Cheparinov leads in Zafra

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0 | Chess Event Coverage
CheparinovIn another relatively new event, Ivan Cheparinov leads the Magistral Ruy Lopez with a score of 2.5 out of 3. The tournament takes place in Zafra, Spain - the place where Ruy Lopez was born.

This year for the third time the Festival Internacional de Ajedrez Ruy Lopez is held in Zafra, Spain, where the priest was born in 1540. The main attraction is the Magistral, an 8-player round robin that takes place June 13-19.

Like in previous years, after the event there will be an international rapid tournament on June 20 and 21 with the obligatory moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5. The rate of play for this side event is 25 minutes. The prize fund of € 11,000 (first prize € 3,000) will surely attract a number of well-known players again.

Like in the previous two editions, the field of participants in the Magistral is quite an interesting mixture: GMs Michael Adams, Ivan Cheparinov, Fabiano Caruana, Humpy Koneru, Julio Granda Zuniga, Pia Cramling, and IMs Manuel Perez Candelario and David Lari?±o Nieto.

Perez Candelario and Granda Zuniga played in both previous events while Caruana, Koneru and Adams came back to Zafra after their debut last year.

The first round immediately started with a big upset as last year's winner Adams lost to the talented Spanish International Master David Lari?±o Nieto. In great attacking style the Spaniard brought down the normally so solid Englishman. Cheparinov beat Caruana with White in a nice Gr?ºnfeld using both sides of the board and then surprising his opponent with a queen sac.

The next day Adams recovered well by grinding down Caruana - the Italian's second loss. Lari?±o couldn't keep the same level and was slowly outplayed by Cramling. Koneru beat Perez Candelario, who is the second of Alexei Shirov, but instead of working for the boss in Romania, he's playing himself now. Granda Zuniga-Cheparinov was a theoretically relevant draw in a Botvinnik Slav.

These two good rounds were followed by the bloodiest so far: the third, in which all games were decisive. Adams won a pawn in the opening and never let go against Cramling - look at that accuracy! Perez proved the strongest IM against Lari?±o while Caruana scored his first win, against Granda. But after three rounds it's Cheparinov who leads, as he won against Koneru.

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Opening

Dancing at the opening ceremony



Zafra

Drawing of lots: Ivan Cheparinov picks no. 4



Zafra

Michael Adams recovered from a bad start...



Zafra

...which involved a great attack by David Lari?±o Nieto



Zafra

Manuel Perez Candelario: playing this time!



Zafra

Julio Granda Zuniga, the experienced GM from Peru



Zafra

Pia Cramling, Sweden's no. 1 and the world's no. 8



Zafra

Fabiano Caruana, Italy's no. 1, with no draws yet



Zafra

Humpy Konery, the world's no 2, in Zafra at 50%



Zafra

Cheparinov currently tops the standings



Zafra

Don't miss that Lari?±o-Adams game!



Zafra

You can't imagina a top event in Spain without Leontxo Garcia, here doing commentary



We thank the organizers for providing excellent photos by Jorge Amestar Marroquin

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