Gashimov wins on tie-break in Reggio Emilia

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Gashimov wins on tie-break in Reggio EmiliaVugar Gashimov won the 53rd Torneo di Capodanno in Reggio Emilia. The grandmaster from Azerbaijan edged out Paco Vallejo from Spain on tiebreak. The two both won in round 8 and then drew quickly in the final round, with Gashimov having the highest Sonneborn-Berger score.

General info

The 53rd Torneo di Capodanno took place December 28 - January 6 in Reggio Emilia, Italy. It was a 10-player, single round-robin with Vallejo Pons, Short, Ivanchuk, Caruana, Onischuk, Movsesian, Navara, Godena, Gashimov, and Morozevich playing.

Rounds 8-9

What a great tournament this year's edition in Reggio Emilia has been! Some good chess was to be expected, with players like Gashimov, Ivanchuk, Morozevich and Short among its participants, and the chess fans were not disappointed at all.

After seven rounds Gashimov and Vallejo were leading the pack, and both of them won in the penultimate round. Vallejo did so quite convincingly, crushing Onischuk in a sharp Scotch - another game that will add to the popularity of the opening that was revived by Kasparov in the 1990s.

Vallejo-Onischuk Reggio Emilia 2010 Vallejo-Onischuk Do you see what Vallejo had planned against Onischuk's last defensive move 26...Be7?

Vugar Gashimov needed some luck to keep up with Vallejo's pace. Against a very creative David Navara he got under tremendous pressure, and the Azeri GM needed some tactical tricks to stay in the game. He managed to create threats against his opponent's king, which eventually became too much for the Czech.

Gashimov-Navara Reggio Emilia 2010 Gashimov-Navara With 42...Be7 Black probably reaches a winning advantage. Instead, Navara found another interesting idea: 42...Qd5 43.Be3 Rxe3!?

Gashimov-Navara continue with 44...Qd4 after 44.Qxe3, but here Gashimov came up with the strong move 44.Rxf7! and despite finding some splendid defensive moves, Navara eventually couldn't copy with the many threats as a result of his sudden exposed monarch.

In the same round Short took a poisoned pawn on c5 which, well, let's put it this way, didn't solve his long-term problem of an unsafe king. Ivanchuk showed no mercy. Morozevich slowly but surely outplayed Godena from a quiet opening.

The poor Italian 'simply waits that the tournament end soon', as the round report on the official website put it, but in the last round he was the last one playing... This time Godena managed to hold a difficult ending against compatriot Caruana.

As written above, in that last round both Gashimov and Vallejo drew quickly (in fact both needed just 17 moves), against Onischuk and Movsesian respectively. Navara finished off with a good win against Short, while Ivanchuk defeated Morozevich.

The latter played on till mate with king against bishop and knight, allowing Ivanchuk to show textbook mating strategy (with the knight making a 'W' shape between moves 57 and 65 - it's worth remembering that!).

Ivanchuk-Morozevich Reggio Emilia 2010 Ivanchuk-Morozevich Position after 50.Kxe6 - Ivanchuk mated his opponent 22 moves later.

The first tie-break rule was Sonneborn-Berger, which add the scores of every opponent the player beats and half of the score of every opponent the player draws. Based on this tie-break Vugar Gashimov was declared the winner of the 53rd tournament in Reggio Emilia.

This result is interesting in the light of the current discussion under Arne's column about '(un)deserved victories' and 'luck in chess'. On Facebook both players already posted about their good tournament. Gashimov dedicated the victory to his father, and Vallejo showed a good sport: "I guess Vugar was pretty lucky against me and especially winning yesterday against Navara from a lost position, but hey, congratulations, and luck... is for he who seeks it!"

Reggio Emilia 2010 | Round 9 (final) standings
Reggio Emilia 2010 | Round 9 standings

Games rounds 8-9

Game viewer by ChessTempo


Peter Doggers

Peter Doggers joined a chess club a month before turning 15 and still plays for it. He used to be an active tournament player and holds two IM norms.

Peter has a Master of Arts degree in Dutch Language & Literature. He briefly worked at New in Chess, then as a Dutch teacher and then in a project for improving safety and security in Amsterdam schools.

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