2015 Euro Ch Rd6: A junta at the top

by Yochanan Afek
3/3/2015 – After more than one round of wait-and-see, the sixth round of the European Championship turned up the heat as heads rolled at the top. Both early leaders, Anton Korobov and David Navara, lost as rivals took their fates in their own hands to take over the lead, and there are now four new top dogs at 5.0/6, with Ian Nepomniachtchi at the helm. Illustrated report.

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The European championship is half way to go and business start warming up with not less than four decisive games on the top five boards. Moreover, the proud Ukrainian leader Anton Korobov was finally beaten falling victim to excellent preparation by the former European champion Ian Nepomniachtchi.

Leader Anton Korobov fell to...

... the Hooded Avenger, Ian Nepomniachtchi.

Three of his nearest rivals were also defeated, such as top seed Czech David Navara by Polish Mateusz Bartel, while Ukrainian Yuri Vovk lost to the current European Champion Alexander Motylev and Polish Robert Kempinski by Armenian Gabriel Sargissian all of whom share the lead.

Mateusz Bartel was another big winner in round six, beating top-seed David Navara with black

Although there is a European Women Championship, numerous females also come to the Open
event to gain hardened experience. 16-year-old Alexandra Goryachkina is one, and has 3.5/6.

Israeli Maka Mdivani (2105) has 2.0/6

The best Israeli players so far are GMs Ilya Smirin and Emil Sutovsky and the highly surprising untitled Pinchas Kantraji who beat another former European champion, Croatian Zdenko Kozul. Young Israelis Ariel Erenberg and Ohad Kraus astonished by beating GM Gil Popilski and IM Sergey Chekhov.

Gabriel Sargissian has joined the lead after three consecutive wins

Gabriel Sargissian demolished Robert Kempinski in a line the Polish player is an expert in, showing deep preparation and excellent understanding. White got a huge space advantage which he then converted into an unstoppable central pawn roller.

Gabriel Sargissian vs Robert Kempinski:

[Event "16th ch-EUR Indiv 2015"] [Site "Jerusalem ISR"] [Date "2015.03.02"] [Round "6.4"] [White "Sargissian, Gabriel"] [Black "Kempinski, Robert"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E91"] [WhiteElo "2668"] [BlackElo "2625"] [PlyCount "65"] [EventDate "2015.02.24"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. Nc3 Bg7 4. e4 d6 5. Nf3 O-O 6. Be2 Na6 7. O-O e5 8. Be3 Ng4 9. Bg5 Qe8 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. h3 Nf6 12. Be3 b6 13. a3 Bb7 14. Qc2 Nh5 ( 14... Nc5 15. Bxc5 bxc5 16. Nd5 Qd8 17. Rfd1 Nd7 18. Nd2 c6 19. Nc3 Qe7 20. Nb3 Nb6 21. a4 a5 22. Qc1 Rfb8 23. Qe3 Bf8 24. Nb1 Ra6 25. Qc3 Rba8 26. N1d2 Bc8 27. Bg4 Bxg4 28. hxg4 Qe6 29. g5 Be7 30. Rdc1 Bd6 31. Nf3 Qe7 32. Rc2 Qe6 33. Nc1 Nd7 34. Rd2 Bc7 35. Nd3 Rb6 36. Rad1 Qe7 37. Nc1 Nf8 38. Nd3 Nd7 39. Nc1 Nf8 40. Nd3 Nd7 {1/2-1/2 (40) Dobrowolski,P (2430)-Kempinski,R (2583) Poronin 2013}) 15. b4 c5 (15... Nf4 16. c5 Nxe2+ 17. Qxe2 f5 18. Rfc1 bxc5 19. b5 Nb8 20. Bxc5 Rf7 21. Ng5 Rd7 22. Rd1 h6 23. Qc4+ Kh8 24. Qe6 Qxe6 25. Nxe6 fxe4 26. Be3 Bc8 27. Nd5 Rxd5 28. Nxc7 {1-0 (28) Bacrot,E (2725)-Kempinski,R (2619) Khanty-Mansiysk 2005}) 16. Nd5 {It is hard to put a lot of faith in this opening for Black.} Rc8 17. Qd2 Nf4 18. Bxf4 exf4 19. Qxf4 Bxa1 $2 {A highly questionable decision. Not only will this give White a powerful advanced pawn center, but it fatally weakens Black's dark squares.} 20. Rxa1 {Black has to do something about the Nf6+ threat now that he has no one covering the f6 square.} Bxd5 21. cxd5 Nc7 22. Bd3 Nb5 (22... f6 {seemed more reasonable, trying to slow the advance of the pawns.}) 23. e5 {The combined threats on the kingside with Qh6 and Ng5, plus the very advanced central pawns bodes bad news for Black.} Nc3 24. d6 b5 25. Qh6 Qd7 26. Ng5 f6 27. e6 $1 Qg7 {The only move due to the mate threat on h7.} 28. Qxg7+ Kxg7 29. e7 fxg5 30. bxc5 Rxc5 31. d7 Rcc8 {[#] A picture is worth a thousand words.} 32. exf8=Q+ Rxf8 33. Rc1 1-0

In the fore is Vladimir Akopian, who drew and now has 4.0/6, while David Howell on board 17,
beat Karen Grigoryan and is now in the group a half point behind the leaders, wtih 4.5/6

Standings after six rounds

Rk
SNo
Ti.
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
  TB 
1
4
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2714
5.0
2611
2
22
GM
Motylev Alexander
2665
5.0
2598
3
20
GM
Sargissian Gabriel
2668
5.0
2586
4
39
GM
Bartel Mateusz
2631
5.0
2514
5
84
GM
Stefansson Hannes
2573
4.5
2653
6
11
GM
Korobov Anton
2687
4.5
2651
7
37
GM
Najer Evgeniy
2634
4.5
2645
8
51
GM
Bukavshin Ivan
2622
4.5
2637
9
60
GM
Goganov Aleksey
2605
4.5
2629
10
69
GM
Duda Jan-Krzysztof
2591
4.5
2611
11
3
GM
Eljanov Pavel
2727
4.5
2605
12
65
GM
Shimanov Aleksandr
2594
4.5
2595
13
33
GM
Volokitin Andrei
2646
4.5
2588
14
30
GM
Smirin Ilia
2650
4.5
2580
15
45
GM
Sutovsky Emil
2626
4.5
2574
16
38
GM
Dubov Daniil
2632
4.5
2560
17
128
 
Iljiushenok Ilia
2450
4.5
2544
18
44
GM
Lupulescu Constantin
2626
4.5
2541
19
35
GM
Popov Ivan
2639
4.5
2537
20
23
GM
Howell David W L
2663
4.5
2533

Click for complete standings

Report by Yachanan Afek and Albert Silver
Photos by Yoav Nis


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Yochanan was born (1952) and grew up in Tel-Aviv, and now lives in Amsterdam. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of chess, both as a professional and a volunteer, for the last 48 years, and remains an active player, composer, writer, organizer, trainer and commentator. He is an International Master and International Arbiter for chess as well as International Grandmaster for chess composition.
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