Wojtaszek Victorious at Zurich Christmas Open
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Radek Wojtaszek won the 37th Zurich Christmas Open on Monday. The Polish number one scored 6 points out of 7 games, and finished half a point ahead of Igor Kovalenko (Latvia), Csaba Balogh (Hungary), Kiril Georgiev (Bulgaria), Sebastian Bogner (Switzerland) and Joe Gallagher (Switzerland).
The 37th edition of the Zurich Christma Open took place right from December 26th till 30th at the Crowne Plaza Zürich hotel in Zurich, Switzerland. There were two groups (a Master Tournament and a General Tournament), and the system was a 7-round Swiss. A total of 347 player from 28 federations participated.
Two rounds were played on Friday and Sunday; the time control was 90 minutes for the first 40 moves followed by 30 minutes to finish the game, and 30 seconds per move starting from move 1.
In the 7-round Master Tournament, for players rated 2000 or higher, the top seed was GM Wojtaszek (2711) of Poland, followed by GM Alekseev (RUS, 2698) and Grachev (RUS, 2669). The top 8 was full of players from the world's top 150, and there were also some local heros such as GM Pelletier (2576), GM Gallagher (2495) and IM Kurmann (2427) and some ladies: WGM Kashlinskaya (RUS,2422), WGM Doluhanova (UKR, 2350) and WGM Zozulia (BEL, 2339). Doluhanova arrived in the playing hall ten minutes before the start of the first round after travelling for 1.5 days!
Unfortunately after signing up, Viktor Korchnoi had to withdraw before the start of the tournament due to health reasons. GM Andrei Istratescu and IM Dragos Dumitrache also couldn't play because of a car accident on the way to Zurich, but fortunately they were not seriously hurt.
The first round didn't see many upsets. Massimo Cavaletto managed to draw his game with GM Vadim Malakhatko, Christoph Schmid drew with IM Oliver Kurmann and Philipp Aeschbach even beat IM Andreas Huss.
In the second round saw two Indian GMs going down: FM Jonas Wyss (2249) defeated GM S.P. Sethuraman (2553) and WGM Marta Bartel (2306) won against GM Deep Sengupta (2570). To continue the David vs. Goliath approach: in the third round Malakhatko went down again, this time against FM Kambez Nuri (2308).
After four rounds only Igor Kovalenko of Latvia still had a perfect score; he beat GM Mateusz Bartel on Saturday afternoon:
On Sunday morning Radek Wojtaszek then beat Kovalenko.
Wojtaszek also profited from some draws on the other top boards and was in sole first place with two rounds to go. There was a big group of 12 players trailing by half a point. Kovalenko won his game in round 6 and joined Wojtaszek again in first place.
In the last round Wojtaszek ended clear first after all, thanks to a win against GM Ivan Popov (2644). Kovalenko dropped to shared second place, with Balogh, Georgiev, Bogner and Gallagher, after a draw with Alekseev. (Unfortunately the games of the last round still haven't been made available for download on the official website.)
Wojtaszek won the first prize of CHF 5000 (€4076 or $5617). The General Tournament, for players rated 2050 or lower, was won by Martin Schweighoffer of Uster with 6.5/7 — he won CHF 1000 (€815 or $1123).
Zurich Christmas Open 2013 | Final standings (Top 30)
|7||GM||Van Kampen Robin||NED||2601||5||33||207||24|
|14||GM||Turner Matthew J||SCO||2509||5||28||182||20,5|
(Full final standings here.)