Yu Yangyi Wins Capablanca Memorial With Round To Spare

Yu Yangyi Wins Capablanca Memorial With Round To Spare

| 19 | Chess Event Coverage

Yu Yangyi won the Elite Group of the 50th Capablanca Memorial in Havana, Cuba. The 21-year-old Chinese grandmaster secured victory in the penultimate round and finished on 7.0/10.

José Raúl Capablanca y Graupera passed away 8 March 1942. Since 1962, when Ernesto “Che” Guevara took the initiative to commemorate the great Cuban player, an annual memorial is held in Havana. The 50th edition just finished.

In recent years the festival has consisted of an open tournament and two round-robin groups, with international top players featuring in the top group — a six-player double round-robin.

The 2015 “Elite Group” had, in order of the final standings, GMs Yu Yangyi (2715, China), Dmitry Andreikin (2718, Russia), Pavel Eljanov (2718, Ukraine), Leinier Dominguez (2746, Cuba), Ian Nepomniachtchi (2720, Russia) and Lazaro Bruzon (2677, Cuba).

Yu won the tournament convincingly, starting with 4.5/5 and finishing with 7.0/10. The Chinese player ended 1.5 points ahead of Andreikin and Eljanov. Top seed Dominguez finished on a disappointing fourth place with a minus one and 2675 performance.

Let's pick up the tournament from the half-way point; earlier games can be found in Kostya's report.

With only 4.0/10 Nepomniachtchi didn't have a great tournament. One of his highlights was beating Dominguez as Black in round seven, but a day earlier he was nicely outplayed by Eljanov:

Pavel Eljanov | Photo Marcelino Vázquez courtesy of Columna Deportiva
After his great start (4.5/5) Yu suffered his first loss in the first round of the second half. Andreikin played an excellent positional game that Capablanca himself would have been proud of.
Yu vs Andreikin (their first game) | Photo Marcelino Vázquez courtesy of Columna Deportiva
However, after an important win over Dominguez in round 8 things were looking bright again for the Chinese player. It was the Cuban who avoided a three-fold repetition in the opening, but might have regretted it later because he became the victim of a fierce attack:
A great attacking game by Yu | Photo Marcelino Vázquez courtesy of Columna Deportiva
In the final round the same 6.Be3 Najdorf came on the board in the game Yu vs Nepomniachtchi, and this time the second player didn't take any risk. The game lasted nine moves, and Yu won the tournament with a 1.5-points gap.


2015 Capablanca Memorial | Elite, Final Standings

# Name Rtg Perf 1 2 3 4 5 6 Pts SB
1 Yu,Yangyi 2715 2862 phpfCo1l0.png 10 ½½ 11 7.0/10  
2 Andreikin,Dmitry 2718 2750 01 phpfCo1l0.png ½½ ½½ ½½ 5.5/10 26.25
3 Eljanov,Pavel 2718 2750 ½½ ½½ phpfCo1l0.png ½0 11 01 5.5/10 26.25
4 Dominguez Perez,Leinier 2746 2675 00 ½½ ½1 phpfCo1l0.png 10 ½½ 4.5/10  
5 Nepomniachtchi,Ian 2720 2645 ½½ 00 01 phpfCo1l0.png ½1 4.0/10  
6 Bruzon Batista,Lazaro 2677 2616 10 ½½ ½0 phpfCo1l0.png 3.5/10  


The “Premier Group,” a ten-player round-robin, was won by GM Vitaly Kunin of Germany. His 6.5/9 was also 1.5 points more than the number two. GMs Jan-Krzysztof Duda, Yusnel Bacallao and Isan Reynaldo Ortiz scored 5.0./9.

The 50th Capablanca Memorial took place 15-25 June, 2015 in Havana. The time control was 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, with 30 seconds increment from the start.

Polish GM Jan-Krzysztof Duda playing in Cuba | Photo Marcelino Vázquez courtesy of Columna Deportiva

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