XXIII International Chess Festival ''Liepajas rokade-2016''

GM Malev212
Aug 22, 2016, 1:15 AM |

XXIII International Chess Festival ''Liepajas rokade-2016''


The traditional chess festival in Latvia took place in the first weekend of august this year in Liepaja . The Open, the blitz, the supertournament, the tennis tournament were all called out. Because of the weather conditions the tennis tournament was cancelled. Not like in Biel Chess Festival where it was also cancelled, but due to no interest. In Liepaja yours truly was really disappointed because recently I had some preparation especially for the tennis tournament.

The Open which was qualification to the super has impressive field. The reason was the RTU Open which started right after Liepaja. I just had participated few days back in Paikuse rapid tournament where I got 6,5 points out 8 finishing second after Neiksans and I had some hopes to qualify in Liepaja.

In the start the rating favorite Fedoseev  from Russia showed no mercy. After first day he had 5 points out five. I had four points. Next day we had whopping 8 games to play. The time control was 15 minutes plus 5 second increment and the rounds were scheduled one in every hour. This violates FIDE handbook rules where maximum hours allowed playing chess nonstop is if I am not mistaken seven hours. Endurance is a must to be successful in these competitions. Next day I started well and I had 6,5 points after 8 rounds, but then I met Fedoseev. 


I did recover, but in the final rounds I first lost to Neiksans and then to Lintchevski. Against Neiksans my opening choise was not good and he played a good game. Against the future winner of the supertournament in the last round I missed a simple win and then went astray and lost in few moves.

The supertournament was too much for Fedoseev after his winning streak in the Open. Still some other players could manage the tiredness of the Open notably Linchevski and Neiksans who did not lose a single game. Khalifman as usual did not lose also a single game, but he did not win one either.

Before the supertournament and the team competition there was a blitz tournament. I got somewhere little bit angry. How many winning games you can lose? Still I lost very promising position against Neiksans, yes again. Then I won all my final round games and won the tournament. I could not feel anything back then.

Probably I won too many blitz tournaments during my career, but it is nice to add this one. Liepaja Blitz tournamenthad a little bit different time control then usual, four minutes and two second increment instead of three minutes. I tried to play solid positional chess and this was part of my success. Typical game was against Meskovs. 


The team competition was for real chess aficionados and who could not play the other tournaments in various reasons. In my team I had teammates among others European Chess Union president Zurab Azmaiparashvili and former Iceland number one Margeir Petursson not to mention Latvian finance minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola. Our team Baltika finished second in tiebreaks.

The festival was great accomplishment of the man behind it Aris Ozolins and we hope to see Liepaja again next year.



Jaan Ehlvest