Jobava Wins Bronstein Memorial on Tiebreak
Drawing his last two games, Baadur Jobava managed to maintain his lead and eventually won the Bronstein Memorial on tiebreak, ahead of Ukrainian grandmasters Sergey Fedorchuk and Mikhailo Oleksienko. The last round was played on Bronstein's 90th birthday.
Photo courtesy of the Russian Chess Federation
With a half-point lead going into the penultimate round, Baadur Jobava faced the strong and solid Dutch grandmaster Sergei Tiviakov. For the fans this wasn't much of a game, but for the tournament leader Tiviakov's early draw offer must have been a relief. An easy draw as Black at this stage of the tournament is usually quite welcome! Many tournament organizers these days avoid such games, however, by having a no-draw rule before move 30, or even move 40.
This meant that Jobava and Tiviakov could enjoy their day and watch how their colleagues would fare. As it turned out, the Georgian grandmaster would keep his half-point lead because boards 2, 3 and 4 were also drawn. In two of those the material imbalance BN vs R was seen.
Sergey Fedorchuk joined the group with six points. His opponent Boris Grachev avoided a move repetition on move 28 but was subsequently outplayed. Black's knight turned out to be stronger than White's bishop in the endgame.
In the last round Jobava again drew his game very quickly.
Two players caught Jobava in first place, both from Ukraine: Sergey Fedorchuk and Mikhailo Oleksienko. Fedorchuk prevented Daniil Dubov from taking one of his first big prizes in what was an excellent game for White against the Classical Sicilian. A model Richter-Rauzer.
Oleksienko beat Tiviakov in one of his pet lines, the Accelarated Dragon. Black's setup with ...Qb8 and ...Rfc8 was interesting and the pawn break 22...b5 was a positional success for Black. However, 26...d5 looks wrong (26...Rc3) and from that point White took the initiative and won material.
Let's finish the report with one more game that showed that even 2600 players sometimes don't know the latest theory and get busted in the opening:
The Bronstein Memorial takes place 11-19 February in Minsk, Belarus. It is held on the occasion of Bronstein's 90th birthday this week: the great Soviet grandmaster was born on 19 February 1924 in Bila Tserkva, Ukraine. He passed away on 5 December 2006 in Minsk, where the tournament was held. On the Chesspro website an articly by Vladimir Barsky on Bronstein has appeared.
Bronstein Memorial 2014 | Final Standings (Top 40)
|2||15||GM||Fedorchuk Sergey A||UKR||2641||7||2504|
|21||31||GM||Grigoryan Karen H||ARM||2584||6||2435|
|37||20||GM||Tregubov Pavel V||RUS||2629||5,5||2412|
(Full standings here.)