Spectacular chess in Rijeka - 4 on 4.5/5

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Four players on 4.5/5 in RijekaAfter five rounds of play, Zahar Efimenko, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Artyom Timofeev and Baadur Jobava are sharing the lead at the European Individual Championship in Rijeka. The four grandmasters scored 4.5 points and are chased by 23 GMs who are on 4/5.

The 11th European Individual Men and Women's Chess Championship is held from 5th to 19th of March 2010 in Rijeka, in new Zamet Centre sports hall. The event is organized by chess club "Rijeka", in agreement with the Croatian Chess Federation under the auspices of the City of Rijeka and the European Chess Union. It is open to all players representing the chess federations which comprise the European Chess Union (FIDE zones 1.1 to 1.9) regardless of their title or rating. There is also no limit of participants per federation.

The championship is based on Swiss system in accordance with the ECU Tournament Rules and FIDE Rules of Chess. The rate of play is 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one. As always, the European Championship is a qualification event for the next World Cup. According to FIDE regulations and the decision of the ECU Board, 22 players will qualify.

Rounds 4-5

Especially the 4th round in Rijeka saw a number of highly entertaining games and in this report we'll present a few diagrams to give you an idea of how amazing the game of chess can be (if you didn't knew already). Let's start with the following brilliancy by Georgia's number one player Baadur Jobava.

Krasenkow-Jobava Position after 32...Rxe3Krasenkow-Jobava
The whole game had been a big tactical squirmish, but up to this point Polish grandmaster Krasenkow was still in the game. A puzzle book would ask a question like: "Is 33.Qg2 good or bad here?". The answer... (calculate first!), though White had obviously counted on it. With 33.Qh4 he might still be on top, but the obvious 33.Qg2? was answered by 33...Bd4!! 34.Rxd4 Re1+35.Qf1 Ne3!! and White resigned.


Imaginative play by Baadur Jobava

18-year-old Tamir Nabaty from Israel is a player without any title yet, but he'll probably become at least an IM soon. In Rijeka he drew with GM Zoltan Gyimesi and then defeated GMs Gadir Guseinov and Ildar Khairullin, only to be stopped by top seeded GM Zoltan Almasi yesterday. The game against Khairullin had a nice finish.

Nabaty-Khairullin Position after 31...Kc7Nabaty-Khairllin

Again we can pretend to be writing a tactics book (perhaps we should do that, one day...) and here we'll ask: "Can White take on h8?" It's a nice example of the theme "The deceiver deceived" because at first sight it looks like he cannot, because Black gives a check on e3 and then plays Qf2 (an important trick to know, often useful in blitz games as well). Then Rg1 can be answered by Re1, and after e.g. Ne8+, Kb6 Black controls the d4 square. But... if there's a check in the position, always "check it"! The game went 32.Qxh8! Qe3+ 33.Kh1 Qf2 34.Nd5+! (the check that needed to be checked) Kd7 35.Qc8+!! (another one!) and Black resigned.
Don't miss Movsesian's finish in his game against Chirila, Bologan's handling of the King's Indian against Babula or Nisipeanu catching Pelletier's queen. And we didn't even mention the game Motylev-Godena yet, a true 19th century chess classic! All below in the game viewer.
After five rounds Zahar Efimenko, Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu, Artyom Timofeev and Baadur Jobava are sharing the lead. Today the top pairings include Timofeev-Jobava, Efimenko-Nisipeanu, Sutovsky-Almasi, Vallejo-Zvjaginsev and Adams-I.Sokolov. In the women's section Arakhamia-Grant, T.Kosintseva and Socko are on 4.5/5.

European Championship 2010 | Round 5 Standings (top 40)
European Championship 2010 | Round 5 Standings
Full standings here

Selection of games rounds 4-5

Game viewer by ChessTempo

Zamet Centre

The top boards of the 5th round

Zamet Centre

Young & old in Rijeka

Photos courtesy of the official website, more here


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