Chebanenko Memorial 2020

Chebanenko Memorial 2020

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10 top chess players will gather on Chess.com for two days to honor the memory of Viacheslav Chebanenko, the Patriarch of Moldovan chess.

The actors of the show

The 2020 edition of the Chebanenko Memorial, organized by Moldovan Chess Federation will take place over two days, May 23 and 24 in the form of a fast chess tournament (15 minutes + 10 seconds / move).

The games will be broadcast LIVE on the TWITCH channel of the Hannibal Chess Academy

The starting list is composed of: Ilia Smirin (2612), Viorel Iordăchescu (2589), Sergei Volkov (2570), Vladislav Nevednicy (2531), Alexei Fedorov (2529), Dmitry Svetushkin (2515), Ivan Schitco (2467), Andrei Macovei (2453), Viktor Komliakov (2372) and Dragoș Cereș (2244).

The arbiter of the tournament is IA Nuno Andrade.

Who was Chebanenko?

Immediately after the end of the Second World War, the young Chebanenko arrives with his family on the banks of the Prut, following his father, who was to hold an important position in the Chisinau administration.

V. Chebanenko in the middle on the bottom row among friends

He had a short career as a player, after which he discovered his vocation as a chess mentor and coach, working at the Chess Club in Chisinau.

His work has influenced generations of chess players and created a system that has produced quality athletes, with sensational results in the world's major chess tournaments.

Victor Bologan, Viorel Iordăchescu, Dorian Rogozenko, Victor Gavrikov, Irina Ionescu-Brandis, Angela Dragomirescu are just some of the top athletes in world chess who have flown in the analytical laboratory in Chebanenko's living room.

A partial opponent of the System proposed by Nimzowitsch, he supported his ideas through theoretical articles that were finally appreciated in Moscow, the capital of world chess during Chebanenko's period of activity.

Rara avis. V. Chebanenko not working.

Victor Bologan, currently a FIDE official and member of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, and Viorel Iordăchescu, GM and chess trainer in the Emirates, remember the days when, after school, they took the tram for almost 45 minutes to reaches the Patriarch's residence. Here they lunched with their mentor. Quickly heated canned meats were part of the daily menu because Chebanenko lived alone, and he had to take care of domestic activities only by himself.

Viorel Iordăchescu started working with the renowned trainer from 1992 and until 1997, the year of his death, he practically "slept over Chebanenko's house". Every day at 9 o'clock in the morning he would go to the trainer and work until late in the evening, sometimes alone, sometimes under the guidance of his mentor. The professional meeting with Chebanenko opened new horizons for Viorel. For example, although he was already a very strong junior, an international master, he did not know basic strategic knowledge, such as the quality of the bishops, the good bishop versus the bad bishop.

V. Chebanenko in front of the chessboard

His work  in the first phase of chess fighting, the opening, has led to the development of systems that are used in modern chess. The early exchange of the light squares white bishop in Sicilian with Bb5, or the use of the a6 move in the Slav Defense shocked at their appearance in chess tournaments, but proved their validity over time.

Though the great Garry Kasparov initially disliked the exchange of white's light-squared bishop on c6 in the Sicilian, he eventually came to use this idea in his games, defeating, among others, even Judith Polgar.

Mikhail Oratovsky, one of Chebanenko's students, training at Kasparov's Academy, was apostrophized by the great champion when the young man exchanged c6 in Sicilian Defence. Years later, in 2003, Victor Bologan, in the training camp of the one who defeated Anatoly Karpov, learned that Kasparov had evolved in his understanding of the system and appreciated that white has a stable advantage.

This episode represents the global recognition of one of the most original thinkers in the chess world.

Viacheslav Chebanenko has earned his place among the greatest chess trainers of all time through his work for the development of the openings theory and for his influence in Moldovan chess, where he contributed to the birth of a world-renowned School!

You can follow the games and commentary on this treasured annual competition on the TWITCH channel of the Hannibal Chess Academy.  Thank you to the Patriarch for your amazing life!