3 Indian GMs Help Solvay Win Spanish Team Championship

3 Indian GMs Help Solvay Win Spanish Team Championship

| 3 | Chess Event Coverage

In a competition where several 2700s and one ex-FIDE world champion played, it was Solvay, with three Indian GMs, that emerged as the winner at the Spanish Team Championship.

Although the famous tournament ceased to exist years ago, the city of Linares in Jaén, Spain still has annual chess events. For a few years now, it has been the location for individual as well as team events.

Last week the Spanish Team Championship was held in Linares (with the Spanish Indivual Women's Championship alongside). A total of 68 titled players participated; 41 of them were grandmasters and four had an Elo above 2700.

The format was an all-play-all with eight teams, who all had six boards. The top seed was Sestao with three of the four 2700s in its team!

However, this year it was Solvay, a team with three Indian grandmasters, who clinched the title. GMs Pentala Harikrishna, Baskaran Adhiban and Surya Ganguly occupied the top three boards.

The latter two played better than their rating, whereas Harikrishna played more or less on his current rating level.

It went wrong for Sestao as early as the second round. Higher rated on all six boards, they couldn't get more than a 3-3 against Magic Extremadura. A major reason was GM Leinier Dominguez' loss to Armenian grandmaster Gabriel Sargissian:

Solvay had started with 4-2 wins against Gros Xake Taldea and Escola Escacs Barcelona. In the third round their match with Sestao ended in 3-3 as well, and until the end it was Solvay that kept a lead of one match point — both teams won three more matches, and drew one.

2015 Spanish League | Final Standings

# Rank Team MP BP Elo Origen/Club
1 1 Solvay 12,0 28 2602 Cantabria
2 3 Sestao Fundacion EDP 11,0 29 2689 Pais Vasco
3 6 Merida Patrimonio Humanidad 11,0 29 2637 Extremadura
4 7 Magic Extremadura 9,0 25 2570 Extremadura
5 8 Gros Xake Taldea 6,0 17.5 2520 Pais Vasco
6 5 Chess24-VTI-Atocha 5,0 15 2515 Madrid
7 2 Escola d'escacs de Barcelona 2,0 13 2519 Cataluña
8 4 Ajedrez Collado Villalba 0,0 11.5 2541 Madrid


For star-studded Sestao a second place must have been disappointing. | Photo FEDA.

Especially GM Baskaran Adhiban, who celebrated his 23rd birthday 10 days ago, did very well for Solvay. He drew three games, and won four.

He defeated the strong Romanian-born German player GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu with a standard breakthrough combination that all King's Indian players should know:


Two legends in one picture. GM Ljubomir Ljubojevic, who lives in Linares, naturally visited the playing hall several times. Here he chats with GM Julio Granda Zuniga, who played badly and lost 14 rating points last week. | Photo FEDA.

These days GM Ruslan Ponomariov lives in the Basque country in northern Spain. He was one of the 2700 GMs playing for Sestao, and played roughly at his current rating level.

Here's a win by the Ukrainian ex-FIDE world champion, in an opening we don't see very often in our news reports: Alekhine's Defense.

Ponomariov in his game with Spraggett.
More from PeterDoggers
Interview: Captain Ivan Sokolov On Coaching Gold-Winning Uzbek Chess Squad

Interview: Captain Ivan Sokolov On Coaching Gold-Winning Uzbek Chess Squad

Dvorkovich Re-elected As FIDE President

Dvorkovich Re-elected As FIDE President