Aeroflot Open under way with Caruana in shared lead

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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Fabiano Caruana of Italy is in shared lead with seven more grandmasters at the Aeroflot Open in Moscow, Russia. The group scored 2.5 points out of 3 games. Caruana is now 7th in the live ratings.

The playing hall in Moscow | Photo © Russian Chess Federation

EventAeroflot Open | PGN via TWIC
DatesFebruary 7th-15th, 2012 with a blitz tournament on February 16th, 2012
LocationMoscow, Russia
System9-round Swiss, different groups
PlayersTop players in the A group include  Evgeny Tomashevsky, Fabiano Caruana, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Le Quang Liem, Francisco Vallejo, Baadur Jobava,Krishnan Sasikiran and Pavel Eljanov
Rate of play in group A100 minutes for 40 moves plus 50 minutes for 20 moves plus 15 minutes to finish the game, with an additional 30 second increment from move 1
Prize fundThe total prize fund is 122,500 euro (or 150,000 euro if the blitz tournament afterwards is included) with a first priz in the A group of 20,000 euro. 
TiebreaksFor tournaments A and B: the number of games played with Black. Byes and forfeited games will be considered as games played with White. Then the average of the opponents' ratings minus the highest and the lowest rating. For tournament C: the Buchholz score

The 11th edition of the Aeroflot Open, the annual tournament in Moscow sponsored by the Russian airline, is being held in a new venue this year: Hotel Kosmos. In the early years the famous Hotel Rossiya hosted the event, but this 3,200-room building was torn down in 2006. In 2007 the tournament moved from the city centre to the Izmailovo Complex in East-Moscow, which was built for the 1980 Olympics. Hotel Kosmos is located in the north of the city, and is advertised at the official website as follows:

The hotel is located in one of the most beautiful and environmentally pure Moscow districts within 20-minutes travelling from Red Square and only 200-m walking from the nearest subway station.

However, according to Mikhail Golubev in Chess Today #4109, participants have complained about cold rooms, while journalists are looking in vain for a press room.

As always, the top group has the high rating threshold of 2550. The first prize is impressive as always: 20,000 euro. The B group is for players between 2300 and 2549 (first prize 10,000 euro) and there's also a C group for players below 2300 (first prize 3,500 euro).

In this first report we'll focus on the A group, where the top players are Evgeny Tomashevsky, Fabiano Caruana, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Le Quang Liem, Francisco Vallejo, Baadur Jobava,Krishnan Sasikiran and Pavel Eljanov. Unfortunately Ernesto Inarkiev, who played in the Moscow Open like many others, had to withdraw at the last minute.

As far as we know, the A tournament still functions as a qualifier for the Sparkassen Chess Meeting in July in Dortmund, Germany. In the last two editions, Le Quang Liem managed to claim this spot. The Vietnamese GM plays again, and started with a win followed by two draws.

Most chess fans will be watching Fabiano Caruana, who has made such steady progress in recent years. On the January FIDE rating list the Italian occupies the 17th spot at 2736, but after Reggio Emilia, Wijk aan Zee and now a 2.5/3 start at the Aeroflot Open, he jumped to 7th (!) place, gaining 32.3 rating points. Here's his third-round win:

[Event "11th Aeroflot Open A"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.02.09"]
[Round "3.5"]
[White "Caruana, Fabiano"]
[Black "Iturrizaga, Eduardo"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2736"]
[BlackElo "2649"]
[PlyCount "119"]
[EventDate "2012.02.07"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 c5 6. Be3 cxd4 7. Nxd4 Ne7 8. Nd2
Nbc6 9. N2f3 Bg4 10. O-O Bxf3 11. Nxf3 Qc7 12. Rc1 Rd8 13. c4 d4 14. Bf4 h6 15.
h3 g5 16. Bh2 Bg7 17. Bd3 Ng6 18. Qe2 Ngxe5 19. Kh1 f6 20. Nxe5 Nxe5 21. Rce1
Qe7 22. Bxe5 fxe5 23. Bg6+ Kd7 24. Rc1 Rc8 25. Rfd1 Rc7 26. Rd3 Rf8 27. Be4 b5
28. Rb3 Rb8 29. Rc2 b4 30. a3 Qc5 31. Qh5 Kd6 32. Qg6 a5 33. axb4 Rxb4 34. Rxb4
axb4 35. b3 Ra7 36. Rd2 Qc7 37. c5+ Qxc5 38. Rc2 Qb5 39. Rc6+ Qxc6 40. Bxc6
Kxc6 41. Qxe6+ Kb5 42. Qc4+ Kb6 43. Qxb4+ Kc6 44. Qc4+ Kd6 45. Qd3 Re7 46. f3
e4 47. fxe4 Rc7 48. Kg1 Rc3 49. Qa6+ Ke5 50. Qg6 Rc7 51. Qf5+ Kd6 52. Qd5+ Ke7
53. e5 Rd7 54. Qc5+ Kf7 55. Qc4+ Kf8 56. e6 Re7 57. Qc8+ Re8 58. Qd7 Re7 59.
Qd8+ Re8 60. Qd6+ 1-0

We'll give a few more nice games for replay. In the first round, Baadur Jobava showed that when White controls the centre, he doesn't need to castle against the Grünfeld, but a brutal attack instead will do:

[Event "11th Aeroflot Open A"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.02.07"]
[Round "1.6"]
[White "Jobava, Baadur"]
[Black "Robson, Ray"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E60"]
[WhiteElo "2704"]
[BlackElo "2596"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2012.02.07"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 Nc6 4. Nc3 d5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. e4 Nxc3 7. bxc3 Bg7 8.
Bd3 O-O 9. Ne2 b6 10. h4 Na5 11. h5 c5 12. hxg6 hxg6 13. e5 cxd4 14. cxd4 Nc6
15. Be4 Qd7 16. Kf2 Ba6 17. Qa4 Bb7 18. Bh6 Rad8 19. Qa3 Nxd4 20. Bxg7 Kxg7 21.
Qe3 f5 22. Qh6+ Kf7 23. Qh7+ Ke6 24. Qxg6+ Kxe5 25. Rad1 Rg8 26. f4+ Kxe4 27.
Nc3+ Kxf4 28. Rh4+ Ke5 29. Re1+ 1-0

Dmitry Andreikin crushed Alexander Ipatov, a young Bulgarian GM who recently switched federations from Spain to Turkey.

[Event "11th Aeroflot Open A"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.02.07"]
[Round "1.10"]
[White "Andreikin, Dmitry"]
[Black "Ipatov, Alexander"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B10"]
[WhiteElo "2688"]
[BlackElo "2586"]
[PlyCount "77"]
[EventDate "2012.02.07"]

1. c4 c6 2. e4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. cxd5 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nxd5 6. Nf3 Nxc3 7. bxc3 g6
8. Bc4 Bg7 9. O-O O-O 10. Re1 Qc7 11. Bb3 Nc6 12. Ba3 Bf6 13. d4 Na5 14. Qd2
Re8 15. Ne5 Nxb3 16. axb3 b6 17. c4 Bb7 18. Ng4 Bg7 19. Nh6+ Kf8 20. Rad1 Qd7
21. d5 b5 22. Qf4 Bxh6 23. Qxh6+ Kg8 24. Bb2 f6 25. Re6 bxc4 26. bxc4 Rf8 27.
Rde1 Rf7 28. h3 Rc8 29. Ba3 Qa4 30. Bxe7 Qxc4 31. Bxf6 Rcf8 32. Re7 Qc8 33. Bd4
Rxe7 34. Rxe7 Rf7 35. Rxf7 Kxf7 36. Qxh7+ Ke8 37. Qxg6+ Ke7 38. Qf6+ Ke8 39.
Qh8+ 1-0

Baskaran Adhiban played in, Tata Steel 'C', and will face stronger opponents this time. He started with a spectacular win:

[Event "11th Aeroflot Open A"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.02.07"]
[Round "1.21"]
[White "Adhiban, Baskaran"]
[Black "Ragger, Markus"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D45"]
[WhiteElo "2561"]
[BlackElo "2655"]
[PlyCount "87"]
[EventDate "2012.02.07"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. e3 e6 5. Nf3 Nbd7 6. Qc2 Bd6 7. g4 h6 8. h3 a6
9. c5 Be7 10. Bd2 b6 11. cxb6 c5 12. Na4 Ne4 13. Ba5 Bb7 14. b4 cxd4 15. exd4
Rc8 16. Nc5 Ndxc5 17. bxc5 Bxc5 18. dxc5 Qf6 19. Qd1 d4 20. Qa4+ Ke7 21. Bg2
Ng5 22. Nh4 Bxg2 23. Nxg2 Qf3 24. Rh2 Qe4+ 25. Kf1 Nf3 26. Ne1 Nxh2+ 27. Kg1
Nf3+ 28. Nxf3 Qxf3 29. Qxd4 Rhd8 30. b7 Rxd4 31. bxc8=Q Qxh3 32. Qb7+ Kf6 33.
Bc7 Qxg4+ 34. Qg2 Qf5 35. c6 e5 36. Re1 e4 37. Bg3 Rc4 38. c7 h5 39. Qf1 Qc5
40. Qh3 Rc3 41. Kh2 Rc2 42. Rxe4 g5 43. Re5 Rxf2+ 44. Kg1 1-0

And here's a nice finish of Ivan Sokolov's first round win:

[Event "11th Aeroflot Open A"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.02.07"]
[Round "1.28"]
[White "Sokolov, Ivan"]
[Black "Pap, Gyula"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D31"]
[WhiteElo "2641"]
[BlackElo "2533"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "r1bqr1k1/1p4np/p1pb1ppB/3pN3/3PPP2/2PB4/P5PP/1Q1R1RK1 w - - 0 19"]
[PlyCount "11"]
[EventDate "2012.02.07"]

19. exd5 cxd5 20. Bxg6 hxg6 21. Qxg6 Bf8 22. f5 fxe5 23. f6 Re6 24. Bxg7 1-0

Here's another example of one of those brutal h2--h4-h5 attacks, this time performed by Russian GM Denis Khismatullin in the second round.

[Event "11th Aeroflot Open A"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.02.08"]
[Round "2.8"]
[White "Khismatullin, Denis"]
[Black "Zhou, Jianchao"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E60"]
[WhiteElo "2664"]
[BlackElo "2619"]
[PlyCount "65"]
[EventDate "2012.02.07"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. f3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Ne2 O-O 6. Be3 c6 7. Na3 e5 8. d5 a6
9. Nc3 c5 10. Qd2 Nh5 11. O-O-O Nd7 12. Bd3 Nb6 13. g3 Bd7 14. Bh6 Bxh6 15.
Qxh6 Na4 16. Ne2 b5 17. g4 Ng7 18. b3 Nb6 19. h4 Qe7 20. Rdg1 bxc4 21. bxc4 Na4
22. Ng3 f6 23. g5 Qf7 24. Nf5 Ne8 25. gxf6 Qxf6 26. h5 Bxf5 27. hxg6 Ra7 28.
exf5 Kh8 29. Be4 Rg7 30. Nc2 Qd8 31. Qxh7+ Rxh7 32. Rxh7+ Kg8 33. g7 1-0

A small puzzle to finish with, from the game Aleksandrov-Gundavaa, round 3.

[Event "11th Aeroflot Open A"]
[Site "Moscow RUS"]
[Date "2012.02.09"]
[Round "3.28"]
[White "Aleksandrov, Aleksej"]
[Black "Gundavaa, Bayarsaikhan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E56"]
[WhiteElo "2612"]
[BlackElo "2493"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "3r2k1/1p2qppp/p3n1r1/2bp1Q2/8/1P2PN2/PB3PPP/2R2RK1 b - - 0 22"]
[PlyCount "8"]
[EventDate "2012.02.07"]

22... d4 23. exd4 Bxd4 24. Nxd4 Nxd4 25. Bxd4 Rxd4 26. Qe5 1-0
" class="no_reverse

Can Black solve his isolated queen's pawn with 22...d4 here? Solution below the article.

Aeroflot Open 2012 | Group A | Round 3 standings

RankNameFlagsScoreFed.M/FRatingTPRW-We123
1GM Caruana, Fabiano 2.5ITAM27362910+0.591½1
2GM Alekseev, Evgeny 2.5RUSM26702886+0.7711½
3GM Balogh, Csaba 2.5HUNM26652847+0.62½11
4GM Khismatullin, Denis 2.5RUSM26642889+0.8011½
5GM Korobov, Anton 2.5UKRM26602873+0.741½1
6GM Zhigalko, Sergei 2.5BLRM26582879+0.7811½
7GM Gupta, Abhijeet 2.5INDM26522880+0.8211½
8GM Rodshtein, Maxim 2.5ISRM26342897+0.9611½
9GM Tomashevsky, Evgeny 2.0RUSM27402711-0.09½1½
10GM Le, Quang Liem 2.0VIEM27142761+0.181½½
11GM Vallejo Pons, Francisco 2.0ESPM27052746+0.16½1½
12GM Jobava, Baadur 2.0GEOM27042753+0.181½½
13GM Sasikiran, Krishnan 2.0INDM27002738+0.15½1½
14GM Eljanov, Pavel 2.0UKRM26902748+0.221½½
15GM Andreikin, Dmitry 2.0RUSM26882743+0.211½½
16GM Zvjaginsev, Vadim 2.0RUSM26882731+0.16½1½
17GM Akopian, Vladimir 2.0ARMM26852725+0.16101
18GM Kobalia, Mikhail 2.0RUSM26732718+0.18½1½
19GM Bu, Xiangzhi 2.0CHNM26702712+0.15½1½
20GM Bartel, Mateusz 2.0POLM26582766+0.431½½
21GM Ragger, Markus 2.0AUTM26552642-0.03011
22GM Iordachescu, Viorel 2.0MDAM26512792+0.571½½
23GM Nisipeanu, Liviu-Dieter 2.0ROUM26472772+0.501½½
24GM Negi, Parimarjan 2.0INDM26412723+0.33½1½
25GM Sokolov, Ivan 2.0NEDM26412767+0.511½½
26GM Safarli, Eltaj 2.0AZEM26382651+0.05½½1
27GM Socko, Bartosz 2.0POLM26362757+0.491½½
28GM Khalifman, Alexander 2.0RUSM26322697+0.26½1½
29GM Sandipan, Chanda 2.0INDM26282625-0.03½½1
30GM Sjugirov, Sanan 2.0RUSM26222689+0.27½1½
31GM Melkumyan, Hrant 2.0ARMM26202648+0.09011
32GM Gajewski, Grzegorz 2.0POLM26162717+0.421½½
33GM Aleksandrov, Aleksej 2.0BLRM26122781+0.68½½1
34GM Robson, Rayj2.0USAM25962691+0.38011
35GM Esen, Baris 2.0TURM25342763+0.93½½1
36GM Sethuraman, S.P. 2.0INDM25292761+0.94½½1
37GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian 1.5RUSM27352605-0.53½½½
38GM Iturrizaga, Eduardo 1.5VENM26492666+0.071½0
39GM Ni, Hua 1.5CHNM26412552-0.37½½½
40GM Khairullin, Ildar 1.5RUSM26382544-0.38½½½
41GM Yu, Yangyij1.5CHNM26312563-0.2810½
42GM Zhou, Jianchao 1.5CHNM26192548-0.2810½
43GM Salgado Lopez, Ivan 1.5ESPM26182596-0.081½0
44GM Solak, Dragan 1.5TURM26132523-0.35½10
45GM Bocharov, Dmitry 1.5RUSM26112608-0.020½1
46GM Popov, Ivan 1.5RUSM25992653+0.22½01
47GM Zherebukh, Yaroslav 1.5UKRM25942641+0.19½01
48GM Rakhmanov, Aleksandr 1.5RUSM25932654+0.2401½
49GM Zhigalko, Andrey 1.5BLRM25762620+0.18½01
50GM Jumabayev, Rinat 1.5KAZM25732561-0.050½1
51GM Ghaem Maghami, Ehsan 1.5IRIM25702650+0.33½½½
52GM Jankovic, Alojzije 1.5CROM25682511-0.220½1
53WGM Ju, Wenjunw1.5CHNF25522634+0.3401½
54IM Yilmaz, Mustafa 1.5TURM25212634+0.46½½½
55IM Venkatesh, M.R. 1.5INDM24992607+0.4401½
56IM Grigoryan, Karen H.j1.5ARMM24822599+0.4701½
57GM Mamedov, Rauf 1.0AZEM26362403-0.95½½0
58GM Guseinov, Gadir 1.0AZEM26342397-0.95½½0
59GM Ponkratov, Pavel 1.0RUSM26112516-0.37½0½
60GM Savchenko, Boris 1.0RUSM26092486-0.50001
61GM Ulibin, Mikhail 1.0RUSM25871937-0.77+00
62GM Ipatov, Alexander 1.0TURM25862454-0.530½½
63GM Morovic Fernandez, Ivan 1.0CHIM25822504-0.32½0½
64GM Bosiocic, Marin 1.0CROM25802494-0.35010
65GM Grigoriants, Sergey 1.0RUSM25702464-0.42½0½
66GM Shomoev, Anton 1.0RUSM25702445-0.50001
67GM Adhiban, B. 1.0INDM25612523-0.14100
68GM Fedoseev, Vladimirj1.0RUSM25252489-0.14½0½
69GM Bukavshin, Ivanj1.0RUSM25171873-0.7500+
70GM Harika, Dronavalliw1.0INDF25162492-0.08½0½
71IM Vidit, Santosh Gujrathij1.0INDM25132502-0.03½½0
72IM Gundavaa, Bayarsaikhan 1.0MGLM24932499+0.02½½0
73GM Cori, Jorgej1.0PERM24892538+0.18100
74IM Shyam, Sundar M. 1.0INDM24622460+0.000½½
75WGM Shen, Yangw1.0CHNF24471871-0.580+0
76GM Al-Modiahki, Mohamad 0.5QATM25672286-1.0400½
77GM Pridorozhni, Aleksei 0.5RUSM25552348-0.730½0
78GM Tukhaev, Adam 0.5UKRM25372329-0.7300½
79GM Alsina Leal, Daniel 0.5ESPM25352360-0.60½00
80GM Pap, Gyula 0.5HUNM25332340-0.670½0
81GM Lu, Shangleij0.5CHNM25162321-0.680½0
82GM Dubov, Daniilj0.5RUSM24982332-0.56½00
83WGM Paikidze, Naziw0.5GEOF24112339-0.23½00
84GM Inarkiev, Ernesto 0.0RUSM26890+0.00---
85GM Gopal G.N. 0.0INDM25661894-1.23000
86GM Szabo, Krisztian 0.0HUNM25471870-1.26000

Solution to the puzzle: No, Black missed a back rank tactic: 22... d4? 23. exd4 Bxd4 24. Nxd4 Nxd4 25. Bxd4 Rxd4 26. Qe5! 1-0

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