Ivanchuk and Shirov start with wins in first round Bazna

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

Alexei Shirov and Vassily Ivanchuk both seem destined to wipe away memories of their last FIDE rated tournament. The two started with victories, both with the black pieces, in the first round of the King's Tournament in Bazna, Romania.

The first two editions of the King's Tournament were round-robins with 11 participants. In 2007 it started as a group of old friends, where Alexander Khalifman emerged as the winner, ahead of Vaganian, Beliavsky, Andersson, Ribli, Mecking, A. Sokolov, Chiburdanidze, Portisch, Suba and Timman.The same players travelled to Romania last year except for Ribli and Chiburdanidze who were changed for local talent Murariu and Short, who won the event without losing a game.This year the tournament has suddenly transformed itself into a super tournament with the nowadays standard setup of a six-player round-robin with one rest day between the fifth and the sixth round, copying Sofia, like Nanjing did, and like Dortmund will do. It runs June 14-25.And so the village of Bazna, the main sponsor Romgaz and the Chess Club Society „Elisabeta Polihroniade” of Bucharest – as organisers – welcome six top players this year: Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaidjan, Elo 2756), Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine, Elo 2746), Alexei Shirov (Spain, Elo 2745), Boris Gelfand (Israel, Elo 2733), Gata Kamsky (USA, Elo 2720) and Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu (Romania, Elo 2675). With an average of 2729 (a Category 20 event) it's easily the strongest tournament ever held in Romania.The Romanian village of Bazna is a gracious spa next to Medias, in the heart of Transilvania. It has about 4,000 inhabitants. It's mainly famous for its mineral springs which were discovered in the 18th century.
Below you'll find the games of the first round, played yesterday. Ivanchuk beat Nisipeanu with Black in a Zaitsev Ruy Lopez. The Ukrainian already had a nice advantage when his Romanian opponent erred in timetrouble with 32.Kg2.Shirov, who didn't win a single game in his last tournament in Poikovsky, started with a nice win against Kamsky. In a difficult middlegame the American should have played 31.fxe5 instead of Ng6+, and later 35.Kg2 was still a draw, according to GM Dorian Rogozenko who is doing daily reports on the official site.Radjabov tested whether Gelfand had already repaired his Petroff after the Israeli grandmaster lost against Leko at the Grand Prix in Nalchik in April. Of course he had, and actually it was Radjabov who first deviated (against Leko's 23.Red3 Rybka gives 23...Re5 as OK for Black) but White's new try was not very dangerous.The second round has already started and has, yes, Shirov-Ivanchuk!

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