San Sebastian: all 2700+ GMs through to round 3

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All players rated above 2700 have survived the second round of the San Sebastian knock-out tournament. Other strong GMs were condemned to continue in the B tournament, such as Konstantin Landa, Loek van Wely and Ivan Cheparinov. 

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov eliminated Fabien Libiszewski in round 2 | All photos © David Llada and Anastasiya Karlovich

EventDonostia Chess Festival | PGN via TWIC
DatesDecember 28th-January 5th, 2011
LocationDonostia-San Sebastian, Spain
System64-player knock-out, matches of two games played simultaneously
PlayersGashimov, Mamedyarov, Ponomariov, Moiseenko, Bacrot, Naiditsch, Dominguez and Vachier-Lagrave are topping the list
Rate of play2 hours for all moves + 30 seconds increment

In the third round of the Donostia-San Sebastian Chess Festival, 32 players were fighting for the right to stay in the A group.  All players who lost their matches were redirected to the B tournament, and will play the third round in the B group on Saturday morning, 31st of December.

By Anastasiya Karlovich

16 players, including all GMs rated over 2700, continue their participation in the A group. Four matches were decided with tie-breaks (rapid chess) on Friday: Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Sebastian Maze, Sebastien Feller, Kamil Milton defeated Fabian Libiszewski, Loek Van Wely, Sergey Fedorchuk, Tigran Gharamian respectively. Thus, all 16 players from the A group have already guaranteed their first tournament prizes in the new year!

Top games round 3

PGN file

Here are some more impressions from top players.

GM Etienne Bacrot:

Yesterday it was quite an easy match because I played against an opponent with 1700 Elo. Today the match was complicated. At the end I got two slightly better positions and had more time but before, it was unclear. I was trying to play fast today but let's see what will happen in the next matches.

I didn't have any special preparation for this tournament because I didn't have time. I think it's not a bad idea to play here – one game can be boring but with two games we'll have some fun (laughing). It's also nice to have New Year's Eve here.

Etienne Bacrot

GM Alexander Moiseenko:

The system of the tournament is unusual but interesting. It's difficult to adapt to those matches because on the one hand you have time to think deeply on positions but on the other hand your attention switches to the other game. I think one game becomes more important at some point.

Probably I will face the toughest experiment in time trouble or during the blitz match but until now I didn't have that possibility and won both matches quietly. It happened to me twice that I started to write moves in different score sheets but in general I don't feel confused during the games.

Alexander Moiseenko, here behind Ruslan Ponomariov

In the first match against Komljenovic I got a comfortable position with Black and a slightly better position with White. Normally I would try to play for a win in such a position with the black pieces. When the position, where I had the white pieces, became winning I preferred to secure the draw in the other game in order to fix the general victory in the match.

Practice shows that weaker players rarely get extra chances playing unusual chess against stronger opponents. I think that the top-rated players will show good results here as well because this Basque system doesn't look too different.

I cannot say that I came here because of the new system. The main reason to participate in the event was an impressive prize fund of course (laughing)!

The next games of the A tournament will be held on the 2nd of January 2012 at 3 p.m. local time. The knock-out tournament, which sees matches consisting of two games of classical chess played simultaneously, runs until January 6th.

Sebastien Maze (France) defeated Loek van Wely (The Netherlands)...

...who continues in the B tournament

Andrei Volokitin (Ukraine) eliminated Aleksa Strikovic (Serbia)

Julio Granda Zuniga (Peru) was too strong for Ivan Cheparinov (Bulgaria)

 

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