Karpov & Timman Are Playing (But Korchnoi Is Not)

Karpov & Timman Are Playing (But Korchnoi Is Not)

| 10 | Chess Event Coverage

The short & friendly match between Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman in Groningen started with two draws. The two chess legends are playing in the Groninger Museum and two more games are scheduled. Viktor Korchnoi, on the other hand, unfortunately had to withdraw from the Zurich Christmas Open.

Last Saturday the news came out that Viktor Korchnoi had entered for the Zurich Christmas Open, but unfortunately his comeback was not to be. The official website writes:

Unfortunately, Viktor Korchnoi can not fulfill his wish of participating in the traditional tournament. Health reasons force him to stay at home. We wish him a speedy recovery and all the best in the coming year.

And so do we, and the rest of the chess community.

The good news is that two other chess legends are facing each other at the chess board this week: Anatoly Karpov and Jan Timman. The two grandmasters, both 62 years old, are playing a four-game match alongside the Groningen Chess Festival. The match, which is held twenty years after their historic world title match, takes place in the Groninger Museum.


The Groninger Museum | Photo Wikipedia

The games are played at 40 minutes plus 30 seconds per move; the first two ended in draws. Timman started his first white game with 1.e4, and probably wasn't surprised by Karpov's choice of the Scandinavian. This year the 12th World Champion played the system with 3...Qd6 in Kiev and Cap d'Agde, but in Groningen he moved back his queen all the way to d8. The Dutch GM tried to sharpen the game with an early pawn push in the center, but only held a tiny edge in the ending. 

Also in the second game it was Timman who had the better chances. In a Bogo-Indian he equalized without problems and after all minor pieces were traded, Black was slighthly better. However, he committed a big blunder on move 44 and was lucky that Karpov didn't see it either! After that, Black had one more chance to fight for more than a draw.

Elsewhere in Groningen, at the Sport Center of the Rijksuniversiteit & Hanzehogeschool, the open tournament is well under way. At the time of writing the sixth round is being played and Erwin l'Ami has won his game. GMs Evgeny Romanov and Peter Michalik, who were tied for first place with 4.5 points, drew their game. Top seed Maxim Rodshtein has only 3.5 points.

Here's a spectacular game from the 4th round:


And a nice miniature from earlier in the tournament:

Groningen Open 2013 | Round 5 standings (top 30)

Rank Name Score Fed. M/F Rating TPR W-We
1 GM Romanov, Evgeny 4.5 RUS M 2654 2816 +0.77
2 GM Michalik, Peter 4.5 SVK M 2577 2840 +1.39
3 GM L'Ami, Erwin 4.0 NED M 2645 2693 +0.36
4 GM Andriasian, Zaven 4.0 ARM M 2610 2658 +0.32
5 GM Kovchan, Alexander 4.0 UKR M 2562 2619 +0.47
6 IM Bok, Benjamin 4.0 NED M 2540 2641 +0.66
7 GM Greenfeld, Alon 4.0 ISR M 2531 2487 -0.15
8 IM Stukopin, Andrey 4.0 RUS M 2509 2674 +1.06
9 IM Azaladze, Shota 4.0 GEO M 2482 2610 +0.83
10 IM Cernousek, Lukas 4.0 CZE M 2455 2552 +0.62
11 GM Rodshtein, Maxim 3.5 ISR M 2683 2603 -0.37
12 GM Spoelman, Wouter 3.5 NED M 2585 2577 +0.06
13 GM Ernst, Sipke 3.5 NED M 2566 2406 -0.75
14 GM Novikov, Stanislav 3.5 RUS M 2556 2515 -0.18
15 GM Pruijssers, Roeland 3.5 NED M 2539 2503 -0.16
16 IM Burg, Twan 3.5 NED M 2490 2439 -0.26
17 GM Danielian, Elina 3.5 ARM F 2462 2529 +0.52
18 IM Javakhadze, Zurab 3.5 GEO M 2451 2456 +0.11
19 IM Lobzhanidze, Davit 3.5 GEO M 2445 2520 +0.69
20 IM Kohlweyer, Bernd 3.5 GER M 2431 2407 +0.02
21 IM Simonian, Tigran 3.5 ARM M 2401 2498 +0.70
22 IM Hendriks, Willy 3.5 NED M 2396 2414 +0.19
23 GM Peng, Zhaoqin 3.5 NED F 2369 2519 +1.04
24 FM Wacker, Peter 3.5 GER M 2293 2431 +0.99
25 Struik, Tjapko 3.5 NED M 2262 2310 +0.46
26 WIM Olsarova, Tereza 3.5 CZE F 2260 2422 +1.14
27 IM Klein, David 3.0 NED M 2491 2390 -0.54
28 IM Donchenko, Alexander 3.0 GER M 2455 2369 -0.37
29 FM Goudriaan, Etienne 3.0 NED M 2429 2342 -0.46
30 IM Willemze, Thomas 3.0 NED M 2421 2418 +0.07

One of the many side events is the University of Groningen Chess Challenge. This is another four-game match between Jan Werle (GM, 2510) and Nick Maatman (Dutch U20 Champion, 2227). And of course there are different rating groups for amateur players, 5-round events, a Grand Prix youth tournament, a school championship and much more. More info on the official website.

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