Motylev in Great Shape at European Championship
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Alexander Motylev of Russia is on a roll at the European Championship in Yerevan. The 34-year-old grandmaster from Yekaterinenburg today won against Pavel Eljanov in a Sicilian after 41 moves, to increase his lead to a full point.
It's high time to return to the European Championship in Yerevan! In this report we're gonna catch up and look at some nice games from rounds 2-8, so that we'll be completely updated on the latest developments, including today. (The tournament lasts 11 rounds in total.)
After the many upsets in the first round, the second round (on Tuesday, March 4th) was marked by many draws on the top boards: six of the seven top games ended peacefully. Denis Khismatullin defeated Vitaly Golod from an English opening:
A very interesting game was the following, where 62-year-old Vaganian sacrificed material and got a strong attack, but eventually lost to his Ukrainian opponent.
Ernesto Inarkiev found a pretty combination that ended with a 'silent move'. Can you find it?
Also in the third round there were quite a few draws at the top. The following game, on board one, ended decisively:
Blunders are part of the game too, and in this round it happened to Spanish GM Ivan Salgado Lopez. In a not too difficult endgame he took back the wrong piece:
The fourth round saw an absolutely stunning game between Aleksandr Shimanov and Baadur Jobava. It's really hard to describe what was going on - even engines have a hard time and it's doubtful that the players really knew themselves! Just play through the moves and enjoy this fascinating battle.
After four rounds only Evgeniy Najer of Russia was still on 100%, but he went down to one of his many compatriots the next day. It was a game between the two coaches of the Russian women's team:
Alexander Motylev joined Riazantsev in the lead with the following win:
Gabriel Sargissian had a nice finish in his game against Karen Grigoryan - can you find it?
In another all-Russian battle on board one, Motylev defeated Riazantsev from a Caro-Kann - the Two Knights Variation. Black eventually suffered from not developing his queenside:
During the rest day (Sunday) Motylev was half a point ahead of Radek Wojtaszek of Poland, Hrant Melkumyan and Viktor Laznicka of Czech Republic.
In round 7 Motylev drew with Wojtaszek but kept his half-point lead as Melkumyan and Laznicka also split the point. And then, in today's 8th round, Motylev won another (excellent) white game, against Pavel Eljanov. The board caught fire on move 18:
Motylev has a full point lead with three rounds to go. Note that the European Championship is a qualification event for the next World Cup; the 23 highest ranked players after 11 rounds will qualify.
European Championship 2014 | Round 8 Standings (Top 40)
|6||99||GM||Anton Guijarro David||ESP||2559||6||2620||32||35||5||2756|
|20||61||GM||Tregubov Pavel V.||RUS||2614||5,5||2596||32,5||35,5||3||2696|
|29||42||GM||Hammer Jon Ludvig||NOR||2647||5,5||2524||31,5||35||3||2646|
|37||69||GM||Salgado Lopez Ivan||ESP||2605||5||2622||33||36||3||2672|
The European Individual Chess Championship 2014 takes place 2-15 March in Yerevan, Armenia with over 260 players from 27 countries.