“Semi Swiss Gambit” by Kiril Georgiev, Wins Karpos Open
Kiril Georgiev of Bulgaria won the strong Karpos Open in Skopje, Macedonia on Saturday. The 48-year-old Bulgarian grandmaster was the only player to finish on 7.5 points; after a somewhat slow start he won his last four games to pass by all his rivals.
Photos courtesy of Opstina Karpos on Facebook
The Karpos Open was held March 29th-April 5th at the five-star hotel Aleksandar Palace in Skopje, Macedonia. It was organized by the municipality Karpos (one of the municipalities in Macedonia's capital) in collaboration with Chess Club Gambit Asseco SEE.
It was a 9-round Swiss with a time control of 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from the start. There was a 25,000 Euro prize fund, and a 5,000 Euro first prize.
For the prize distribution the Hort system was applied: every player gets 50% of his specific prize money, and 50% of the shared money. This system was invented by the Czech grandmaster Vlastimil Hort.
The tournament was pretty strong: the list of top entries included 17 players above 2600. The two players above 2650 were the favorites for tournament victory: Ferenc Berkes (2687, Hungary) and Julio Granda Zuniga (2680, Peru).
However, open tournaments have their own rules. Ratings don't say too much; it's more about finding your form and being a bit lucky. And... making sure you finish well. Because that's how Kiril Georgiev managed to finish in clear first place! His compatriot, Dejan Bojkov of Bulgaria, described Georgiev's victory in Skopje as follows:
Kiril's semi Swiss Gambit- http://t.co/uSIuNg37Co— Dejan Bojkov ( @dejanbojkov) April 6, 2014
So what was this about? Well, Georgiev dropped half a point as early as the first round, with the white pieces, to Fjodor Zugaj rated 2194. Then, after beating an 1800-player, he drew again, with Cemil Can Ali Marandi (2380). And then, after another black win (against Sasho Nikolov, 2358), he drew yet another game as White, against Muhammad Batuhan Dastan (2416).
With four rounds to go, Georgiev was in shared 27th place - not a great start for a 2625 player. But then the Bulgarian machine started rolling, and he finished with a perfect 4.0/4 score. The following game was pretty spectactuar:
Before the last round Ukrainian grandmaster Andrey Vovk was the sole leader with 7.0 points. He was followed by Ivan Salgado Lopez (2605, Spain), David Anton Guijarro (2559, Spain), Robert Markus (2608, Serbia) and Georgiev, who beat the leader after a tough fight. He almost spoilt a winning advantage, but Vovk completely collapsed at the very end.
Salgado Lopez and Markus drew their game on board 2 after 95 moves (!), and so they finished half a point behind Georgiev together with five other players.
Karpos Open 2014 | Final Standings (Top 30)
|2||14||GM||SALGADO LOPEZ Ivan||ESP||2605||7||50||2725||40||14,7|
|3||3||GM||ITURRIZAGA BONELLI Eduardo||VEN||2645||7||49||2675||34,5||4|
|9||31||GM||ANTON GUIJARRO David||ESP||2559||6,5||50||2643||39||13,1|
|21||32||GM||SALEM A.R. Saleh||UAE||2558||6,5||42||2569||33||4,5|
|22||2||GM||GRANDA ZUNIGA Julio E||PER||2680||6,5||41,5||2544||30,5||-10|
|28||65||IM||DASTAN Muhammed Batuhan||TUR||2416||6||47||2479||32||11,8|
(Full final standings here)