Ivanchuk Wins At Petrov Memorial With The King's Gambit

Ivanchuk Wins At Petrov Memorial With The King's Gambit

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Mar 10, 2015, 4:09 PM |
17 | Chess Event Coverage

Lots of strong grandmasters gathered in Jurmala, Latvia over the weekend to play in the Vladimir Petrov Memorial.

GM Vladimir Malakhov of Russia won the blitz section; GM Vassily Ivanchuk of Ukraine clinched first prize in the rapid.

Ivanchuk won the rapid | Photo Maria Emelianova.

Time flies. It was five years ago when GM Alexei Shirov switched back federations to Latvia. Ever since, he has been active at a tournament organized in his home country. One of his events is the annual Petrov Memorial.

Vladimir Petrov was a Latvian chess master who lived in the first half of the 20th century. He shouldn't be confused with Alexander Dmitrievich Petrov, the Russian player of the mid-19th century whose name is connected to the opening moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6.

The "Latvian Petrov" was quite a strong player; for example he tied for first with Samuel Reshevsky and Salo Flohr at Kemeri in 1937, ahead of Alexander Alekhine, Paul Keres, Endre Steiner, Saviely Tartakower, Reuben Fine, Gideon Stahlberg and others. He died tragically in a Soviet camp during the Second World War.

It is great to see that the Vladimir Petrov Memorial has become an annual event, where many strong players participate each time. It was held March 6-8 at the Jurmala City Museum in Jurmala, Latvia.

On Friday a blitz tournament was held at the Amber Beach resort in Jurmala. The time control was three minutes plus three seconds for each move starting with the first move.

After 10 rounds the Russian grandmaster Vladimir Malakhov emerged as the winner. The top seed edged out GM Daniel Fridman, GM Valentina Gunina and GM Loek van Wely on tiebreak after this group of four had finished on eight points.

2015 Petrov Memorial | Blitz, Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Title Name Fed Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 1 GM Malakhov Vladimir RUS 2738 8 57 70 2731
2 7 GM Fridman Daniel GER 2618 8 54 67,5 2659
3 5 GM Gunina Valentina RUS 2630 8 53,5 66,5 2687
4 4 GM Van Wely Loek NED 2663 8 48,5 60 2622
5 22 GM Ehlvest Jaan USA 2482 7,5 53,5 65,5 2631
6 10 GM Popov Valerij RUS 2580 7,5 51 63,5 2569
7 6 GM Socko Bartosz POL 2630 7,5 50 61,5 2545
8 9 GM Sakaev Konstantin RUS 2591 7,5 50 61,5 2537
9 2 GM Fedoseev Vladimir RUS 2682 7,5 49 62 2612
10 20 GM Gleizerov Evgeny RUS 2502 7 54 66 2602
11 28 GM Kovalev Andrei BLR 2430 7 52,5 64 2548
12 21 GM Yevseev Denis RUS 2494 7 52 64,5 2525
13 23 FM Przybylski Wojciech POL 2482 7 51,5 62,5 2584
14 14 GM Novikov Stanislav RUS 2544 7 46 58 2380
15 12 GM Dobrov Vladimir RUS 2576 7 44,5 54,5 2391
16 26 IM Lugovskoy Maxim RUS 2432 6,5 55,5 67,5 2545
17 15 GM Heberla Bartlomiej POL 2536 6,5 54 67,5 2528
18 25 IM Meskovs Nikita LAT 2450 6,5 52 64,5 2511
19 18 GM Zilka Stepan CZE 2513 6,5 49,5 60 2480
20 8 GM Shirov Alexei LAT 2614 6,5 49 59 2484

(Full final standings here.)

Vladimir Malakhov won the blitz. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

More prestigious was the rapid tournament held on Saturday and Sunday in the Jurmala City Museum. Some big names played, such as GM Sergey Karjakin, GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, GM Boris Gelfand, GM Evgeny Tomashevsky, GM Vassily Ivanchuk, GM Arkadij Naiditsch, GM Alexander Morozevich and GM Richard Rapport.

In this tournament, an 11-round Swiss, the time control was 15 minutes for each player plus six seconds increment for each move.

The game between Mamedyarov and Gelfand. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

Good old GM Vassily Ivanchuk managed to win this event as the only player finishing on 9.0/11. Tied for second place were GM Sergey Karjakin, GM Boris Gelfand and GM Richard Rapport.

It's always interesting to see how Ivanchuk, who plays just about every opening himself, responds to sidelines. He simply chose a King's Indian type of setup against Rapport's 1.b3, and had no trouble against further creativity from the Hungarian player.

Ivanchuk also defeated GM Shakhriyar Mamedyarov as Black, from a Nimzo-Indian.


Against GM Sergey Karjakin, Ivanchuk played the romantic King's Gambit. Throughout his career the Ukrainain genius has been quite successful winning against that opening from the black side, but that didn't stop him from using it to beat his former compatriot:

Karjakin resigns his game vs Ivanchuk. | Photo Maria Emelianova.

2015 Petrov Memorial | Rapid, Final Standings (Top 20)

Rk. SNo Title Name Fed Rtg Pts. TB1 TB2 TB3
1 1 GM Ivanchuk Vassily UKR 2809 9 66,5 80,5 2897
2 2 GM Karjakin Sergey RUS 2798 8,5 65,5 79 2794
3 6 GM Gelfand Boris ISR 2724 8,5 64,5 78,5 2806
4 7 GM Rapport Richard HUN 2724 8,5 61 75,5 2751
5 3 GM Mamedyarov Shakhriyar AZE 2766 8 66 80 2812
6 17 GM Sakaev Konstantin RUS 2615 8 62 75,5 2711
7 13 GM Fridman Daniel GER 2643 8 56,5 70,5 2647
8 15 GM Shirov Alexei LAT 2622 7,5 59,5 72,5 2619
9 4 GM Tomashevsky Evgeny RUS 2748 7,5 58,5 72 2642
10 18 GM Khalifman Alexander RUS 2585 7,5 57,5 69,5 2606
11 26 GM Fedorov Alexei BLR 2547 7,5 57 70,5 2612
12 24 GM Krasenkow Michal POL 2550 7,5 56,5 69 2629
13 20 GM Popov Valerij RUS 2583 7,5 55 66,5 2528
14 11 GM Van Wely Loek NED 2662 7,5 53,5 65 2524
15 23 GM Shomoev Anton RUS 2551 7 60,5 73,5 2647
16 9 GM Malakhov Vladimir RUS 2706 7 59,5 73,5 2657
17 8 GM Fedoseev Vladimir RUS 2714 7 59 73,5 2639
18 10 GM Naiditsch Arkadij GER 2698 7 59 70,5 2575
19 39 GM Ehlvest Jaan USA 2479 7 58,5 69,5 2613
20 12 GM Socko Bartosz POL 2661 7 58,5 69,5 2588

(Full final standings here.)

More from PeterDoggers
Carlsen Tops Biel Field, Starting Tomorrow

Carlsen Tops Biel Field, Starting Tomorrow

Nepomniachtchi Beats Teammate Kramnik Brilliantly: Dortmund R5

Nepomniachtchi Beats Teammate Kramnik Brilliantly: Dortmund R5