Cheparinov wins Ruy Lopez tournament

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CheparinovBy drawing with last year's winner Michael Adams in the last round, Ivan Cheparinov Friday won the 3rd Ruy Lopez tournament in Zafra. The Bulgarian finished on 5/7, half a point ahead of the Englishman.

Photo: Jorge Amestar Marroquin

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 took place June 13-19.

This year GMs Michael Adams, Ivan Cheparinov, Fabiano Caruana, Humpy Koneru, Julio Granda Zuniga, Pia Cramling, and IMs Manuel Perez Candelario and David Lari?±o Nieto played. Perez Candelario and Granda Zuniga played in all three events while Caruana, Koneru and Adams came back to Zafra after their debut last year.




We might as well call it the week of the players-formerly-known-as-seconds, as after Alexander Motylev won in Poikovsky now Ivan Cheparinov came first in Zafra.

As we reported before, the Bulgarian, who still works for Veselin Topalov (often together with Dutch GM Erwin l'Ami), took the lead in round 3. As it turned out, he never let go until the very end.

The Bulgarian showed very good chess and a strong will to win. Even on Friday the visitors in the Hotel Huerta Honda in Zafra were not disappointed by Cheparinov for whom a draw was enough to stay ahead of runner-up Adams: he tried to beat the Englishman, and almost succeeded.

After the game Cheparinov said: "I always play to win, trying to find the best moves." With the draw Adams finished second, shared with the young Spanish Champion David Lari?±o who lost to India's top female grandmaster Koneru today - a great game in which both players went for the opponent's king.

Fabiano Caruana had a good finish of his tournament, sacrificing two pawns in his game against Perez Candelario for a strong attack on the black king which proved decisive.

The last game to finish was the encounter between Julio Granda and Pia Cramling. The Peruvian GM defeated his Swedish opponent in classical style, making use of the bishop pair nicely.

This third edition of the Ruy Lopez tournament was a relatively short, but very exciting event, in which only 9 out of 28 games ended in a draw! If you hadn't seen them yet on the beautiful tournament website, you can replay them below. [TABLE=751]

Game viewer

Click on the pairings at the top of the board to reveal a drop down list of all the games. Click on the arrow under the board just once, then the arrow keys of your keyboard also work. Silverlight works on all browsers and platforms except for Linux, but this should be fixed soon. Contact us for questions, not in the comments section, please.





On Saturday and Sunday there will be an international rapid tournament 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) and 25 grandmasters from 17 countries will participate, including the players in the Magistral!

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