Top GMs Back to Linares, Playing in the Spanish League

Top GMs Back to Linares, Playing in the Spanish League

PeterDoggers
PeterDoggers
Sep 9, 2014, 3:46 AM |
15 | Chess Event Coverage

The Spanish Team Championship is under way in Linares, the city that hosted the “Wimbledon of Chess” for many years. Some very strong grandmasters can be found on the top boards, such as Anish Giri, Etienne Bacrot, Vassily Ivanchuk, Pentala Harikrishna and Laurent Fressinet.

Between 1978 and 2010, the famous chess tournament was held in Linares, a city located in the Andalusian province of Jaén, Spain. Due to the international financial crisis and its political consequences, the city cannot spend much money anymore, but the love for chess is still there.

This year, a number of consecutive events are taking place in Linares. For example, last week, Paco Vallejo won the Spanish Individual Championship, and this week the national team championship is under way. In fact it's rather international, with players from 16 federations playing, besides the Spanish players!

The playing hall. All photos © José Antonio Díaz courtesy of the Spanish Chess Federation.

Below is the composition of teams in the top section, the división de honor (with only the top six boards shown, full list here):

2014 Spanish Team Championship | Teams

Bo. Title MERIDA PATRIMONIO DE LA HUMANIDAD (RtgAvg:2677) RtgI FED
1 GM IVANCHUK Vassily 2726 UKR
2 GM ALMASI Zoltan 2694 HUN
3 GM KRYVORUCHKO Yuriy 2708 UKR
4 GM LANDA Konstantin 2670 RUS
5 GM BERKES Ferenc 2649 HUN
6 GM ILLESCAS CORDOBA Miguel 2617 ESP
Bo. Title SESTAO NATURGAS ENERGIA (RtgAvg:2660) RtgI FED
1 GM GIRI Anish 2758 NED
2 GM FRESSINET Laurent 2712 FRA
3 GM EDOUARD Romain 2674 FRA
4 GM RODSHTEIN Maxim 2678 ISR
5 GM SALGADO LOPEZ Ivan 2619 ESP
6 GM ROMERO HOLMES Alfonso 2488 ESP
Bo. Title GROS XAKE TALDEA (RtgAvg:2642) RtgI FED
1 GM BACROT Etienne 2729 FRA
2 GM NAIDITSCH Arkadij 2715 GER
3 GM VAN WELY Loek 2650 NED
4 GM SOKOLOV Ivan 2646 NED
5 GM BAUER Christian 2641 FRA
6 IM FRANCO ALONSO Alejandro 2471 ESP
Bo. Title C.A. SOLVAY (RtgAvg:2602) RtgI FED
1 GM HARIKRISHNA P. 2725 IND
2 GM DELCHEV Aleksander 2660 BUL
3 GM GANGULY Surya Shekhar 2614 IND
4 GM ADHIBAN B. 2619 IND
5 IM CACHO REIGADAS Sergio 2511 ESP
6 GM UBILAVA Elizbar 2480 ESP
Bo. Title CLUB MAGIC EXTREMADURA (RtgAvg:2563) RtgI FED
1 GM SARGISSIAN Gabriel 2691 ARM
2 GM OPARIN Grigoriy 2540 RUS
3 GM SVETUSHKIN Dmitry 2580 MDA
4 GM PEREZ CANDELARIO Manuel 2575 ESP
5 GM ANTIPOV Mikhail Al. 2508 RUS
6 FM SANTOS LATASA Jaime 2486 ESP
Bo. Title ESCOLA D'ESCACS DE BARCELONA (RtgAvg:2544) RtgI FED
1 GM RAKHMANOV Aleksandr 2626 RUS
2 GM SPRAGGETT Kevin 2564 CAN
3 GM CRUZ Cristhian 2569 PER
4 GM MOSKALENKO Viktor 2528 ESP
5 GM LIBISZEWSKI Fabien 2531 FRA
6 IM GUAL PASCUAL Antonio 2447 ESP
Bo. Title EQUIGOMA - CASA SOCIAL CATOLICA (RtgAvg:2501) RtgI FED
1 GM ITURRIZAGA BONELLI Eduardo 2660 VEN
2 GM HANSEN Eric 2593 CAN
3 GM ARIZMENDI MARTINEZ Julen Luis 2544 ESP
4 IM CASTELLANOS RODRIGUEZ Renier 2465 ESP
5 FM CORRAL BLANCO Juan Antonio 2439 ESP
6 FM GUERRERO VARGAS Andres 2303 VEN
Bo. Title C. E. BARBERA (RtgAvg:2397) RtgI FED
1 GM NARCISO DUBLAN Marc 2524 ESP
2 IM VASSALLO BARROCHE Mauricio 2424 ESP
3 IM ALONSO MOYANO Jonathan 2402 ESP
4 IM GURAMISHVILI Sopiko 2393 GEO
5 IM BERGEZ Luc 2353 FRA
6 FM MARTINEZ RAMIREZ Erik 2286 ESP

The tournament is a round robin played over seven rounds. Each team consists of six players, but many teams traveled to Linares with more players, obviously. Not all players listed ended up playing in Linares, e.g. Arkadij Naiditsch is currently active in a tournament in Baden-Baden. 

The first round immediately confirmed how strong Mérida Patrimonio de la Humanidad is this year: it defeated another favorite, Gros Xake Taldea, 4.5-1.5. The top two boards (Bacrot-Ivanchuk and Almasi-Van Wely) were drawn, but GM Ferenc Berkes and Yuriy Kryvoruchko scored full points.

The latter refuted a wild attacking idea from Ivan Sokolov:


The team with the prettiest name: Mérida Patrimonio de la Humanidad.

The reiging champion, Sestao Naturgás, started with a 3-3 tie with Mágic, the other team from Mérida. It went all right on the top boards, with Fressinet and Rodshtein beating Oparin and Perez Candelario respectively, but Mágic's boards five and six leveled the score.

Here's the game from Fressinet, the fresh French champion, who continued collecing rating points in his neighbor country. He is on 4.5/5 and #26 in the live ratings now.

The round one match Sestao Naturgás-Mágic.

In round two, Sestao defeated Equigoma, but only with the smallest possible margin as Anish Giri suffered a loss to Venezuela's number one. 


Iturrizaga defeated Giri in round 2.

Round three saw a big upset: three-time Spanish Champion Mágic, the only Spanish team to ever win the European Club Cup, isn't as strong as it used to be, but nonetheless defeated the higher rated Mérida 4-2.

Putting two highly experienced GMs on boards five and six seems like a good idea, but in this match Illescas and Korneev both lost, the latter to a talented FM:


The game on board three in this match was absolutely fantastic. It ended in a draw, but after many adventures! It would take too much time to analyze properly, so just enjoy it as it is:


Among the spectators a famous Linares resident can be spotted: Ljubomir Ljubojevic!


The next day Sestao lost again, to Mérida, with five draws and the following decisive game:


After five rounds, Mérida is in the lead, but shared with a team that wasn't mentioned yet: Solvay. The team with three Indian GMs has only lost three individual games in the first five rounds (but still has to play Mérida and Sestao).

The Solvay team with Pentala Harikrishna on board one.


Here's a win by Harikrishna, who revealed after the game that he had used the March issue of The Master's Bulletin (and especially GM Tamir Nabaty article on “The New Veresov”: 1.d4, 2.Nc3, 3.Bf4!?) to prepare for this game!



2014 Spanish Team Championship | Round 5 Standings

Rk. Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 TB1 TB2
1 C.A. SOLVAY phpfCo1l0.png 2 8 21
2 MERIDA PATRIMONIO DE LA HUMANIDAD 4 phpfCo1l0.png 2 8 19,5
3 SESTAO NATURGAS ENERGIA phpfCo1l0.png 3 5 7 19,5
4 CLUB MAGIC EXTREMADURA 4 3 phpfCo1l0.png 7 16,5
5 GROS XAKE TALDEA phpfCo1l0.png 4 4 6 16,5
6 EQUIGOMA - CASA SOCIAL CATOLICA 2 phpfCo1l0.png 2 2 11,5
7 ESCOLA D'ESCACS DE BARCELONA ½ ½ 2 4 phpfCo1l0.png 2 9,5
8 C. E. BARBERA ½ ½ 1 phpfCo1l0.png 0 6
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