Kramnik Wins Razuvaev Memorial

Kramnik Wins Razuvaev Memorial

| 18 | Chess Event Coverage

GM Vladimir Kramnik has still got it. On Friday the 14th world champion won the Razuvaev Memorial blitz tournament as he defeated GM Evgeny Tomashevsky 1.5-0.5 in the playoff final. Among the participants was French GM Joel Lautier, who retired in 2009.

The Razuvaev Memorial, a joint effort of the Russian Chess Federation and, was an eight-player round-robin tournament with 5+3 blitz games on Friday, November 6. The players who were invited were all, to one degree or another, a student of the legendary author, player, and coach Yuri Sergeyvich Razuvaev, who passed away in 2012 at the age of 67.

The day before the tournament, an online opening ceremony was held. Among the guests were the tournament participants as well as the widow Natalya Petrovna Razuvaeva, son Alexander, and friends and colleagues of the Razuvaev: Anatoly Vaisser, Boris Gulko, Boris Zlotnik, Mikhail Krasenkov, Sergei Makarychev, Gennady Nesis, Dmitry Plisetskiy, and Boris Postovsky, among others.

The opening ceremony (in Russian).

The tournament itself was held on Friday afternoon. Besides Kramnik, quite special was the participation of GM Lautier, the French grandmaster who was a very strong player in the 1990s and early 2000s before he completely retired from chess to start a business career.

Somewhat surprisingly, Kramnik and Lautier seem to have played just once before in an official event. The database only produces their game at the Intel Rapid tournament in Paris in 1995.

Kramnik won that game as Black, and a quarter of a century later he won again. The game was exemplary for Lautier's tournament as a whole: he would do fine in the opening but at some point, his rustiness would show. (Kramnik himself needed to warm up a little too!)

Joel Lautier Razuvaev

A big game was between Kramnik and GM Ian Nepomniachtchi in round three. The youngest of the two Russian grandmasters set up the game aggressively but was dealt with a beautiful counterpunch:

There was a nice finish in the game between Russian GMs Mikhail Kobalia and Vladimir Potkin, both mostly active as trainers these days. When Kobalia sac'ed his queen, Potkin graciously allowed the checkmate:

Final Standings

# Fed Name Username rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Pts
1 Evgeny Tomashevsky @EvgenyT 2864 3107 ½ 1 ½ 1 1 1 1 6.0/7
2 Vladimir Kramnik @VladimirKramnik 2907 2949 ½ 1 ½ ½ ½ 1 1 5.0/7
3 Ian Nepomniachtchi @lachesisQ 3154 2914 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 5.0/7
4 Boris Gelfand @Remontada2017 2922 2788 ½ ½ 0 ½ 1 ½ ½ 3.5/7
5 Mikhail Kobalia @Kobalia 2740 2763 0 ½ 0 ½ ½ ½ 1 3.0/7
6 Alexander Motylev @almo64 2692 2718 0 ½ 0 0 ½ ½ 1 2.5/7
7 Joel Lautier @JoelLautier 2493 2689 0 0 0 ½ ½ ½ ½ 2.0/7
8 Vladimir Potkin @VladimirPotkin 2664 2514 0 0 0 ½ 0 0 ½ 1.0/7

Before the start, it was agreed that the winner and the runner-up would play a playoff of two games and in case of a tie, an armageddon. Kramnik won the first playoff game with the black pieces against Tomashevsky as he dealt just a bit better with a tactically complicated middlegame.

The second game was also wild. In a must-win situation, Tomashevsky again got his chances but overall, Kramnik was mostly in control.

Money prizes were involved for this tournament for the top three players, which they chose to give to the widow of Razuvaev.

The live broadcast of the tournament.

All games

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