Ivanchuk wins M-Tel Masters 2008

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage
Vassily Ivanchuk had decided that a sharp opening was suitable for the last round today. This says enough: what a wonderful winner we have! The Ukrainian beat Cheparinov, and we already have the press conference afterwards. Photos closing ceremony added.

Thanks to a fantastic start of five wins in a row, Ivanchuk's victory was never really in danger. In the end he scored six wins and three draws, setting a performance rating of 2977. Of course Topalov had an excellent tournament as well, and his score of 6,5 / 10 is normally enough to win this tournament (two years ago he won with that score, and last year 5,5 points was even enough to finish clear first).

Radjabov can be satisfied as well: he finished a very tough chess period - he played 31 games in 46 days - with a result a bit above his expected score. Cheparinov played slightly under his rating and so only Bu and Aronian leave Sofia disappointedly.

Well, the Chinese grandmaster has repeated again and again that he sees his first super tournament as one big learning experience, so he'll be all right, but Aronian is really not happy. This man has finished first more often than last in his career!

Thanks to his tournament victory, Vassily has qualified for the Bilbao Grand Slam in September, after Levon Aronian (Corus) and Viswanathan Anand (Linares). During the press conference it became clear that he didn't know anything about that tournament yet - he wondered if it was a rapid event! This shows how much Ivanchuk loves the game of course - he doesn't have time for unimportant details.

Cheparinov-Ivanchuk + the press conference:

Round 10 Ivanchuk hadn't played this line of the Taimanov Sicilian that often but he could use his experience with the white pieces. 17.Rg3 was an interesting novely by Cheparinov, but Ivanchuk reacted strongly with 17...b4 and 18...Bd8!, taking away the b6 square from the white knight. White was forced to allow a weakening of his king's position and therefore objectively speaking he should have gone for a slightly worse ending with 24.Bxb6 Qxb6 (24...Bxb6 25.Qh4 is a better version than the game) 25.Qxb6 (25.Qh4 h6) 25...Bxb6 because the text move 24.Qh4 was not dangerous, as Chucky showed.

The other two games ended in a draw. The early phase of Topalov-Radjabov was very attractive but actually it's theory until 17...Bf3: the game Klovans-Sveshnikov, Riga 2005 ended in a draw after 18.Qa4+ Bc6 19.Qd1. After this game Topalov will have the same insight as Klovans: White can't escape from the bind and has to allow a perpetual check somewhere.

Aronian-Bu Xiangzhi was a duel for last place (in the end, the disappointing Armenian finished at the bottom on tiebreak!). From a Gr?ɬºnfeld the players quickly went to an ending with an extra pawn for White, but due to Black's activity White couldn't prevent a total exchange of pawns on the queenside. The resulting ending was not difficult to draw for Bu.


Videos by Europe-Echecs:

players All players received their cartoon portrait that hang in the press room during the tournament...

wine a bottle of Magura wine with their own name on the label

ceo_mtel Josef Vinatzer, CEO of M-Tel, handed a special prize to the winner: a copy of a very old Bulgarian version of the Holy Trinity.

painting Ivanchuk shows his latest addition to an already huge prize collection

bilbao Juan Carlos Fernandez gives Ivanchuk the contract for the Bilbao Grand Slam tournament in September


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