Gawain Jones leads European Championship after four rounds

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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0 | Chess Event Coverage

Gawain Jones is the only player with a 100% score after four rounds at the European Championship in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The English grandmaster, who runs a blog that can be read here at ChessVibes, is half a point ahead of a group of twenty grandmasters.

Gawain Jones leads in Plovdiv | Photo © John Saunders; all other photos by Svoboda Chankova, courtesy of the official website, more here

EventEuropen 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 

We mentioned all general info about the 13th European Individual Chess Championship, including the much debated dress code, in our previous report. This time, we'll focus some more on the games, because already quite a few good games have been played in Plovidv!

In the second round, the top two boards did what they had to do: win against their lower rated opponent. Fabiano Caruana beat Tamas Banusz in a deep ending while Dmitry Jakovenko defeated Davorin Kuljasevic. 

On board three there was the biggest upset, well, rating wise, in the game between two of the most talented players on the planet. 15-year-old Ilya Nyzhnyk beat, or should we say crushed, our co-editor, 17-year-old Anish Giri (ouch!). [Update: crushed might have been too strong a word; if Black plays 22...Nxf6 then it's still unclear.]

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.21"]
[Round "2.3"]
[White "Nyzhnyk, I."]
[Black "Giri, A."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D43"]
[WhiteElo "2585"]
[BlackElo "2717"]
[PlyCount "57"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 c6 5. g3 dxc4 6. Bg2 b5 7. Ne5 a6 8. a4 Bb7
9. O-O Be7 10. axb5 axb5 11. Rxa8 Bxa8 12. Nxb5 cxb5 13. Bxa8 O-O 14. Bg2 Nd5
15. f4 Bd6 16. e3 Bxe5 17. fxe5 Nc6 18. Qg4 Qd7 19. h4 Ncb4 20. h5 Nd3 21. h6
f5 22. exf6 Rxf6 23. Bxd5 Rxf1+ 24. Kxf1 Qf7+ 25. Bf3 Nxc1 26. d5 Nd3 27. dxe6
Qe7 28. Bd5 Kf8 29. Qxg7+ 1-0

Ilya Nyzhnyk beats Anish Giri

In this round, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Baadur Jobava had to be satisfied with a draw against the lower rated Luka Paichadze and Petar Drenchev respectively.

Russian GM Boris Savchenko (2580) refuted an aggressive attack by Vladimir Malakhov (2705).

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.21"]
[Round "2.6"]
[White "Savchenko, B."]
[Black "Malakhov, V."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C65"]
[WhiteElo "2580"]
[BlackElo "2705"]
[PlyCount "59"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. Qe2 Bd6 5. d3 O-O 6. c3 Re8 7. Nbd2 Bf8 8.
Nf1 d6 9. Ba4 Bd7 10. Bc2 Ne7 11. Ne3 Ng6 12. g3 d5 13. exd5 c6 14. dxc6 Bxc6
15. O-O Nd5 16. Qd1 Ndf4 17. gxf4 Nxf4 18. Re1 Re6 19. Nf5 Rg6+ 20. Ng3 Qd7 21.
d4 Qh3 22. Bxf4 exf4 23. Bxg6 hxg6 24. d5 fxg3 25. dxc6 gxf2+ 26. Kxf2 Bc5+ 27.
Nd4 Qxh2+ 28. Ke3 bxc6 29. Kd3 Rd8 30. Qe2 1-0

The following game caught our attention because of that funnny white knight that was 'trapped' on g7 for so long, but eventually became the real hero!

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.21"]
[Round "2.22"]
[White "Gabrielian, A."]
[Black "Postny, E."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "B12"]
[WhiteElo "2554"]
[BlackElo "2662"]
[PlyCount "67"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nc3 e6 5. Bd3 Bxd3 6. Qxd3 Nd7 7. Nge2 c5 8. O-O
Ne7 9. Nb5 Nf5 10. Bf4 a6 11. Nd6+ Bxd6 12. exd6 Qb6 13. dxc5 Qxc5 14. Ng3 Nxd6
15. Nh5 g6 16. Ng7+ Ke7 17. Bg5+ Nf6 18. Rfe1 h6 19. Be3 Qc4 20. Qa3 Rac8 21.
b3 Qc6 22. Bd4 Rh7 23. c4 dxc4 24. bxc4 Nd7 25. Rad1 b6 26. Ba1 Rg8 27. Re2 Nc5
28. Red2 Nce4 29. Rd4 Qc5 30. Qxa6 Qc6 31. Qa7+ Kf8 32. Nxe6+ fxe6 33. Qxh7 Qc5
34. Rxe4 1-0

In the third round, both Caruana and Jakovenko dropped half points but in a tournament that lasts 11 rounds, a draw with the black pieces here and there is not that bad and Jakovenko was in fact under pressure for most of the game.

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.22"]
[Round "3.2"]
[White "Rakhmanov, Ale"]
[Black "Jakovenko, D."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D14"]
[WhiteElo "2602"]
[BlackElo "2729"]
[PlyCount "145"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]

1. c4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. cxd5 cxd5 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bf4 Bf5 7. e3 e6 8. Bb5
Nd7 9. Qb3 Be7 10. O-O g5 11. Bg3 h5 12. h3 g4 13. hxg4 hxg4 14. Nd2 Kf8 15.
Rfc1 Kg7 16. Ne2 Rc8 17. Bxc6 bxc6 18. Qb7 Rh7 19. Bf4 c5 20. e4 dxe4 21. Nxe4
e5 22. N4g3 Be6 23. Bxe5+ Nxe5 24. dxe5 Bg5 25. Rd1 Qb6 26. Qe4 Qb4 27. Qxb4
cxb4 28. Nd4 Bd7 29. Nf3 gxf3 30. Rxd7 Bf4 31. e6 Kg6 32. e7 Bxg3 33. fxg3 Rc2
34. gxf3 Re2 35. Rd2 Rxe7 36. Rc1 f6 37. Kg2 Rd7 38. Re2 Rhe7 39. Rxe7 Rxe7 40.
Kf2 Rh7 41. Kg2 Rd7 42. Rc2 b3 43. axb3 Rd3 44. Rc3 Rd2+ 45. Kh3 Rxb2 46. Kg4
Rd2 47. f4 Rd4 48. Kh4 a5 49. Rf3 a4 50. bxa4 Rxa4 51. g4 Ra1 52. f5+ Kh6 53.
Rh3 Kg7 54. Rb3 Ra7 55. Kh5 Rc7 56. Rb6 Ra7 57. Rc6 Rb7 58. Ra6 Rc7 59. Re6 Ra7
60. g5 fxg5 61. Kxg5 Ra1 62. Re7+ Kf8 63. Kf6 Rf1 64. Ra7 Kg8 65. Ra8+ Kh7 66.
Ra2 Kg8 67. Ra8+ Kh7 68. Rf8 Ra1 69. Rf7+ Kg8 70. Re7 Rf1 71. Re5 Kf8 72. Ra5
Kg8 73. Ra8+ 1/2-1/2

Nyzhnyk continued well with a draw against Korobov, using an original way to combat the Bayonet Attack.

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.22"]
[Round "3.8"]
[White "Korobov, A."]
[Black "Nyzhnyk, I."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E97"]
[WhiteElo "2679"]
[BlackElo "2585"]
[PlyCount "124"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 e5 7. O-O Nc6 8. d5
Ne7 9. b4 c6 10. Ba3 cxd5 11. cxd5 Bg4 12. h3 Bxf3 13. Bxf3 Nd7 14. Bc1 f5 15.
Bd2 Nf6 16. Rc1 Qd7 17. Qe2 Rac8 18. Qd3 Rc7 19. Rc2 Rfc8 20. Rfc1 Rc4 21. a3
a6 22. Be3 b5 23. Qd1 fxe4 24. Nxe4 Nxe4 25. Rxc4 Rxc4 26. Rxc4 Nxf2 27. Bxf2
bxc4 28. g4 Qb5 29. Qc2 Nc8 30. h4 Kh8 31. Be2 Nb6 32. h5 Nxd5 33. Bxc4 Qc6 34.
Qe4 Nxb4 35. Qxc6 Nxc6 36. Bxa6 gxh5 37. gxh5 Bh6 38. a4 Nd4 39. Bc4 Bd2 40. h6
Nf5 41. Be6 Nxh6 42. Kf1 Ba5 43. Be1 Bc7 44. a5 Bxa5 45. Bxa5 Kg7 46. Ke2 Kf6
47. Bd5 Nf7 48. Kf3 Ng5+ 49. Kg4 Ne6 50. Ba2 h5+ 51. Kxh5 Kf5 52. Kh4 Nf4 53.
Kg3 d5 54. Kf3 d4 55. Bb1+ d3 56. Ke3 e4 57. Ba2 Ng2+ 58. Kd4 Kf4 59. Bd5 d2
60. Bxd2+ e3 61. Ba5 e2 62. Bxg2 Kg3 1/2-1/2

The playing hall in Plovdiv

Perhaps he hadn't fully recovered from the day before, but in any case Giri only managed to draw his game against IM Dalibor Stojanovic of Bosnia & Hercegovina. Perhaps Giri could find consolance in the fact that one board next to him, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov also drew his White game, against IM Lucian Filip of Romania and David Navara did even worse, losing with White against IM Zoran Arsovic of Serbia.

Former super GM Alexey Dreev won a crazy game against Dutch GM Sipke Ernst.

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.22"]
[Round "3.26"]
[White "Dreev, A."]
[Black "Ernst, S."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "D11"]
[WhiteElo "2698"]
[BlackElo "2578"]
[PlyCount "81"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. e3 Bg4 5. Nc3 e6 6. Qb3 Qb6 7. Nh4 Bh5 8. h3
Qxb3 9. axb3 Na6 10. g4 Nb4 11. Ke2 g5 12. gxh5 gxh4 13. Kf3 Rg8 14. Bd2 Rg5
15. c5 e5 16. dxe5 Nd7 17. Na4 a5 18. Nb6 Nxb6 19. cxb6 Rf5+ 20. Ke2 Rxe5 21.
Rg1 d4 22. Rg8 Rb5 23. Kf3 Rxb6 24. Bc4 c5 25. Kg2 dxe3 26. Bxe3 O-O-O 27. Rxa5
Na6 28. Bxf7 Bh6 29. Bxc5 Rxg8+ 30. Bxg8 Nxc5 31. Rxc5+ Kd8 32. Rf5 Bg7 33. Rf7
Bxb2 34. Rxh7 Bd4 35. Bd5 Rf6 36. f3 b6 37. Kf1 Ke8 38. Ke2 Rf5 39. Be4 Rg5 40.
h6 Kf8 41. Rd7 1-0

Vitiugov, Savchenko, Naiditsch, Vachier-Lagrave, Lenic, Jones, Melkumyan, Radulski, Kuzubov, Sjugirov and Kulaots were the ones who started with three wins. Of this big group, only one player managed to win in round 4: Gawain Jones defeated Boris Savchenko with Black, while the other top 11 boards saw (hard-fought) draws. 

[Event "13th EICC"]
[Site "Plovdiv BUL"]
[Date "2012.03.23"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Savchenko, Boris"]
[Black "Jones, Gawain C B"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B76"]
[PlyCount "110"]
[EventDate "2012.03.20"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. Be3 Bg7 7. f3 Nc6 8. Qd2
O-O 9. O-O-O d5 10. exd5 Nxd5 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Bd4 Bxd4 13. Qxd4 Qb6 14. Na4
Qc7 15. Bc4 Rb8 16. g3 Nb6 17. Bb3 Nxa4 18. Qxa4 c5 19. c3 Qb6 20. Rhe1 Be6 21.
Re2 Bxb3 22. axb3 Rb7 23. Qc4 e6 24. Re5 Rc7 25. h4 Rb8 26. Kc2 a5 27. h5 a4
28. Qxa4 c4 29. Rd4 cxb3+ 30. Kd2 Rc5 31. Rxc5 Qxc5 32. hxg6 hxg6 33. Ke2 Qg5
34. g4 Qe5+ 35. Kd3 Qh2 36. Qa7 Rf8 37. Qa3 e5 38. Rd5 Qf4 39. Qxb3 Qxf3+ 40.
Kc2 Qe2+ 41. Kb1 Qe4+ 42. Kc1 Ra8 43. Qb7 Ra1+ 44. Kd2 Qg2+ 45. Kd3 Qf1+ 46.
Kc2 Qb1+ 47. Kd2 Qd1+ 48. Ke3 Qxg4 49. Kd3 Qf3+ 50. Kc4 Qf4+ 51. Kb5 e4 52. b4
e3 53. Rd8+ Kg7 54. Qe7 Qf5+ 55. Kc4 Qe6+ 0-1

Three pre-tournament favorites, Mamedyarov, Giri and Navara, really have to get their acts together as they again drew their games against (much) lower rated opponents. Let's see what they, and the players at the top, and especially Jones, are up to in the next couple of rounds!

European Championship 2012 | Round 4 standings (top 40)

Rk.TitleNameFEDRtgPts.TB1TB2TB3
1GMJones Gawain C BENG26354.03317.07.59.5
2IMAzaladze ShotaGEO24193.52970.07.59.5
3GMVitiugov NikitaRUS27093.52910.08.510.5
4GMNaiditsch ArkadijGER27023.52900.08.09.0
5GMFressinet LaurentFRA26933.52896.07.09.0
6GMRadulski JulianBUL25523.52890.08.59.0
7GMAndreikin DmitryRUS26893.52889.07.59.0
8GMVachier-Lagrave MaximeFRA26823.52881.08.510.5
9GMEsen BarisTUR25553.52880.08.59.5
10GMKorobov AntonUKR26793.52880.07.59.5
11GMMelkumyan HrantARM26283.52879.08.510.5
12GMCheparinov IvanBUL26643.52869.07.59.5
13GMLenic LukaSLO26373.52864.07.59.0
14GMKuzubov YuriyUKR26153.52863.08.510.0
15GMBologan ViktorMDA26873.52854.06.58.0
16GMTimofeev ArtyomRUS26503.52852.08.010.0
17GMBerkes FerencHUN26823.52852.05.57.0
18GMSokolov IvanNED26533.52851.07.09.0
19GMSjugirov SananRUS26103.52826.08.09.0
20GMMatlakov MaximRUS26323.52788.05.56.5
21GMKulaots KaidoEST25853.52771.07.58.5
22FMAlekseenko KirillRUS23673.02806.08.010.0
23GMNyzhnyk IllyaUKR25853.02780.08.59.5
24GMJakovenko DmitryRUS27293.02769.08.010.0
25GMSavchenko BorisRUS25803.02766.09.511.0
26GMBacrot EtienneFRA27063.02766.08.510.5
27WIMBulmaga IrinaROU23073.02765.06.58.5
28GMMovsesian SergeiARM27023.02764.07.08.5
29GMDreev AlekseyRUS26983.02755.08.010.0
30GMCaruana FabianoITA27673.02754.09.011.0
31GMRiazantsev AlexanderRUS27103.02744.07.59.5
32GMSutovsky EmilISR27003.02741.07.08.5
33GMKhairullin IldarRUS26263.02736.08.010.0
34GMKobalia MikhailRUS26663.02729.08.09.5
35GMInarkiev ErnestoRUS26953.02729.07.59.5
36GMMamedov RaufAZE26243.02726.08.09.5
37GMHracek ZbynekCZE26273.02726.07.59.5
38GMRagger MarkusAUT26543.02723.07.59.0
39GMGuseinov GadirAZE26163.02716.07.59.5
40GMKhismatullin DenisRUS26563.02714.07.08.0

 

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