Groningen 2010: Bojkov wins, Nyzhnyk grandmaster

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Groningen 2010: Bojkov wins, Nyzhnyk grandmasterThe 2010 Chess Festival in Groningen was won by Dejan Bojkov. The Bulgarian grandmaster won on tiebreak after finishing shared first with GMs Mark Bluvshtein and Sipke Ernst, and IMs Brandenburg, Van Kampen and Nyzhnyk. The latter scored his third GM norm at the age of 14, while the two Dutch IMs scored their second norm.

GM Dejan Bojkov wins on tiebreak in Groningen while 14-year-old Ilya Nyzhnyk scores his third GM norm | Photos © Official website

The Groningen Chess Festival 2010 took place December 21-30, 2010 at the Sports Centre of the Rijksuniversiteit & Hanzehogeschool in Groningen, The Netherlands. Already at the opening ceremony there was some good news: organizer Jan Colly announced that "the route to 2014 will be continued". In that year the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen will turn 400 years old and a big chess event is planned to be part of the festivities.

The top group of the open tournament, with players rated 2100 and higher fighting for a 2500 Euros first prize, attracted 11 GMs and 13 IMs. In this 9-round Swiss the rate of play was 40 moves in 90 minutes and then 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from move 1.

The tournament started with an upset in round one: GM Mark Bluvshtein from Canada lost to the talented Armenian Vahe Bagdasaryan, while experienced GMs Vladimir Baklan and Friso Nijboer drew with Shiven Kosla and Wim Heemskerk respectively. Nijboer had an excuse: his train was delayed considerably and therefore he arrived at the board quite late.

In the second round the young Dutch IM Robin van Kampen, who played a match against Jan Timman last year in Groningen, missed several chances to beat GM Abhijeet Gupta. Matthew Herman from the USA, who had beaten IM Benjamin Bok in the first round, managed to draw with GM Nijboer.

In the third round Ilya Nyzhnyk grabbed the lead with a relatively easy win over Dutch GM Jan Werle, whereas other boards saw a few short draws. The next day Nyzhnyk drew with another Dutch GM, Sipke Ernst, which allowed Bulgarian GM Dejan Bojkov to catch him in the standings.

December 25th was the only rest day, despite the fact that December 26th is also an official national holiday in The Netherlands ("second Christmas day"). After round 5 the tournament had 6 leaders, including IM Daan Brandenburg, who had beaten GM Jan Werle. By then GM Bluvshtein had recovered well with four wins in a row.

The tournament got even more exciting as two more players joined the group of leaders after the sixth round. The next day, however, again the duo Bojkov and Nyzhnyk had half a point more than the rest of the field. Bojkov had beaten Bok, while Nyzhnyk was too strong for the Hungarian Prohaszka.

Groningen 2010: Bojkov beats Prohaszka

Nyzhnyk in his game against Prohaszka



In round 8, with a solid draw against GM Gupta, 14-year-old Nyzhnyk secured his third and final GM norm with a round to spare. Here's Chessbase's list of young GMs:

No.
 Player
Nat.
Years
Months
Days
Year
 Sergey Karjakin
UKR
12
7
0
2002
 Parimarjan Negi
IND
13
3
22
2006
 Magnus Carlsen
NOR
13
3
27
2004
 Bu Xiangzhi
CHN
13
10
13
1999
 Richard Rapoport
HUN
13
11
15
2010
 Teimour Radjabov
AZE
14
0
14
2001
 Ruslan Ponomariov 
UKR
14
0
17
1997
 Wesley So
PHI
14
1
28
2007
 Etienne Bacrot
FRA
14
2
0
1997
10 
 Jorge Cori
PERU
14
2
0
2010
11 
 Ilya Nyzhnyk
UKR
14
3
2
2010
12 
 Maxime Vachier-Lagrave
FRA
14
4
0
2005
13 
 Peter Leko
HUN
14
4
22
1994
14 
 Hou Yifan
CHN
14
6
2
2008
15 
 Anish Giri
RUS
14
7
2
2009
16 
 Yuri Kuzubov
UKR
14
7
12
2004
17 
 Dariusz Swiercz
POL
14
7
29
2004
18 
 Nguyen Ngoc Truong Son 
VIE
14
10
0
2004
19 
 Ray Robson
USA
14
11
16
2009
20 
 Fabiano Caruana
ITA
14
11
20
2007
21 
 Koneru Humpy
IND
15
1
27
2002
22 
 Hikaru Nakamura
USA
15
2
19
2003
23 
 Pentala Harikrishna
IND
15
3
5
2001
24
 Judit Polgar
HUN
15
4
28
1991
25
 Alejandro Ramirez
CRI
15
5
14
2003
26
 Bobby Fischer
USA
15
6
1
1958

Source: Chessbase



Traditionally this list of "youngest GMs in history" starts with Bobby Fischer, who became a GM in 1958, when he was 15 years, 6 months and 1 day old. However, strictly speaking this list of youngest grandmasters ever contains just ten names, and will stay like this until the day that Sergey Karjakin's record will be broken:

1950 – 1: David Bronstein (26) 1952 – 2: Tigran Petrosian (22?) 1955 – 3: Boris Spassky (18) 1958 – 4: Robert Fischer (15-6-1) 1991 – 5: Judit Polgar (15-4-28) 1994 – 6: Peter Leko (14-4-22) 1997 – 7: Etienne Bacrot (14-2-0) 1997 – 8: Ruslan Ponomariov (14-0-17) 1999 – 9: Bu Xiangzhi (13-10-13) 2002 – 10: Sergey Karjakin (12-7-0)

Back to Groningen, where Dutch IM Daan Brandenburg secured his second GM norm also with a round to spare: he beat GM Arkadij Rotstein. Bluvshtein beat Balkan and joined the leaders. The Canadian is playing fulltime chess for a year and blogs about it - he'll also be participating in the Tata Steel Chess Tournament later this month.

After nine rounds six players eventually shared the top prizes: Daan Brandenburg, Sipke Ernst, Robin van Kampen, Dejan Bojkov, Illya Nyzhnyk and Mark Bluvstein. With a nice win against Andriasian in the last round, Van Kampen was the third player to score a GM norm in Groningen. Shiven, Nardoitsky and Baghdasaryan scored IM norms.

And so there's a good chance Groningen will see both Dejan Bojkov and Ilya Nyzhnyk again soon, as the two players keep pleasant memories from the city in the northeast part of the Netherlands. Bojkov won a round-robin tournament last August in Groningen, while Nyzhnyk was (also) the winner of the open tournament in December last year.

Groningen Chess Festival 2010 | Group A | Final Standings
Groningen Chess Festival 2010 | Group A | Final Standings


Selection of games



Game viewer by ChessTempo


This report was based on the excellent official website's round reports (in Dutch only).

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