European Championship: 10 players in the lead, 7 defaulted

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage

Going into the first (and only) rest day, a group of 10 grandmasters is sharing first place at the European Championship in Plovdiv: Sergei Azarov, Laurent Fressinet, Ernesto Inarkiev, Gawain Jones, Denis Khismatullin, Anton Korobov, Yuriy Kuzubov, Maxim Matlakov, Arkadij Naiditsch and Maxime Vachier-Lagrave. 7 players lost by default in round 6 after arriving too late at their boards.

The playing hall in Plovdiv | Photo © Svoboda Chankova, courtesy of the official website, more here

EventEuropean Championship | Details at Chess-Results | PGN via TWIC
DatesMarch 20th-31st, 2012
LocationPlovdiv, Bulgaria
System11-round Swiss
Players

The are fifteen 2700 players: Fabiano Caruana, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Dmitry Jakovenko, Anish Giri, Alexander Riazantsev, Nikita Vitiugov, Etienne Bacrot, Baadur Jobava, Boris Grachev, Vladimir Malakhov, Viktor Laznicka, Sergei Movsesian, Arkadij Naiditsch, David Navara and Emil Sutovsky

Rate of play90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 1
Prize fund€ 100,000 in total, with a € 14,000 first prize 

In this third report on the European Individual we'll see what happened in past the weekend in Plovdiv - our starting point is the end of round four, when Gawain Jones was leading by half a point.

Round 5

The English grandmaster is one of the few players who went to Plovdiv right after playing the Reykjavik Open. An 1.e4 player, Jones usually avoids the real main lines against the Sicilian, like so many of his compatriots, and against Nikita Vitiugov he decided to go for the Alapin. With surprisingly simple developing moves, the Russian GM equalized easily:

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.24"]
[Round "5.1"]
[White "Jones, Gawain C B"]
[Black "Vitiugov, Nikita"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B40"]
[WhiteElo "2635"]
[BlackElo "2709"]
[PlyCount "56"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]
[EventType "swiss"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. c3 Nf6 4. e5 Nd5 5. d4 cxd4 6. cxd4 d6 7. Bc4 Be7 8. O-O
O-O 9. Qe2 b6 10. Nbd2 Bb7 11. Ne4 dxe5 12. dxe5 Nd7 13. Bd2 Rc8 14. Rac1 Nc5
15. Nfg5 h6 16. Nxc5 Bxc5 17. Ne4 Qh4 18. Bxd5 Bxd5 19. Nxc5 Rxc5 20. Rxc5 bxc5
21. Qe3 Bxa2 22. Qxc5 Bd5 23. Bc3 a6 24. f3 Ra8 25. Ra1 Qg5 26. Kf2 Qh4+ 27.
Kg1 Qg5 28. Kf2 Qh4+ 1/2-1/2

On board 2 Luka Lenic held Arkadij Naiditsch to a draw, but Laurent Fressinet did manage to catch Jones in the lead, thanks to a fine win over Artyom Timofeev.

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.24"]
[Round "5.3"]
[White "Fressinet, Laurent"]
[Black "Timofeev, Artyom"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E60"]
[WhiteElo "2693"]
[BlackElo "2650"]
[PlyCount "63"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]
[EventType "swiss"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nf3 Bg7 4. g3 c6 5. Bg2 d5 6. b3 dxc4 7. bxc4 c5 8. Bb2 (
8. O-O Nc6 9. d5 Nd7 10. dxc6 bxc6 11. Nc3 Bxc3 12. Rb1 O-O 13. Bh6 Bg7 {
Bu Xiangzhi (2714)-Ivanchuk,V (2786)/Nanjing 2008}) 8... cxd4 (8... Ne4 9. Nbd2
Nxd2 10. Qxd2 cxd4 11. Bxd4 Bxd4 12. Qxd4 Qa5+ 13. Nd2 O-O 14. O-O Nc6 15. Qb2
{Harikrishna,P (2657)-Kasimdzhanov,R (2685)/Guangzhou 2010}) (8... Qb6 9. Qb3
Ne4 10. e3 O-O 11. O-O Nc6 12. Ne5 Nd6 13. Nxc6 bxc6 14. dxc5 Qxc5 15. Bxg7
Kxg7 16. Nd2 Be6 17. Rfc1 Rab8 18. Qd3 Rfc8 {
Laznicka,V (2690)-Svidler,P (2731)/Khanty-Mansiysk 2010}) 9. Nxd4 Qb6 10. Qb3
Nfd7 11. O-O O-O 12. e3 Nc6 13. Nc3 Na5 14. Qc2 Nxc4 15. Nd5 Qxb2 16. Nxe7+ Kh8
17. Qxc4 Qb6 18. Rfc1 Bxd4 19. Qxd4+ Qxd4 20. exd4 Rd8 21. Rc7 Kg7 22. a4 a5
23. Rb1 Nf6 24. Bxb7 Bxb7 25. Rbxb7 Ne8 26. Rd7 Nd6 27. Rxd8 Rxd8 28. Rc7 Rb8
29. Nc6 Rb2 30. Nxa5 Ne4 31. Nc4 Rc2 32. Nd6 1-0

Yuriy Kuzubov also 'warmed up' in Reykjavik - he and defeated Viktor Bologan on Saturday in a bit of a strange ending:

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.24"]
[Round "5.5"]
[White "Kuzubov, Yuriy"]
[Black "Bologan, Viktor"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "A14"]
[WhiteElo "2615"]
[BlackElo "2687"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "8/5rpk/pp6/5N2/Pb4P1/3R1p2/1P3P2/5K2 w - - 0 38"]
[PlyCount "24"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]
[EventType "swiss"]

38... Kg6 $2 ({Right square, wrong piece.} 38... g6 $1 39. Nh4 Rf4 40. Nxf3
Rxg4 41. Ne5 Rh4 $11) 39. Nh4+ $1 {Winning a healthy pawn.} ({
Maybe Black had counted on} 39. Rxf3 Kg5 {but even then after} 40. Kg2 {
Black cannot take the pawn?}) 39... Kg5 40. Nxf3+ Kf4 (40... Kxg4 $2 41. Ne5+)
41. Kg2 Re7 42. Nd4 $2 {Returning the favour.} ({With} 42. Nh4 $1 {
White threatens 43.Rb4+ and so he keeps his extra pawn.}) 42... Bc5 $1 43. b4
$5 (43. f3 Re1 $1 $11) 43... Bxb4 44. Rf3+ Kg5 45. Rf5+ Kg6 $2 ({
Mutual chess blindness? There was nothing wrong with} 45... Kxg4 {e.g.} 46. f3+
Kh4 47. Rf4+ ({similar is} 47. Nc6 Re2+ 48. Kf1 Re1+ 49. Kf2 Bc3) 47... Kg5 48.
Rg4+ Kf6 49. Nc6 Re2+ 50. Kf1 Re1+ 51. Kf2 Bc3) 46. Nc6 Re4 $2 {
And this loses instantly.} (46... Rc7 47. Nxb4 Rc4 48. Nd5 Rxg4+ 49. Kf3 Rxa4 {
offered some drawing chances.}) 47. Kf3 $1 Re1 (47... Rc4 48. Ne5+) 48. Nxb4
Ra1 49. Nd5 Ra3+ 50. Kg2 1-0

Let's just continue with our theme of Reykavik Open participants, because there was an interesting moment in Ivan Sokolov's game:

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.24"]
[Round "5.10"]
[White "Sokolov, Ivan"]
[Black "Azaladze, Shota"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B06"]
[WhiteElo "2653"]
[BlackElo "2419"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "1r3rk1/1p4b1/pN1P3p/P2Pn2q/4b1p1/6B1/4BPP1/R2Q1RK1 w - - 0 25"]
[PlyCount "46"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]
[EventType "swiss"]

{White is a (strong) pawn up, but Black is threatening the killing sequence 25.
..Bxg2 26.Kxg2 Qh3+ and 27...Nf3+ so White has to do something about that.} 25.
Bxg4 $6 ({The strongest move was} 25. Ra3 $1 {
because then White can even continue with 26.f4 in some lines.}) 25... Nxg4 26.
Ra4 $1 {Thanks to this resource it's not completely over yet.} Qg6 27. Qe2 $1
Nf6 (27... Bf5 28. d7 Rbd8 29. Bc7) 28. Nd7 $1 Bxd5 $6 ({After} 28... Rbe8 29.
Nxf8 Bxf8 {White still needs to solve some problems.}) 29. Nxb8 Rxb8 30. Rd4 {
Now it's more or less OK for White.} Bc6 31. Re1 Rd8 32. Qc4+ Qf7 33. Qxf7+
Kxf7 34. Re7+ Kg6 35. Be5 Rd7 36. Rxd7 Bxd7 37. f3 h5 38. Kf1 Kf5 39. f4 Bf8
40. Ke1 Ng4 41. Rd5 Ne3 42. Rc5 Ke6 43. Rc7 Bxd6 44. Bxd6 Kxd6 45. Rxb7 Nxg2+
46. Kf2 Nxf4 47. Rb6+ Bc6 1/2-1/2

Another nice game from this round was the following, between two Armenians.

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.24"]
[Round "5.24"]
[White "Hovhannisyan, Robert"]
[Black "Akopian, Vladimir"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B19"]
[WhiteElo "2600"]
[BlackElo "2684"]
[PlyCount "69"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]
[EventType "swiss"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5
Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. Bd2 Ngf6 12. O-O-O Be7 13. Ne4 Nxe4 14. Qxe4
Nf6 15. Qd3 O-O 16. g4 Nxg4 17. Rhg1 Nxf2 18. Qe2 Nxd1 19. Bxh6 Bf6 20. Bxg7
Bxg7 21. h6 Qf6 22. Qh2 Qxf3 23. hxg7 Qe3+ 24. Kb1 Nc3+ 25. bxc3 Qxg1+ 26. Qxg1
Rfd8 27. Qg5 Kh7 28. Qf6 Rd7 29. Kb2 Rg8 30. Qh4+ Kxg7 31. Qg3+ Kf8 32. Qb8+
Kg7 33. Qg3+ Kf8 34. Qb8+ Kg7 35. Qg3+ 1/2-1/2

The following game is a good lesson for anyone who tends to overreact when he misses a tactical idea by the opponent.

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.24"]
[Round "5.27"]
[White "Azarov, Sergei"]
[Black "Savchenko, Boris"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B89"]
[WhiteElo "2667"]
[BlackElo "2580"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]
[EventType "swiss"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bc4 e6 7. Be3 Be7 8. f4
d5 9. Bb5 Qc7 10. e5 Nd7 11. O-O a6 12. Bd3 Bc5 13. Nce2 Ndxe5 {Let's assume that Azarov had missed this, and imagine this
would happen to you. How many of us amateurs would think: I just blundered,
I'm completely lost with White...} 14. fxe5 Qxe5 {
Black will 'just' win back the piece with a winning position, or...?} 15. Qd2
$1 {No, things are not that simple!} Bxd4 $6 ({Better was} 15... Nxd4 16. Nxd4
Bxd4 17. Bb5+ axb5 18. Bxd4 Qc7 19. Bxg7 Rg8 {
although White keeps a small edge with} 20. Bd4) 16. Nxd4 Nxd4 17. Bf4 Qf6 18.
Bg5 Qe5 19. Rae1 $1 {No draw!} Qc7 20. Bf4 Qb6 (20... Qe7 21. Qc3) 21. Qf2 {
The knight is doomed.} Qxb2 22. Bc1 Nf3+ 23. Qxf3 Qb6+ 24. Kh1 O-O 25. Ba3 Bd7
26. Bxf8 Rxf8 27. c4 dxc4 28. Bxc4 Bc6 29. Rxe6 Qc5 30. Qf4 b5 31. Bb3 1-0

After a series of draws, Anish Giri again faced a lower rated opponent but now even lost:

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.24"]
[Round "5.72"]
[White "Giri, Anish"]
[Black "Holzke, Frank"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "D17"]
[WhiteElo "2717"]
[BlackElo "2508"]
[PlyCount "88"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]
[EventType "swiss"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Nc3 dxc4 5. a4 Bf5 6. Ne5 Nbd7 7. Nxc4 Qc7 8.
g3 e5 9. dxe5 Nxe5 10. Bf4 Nfd7 11. Bg2 g5 (11... f6 12. O-O Rd8 13. Qc1 Be6
14. Ne4 Bb4 15. a5 O-O 16. a6 b5 17. Na3 Qb6 {
Giri,A (2690)-Hector,J (2588)/Malmo 2011}) 12. Ne3 gxf4 13. Nxf5 O-O-O 14. Qc2
Kb8 (14... fxg3 15. hxg3 Kb8 16. O-O-O Bb4 17. Na2 Bc5 18. e3 a5 19. Kb1 Bb6
20. Nc3 Nc5 21. Nd4 h6 22. Rh5 Na6 23. Na2 Nc5 24. Nc3 Na6 25. Na2 Nc5 26. Nc3
{1/2-1/2 Giri,A (2686)-Aronian,L (2805)/Wijk aan Zee 2011}) 15. O-O fxg3 16.
hxg3 h5 17. e3 $5 (17. Rfc1 Nf6 18. Nb5 Qb6 19. e3 Bb4 20. Nbd4 a5 21. Qb3 Nfg4
{Doric,D (2468)-Kreisl,R (2389)/Rogaska Slatina 2009}) 17... Nc5 18. b4 Ncd3
19. b5 cxb5 20. axb5 Bc5 21. Qa4 h4 22. Qe4 $2 (22. Nd5 Qd7 23. Nxh4 {
looks like a pawn but Black has some compensation.}) 22... h3 $1 23. Bh1 $6 ({
Relatively better was} 23. Bf3) 23... h2+ $1 24. Kg2 f6 $1 {
Trouble. The black queen will go to h7.} 25. Rfd1 Bb4 $1 26. Ne2 Qh7 27. Kf1
Nc5 28. Qg2 Rxd1+ 29. Rxd1 Qxf5 30. Nf4 Qc2 31. Qd5 Ne4 32. Nh3 Qc4+ 33. Kg2
Qxd5 34. Rxd5 Nc3 35. Rd4 Bc5 36. Rf4 Rh6 37. Kxh2 Nxb5 38. Rh4 Rxh4 39. gxh4
a5 40. Kg3 a4 41. Bd5 Nc3 42. Be6 a3 43. h5 Bf8 44. Nf4 b5 0-1

And so on Saturday evening the tournament had three leaders who scored 4.5/5: Laurent Fressinet, Yuriy Kuzubov and Gawain Jones. 27 grandmasters with 4/5 followed. 

Round 6

On Sunday, there was a small incident at the start of the round. Seven players, six of them from Georgia (including IM Shota Azaladze, who was in shared second place with 4/5), arrived too late in the playing hall and lost their games by default due to the zero tolerance rule.

Losses by default
IM Shota Azaladze 0-1 GM Anton Korobov
IM Luka Paichadze 0-1 GM Evgeny Postny
FM Kanan Izzat 1-0 IM Gaioz Nigalidze
GM Viktor Laznicka 1-0 Davit Lomsadze
GM Ivan Salgado Lopez 1-0 IM Davit Benidze
Maria Manelidou 0-1 Filip Kumic
Giorgi Khelaia 0-1 Vladimir Sergeev Petrov

 

As it turned out, they had not changed their watches to Daylight Saving Time, despite written and verbal warnings by the organizers on Saturday. (Georgia happens to be one of the countries that do not comply with DST...)

On board 1, Jones again avoided heavy theory (this time Berlin Wall theory) and quickly drew with Fressinet. Jobava and Kuzubov also split the point. Denis Khismatullin nicely outplayed his compatriot Nikita Vitiugov:

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.25"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Vitiugov, Nikita"]
[Black "Khismatullin, Denis"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "E47"]
[WhiteElo "2709"]
[BlackElo "2656"]
[PlyCount "78"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 O-O 5. Bd3 c5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. a3 Bxc3+ 8.
bxc3 d6 9. e4 e5 10. d5 Ne7 11. h3 Ng6 12. g3 Bd7 13. Kf1 h6 14. Ra2 Nh7 15. g4
Qf6 16. Ng1 Nh4 17. f3 Rfb8 18. Rf2 g5 19. Ne2 a6 20. Ng3 b5 21. Nf5 Bxf5 22.
exf5 bxc4 23. Be4 Rb3 24. Rc2 Qd8 25. Qe2 Qa5 26. Qxc4 Rab8 27. Kf2 Nf6 28. Bd3
Qc7 29. Rd1 R8b6 30. Be2 Qb7 31. Kf1 Kg7 32. Kf2 Rb1 33. Qa2 e4 34. f4 Rxc1 35.
Rcxc1 gxf4 36. Kf1 Qe7 37. Bc4 e3 38. Qh2 Qe5 39. Rc2 Ne4 0-1

Naiditsch had prepared a special setup against Sokolov's Ruy Lopez and played a powerful game - the constant theme was keeping the knight on a5 out of play (and sometimes threatening to win it with b2-b4).

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.25"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Naiditsch, Arkadij"]
[Black "Sokolov, Ivan"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C84"]
[WhiteElo "2702"]
[BlackElo "2653"]
[PlyCount "66"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. d3 d6 7. c4 O-O 8. h3
Be6 9. Nc3 Nd7 10. Be3 f5 11. exf5 Bxf5 12. d4 Bf6 13. d5 Na5 14. Nd2 Bd3 15.
Qg4 Nb6 16. Bxb6 cxb6 17. Rfd1 Kh8 18. Nde4 Bxe4 19. Qxe4 g6 20. Bc2 Bg7 21.
Bd3 Rf4 22. Qe2 Rd4 23. Ne4 b5 24. cxb5 Qb6 25. Rab1 axb5 26. Ng5 Rxd5 27. Bxg6
Rxd1+ 28. Rxd1 hxg6 29. Rxd6 Qc7 30. Rxg6 Ra6 31. Rxa6 bxa6 32. Qh5+ Kg8 33.
Qh7+ Kf8 1-0

Monday is a rest day in Plovdiv. On Tuesday the ten co-leaders will face each other:

Sergei Azarov - Arkadij Naiditsch
Ernesto Inarkiev - Gawain Jones
Laurent Fressinet - Maxim Matlakov
Denis Khismatullin - Maxime Vachier-Lagrave

European Championship 2012 | Round 6 standings (top 40)

Rk.TitleNameFEDRtgPts.TB1TB2TB3
1GMNaiditsch ArkadijGER27025.0286420.523.5
2GMFressinet LaurentFRA26935.0286021.024.5
3GMKuzubov YuriyUKR26155.0285621.523.5
4GMJones Gawain C BENG26355.0285218.020.5
5GMInarkiev ErnestoRUS26955.0284118.021.0
6GMKhismatullin DenisRUS26565.0282717.519.5
7GMVachier-Lagrave MaximeFRA26825.0282120.023.5
8GMMatlakov MaximRUS26325.0280317.520.5
9GMKorobov AntonUKR26795.0279720.522.5
10GMAzarov SergeiBLR26675.0278315.518.0
11GMMovsesian SergeiARM27024.5278517.018.5
12GMMelkumyan HrantARM26284.5278420.524.0
13GMBacrot EtienneFRA27064.5278317.520.0
14GMCaruana FabianoITA27674.5277919.021.0
15GMLenic LukaSLO26374.5277820.022.5
16GMJakovenko DmitryRUS27294.5277619.021.5
17GMAndreikin DmitryRUS26894.5277220.023.0
18GMSutovsky EmilISR27004.5276319.022.0
19GMRiazantsev AlexanderRUS27104.5276017.520.0
20GMCheparinov IvanBUL26644.5275818.521.5
21GMMalakhov VladimirRUS27054.5275317.019.5
22GMTimofeev ArtyomRUS26504.5274620.022.5
23GMKobalia MikhailRUS26664.5274619.021.5
24GMVallejo Pons FranciscoESP26934.5274617.519.5
25GMBologan ViktorMDA26874.5274319.021.5
26GMJobava BaadurGEO27064.5273417.019.0
27GMPantsulaia LevanGEO25954.5272417.019.5
28GMKulaots KaidoEST25854.5271519.522.0
29GMRagger MarkusAUT26544.5271418.521.5
30GMAkopian VladimirARM26844.5270618.021.0
31GMFridman DanielGER26534.5270417.019.5
32GMIvanisevic IvanSRB26454.5269616.519.0
33GMIstratescu AndreiFRA26334.5264614.516.0
34GMStocek JiriCZE26064.5263416.018.0
35IMAzaladze ShotaGEO24194.0287819.022.0
36GMNyzhnyk IllyaUKR25854.0273620.021.0
37GMVitiugov NikitaRUS27094.0272321.525.0
38GMEsen BarisTUR25554.0271921.523.5
39GMRadulski JulianBUL25524.0271921.023.0
40GMDreev AlekseyRUS26984.0270618.021.0

 

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