Gelfand Wins 34th Leon Masters
Boris Gelfand. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

Gelfand Wins 34th Leon Masters

| 11 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Boris Gelfand won the 34th edition of the Leon Masters, held on for the second year in a row due to the pandemic. Gelfand beat GM Leinier Dominguez in the blitz tiebreak of the final to win his second Leon title.

How to watch?
The games of the Leon Masters can be found here as part of our live events platform.

The annual chess festival in Leon, Spain, is still going strong. Once again, the measures for fighting the coronavirus in Spain did not stop the organizers from setting up another event this year.

There were a few activities in the city, such as a photo exhibition, an event with giant chess sets, and a lecture about the history of the tournament. The actual chess activities, which included an open and a youth tournament, were played on our site.

The main event was once again a rapid knockout (20|10 games) with two semifinals and a final. In the first semifinal, Dominguez, last year's winner, eliminated Women's World Champion Ju Wenjun. In that match, the second game is the most interesting:

Leinier Dominguez ajedrez chess
Leinier Dominguez. Photo: Peter Doggers/

Gelfand beat the local participant, GM Jaime Santos, in the other semifinal. The 25-year-old Spanish GM put up a good fight against his opponent of more than twice his age, in a match that started with a draw and then saw three wins for Black in a row.

Here's the third 0-1 and the second for Gelfand:

Jaime Santos Leon Masters 2021
Jaime Santos did quite well against Gelfand. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

In the big final on Sunday, Dominguez started with a win, but Gelfand leveled the score right away. With two draws in the other rapid games, a blitz tiebreak of two 5|3 games was played .

Gelfand struck in the second game with the black pieces. It was a continuation of a theoretical discussion in the Rauzer Sicilian in this match and saw some nice tactical possibilities in the middlegame. Eventually, Gelfand managed to trick his opponent in a drawn R-B endgame:

Boris Gelfand Leon Masters 2021
A nice tournament victory for the 2012 world championship challenger, 11 years after his first victory in Leon. Photo: Maria Emelianova/

All games

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