Double Swiss Success for Wojtaszek
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He was victorious at the Zurich Christmas Open, and he also won the very next open tournament in Basel, Switzerland: Radek Wojtaszek. The Polish grandmaster scored an even more impressive 6.5/7 and moved up 15 places in the live ratings list.
It was a conventient duo of tournaments for many players: a Christmas open just before the end of the year in Zurich, and then a very similar one 85 km northwest, in Basel, at the start of the new year. The Schachfestival Basel was held 1-5 January at the Hilton Hotel in Basel with one game on New Year's Day, two on Thursday the 2nd, one on Friday the 3rd, two on Saturday the 4th and a last round on Sunday morning the 5th.
Just like in Zurich, the tournament in Basel as a 7-round Swiss. The rate of play was 100 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with a 30-second increment from the first start.
Already in the third round the eventual winner faced a grandmaster: S.P. Sethuraman of India. A positional pawn sacrifice on e4 worked out well.
In the same round Sethuraman's friend Deep Sengupta won a tough fight against Maxim Rodshtein of Israel.
Just like in Zurich, Wojtaszek managed to win his last-round game:
And so Wojtaszek scored a half point more than in Zurich and won the first prize of CHF 2500 (€2025 / $2760). Together with his other prize, making €6075 in a long week is not bad at all! He'll also be happy with his 22.5 point gain in the live list as he's now one place shy of the world's top 20.
On tiebreak Ivan Popov of Russia came second and Robin van Kampen third. The Dutch GM won a model game in round 4: trading the dark-squared bishop, reaching a better ending and then a nice positional piece sac.
Basel Chess Festival 2014 | Master's Group | Final standings (Top 30)
|3||Van Kampen, Robin||GM||NED||2601||5||1||1||5.5||24.5||33.5|
|7||Sethuraman, S P||GM||IND||2553||5||1||1||5.5||22.0||30.5|
|14||El Debs, Felipe de||GM||BRA||2520||4||1||2||5.0||21.0||28.0|
|19||Ben Artzi, Ido||ISR||2341||5||2||0||5.0||18.0||27.0|
(Full final standings here)
Czech chess legend Vlastimil Hort finished on a respectable 5.0/7. The official website notes that he was the player who made the most moves of all. “Often the playing hall was almost empty, but Vlasti was still there...”
In the Amateur Group, 10-year-old Daniel Kopylov of Germany started with 6.0/6 and then lost in the final round, but he won the tournament anyway. A remarkable result indeed.