Kryvoruchko Ukrainian Champion 2013
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Yuriy Kryvoruchko won the Ukrainian Championship on Wednesday with a score of 7.5/11. Former FIDE World Champion Ruslan Ponomariov had the same score, but a slightly worse tiebreak. Anton Korobov, who won the championship last year, finished half a point behind the two.
The 82nd Ukrainian Championship was held June 14th-26th in the nation's capital and largest city, Kiev. The tournament was a very strong, 12-player round robin with Ruslan Ponomariov (2743), Anton Korobov (2715), Alexander Moiseenko (2711), Alexander Areschenko (2708), Pavel Eljanov (2707), Andrei Volokitin (2687), Yuriy Kryvoruchko (2659), Zahar Efimenko (2651), Martyn Kravtsiv (2626), Stanislav Bogdanovich (2567), Andrey Baryshpolets (2547) and Valeriy Neverov (2515).
A national championship with five 2700 players, that's not bad, is it? And Vassily Ivanchuk wasn't even playing! This meant that Ruslan Ponomariov, who beat Ivanchuk in 2002 to win the FIDE World Championship, was the favourite in Kiev. In 2011 he had won convincingly but in 2012 it was Anton Korobov who took the title.
Ponomariov, who used to live in Kiev but has moved to Spain after getting married, started with three straight wins, against Bogdanovich, Eljanov and Neverov. However, from that point he drew his next seven (!) games, only to finish the tournament with a last win. This was an extremely solid result, of course, and half a point more than Ponomariov's expected score.
But there was one player who did just slightly better: Yuriy Kryvoruchko. He also finished on 7,5 points, but, as it turned out, he had a slightly better SB, which means he did better against the players who finished high in the tournament. For example, here's Kryvoruchko's win against Alexander Areshchenko, who finished fifth (and drew with Ponomariov):
In the following game Kryvoruchko was a bit lucky. In a slightly worse position, his opponent made a big blunder. Can you see how he profited?
Ponomariov won a nice game against Eljanov in the second round:
And so Kryvoruchko won his first Ukrainian title. For the 26-year-old grandmaster, who was born in Lviv, this was clearly his career's best performance. As a youth player he scored a few modest successes, such as a third place at the 2004 European Youth Championship and a third place at the 2006 World Junior Championship. In 2008 he tied for first at the Cappelle-la-Grande Open, and in 2009 he did the same at the Reykjavik Open. In 2010 he had a good summer in Greece, where he finished shared first at the Rethymno Open and the Palaiochora Open.
Ukrainian Championship 2013 | Final standings