2015 Euro Ch Rd7: A mob at the top

by Yochanan Afek
3/4/2015 – Sometimes a tournament, no matter how strong, will see a player take off as if he had King Kong chasing him. This was the case last year when Alexander Motylev won with a record score. It is also most certainly not the case this year as the top spot is shared by nine players at 5.5/7, followed by no fewer than 21 more at 5.0/7. Lots of fighting chess and the gold is wide open.

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The signal to the start of the seventh round of the European championship in Jerusalem was given yesterday by IA Eliahu Levant, the 87 years old mythological director of Beer-Sheva club, the pioneer who emigrated from St. Petersburg in the early seventies to build up from scratch a chess empire in the capital of the Negev, the southern desert of Israel. 

IA Eliahu Levant, the 87 years old mythological director of Beer-Sheva club bangs the cymbal

Following multiple draws at the top the lead was reinforced by those who managed to emerge winners in the seventh rounds. Both matches between the leaders Motylev- Nepomnianchtchi; Bartel- Sargissian ended peacefully leaving all four at the lead. However they  were joined by the five winners in the sub-top group: Ukrainian Anton  Korobov inflicted on Israeli Emil Sutovsky his first defeat in an eventful and exciting battle to return to the lead following a short absence.

Emil Sutovsky had a good start but fell to leader Anton Korobov

Anton Korobov - Emil Sutovsky

Although Korobov successfully converted his advantage against Sutovsky, he
missed a chance to end the game with a beauty. You are warned in advance
that it is not easy, but the solution is at the end. White to play and win.

The inability of any player to really set himself apart from the rest can be seen in the standings where nine players now share the lead with 5.5/7, ranked only according to the tiebreaks, followed by a huge field of 21 more players at 5.0/7. As a result, within a half point, there are essentially 30 players in the lead or right behind, with four rounds to go. The title is wide open and it is really anyone's for the grabbing. While a number will only be concerned with the actual qualification for the forthcoming World Cup, others will be eyeing the podium and title.

Andrei Volokitin is now one of the leaders with 5.5/7 and a 2784 performance

Nikita Vitiugov has struggled a bit and has 4.5/7

FIDE arbiter Oded Ross shared a tale from round three regarding the game between Anton Korobov and Turkish GM Dragan Solak.

As shared in the report on round three, the Turkish grandmaster resigned
in this position, essentially lost as show in the analysis. What was not known,
was that it was not because he just assumed Korobov would find the win.

As FA Oded Ross explains, "Having played Rb8 and Ra8 earlier in the game, the Turkish grandmaster actually castled in this position! After being noted by the arbiter and the befuddled Korobov that castling is illegal and he has to make a move with his king, Solak promptly resigned, albeit in a lost position anyhow, as you show."

Preparing to fight for the podium by all means necessary

The daily sensation was the victory of the unknown young Israeli player Ohad Kraus over Armenian GM Hrant Melkumian who is almost 500 rating points higher! Things are expected to become even more complicated in the rounds to come as the race for the 23 qualification tickets to the World Cup and for the prize fund of 120,000 Euros is about to enter its decisive stage.

Solution to Korobov-Sutovsky:

[Event "16th ch-EUR Indiv 2015"] [Site "Jerusalem ISR"] [Date "2015.03.03"] [Round "7.4"] [White "Korobov, Anton"] [Black "Sutovsky, Emil"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A04"] [WhiteElo "2687"] [BlackElo "2626"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "4rrk1/1p4pp/p7/2pP4/2P1B1bP/1P4b1/PB2R3/2K3R1 w - - 0 28"] [PlyCount "13"] [EventDate "2015.02.24"] 28. d6 $3 {An astonishing shot with a rook hanging, whose justification is no less impressive.} (28. Rxg3 Rf1+ 29. Kd2 Bxe2 30. Rxg7+ Kf8 31. Bxh7 Bh5 32. Rg8+ Kf7 33. Rg7+ Kf8 34. Rg8+ Kf7 35. Rg2 Rf4 36. Bd3 Rg8 37. Rh2 Ke7 38. Be5 Rf7 39. a3 Kd7 40. b4 Re8 41. Bb2 b6 42. Rg2 Ree7 43. Kc2 Rf4 44. Bc3 Bf3 45. Rg6 Be4 46. Bxe4 Rexe4 47. Rxb6 Rf2+ 48. Kb3 Rf3 49. Rf6 Rh3 50. bxc5 Ree3 51. c6+ Kc7 52. Kb4 Rxc3 53. Rf7+ Kb8 54. Rf8+ Kc7 55. Kc5 Rhd3 56. d6+) 28... Bxe2 (28... Bf4+ 29. Kc2 h5 30. d7 Rd8 (30... Bxd7 31. Rxg7+ Kh8 32. Rxd7+ { followed by mate.}) 31. Bd5+ Kh7 {How do you continue?} 32. Rxg4 hxg4 33. Re7 Bh6 34. Be4+ Kg8 35. Be5 {and Bc7.}) 29. Bd5+ Kh8 30. Rxg3 {The threat of mate with Bg7 is Black's foremost concern, but not his only one. The Bd5 is covering the squares f7 and g8 where the rook might go, and d7-d8Q is looming. For example:} Rg8 31. Bxg8 Kxg8 (31... Rxg8 32. Rxg7 Rxg7 33. Bxg7+ Kxg7 34. d7 ) 32. Rxg7+ Kf8 33. d7 Ra8 (33... Rd8 34. Bf6) 34. Rxh7 {and Black cannot prevent Rh8+ winning the rook.} 1-0

Standings after seven rounds

Rk
SNo
Ti.
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
  TB 
1
11
GM
Korobov Anton
2687
5.5
2647
2
4
GM
Nepomniachtchi Ian
2714
5.5
2620
3
22
GM
Motylev Alexander
2665
5.5
2617
4
20
GM
Sargissian Gabriel
2668
5.5
2593
5
33
GM
Volokitin Andrei
2646
5.5
2591
6
23
GM
Howell David W L
2663
5.5
2549
7
39
GM
Bartel Mateusz
2631
5.5
2540
8
35
GM
Popov Ivan
2639
5.5
2518
9
27
GM
Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter
2654
5.5
2512
10
84
GM
Stefansson Hannes
2573
5.0
2667
11
37
GM
Najer Evgeniy
2634
5.0
2633
12
1
GM
Navara David
2735
5.0
2622
13
69
GM
Duda Jan-Krzysztof
2591
5.0
2618
14
3
GM
Eljanov Pavel
2727
5.0
2609
15
65
GM
Shimanov Aleksandr
2594
5.0
2605
16
7
GM
Matlakov Maxim
2695
5.0
2601
17
30
GM
Smirin Ilia
2650
5.0
2582
18
5
GM
Bacrot Etienne
2711
5.0
2579
19
13
GM
Sjugirov Sanan
2678
5.0
2576
20
32
GM
Gajewski Grzegorz
2646
5.0
2571

Click for complete standings

Report by Yachanan Afek and Albert Silver
Photos by Yoav Nis


Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 13 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.



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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BKnight2003 BKnight2003 3/5/2015 05:38
@gerrob: very poor COMMENT!
McUH McUH 3/5/2015 04:15
Everyone in chess understands what is meant. But if you insist in word games and strict logic, you are still wrong and article is right. Example variation:
34. ..Ra7 35. Rh8+ Kf7 36. d8Q a5 37.Qb6 Ra6 38.Qxb7+ with Qxa6 next, so white can win the rook with Rh8+ after ..Ra7.
Or 34. ..Rd8 (better try to save rook) 35. Rh8+ Ke7 36. Bf6+ with Rxd8 next, rook is still lost.
So black really can not prevent loss of the rook from Rh8+, article is correct.
johan1234 johan1234 3/5/2015 06:46
Ra7?? will lead to checkmate in one!
GR10 GR10 3/5/2015 01:09
if black plays Ra7, i think the next move is self-explanatory.
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