserved to be included so I did small update.

  • 4 months ago

    ChessMN16

    Congrats to Hrant, and what a wonderful performance by Rapport (whose originality is simply stunning), Naroditsky (one of the best writers in chess and probably outside of chess), and Aravindh (definitely a rising talent). 

  • 4 months ago

    Crazy_Assassin

    And with this tournament, India's Aravindh Chitambaram became its latest GM @15 years, he is just a half point less than the winner. I wrote a blog about him this morning for chess.com members, he beat yesteryear world number 4.

  • 4 months ago

    imsplori

    Nice & original games by Rapport..

  • 4 months ago

    TRANKD

    3000 EUR prize for such a big tournament? This is a bit lame. Why the hell was Kirsan voted again?

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