Ponomariov wins Ukrainian Championship convincingly

0 | Chess Event Coverage
Ponomariov wins Ukrainian Championship convincinglyRuslan Ponomariov won the the Ukrainian Championship in Kiev convincingly. In his home town, the 27-year-old grandmaster scored 8.5/11 and a 2852 performance rating. Pavel Eljanov finished clear second with 7.5 points.

General info

The 80th Ukrainian Championship took place June 10-21 in the Ukrainian House in Kiev. With an average Elo of 2650.0 it was the strongest Ukrainian championship ever, with three players above 2700 and six above 2600. The rate of play was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves plus 30 minutes to end the game, with a 30-second increment from move 1.

Rounds 9-11

We first reported on the tournament after eight rounds, when Ruslan Ponomariov was still undefeated and leading by a half-point margin. We already mentioned that in the 9th round he drew quickly with his good friend Zahar Efimenko. Pavel Eljanov, who was trailing by half a point, couldn't create winning chances with Black against Spartak Vysochin's Alapin Sicilian.

In the penultimate round on Monday Ponomariov defeated Alexander Kovchan, while Eljanov and Efimenko drew a hard-fought game. In the mean time Alexander Moiseenko had reached clear second place, half a point behind the leader.

And so the tournament had a dream final, with the number 1 and 2 playing against each other. In this crucial game Ponomariov defeated Moiseenko with the black pieces in a very complicated ending to secure the championship. Eljanov beat Kovchan with Black to finish in clear second place.

Winning the strong national championship undefeated and a 2852 performance over 11 rounds is another sign that Ponomariov is fully back in the elite, after showing excellent form for quite a while already. Examples are his second place in the 2009 FIDE World Cup, his victory in Dortmund last year (he'll be defending his title in a few weeks) and his second place at the Aeroflot Blitz Championship in February this year.

Ruslan Ponomariov wins a very strong Ukrainian Championship

Ruslan Ponomariov - the former FIDE World Champion has now re-entered the world's top 10 in the live ratings.

Selection of games rounds 9-11

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Ukrainian Championship 2011 | Round 11 (Final) Standings

Photos © Ukrainian Chess Federation, more here

Ponomariov receiving the trophy from FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov

Ponomariov receiving the trophy from FIDE President Kirsan Ilyumzhinov | Photo © FIDE


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