Nutcracker Battle Of Generations Underway
The second round in action. Photo: Eteri Kublashvili/Russian Chess Federation.

Nutcracker Battle Of Generations Underway

5 | Chess Event Coverage

The annual Nutcracker tournament is underway in Moscow, Russia. The young GMs Andrey Esipenko (17), Alexey Sarana (20), Daniil Yuffa (23), and IM Semyon Lomasov (18) are fighting against the experienced GMs Boris Gelfand (51), Evgeniy Najer (42), Alexei Shirov (47), and Evgeny Tomashevsky (32).

December has been the traditional date for the annual Nutcracker tournament, named after the famous ballet on the music score of Pyotr Tchaikovsky, but a busy calendar forced the organizers to move the tournament to March. Two rounds have been played so far.

After two days of play, the "Kings," represented by the older generation, are leading with 9-7 against the "Princes." Tomashevsky ground down Yuffa in a long game on the first day, while the second day saw a tie between the teams.

Esipenko got involved in a sharp game with Gelfand; probably helped by preparation, he emerged victoriously. Shirov then leveled the score by winning against Lomasov, who was playing with fire in the opening against an opponent that knows how to deal with sharp opening play.

Round 1
Lomasov, Semen - Gelfand, Boris ½-½
Najer, Evgeniy - Sarana, Alexey ½-½
Shirov, Alexei - Esipenko, Andrey ½-½
Yuffa, Daniil - Tomashevsky, Evgeny 0-1

Round 2
Esipenko, Andrey - Gelfand, Boris 1-0
Najer, Evgeniy - Yuffa, Daniil ½-½
Sarana, Alexey - Tomashevsky, Evgeny ½-½
Shirov, Alexei - Lomasov, Semen 1-0

Round 1-2 Games

Alexei Shirov Nutcracker 2020
Alexei Shirov. Photo: Eteri Kublashvili/Russian Chess Federation.

The tournament is played using a triple Scheveningen system. Each player plays three games against each player on the opposing team: one game in standard chess (March 4-7), where the points count double, and two games in rapid chess (March 8-9).

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