Alberto David wins 18th Kavala Open

RobertRis
IM RobertRis
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0 | Chess Event Coverage
Kavala castleAfter a 10-day break from competitive chess, I rejoined the group of chess lovers who are playing as many as possible Greek Opens. The real addicts continued their tour in Paleohora (ultimate south of Crete) before travelling to far in the north located Kavala, where from 1-8 August its 18th Open was being held.

By Robert Ris

With a number of 83 titleholders, of whom 36 GM and 20 IM, the organisation succeeded to improve its strength from the previous editions. Apart from the increase of the playing level, also the number of participants grew significantly. With a new record of 364 participants, the playing venue had to be extended with as consequence that some children (C-group) had to play their game in the analysis room, which was the stage of the local theatre. Fortunately, this didn’t lead to any serious problems, as due to their speed of play, the youngest generation had already finished playing before people came to do the post-mortem.

The main hall was occupied by players from the A and B sections, while the highest 20 boards were situated in a special room in order to broadcast the games live. Apart from the broadcasting live, the results, pairings, photos and daily reports were every day perfectly covered by the organisational team on the official site.

Following the coastline to the north, a 170 km car drive from Thessaloniki brings you to the little town of Kavala. The city is mainly characterized by its boulevard, where you can find a lot of bars and restaurants, while on sea the fishermen are probably preparing your meal. At the end of the boulevard, an old castle is resided up a hill, and after a tough walk, one get rewarded with a fantastic view over the city.




A limited number of beaches can be found as well, though a bit stony and rocky, so if you prefer the more sandy I can definitely can recommend a 20-minutes drive to e.g. Nea Iraklitsa or Amolofi. A too relaxed holiday-feeling almost did me completely forget that I was playing the tournament and so I had come to the venue straight from the beach in my swimming suit!

Kavala oldtown

View of the old town of Kavala | Photo by Marsyas



As already said, the tournament had an extremely strong line-up. In such Opens it’s hard to predict the winner from beforehand, which was approved this time again. After the first round, the elo-favorites started already dropping points and so after 5 rounds only GM Alberto David had a perfect score, followed by a huge group of successors. The only Luxemburgish GM made a very solid impression throughout the whole tournament and remained undefeated till the very end. Though in the last round, as a loss would have given a clear first spot for Indian GM Abhijeet Gupta, David must have felt some tension as straight out of the opening, he was forced to play an unpleasant ending for hours. A man in form has the luck and skills on his side, and so managed to hold convincingly.

As GM Nevednichy and GM Sandipan didn’t take much risks either, GMs Volkov, Melkumyan and Mamedov (resp. beating GM Arun Prasas and Greek GM Banikas, who became Open Greek Champion, and GM Andriasian) completed the field of 7 players finishing shared first.

As usual the money had to be divided equally, but according to tiebreak rules the medals were given to Alberto David (1), Abhijeet Gupta (2) and Chanda Sandipan (3).

At the closing ceremony also special women, veteran and children prizes were awarded and when all official formalities had ended, the players and organizers enjoyed a nice little buffet with some drinks. A good tradition, which should definitely be repeated!

Kavala Open 2009 | Final Standings (top 43)
Kavala 2009


Games for replay



Game viewer by ChessTempo


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A view of the castle of Kavala from the sea



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The big playing hall of the 18th Kavala Open



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The stage of the local theatre where the C-group played



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David-Pavlidis, a game from the tournament winner played the second round



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A strong Greek playing on home ground: GM Stelios Halkias



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Harika Dronavalli, the well-known Indian female top player...



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...and her compatriot Humpy Koneru, the most famous female top player!



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Top seed in Kavala: Borki Predojevic



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Veteran GM Branco Damljanovic



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The tournament winner: Luxemburgish GM David Alberto



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Yours truly



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