Bologan wins FiNet Open Chess960

0 | Chess Event Coverage
Although the previous article might have suggested otherwise, you haven't seen the last Chess960 yet. Yesterday and the day before many more top grandmasters played each other in the FiNex Open Chess960 and the eventual winner was Viktor Bologan, who in the last round beat Vassily Ivanchuk in a very positional game. Ivanchuk had been playing board one almost all day after Mamedyarov, the leader after five rounds, lost three times, one game against Kamsky in just eight moves! Later lots of spectacular videos will follow of this tournament, but first an interview with the winner, taken a couple of minutes after he beat Ivanchuk.

OK, Mr. Bologan, You've?¢‚Ǩ¬¶ just a few minutes ago?¢‚Ǩ¬¶ won the FiNex Open Chess960. Congratulations!

Thank you.

How did you do it?

Well, you know, there is no choice. In order to win such a strong tournament you have to beat many many good players, which I did, I succeeded, so?¢‚Ǩ¬¶ I mean there was only one way ahead because?¢‚Ǩ¬¶

So who did you beat?

Actually of my victims I have quite an interesting list. It's Mamedyarov, Volokitin, Ivanchuk, Grishchuk?¢‚Ǩ¬¶ many good players.

Yes, that's impressive, and Ivanchuk, the man in very good shape, you beat in the last round. What happened in that game?

Actually it was some strategical moment in that game. I was Black and somehow he got a little bit of space but he pushed the d-pawn and after my exchange I gave a bishop for a knight. I took initiative because I was left with the good pieces, Nf6 and Bg8 and he was left with the bad ones because he had to protect his pawn on d5 and also his queen was not playing on a1. So actually I was, at some stage you can say, I had an extra queen. My queen was playing, was attacking and his not.

Here White castled queenside.

Somehow this game was very strategical, very positional. Practically there was no tactics at all during the whole game.

I believe you have been successful before in this tournament, wasn't it 2002?

In 2002 I was almost succesful because I?¢‚Ǩ¬¶ it was just the same situation because I was sharing the first place with Peter Svidler before the last round, four of us, and the other couple made a draw and I was beter against Peter so I could have beaten him and won the tournament. But I lost that game so I congratulated him as the first winner of this FiNex Open. But five years later I succeeded!

Very good. And what is the secret of being good in Chess960?

Actually it's just a game of chess, there's nothing different from the normal chess. Only [the] game starts a bit earlier than in normal chess. Also it's important to have a knowledge of many typical positions. It's good to play different type of openings, type of middlegame positions, I mean in normal chess, and then it's easier to play in Fischer Chess, when you have more ideas.

But do you prefer it over normal chess or not?

No, I think, I like it very much, this Fischer Chess, but of course classical chess, we invested in this at least thirty years so of course classical chess is our main profession. But this I like very much. Actually it's a very good show here and I want to congratulate Hans-Walter Schmitt with a very good, professional organizing. The outcome I like, even watching other games, not my games for example from this match, just watching them and I got excited.

Yes, I think it's an excellent example of what a tournament should be for audience, and for media?¢‚Ǩ¬¶

Yes, I think here many organizers can learn from Hans-Walter how to organize it. OK, it's a pity that the prize level is not according to the strength of this tournament but we mostly take it like fun so it's no problem.

All right, thank you very much!

Thank you.

As many have observed, with Chess960 you have to concentrate from the very first move, because before you know it someting terrible can happen. Before you try it yourself, look at these two miniatures:

(Bacrot went on for a while but here it was already over of course.)

Final standings:

 1. GM Bologan,Victor           2650  9,5
 2. GM Kamsky,Gata              2717  9,0
 3. GM Ivantschuk,Vassili       2766  9,0
 4. GM Volokitin,Andrej         2698  9,0
 5. GM Navara,David             2656  9,0
 6. GM Grischuk,Alexander       2726  8,5
 7. GM Sasikiran,Krishnan       2674  8,5
 8. GM Gashimov,Vugar           2655  8,5
 9. GM Sargissian,Gabriel       2667  8,5
10. GM Bacrot,Etienne           2703  8,0
11. GM Almasi,Zoltan            2682  8,0
12. GM Karjakin,Sergey          2678  8,0
13. GM Petrosian,Tigran L.      2613  8,0
14. GM Jussupow,Artur           2583  8,0
15. GM Akopian,Vladimir         2708  8,0
16. GM Moiseenko,Alexander      2641  8,0
17. GM Tregubov,Pavel           2599  8,0
18. GM Burmakin,Vladimir        2592  8,0
19. GM Ruck,Robert              2563  8,0
20. GM Pentala,Harikrishna      2664  7,5
21. GM Shirov,Alexey            2735  7,5
22. GM D?ɬ?ttling,Fabian          2537  7,5
23. GM Iljin,Artem              2569  7,5
24. GM Drozdovskyy,Yuriy        2572  7,5
25. GM Meier,Georg              2552  7,5
26. GM Gyimesi,Zoltan           2607  7,5
27. GM Mchedlishvili,Mikhail    2624  7,5
28. GM Landa,Konstantin         2669  7,5
29. GM Vaganjan,Rafael Agred    2596  7,5
30. GM Bischoff,Klaus           2535  7,5
31. ... (279 players total)

Full final standings here.
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