Univé Chess: Giri-Shirov, Jobava-Timman and the Open

Univé Chess: Giri-Shirov, Jobava-Timman and the Open

| 5 | Chess Event Coverage

The traditional Univé Chess festival in Hoogeveen, The Netherlands is under way with two 6-game matches (Giri-Shirov and Jobava-Timman) and an open tournament.


Anish Giri has made an excellent impression so far in his home country. He won the first two games and drew the third against Alexei Shirov to further cement his number-seven spot in the world rankings. Baadur Jobava won the second match game against Jan Timman. After a rest day, the matches will resume on Thursday.

The two matches take place in Hoogeveen's city hall.

Giri won the first game as Black from a Giuoco Pianissimo, where Shirov's opening play wasn't very effective. After 20 moves Black had a slight but long-term edge, but there White's position was still holdable. Shirov decided to sharpen the position, but that backfired:

And then the Dutchman also won the next game, partly thanks to excellent preparation. Shirov repeated a game he played in the Bundesliga earlier this year, but Giri had found an improvement for his opponent of that game. Shirov tried his luck with a position that looked like a fortress, but wasn't.

Baadur Jobava is leading 2-1 at halftime in his match with Jan Timman. He won the second game, where both players had time trouble and the 62-year-old Dutch legend blundered twice. Jobava hadn't seen everything either, but just a little more than his opponent!

Giri-Shirov (Univé Match) 2014 | Score

# Name Rtg Perf G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 Pts
1 Giri,Anish 2768 2970 1 1 ½ 2.5/3
2 Shirov,Alexei 2691 2489 0 0 ½ 0.5/3


Jobava-Timman (Univé Match) 2014 | Score

# Name Rtg Perf G1 G2 G3 G4 G5 G6 Pts
1 Jobava,Baadur 2721 2970 ½ 1 ½ 2.0/3
2 Timman,Jan 2597 2489 ½ 0 ½ 1.0/3

The tournament is a bit different from previous years after some big changes in the organization. Tournament director Jeroen van den Berg (who also runs the Tata Steel tournament in Wijk aan Zee) was removed by the board, and then the whole team arbiters and press service chose Van den Berg's side.

The new tournament director is GM Loek van Wely, who got rid of the old formula of a 4-player and went for matches instead. Another novelty is that Van Wely is experimenting with measuring the heart rate of the players.

Giri and Jobava have been wearing bands around their wrist, which is connected to an app on Van Wely's iPad. Conclusions haven't been drawn yet, and there have been some technical problems, but it's an interesting attempt to add something to the sport.

Baadur Jobava's pulse is sent to Van Wely's iPad via a bluetooth conncetion.


Six rounds have been played in the open tournament and currently Victor Mikhalevski (Israel) and Andrey Vovk (Ukraine) are tied for first place with 5 points. Among the GMs on 4.5 are veterans Alexander Beliavsky and Oleg Romanishin. The open group has 67 players from 14 federations, with 11 GMs and 7 IMs. 

The playing hall of the open group.

Vovk's draw with Canadian IM Aman Hableton was interesting:

The other leader was somewhat lucky against Alexander Beliavsky:

Univé Chess | Open section, Round 6 Standings (Top 20)

Rank Name Score Fed. Rating TPR W-We
1 GM Vovk, Andrey 5.0 UKR 2637 2695 +0.47
2 GM Mikhalevski, Victor 5.0 ISR 2550 2699 +1.17
3 GM Beliavsky, Alexander G 4.5 SLO 2618 2628 +0.23
4 GM Roiz, Michael 4.5 ISR 2585 2590 +0.17
5 GM Hansen, Eric 4.5 CAN 2574 2603 +0.36
6 GM Heberla, Bartlomiej 4.5 POL 2567 2529 -0.09
7 GM Stocek, Jiri 4.5 CZE 2551 2534 +0.11
8 GM Romanishin, Oleg M 4.5 UKR 2490 2476 +0.02
9 GM Kasparov, Sergey 4.5 BLR 2484 2340 -0.74
10 GM Ernst, Sipke 4.0 NED 2555 2510 -0.17
11 GM Malaniuk, Vladimir P 4.0 UKR 2495 2368 -0.78
12 IM Hambleton, Aman 4.0 CAN 2456 2566 +0.95
13 IM Guramishvili, Sopiko 4.0 GEO 2381 2433 +0.45
14 WGM Rudolf, Anna 4.0 HUN 2314 2369 +0.46
15 IM Franco Alonso, Alejandro 3.5 ESP 2454 2245 -1.41
16 IM Antoli Royo, Joaquin Migue 3.5 ESP 2450 2372 -0.41
17 IM Ris, Robert 3.5 NED 2427 2370 -0.27
18 FM Schoorl, Rob 3.5 NED 2330 2201 -0.94
19 IM De Jong, Migchiel 3.5 NED 2321 2320 +0.04
20 FM Vedder, Richard 3.5 NED 2283 2196 -0.66

Thanks to Peter Boel who writes the daily reports for the official website.

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