Potkin wins European Championship on tie-break

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
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Potkin wins European Championship on tie-breakOn Saturday Vladimir Potkin won the European Championship in Aix les Bains, France. In the last round the Russian grandmaster drew quickly with Judit Polgar, and eventually edged out Radoslaw Wojtaszek, Alexander Moiseenko and Polgar on tie-break. The tournament ended with much confusion among participants about the way the organizers dealt with the tie-breaks for the World Cup qualification spots.

Numbers 2, 1, 3: Wojtaszek, Potkin and Polgar | Photo © French Chess Federation

General info

The 12th European Individual Chess Championship was held from March 21 till April 3rd, 2011 in Aix les Bain, France. It was an 11-round Swiss system with a total of 407 participants (172 GMs). There were 23 qualification spots for the World Cup 2011 in August-September in Khanty-Mansiysk (Russia). More info here.

Report rounds 10-11

After four consecutive draws, on Friday Vladimir Potkin had saved up enough energy to beat Baadur Jobava with the black pieces.

Jobava-Potkin Aix les Bains 2011 Jobava-Potkin

The Georgian grandmaster now finds an original, but not very practical miniplan: 16. Rd6 O-O 17. Nd5 and now Potkin simply answered with 17... cxd5! 18. Rxb6 axb6

Jobava-Potkin

This position is just much more difficult to play for White because of the weakened king's position. It was over quickly: 19. a3 dxe4 20. axb4 exf3 21. bxc5 fxe2 22. c6 Nd4 23. Qd3 Nxc6 24. f3

Jobava-Potkin

24... Ra4 25. Qd7 Rxh4 26. Qxb7 Rd4 0-1


Judit Polgar won her fourth game in a row, again showing creative chess.

Polgar-Iordachescu Aix les Bains 2011 Polgar-Iordachescu

16. cxd5!? axb5 17. Rc1 Qb8 18. dxe6 fxe6 19. Qb3

Polgar-Iordachescu

19... Nf8 This seems too passive. 20. Qxb5+ Kf7 21. Rxc8 Qxc8 22. Rc1 Qb8 23. g4 Nh6 24. Qb4 Kg8 25. Bxh6 gxh6 26. Qe7 Qe8 27. Qxb7 Qa4 28. b4 Be8 29. Qe7 Qd7

Polgar-Iordachescu

30. Rc7! Qxe7 31. Rxe7 and Black's horrible kingside was no match for the white passed pawns.

In this 10th round Radowslaw Wojtaszek beat Ildar Khairullin from Russia to join Polgar and Potkin in the lead, with a score of 8/10. Peter Svidler reached 7.5/10 by defeating Mikhail Kobalia.

Svidler-Kobalia Aix les Bains 2011 Svidler-Kobalia

About this position we can say something very similar to what we said about Polgar-Guseinov in an earlier report. The ending looks extremely drawish, but Svidler just kept on pressing and used lots of small, tactical nuances to eventually win at move 64. Enjoy it in the game viewer below.

A day later the grandmaster from St. Petersburg drew rather quickly with Radoslaw Wojtaszek. This way he must have had enough time to spend on more important things.

Update: We were told that in fact, Svidler stayed on the stage to watch his colleagues for quite some time (into the 4th hour) and missed the cricket final. He later explained this was partly by accident -- he just didn't feel like going back to his hotel -- but that he wasn't all that interested once England was eliminated.

Polgar and Potkin finished their game even quicker, and also split the point. Perhaps it would have been more of a fight with colours reversed; who knows.

This way Vallejo, who had White against Mamedov, suddenly had a serious chance to finish shared first, with probably the best tiebreak of all. However, as he explained on Facebook, somehow his opponent expected his Alapin and was well prepared for it. The game was drawn at move 19.

And so Potkin, Wojtaszek, Polgar shared first place with 8.5/11, together with Alexander Moiseenko who beat Luke McShane in the last round.

Moiseenko-McShane Aix les Bains 2011 Moiseenko-McShane

26. Ra3! Re8? After 26... Kg7 it's not clear how exactly White should continue the attack. 27. Qxh5+ Kg7?! More resilient was 27... Kg8 28. Qf3 Bg7 29. Qxf7+ Kh8.

Moiseenko-McShane

28. Raf3 Rh8 29. Rxf6 Rxh5 30. Rxd6 Bxa4 31. Rdf6 and White won.

Moiseenko, Polgar, Potkin and Wojtaszek ended on 8.5/11. Although the official regulations (in PDF here) don't mention it, we may assume that these four players shared the first four prizes of 20,000, 15,000, 11,000 and 8,000 Euro which comes down to 13,500 Euro each.

World Cup qualification

At the closing ceremony there was much confusion among the top finishing participants about the way the organizers dealt with the tie-breaks for the World Cup qualification spots. Unlike in previous years the European Championship didn't have play-off rapid matches for this. Instead, the following tie-break rules were used:

a) Performance Rating; b) Median-Buchholz 1, the highest number wins; c) Buchholz, the highest number wins; d) Number of wins, the highest number wins; In case of (a) the highest and the lowest rated opponent will be deleted and the maximum rating difference of two players shall be 400 points. In case of unplayed games for the calculation of (a), (b) and (c) the current FIDE tournament rules shall be applied.


The confusion was about the way the organizers calculated the Performance Rating: besides removing the highest and lowest rating for everyone, also the score against these two players was removed, which led to different results than many had anticipated. (One effect of this calculation might be that a win against the highest rated opponent works out negatively.) And so until minutes before the closing ceremony started, some players thought they had qualified for the World Cup, but then found out they hadn't.

According to the tie-breaks, the first 23 players were Potkin, Wojtaszek, Polgar, Moiseenko, Vallejo, Ragger, Feller, Svidler, Mamedov, Vitiugov, Zhigalko, Jakovenko, Korobov, Inarkiev, Postny, Azarov, Khairullin, Kobalia, Guliyev, Zherebukh, Riazantsev, Iordachescu and Lupulescu.

However, according to our information Potkin, Svidler and Mamedov had already qualified, and so the numbers 24-26 are also in: McShane, Fridman and Motylev. They all have the right to play in Khanty-Mansiysk in August-September of this year, together with last year's qualifiers Nepomiachtchi, Jobava, Timofeev, Efimenko, Lysyj, Almasi, Tomashevsky, Rodshtein, Salgado Lopez, Pashikian, Movsesian, Drozdovskij, Babula, Vorobiov, Akopian, Nisipeanu, Alekseev, Socko, Grachev and Halkias.

We should mention that all this info is considered preliminary until it's certified by the ECU and FIDE, which is expected to happen in about a week from now.

Selection of games rounds 10-11



Game viewer by ChessTempo


European Individual Championship 2011 | Aix les Bains | Round 11 (Final) Standings (Top 100)
Rk Name Ti FED Rtg Pts TB1 TB2 TB3
1 Potkin Vladimir GM RUS 2653 8.5 2849 63.5 78.0
2 Wojtaszek Radoslaw GM POL 2711 8.5 2826 63.0 77.0
3 Polgar Judit GM HUN 2686 8.5 2799 63.5 77.0
4 Moiseenko Alexander GM UKR 2673 8.5 2755 62.0 74.5
5 Vallejo Pons Francisco GM ESP 2707 8.0 2819 66.5 80.0
6 Ragger Markus GM AUT 2614 8.0 2783 62.5 76.0
7 Feller Sebastien GM FRA 2657 8.0 2766 58.5 70.5
8 Svidler Peter GM RUS 2730 8.0 2751 62.5 76.5
9 Mamedov Rauf GM AZE 2667 8.0 2751 61.0 74.0
10 Vitiugov Nikita GM RUS 2720 8.0 2741 63.0 76.5
11 Zhigalko Sergei GM BLR 2680 8.0 2732 59.5 72.0
12 Jakovenko Dmitry GM RUS 2718 8.0 2719 60.0 72.5
13 Korobov Anton GM UKR 2647 8.0 2697 61.5 75.0
14 Inarkiev Ernesto GM RUS 2674 8.0 2695 60.0 72.5
15 Postny Evgeny GM ISR 2585 8.0 2633 52.0 64.0
16 Azarov Sergei GM BLR 2615 7.5 2776 62.5 75.0
17 Khairullin Ildar GM RUS 2634 7.5 2771 61.5 74.5
18 Kobalia Mikhail GM RUS 2672 7.5 2754 57.0 70.5
19 Guliyev Namig GM AZE 2522 7.5 2739 59.5 71.0
20 Zherebukh Yaroslav GM UKR 2560 7.5 2739 59.0 71.5
21 Riazantsev Alexander GM RUS 2679 7.5 2728 60.0 72.5
22 Iordachescu Viorel GM MDA 2626 7.5 2725 62.0 76.0
23 Lupulescu Constantin GM ROU 2626 7.5 2722 58.0 71.0
24 Mcshane Luke J GM ENG 2683 7.5 2718 59.0 72.5
25 Fridman Daniel GM GER 2661 7.5 2717 56.5 69.0
26 Motylev Alexander GM RUS 2677 7.5 2716 59.0 71.0
27 Ivanisevic Ivan GM SRB 2617 7.5 2712 58.5 71.0
28 Jobava Baadur GM GEO 2707 7.5 2711 58.0 71.5
29 Parligras Mircea-Emilian GM ROU 2598 7.5 2709 65.0 78.5
30 Romanov Evgeny GM RUS 2624 7.5 2709 55.5 68.5
31 Esen Baris GM TUR 2528 7.5 2707 61.0 73.0
32 Nielsen Peter Heine GM DEN 2670 7.5 2703 55.0 67.5
33 Cheparinov Ivan GM BUL 2664 7.5 2698 62.0 75.0
34 Gustafsson Jan GM GER 2647 7.5 2687 55.0 67.0
35 Kulaots Kaido GM EST 2601 7.5 2669 54.5 67.5
36 Smirin Ilia GM ISR 2658 7.5 2668 56.5 69.0
37 Saric Ivan GM CRO 2626 7.5 2651 58.5 72.5
38 Pashikian Arman GM ARM 2642 7.5 2649 55.5 68.0
39 Edouard Romain GM FRA 2600 7.5 2634 52.5 66.0
40 Bologan Viktor GM MDA 2671 7.5 2629 56.0 68.5
41 Beliavsky Alexander G GM SLO 2619 7.5 2627 57.5 70.5
42 Rublevsky Sergei GM RUS 2678 7.5 2627 55.0 67.0
43 Volkov Sergey GM RUS 2621 7.5 2625 54.5 67.0
44 Sjugirov Sanan GM RUS 2643 7.5 2594 56.0 68.0
45 Mastrovasilis Dimitrios GM GRE 2584 7.0 2703 58.5 71.5
46 Reinderman Dimitri GM NED 2601 7.0 2694 58.5 72.0
47 Nikolic Predrag GM BIH 2596 7.0 2685 56.5 69.0
48 Nepomniachtchi Ian GM RUS 2729 7.0 2680 60.0 73.5
49 Halkias Stelios GM GRE 2579 7.0 2662 58.5 71.0
50 Ter-Sahakyan Samvel GM ARM 2575 7.0 2654 59.0 72.0
51 Nyback Tomi GM FIN 2656 7.0 2646 54.0 66.0
52 Fressinet Laurent GM FRA 2693 7.0 2641 56.0 68.5
53 Lenic Luka GM SLO 2623 7.0 2636 54.5 67.0
54 Grigoryan Avetik GM ARM 2608 7.0 2631 53.0 65.0
55 Smeets Jan GM NED 2660 7.0 2627 55.0 68.0
56 Rapport Richard GM HUN 2540 7.0 2624 54.5 67.0
57 Hammer Jon Ludvig GM NOR 2606 7.0 2621 59.0 72.0
58 Akopian Vladimir GM ARM 2675 7.0 2620 56.5 69.0
59 Khalifman Alexander GM RUS 2637 7.0 2615 53.5 66.0
60 Pantsulaia Levan GM GEO 2595 7.0 2613 61.0 73.0
61 Jones Gawain C B GM ENG 2578 7.0 2611 58.5 71.0
62 Michalik Peter IM SVK 2471 7.0 2611 55.0 65.0
63 Gharamian Tigran GM FRA 2650 7.0 2604 56.5 69.0
64 Matlakov Maxim GM RUS 2625 7.0 2600 56.0 68.0
65 Andriasian Zaven GM ARM 2645 7.0 2591 54.5 67.0
66 Popov Ivan GM RUS 2613 7.0 2590 54.5 66.5
67 Chatalbashev Boris GM BUL 2602 7.0 2582 50.5 62.5
68 Brkic Ante GM CRO 2592 7.0 2564 54.0 67.5
69 Balogh Csaba GM HUN 2601 7.0 2545 55.0 68.0
70 Fedorchuk Sergey A GM UKR 2662 7.0 2529 54.0 66.5
71 Guseinov Gadir GM AZE 2584 6.5 2705 60.0 73.0
72 Wirig Anthony IM FRA 2480 6.5 2683 63.5 74.5
73 Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter GM ROU 2673 6.5 2680 62.0 76.0
74 Sutovsky Emil GM ISR 2692 6.5 2678 63.5 76.5
75 Grachev Boris GM RUS 2675 6.5 2657 57.0 69.5
76 Kovchan Alexander GM UKR 2563 6.5 2652 63.5 76.5
77 Volokitin Andrei GM UKR 2677 6.5 2648 63.0 76.5
78 Naiditsch Arkadij GM GER 2684 6.5 2647 56.0 68.5
79 Savchenko Boris GM RUS 2616 6.5 2642 61.5 74.5
80 Khismatullin Denis GM RUS 2662 6.5 2642 57.5 71.0
81 Maze Sebastien GM FRA 2559 6.5 2641 62.0 74.5
82 Hracek Zbynek GM CZE 2631 6.5 2634 58.5 72.5
83 Stevic Hrvoje GM CRO 2611 6.5 2630 58.5 71.5
84 Dreev Aleksey GM RUS 2697 6.5 2627 61.0 74.5
85 Gabrielian Artur GM RUS 2532 6.5 2621 62.5 75.5
86 Ziska Helgi Dam IM FAI 2432 6.5 2620 52.5 65.0
87 Safarli Eltaj GM AZE 2628 6.5 2618 56.5 69.0
88 Popov Valerij GM RUS 2565 6.5 2611 55.5 67.0
89 Laznicka Viktor GM CZE 2688 6.5 2610 55.0 67.5
90 Pridorozhni Aleksei GM RUS 2542 6.5 2605 60.0 72.0
91 Nevednichy Vladislav GM ROU 2534 6.5 2601 56.0 68.5
92 Jaracz Pawel GM POL 2565 6.5 2600 55.0 67.0
93 Vuckovic Bojan GM SRB 2626 6.5 2598 53.5 65.5
94 Rogozenco Dorian GM ROU 2553 6.5 2597 58.0 69.0
95 Cornette Matthieu GM FRA 2548 6.5 2592 56.5 69.0
96 Zvjaginsev Vadim GM RUS 2663 6.5 2588 55.0 67.5
97 Aleksandrov Aleksej GM BLR 2638 6.5 2584 52.0 64.5
98 Bartel Mateusz GM POL 2638 6.5 2581 56.5 69.0
99 Vedmediuc Serghei IM MDA 2422 6.5 2577 57.5 70.5
100 Georgiev Kiril GM BUL 2666 6.5 2577 54.0 66.5



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