IM (!) Daniel Alsina wins outright in Barcelona

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BarcelonaIt was a strong round-robin with nine GMs but a dream came true for the only IM in the field, Daniel Alsina: he won the Torneig Cuitat de Barcelona outright, with 6.5/9, a full point ahead of GMs López Martinez and Magem Badals. In doing so, Alsina scored his third norm and will be Spain's next grandmaster.

The Magistral Ciutat de Barcelona - Casino de Barcelona was a 10-player round-robin that took place November 2-10 in Barcelona, Spain. It was organized for the 6th year in a row by the Catalonia Chess Federation and sponsored by the Casino de Barcelona and SB Hotels (Hotel Icaria Barcelona), the Barcelona City Hall and the Government of Catalonia. The previous winners were Ruben Felgaer (2004), Vassily Ivanchuk (2005), Leinier Dominguez (2006), Hikaru Nakamura (2007) and Alexey Dreev (2008).

This year Alexey Dreev (2655), Alexander Fier (2653), Pavel Tregubov (2642), José Manuel López (2589), Ulf Andersson (2582), Jordi Magem (2564), Fernando Peralta (2557), Omar Almeida (2542), Daniel Alsina (2523) and Marc Narciso (2510) played for a € 4,500 prize fund. The time control was 90 minutes + 30 seconds increment per move from move one for 40 moves, then 30 minutes + 30 seconds increment per move to finish. Draw offers were not allowed until the first time control has been reached.

From our first report we know that two local heros were topping the standings after five rounds: GM José Manuel López and IM Daniel Alsina. Especially for Alsina this was an excellent start; it meant he only needed to score 1.5 points out of the last four games to score his third and last GM norm. With a rating over 2500 already, the GM title was in close reach.

Alsina started his quest with a nice victory against Alexey Dreev, which in fact made #45 of ChessVibes Openings, as it was a theoretically highly important treatment of one of Dreev's pet lines, the 6...Bd7 Rauzer. Needing just half a point now, Alsina drew with Magem in a Najdorf Poisened Pawn in round 7.

The story turned into a fairy-tale when Alsina also defeated Tregubov with the white pieces in round 8, and holding direct rival Martinez López to a draw with Black in the last round, he became the glorious winner in Barcelona. What a week!

Barcelona 2009 | Final Standings Barcelona 2009

Selection of games rounds 6-9



Game viewer by ChessTempo


Barcelona

The three cup winners: Martinez López, Magem Badals and Alsina Leal



Barcelona

A fantastic week for GM-elect Daniel Alsina Leal



Photos thanks to Ana Matnadze

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