Kovalenko Wins Najdorf Memorial With 2902 Performance

Kovalenko Wins Najdorf Memorial With 2902 Performance

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Jul 20, 2015, 3:11 AM |
2 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Igor Kovalenko won the Najdorf Memorial in Warsaw, Poland most convincingly. The 26-year-old Ukrainian-born Latvian GM scored 8.0/9, good for a 2902 performance rating and the € 5,000 ($5,500) first prize.

Photo courtesy of the Najdorf Memorial.

He's not that well known yet, and probably scored his career's best result last week in Poland: Igor Kovalenko. Born in Novomoskovsk, Ukraine in 1988, he switched federations to Latvia in 2013 and immediately won the Latvian championship that year and the next.

In the past few days, Kovalenko was in top shape. We know that he started with four out of four, just like GM Andrey Zhigalko of Belarus. Obviously the two played each other in round five, and despite playing Black, Kovalenko managed to keep his perfect score:

 

 

 

The playing hall: the Warsaw Sports and Recreation Center. | Photo courtesy of the Najdorf Memorial.

The next round he drew his white game with top seed Ivan Cheparinov, and then Kovalenko duly continued winning: he beat both Ukrainian GM Zahar Efimenko (Ukraine) and IM Nikita Meskovs (Latvia). Efimenko missed one move, and it was all over: 


With a 10-move draw (yes, they still exist!) with Michal Krasenkow, Kovalenko clinched the 5000 euro first prize. His 8.0/9 was a full point more than that of runner-up Cheparinov, and Kovalenko performed just above 2900.

 

2015 Najdorf Memorial | Final Standings (Top 20)

Place S.No. Title Name Fed. FIDE Total MBch. Bch. Perf
1 2 GM Kovalenko, Igor LAT 2682 8.0 40.50 52.00 2902
2 1 GM Cheparinov, Ivan BUL 2683 7.0 37.50 48.00 2739
3 8 GM Krasenkow, Michal POL 2610 6.5 40.00 52.50 2652
4 21 IM Kanarek, Marcel POL 2508 6.5 36.00 45.00 2667
5 14 GM Tomczak, Jacek POL 2579 6.5 35.00 46.00 2621
6 15 GM Zhigalko, Andrey BLR 2574 6.0 40.50 52.00 2658
7 30 IM Meskovs, Nikita LAT 2457 6.0 39.00 52.00 2695
8 5 GM Safarli, Eltaj AZE 2649 6.0 39.00 50.00 2603
9 10 GM Piorun, Kacper POL 2591 6.0 37.50 48.50 2597
10 16 GM Markowski, Tomasz POL 2566 6.0 37.50 48.50 2634
11 4 GM Efimenko, Zahar UKR 2652 6.0 35.50 46.00 2591
12 26 IM Klekowski, Maciej POL 2475 6.0 35.00 42.00 2597
13 20 GM Bajarani, Ulvi AZE 2515 6.0 33.50 43.50 2564
14 19 GM Rozentalis, Eduardas LTU 2530 6.0 32.00 40.50 2508
15 13 GM Miśta, Aleksander POL 2585 5.5 41.00 52.00 2611
16 31 IM Warakomski, Tomasz POL 2449 5.5 37.50 47.50 2584
17 29 IM Drozdowski, Kacper POL 2468 5.5 36.00 45.00 2522
18 9 GM Neiksans, Arturs LAT 2597 5.5 35.50 45.50 2519
19 25 IM Sunilduth Lyna, Narayanan IND 2475 5.5 34.50 45.50 2547
20 23 IM Sadzikowski, Daniel POL 2477 5.5 34.50 44.50 2488

Full final standings here.

L-R Cheparinov, Kovalenko, Krasenkow.Photo courtesy of the Najdorf Memorial.

The Najdorf Memorial took place July 10-18 in the Warsaw Sports and Recreation Center in the Polish capital. The top group had 21 players rated above 2500 and a rating threshold of 2200. The tournament was a memorial for the great Polish and Argentinian player Miguel (Mieczysław) Najdorf.


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