Reggio R7: Two quick draws and a blunder by Ivanchuk (UPDATE)

| 0 | Chess Event Coverage

Nikita Vitiugov scored his first win in Reggio Emilia as Vassily Ivanchuk committed a big blunder in round 7. Hikaru Nakamura drew quickly with Fabiano Caruana and maintained his 4-point lead, as Alexander Morozevich and Anish Giri split the point even quicker.

Event54th Torneo di Capodannno |  PGN via TWIC
DatesDecember 27th-January 6th, 2011
LocationReggio Emilia, Italy
System6-player double round robin
PlayersIvanchuk, Nakamura, Morozevich, Vitiugov, Caruana, Giri
Rate of play100 minutes for the first moves followed by 50 minutes to finish the game with 30 seconds increment from move 1

The tournament in Reggio Emilia has become stronger and stronger in recent years, and with the current field of participants it looks a lot like a super tournament such as Bazna or Dortmund. Therefore, we decided that this 54th edition 'deserved' daily round reports here at ChessVibes. However, we also feel that in certain areas the tournament still lacks the professionalism (experience?) that can be found at other events.

For example, this year the organizers decided to copy the most popular format at elite events these days: the 6-player, double round robin. However, they forgot to carefully check how the pairings are usually done. Instead of switching rounds 4 and 5, the schedule of the first half was kept as simply mirroring the second half. If you do this, there will always be one player having the same colour three rounds in a row.

In this tournament, Vassily Ivanchuk was the unlucky one, who had to play three games with Black consecutively. We won't go as far as saying this was the main reason, but it certainly didn't help either - the Ukrainian lost all three games.

UPDATE: We were informed by the organizers that they didn't 'forget' to change rounds 4 and 5, as they believe with a rest day this is not necessary, and that Ivanchuk has stated that his results have nothing to do with the 3 blacks but only to his form. We therefore regret to have written this part of the report without contacting the organizers first. 

Especially the third, in round 7, was a dramatic affair. In an equal position, Ivanchuk bundered a piece and immediately resigned.

[Event "54th Reggio Emilia"]
[Site "Reggio Emilia ITA"]
[Date "2012.01.03"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Vitiugov, N."]
[Black "Ivanchuk, V."]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "E21"]
[WhiteElo "2729"]
[BlackElo "2775"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "61"]
[EventDate "2011.12.27"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 c5 5. g3 Nc6 6. Bg2 Ne4 7. Bd2 Nxd2 8.
Qxd2 cxd4 9. Nxd4 O-O 10. a3 Be7 11. O-O Ne5 $146 (11... a6 12. Rac1 Rb8 13.
Rfd1 Na5 14. Qd3 b6 15. b4 Nb7 16. Qe3 {Wang Yue (2644)-Iordachescu,V (2563)/
Moscow 2007}) 12. b3 a6 13. Rfd1 Qc7 14. Ne4 f5 15. Nc3 Rb8 16. e4 fxe4 17.
Nxe4 b6 18. Qe2 Bb7 19. f4 Nc6 20. Nf3 Na5 21. Rd3 Bxe4 22. Qxe4 Nb7 23. b4 Nd6
24. Qe2 Nf7 25. Qd2 Rfd8 26. Re1 a5 27. Qc3 axb4 28. axb4 Rbc8 29. Nd2 Nd6 30.
Rc1 Nxc4 $4 {A blunder in a position where Black has more or less equalized.}
31. Nxc4 ({It's hard to point out what exactly Ivanchuk overlooked. Obviously
one tactical idea is} 31. Qxc4 $2 Qb8 $19) ({and perhaps after} 31. Nxc4 {he
intended} b5 32. Ne3 {forgetting that the white queen is also protected by the
rook on d3.}) ({Another explanation, suggested by TWIC's Mark Crowther, is
that after} 31. Nxc4 {Ivanchuk planned first} Bf6 {and only then 32...b5, but
White has} 32. Ne5 $18) 1-0

Unfortunately the round report on the official website doesn't provide an explanation either. This website is another aspect that should be improved. It lacks an English version, and almost all basic info, including the games and even videos, are hidden under the 'live games' link. The round reports are only available in PDF (why?) and the English versions are not written or checked by a native English speaker, which leads to sentences like:

Vitiugov – Ivanchuk seems to go towards a draw, but suddenly he unusefully looses a pawn.

That's all, no further comment. And it wasn't a pawn...

In other areas the organizers are doing a fine job; e.g. they're sending press releases, they connect with the fans via Facebook and they seem to be taking care of the players very well.

The New Year's Eve dinner in Reggio Emilia

Back to the chess, which involved two quick draws in the other games. After so many decisive results, it had to happen at some point! Alexander Morozevich was much more cautious than in the previous round, and allowed a move repetition as soon as he felt White had no advantage anymore. For Anish Giri a draw with Black was fine, of course. The young Dutchman even climbed to third place.

[Event "54th Reggio Emilia"]
[Site "Reggio Emilia ITA"]
[Date "2012.01.03"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Morozevich, A."]
[Black "Giri, A."]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "D31"]
[WhiteElo "2762"]
[BlackElo "2714"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "34"]
[EventDate "2011.12.27"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bf4 c6 6. e3 Bf5 7. g4 {The
Botvinnik approach, which enjoys a new wave of popularity.} Be6 8. h4 Nd7 (8...
Bxh4 9. Qb3 {is known to give White good compensation.}) 9. g5 $5 {This has
been played only once before.} ({Normally White goes} 9. h5) 9... h6 10. g6 $1
$146 {And this is new, albeit Houdini's first move.} (10. Qf3 hxg5 11. hxg5
Rxh1 12. Qxh1 Bxg5 13. Qh8 Kf8 14. Bd6+ Be7 15. Bf4 Ndf6 16. Bd3 Qc8 {wasn't
successful for White in Zacurdajev,M (2408)-Klimov,S (2483)/St Petersburg 2008}
) 10... Ngf6 $1 ({More solid than} 10... fxg6 11. Bd3 Bf7 12. Qc2) 11. gxf7+
Bxf7 12. Bd3 Nh5 13. Be5 O-O (13... Qb6 {followed by castling queenside was an
interesting option and certainly something worth analyzing.}) 14. Qg4 Nhf6 15.
Qg3 Nh5 16. Qg4 Nhf6 17. Qg3 Nh5 1/2-1/2

Giri and Morozevich just before the start of their game 

What is almost becoming a tradition here is to mention Hikaru Nakamura's post-game tweet:

As the saying goes...if you can't beat Svidler, you might as well play like him!

The American referred to Svidler's pet line, the Kan Sicilian, but also the recent, spectacular draw between Karjakin and Svidler at the Tal Memorial last month. Of course Caruana had seen it too, and by deviating at move 11 he kept a tiny edge, but a few moves later they players agreed to a draw.

[Event "54th Reggio Emilia"]
[Site "Reggio Emilia ITA"]
[Date "2012.01.03"]
[Round "7"]
[White "Caruana, F."]
[Black "Nakamura, Hi"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "B42"]
[WhiteElo "2727"]
[BlackElo "2758"]
[Annotator "ChessVibes"]
[PlyCount "42"]
[EventDate "2011.12.27"]

1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 a6 5. Bd3 Nf6 6. O-O e5 7. Bg5 h6 8. Bxf6
Qxf6 9. Nf5 g6 10. Ne3 Bc5 11. Nd5 $146 (11. Nc3 d6 12. Ncd5 Qd8 13. c3 Be6 14.
Bc2 O-O 15. Ng4 Nd7 16. Nxh6+ Kg7 17. Nf5+ gxf5 18. exf5 Bxd5 19. Qg4+ Kh6 20.
Qh3+ Kg5 21. Qg3+ Kh5 22. Qg7 Bf3 23. Qh7+ Kg5 24. Qg7+ Kh5 25. Qh7+ Kg5 26.
Qg7+ Kh5 {1/2-1/2 Karjakin,S (2763)-Svidler,P (2755)/Moscow 2011}) 11... Qd8
12. b4 Ba7 13. a4 d6 14. a5 Be6 15. Bc4 O-O 16. Qd3 Nc6 17. c3 Ne7 18. Nd2 Rc8
19. Rac1 Kg7 20. Kh1 Nxd5 21. Bxd5 Qe7 1/2-1/2

Caruana and Nakamura's post-mortem, with Giri kibitzing

In Wednesday's 8th round Nakamura faces Morozevich with White. A win would virtually secure tournament victory with two rounds to spare.

Reggio Emilia 2011 | Round 7 Standings

1Nakamura,H275815.0/7 2963
2Morozevich,A276211.0/7 2785
3Giri,A27149.0/7 2755
4Ivanchuk,V27758.0/7 2683
5Caruana,F27278.0/7 2701
6Vitiugov,N27295.0/7 2594

Reggio Emilia 2011 | Round 7 Standings (classical)


Reggio Emilia 2011 | Schedule & results

Round 127.12.1115:00 CET Round 602.01.1215:00 CET
Ivanchuk½-½Giri Giri1-0Ivanchuk
Vitiugov0-1Nakamura Nakamura1-0Vitiugov
Caruana0-1Morozevich Morozevich0-1Caruana
Round 228.12.1115:00 CET Round 703.01.1215:00 CET
Giri0-1Morozevich Morozevich½-½Giri
Nakamura½-½Caruana Caruana½-½Nakamura
Ivanchuk½-½Vitiugov Vitiugov1-0Ivanchuk
Round 329.12.1115:00 CET Round 804.01.1215:00 CET
Vitiugov½-½Giri Giri-Vitiugov
Caruana0-1Ivanchuk Ivanchuk-Caruana
Morozevich½-½Nakamura Nakamura-Morozevich
Round 430.12.1115:00 CET Round 905.01.1215:00 CET
Giri0-1Nakamura Nakamura-Giri
Ivanchuk1-0Morozevich Morozevich-Ivanchuk
Vitiugov0-1Caruana Caruana-Vitiugov
Round 531.12.1115:00 CET Round 1006.01.1213:00 CET
Caruana0-1Giri Giri-Caruana
Morozevich1-0Vitiugov Vitiugov-Morozevich
Nakamura1-0Ivanchuk Ivanchuk-Nakamura


More from PeterDoggers
Honorary Grandmaster Title Posthumously Awarded To Sultan Khan

Honorary Grandmaster Title Posthumously Awarded To Sultan Khan

Wei Yi Wins 2024 Tata Steel Chess Masters In Thrilling Tiebreak

Wei Yi Wins 2024 Tata Steel Chess Masters In Thrilling Tiebreak