San Sebastian Chess Festival 2011/12

San Sebastian Chess Festival 2011/12

| 8 | Chess Event Coverage

Donostia/San Sebastian hosts a chess festival from 28 December 2011 - 6 January 2012.


The festival marks the centenary of the historic super-tournaments held in San Sebastian in 1911 and 1912, the first of which marked the introduction of the future world champion Capablanca to the world stage.

However, the Donostia chess competitions of 2011/2012 are far from traditional, featuring a KO event where the paired players face each other in two simultaneous games!

Losers in this 'A Tournament', will be able to continue in a 'B Tournament' in the same format, and losers from the 'B Tournament' can take part in an Open competition.

The time control in the A and B tournaments is 2 hours for all moves plus a 30 second increment. Ties will be broken by 2 simultaneous rapid games  at 15 mins plus 10 sec increment.  Due to the unusual format, results will not count towards ratings.

Vugar Gashimov prepares to play two simultaneous games

Vugar Gashimov_San_Sebastian_2011-12.jpg


Other notable names taking part are Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Etienne Bacrot, Arkadij Naiditsch, Leinier Dominguez, Maxime Vachier-Lagrave, Alexander Moiseenko and Ruslan Ponomariov.



Shakhriyar Mamedyarov found the format "difficult...but an interesting experience"

Shakhriyar Mamedyarov_San_sebastian2011-12.jpg




Comments by Shakhriyar Mamedarov from the official website:

I’m playing with such format for the first time. It was very difficult to play today but it was an interesting experience for me. I had chance to follow the games of the other players and their matches seemed to be also tough. I think that it doesn't matter here if you play Black or White. Only if someone manages to make a draw with Black than he might have some advantage. I think it was a good idea to organize a tournament with such system especially during the holidays. Players can enjoy playing chess and have some rest here as well. I think this 'Basque system' is very competitive. I like this format and that’s why I’m here. The idea was created by David Bronstein and if I’m not mistaken he was playing against Mikhail Tal crazy matches on eighth boards simultaneously. I don’t know if this format can be popular in the future but in my opinion to organize this event is already a big success!


Pictures by David Llada and Anastasya Karlovich

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