Generations Clash In Moscow's Nutcracker Tournament

Generations Clash In Moscow's Nutcracker Tournament

Dec 20, 2016, 10:26 AM |
11 | Chess Event Coverage

The traditional Nutcracker tournament is under way in Moscow, Russia. After four rounds of classical chess, "experience" (the Kings) has a tiny lead over "youth" (the Princes).

Another edition of the annual Nutcracker event was opened on Friday December 16 at the Central Chess House on the Gogolevsky Boulevard in Moscow. The tournament is supported by the Ladya Foundation (for social, educational, innovative and sports projects), the Russian Chess Federation, and Oleg Skvortsov.

Alongside his Zurich Chess Classic (the next will be in April), it's good to see that Skvortsov continues to support this event as well.

The list of guests at the opening ceremony revealed a status of class and dignity for this tournament. For starters, the world's oldest grandmaster was there: Yuri Averbakh, now 94.

You might recognize Averbakh in the middle here. | Photo Vladimir Barsky.

Other names present were the 12th world champion, Anatoly Karpov, FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, and also grandmasters such as Ian Nepomniachtchi and Yuri Dokhoian.

As always, the tournament follows the Scheveningen system with one member of each team playing all members of the other team. This year, there's the traditional clash between "Kings" and "Princes," but there's also a "Queens" vs "Princesses" match.

In our reports, we will focus on the Kings vs Princes section.

Kings vs Princes

# Fed Title Kings Rtg # Fed Title Princes Rtg
1 GM Boris Gelfand 2725 1 GM Vladimir Fedoseev 2667
2 GM Alexander Morozevich 2676 2 GM Daniil Dubov 2660
3 GM Alexei Shirov 2673 3 GM Vladislav Artemiev 2653
4 GM Alexey Dreev 2652 4 GM Grigoriy Oparin 2616

Queens vs Princesses

# Fed Title Queens Rtg # Fed Title Princesses Rtg
1 IM Alisa Galliamova 2443 1 WIM Polina Shuvalova 2383
2 IM Ekaterina Kovalevskaya 2430 2 WFM Aleksandra Dimitrova 2319
3 IM Elena Zaiatz 2313 3 WIM Elizaveta Solozhenkina 2269
4 WGM Galina Strutinskaia 2266 4 Aleksandra Maltsevskaya 2251

Classical chess games were played on December 17-20, and on December 21 and 22, the players will move to rapid chess. The winning teams will be determined by the total number of points scored by the players. For the classical part, it's 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw, and 0 for a loss. It's 1, ½ and 0 respectively for rapid.

Day 1

On the first day, the Princes and the Queens took a small lead. Both teams drew three games and won one, scoring 5-3 and 10-6 in total.

In the men's section, it was Grigoriy Oparin (19) who defeated Alexey Dreev (47) from a quiet English opening. The line has more venom than you'd expect.

Oleg Skvortsov making the first move on the Dubov-Shirov board. | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

Day 2

The next day, the Kings leveled the score. Again three games ended in draws, and it was Dreev who got a quick revenge, in his beloved Caro-Kann versus Vladimir Fedoseev (21). The positional exchange sacrifice was instructive.

Dreev was the "main character" in the first two rounds. | Photo Eteri Kublashvili.

The Princesses defeated the Queens 5-3 as well, so in both matches the score was 8-8.

Day 3

The Kings continued well and also won the third round 5-3. The Princess defeated the Queens 6-2 on this day.

This time it was Alexei Shirov (44) who scored the decisive point for the Kings. The wizard from Latvia demolished Fedoseev's Berlin Wall surprisingly quickly.

A Berlin Ending in the making. | Photo Vladimir Barsky.

Day 4

The fourth day of play saw four draws among the men, whereas the Queens defeated the Princesses 7-1. This leads to the following standings in the men's section before the players go into the rapid portion:

# Kings CR P1 P2 P3 P4 P1 P2 P3 P4 P1 P2 P3 P4 Pts
K1 Morozevich 2676 1 1 1 1 4
K2 Gelfand 2722 1 1 1 1 4
K3 Dreev 2652 2 1 0 1 4
K4 Shirov 2673 2 1 1 1 5
Total 17
# Princes CR K1 K2 K3 K4 K1 K2 K3 K4 K1 K2 K3 K4 Pts
P1 Fedoseev 2667 1 1 0 0 2
P2 Artemiev 2653 1 1 1 1 4
P3 Oparin 2616 1 1 2 1 5
P4 Dubov 2660 1 1 1 1 4
Total 15


Games from TWIC.

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