2016 IMSA Elite mindgames (1/2)

by Priyadarshan Banjan
3/7/2016 – The IMSA Mindgames, is a bit of an in-between for FIDE, as far as chess is concerned, and the Olympics (the normal one, not the chess specific one). Each year it organizes a series of chess events, with a number of top players, offering medals as well as prizes. In this years event were rapid, blitz and basque chess. Here is a large illustrated report.

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2016 IMSA Elite Mind Games

Photos by Gu Xiaobing at the official site

Over the years, chess has been making desperate attempts to find a place in the Olympics. Often, the sport’s attempt is met with a polite expression of bewilderment, but no concrete results. At best, chess was an exhibition sport during the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

This resulted in the creation of a unique association between the sporting bodies, each of whom identifies the game they represent as a ‘mind sport’ – International Mind Sports Association (IMSA).  The aim of the association is to engage in a dialogue with the International Olympic Committee and initiate these mind sports into the Olympics.

The IMSA in association with FIDE organized the IMSA Elite Mind Games 2016 from 25 February to 3rd March 2016 at Huai’an, China. The event consisted of a rapid tournament, a blitz tournament and a basque tournament for men and women with a handful of top stars competing for the medals.

Rapid Games

The Rapid games were 20 minutes+10 seconds per move affairs with seven rounds in both the Men and Women section. Many pundits have argued that Rapids are the future of the game, where chess is more entertaining and spectator friendly, at least in their opinion. The Games did much to entertain chess fans with fast, heart-pounding action.

The winner: WGM Tan Zhongyi (2450)

However, the Women’s section only kept the excitement to the games as the competition was nearly run over by the surprise winner Tan Zhongyi who began with five consecutive victories that almost sealed the Gold in her favour before it was over. She did lose the sixth round to Kateryna Lagno but promptly won the last round against Anna Ushenina to finish clear first with 6.0/7.

Tan Zhongyi-Huang Qian

A nice mate in three by the champion

[Event "Elite Mind Games"] [Site "HuaiAn, China"] [Date "2016.02.26"] [Round "1.12"] [White "Tan Zhongyi (CHN)"] [Black "Huang Qian (CHN)"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A41"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "1r1q1b1k/p1p4r/3pR1Q1/2pB4/2P3pP/1P4P1/P6K/4R3 w - - 0 31"] [PlyCount "5"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:07:18"] [BlackClock "0:00:14"] 31. Qg8+ {Pure aesthetics.} Kxg8 32. Rg6+ Kh8 33. Rg8# 1-0

Huang-Lagno

Ideally, White wants to castle ASAP, but Black finds a creative idea to keep
the White monarch in the center.

[Event "Elite Mind Games"] [Site "HuaiAn, China"] [Date "2016.02.26"] [Round "2.16"] [White "Huang Qian (CHN)"] [Black "Lagno Kateryna (RUS)"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "D96"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r4rk1/pp2ppbp/1qp1bnp1/8/Qn1PP3/2N2N2/PP3PPP/2BRKB1R b K - 0 12"] [PlyCount "45"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:00:20"] [BlackClock "0:02:04"] 12... Nxa2 13. Nxa2 Bb3 14. Qa3 Bxd1 15. Kxd1 Nxe4 {Black has creatively taken a material lead while at the same time caging the king in the center.} 16. Be3 c5 17. dxc5 Rfd8+ 18. Kc2 Rac8 19. Bc4 Qf6 20. Nc1 Nxc5 21. Kb1 Na4 22. Bg5 Qb6 23. Be3 Qxb2+ 24. Qxb2 Nxb2 25. Bb3 Nc4 26. Rd1 Rxd1 27. Bxd1 Nxe3 28. fxe3 e6 29. Nd3 Kf8 30. e4 Bc3 31. Ka2 b5 32. Nfe5 Rd8 33. Bc2 Bxe5 34. Nxe5 Rd2 0-1

Final standings of Women's Rapid

Rk
SNo.
 
Name
Rtg
FED
Pts.
Perf
1
4
WGM
Tan Zhongyi
2450
CHN
6
2807
2
14
GM
Khotenashvili Bela
2444
GEO
2609
3
3
GM
Ju Wenjun
2532
CHN
2594
4
6
GM
Lagno Kateryna
2593
RUS
2592
5
15
GM
Stefanova Antoaneta
2563
BUL
4
2569
6
7
GM
Krush Irina
2444
USA
2552
7
1
GM
Dzagnidze Nana
2560
GEO
2503
8
2
IM
Paehtz Elisabeth
2482
GER
2485
9
5
GM
Zhao Xue
2506
CHN
2479
10
9
GM
Ushenina Anna
2502
UKR
2477
11
12
WGM
Huang Qian
2443
CHN
3
2454
12
16
GM
Kosteniuk Alexandra
2543
RUS
3
2420
13
13
GM
Gunina Valentina
2464
RUS
2403
14
8
GM
Harika Dronavalli
2478
IND
2383
15
11
GM
Socko Monika
2441
POL
2329
16
10
IM
Mkrtchian Lilit
2459
ARM
2260

Cuban GM Leinier Perez Dominguez (2775)

China’s GM Wang Hao (2752)

Things became very tight in the Men’s section. Four rounds were played on the first day and Dominguez, Ponomariov and Wang Hao were in the lead with 3.0/4. The games were fiercely fought and, as expected in faster time controls, riddled with mistakes and, of course, tactics!

Wojtaszek-Ivanchuk

Even though it is Ivanchuk, Black’s position looks suspicious and rightly so.
How did White puncture Black?

[Event "Elite Mind Games"] [Site "HuaiAn, China"] [Date "2016.02.26"] [Round "3.8"] [White "Wojtaszek Radoslaw (POL)"] [Black "Ivanchuk Vassily (UKR)"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A41"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r1bq1k1r/ppp1npb1/2n2Bpp/3Np3/2P1P3/5N2/PP3PPP/R2QKB1R w KQ - 0 10"] [PlyCount "6"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:13:36"] [BlackClock "0:16:24"] 10. Bxe7+ {with the devastating idea of} Nxe7 11. Nb6 $3 Be6 (11... Qxd1+ 12. Rxd1 axb6 13. Rd8#) 12. Nxa8 Qxa8 $16 {A full exchange ahead, White won easily. } 1-0

Movsesian-Tomashevsky

Black has only one way to survive, and even win!

[Event "Elite Mind Games"] [Site "HuaiAn, China"] [Date "2016.02.26"] [Round "1.3"] [White "Movsesian Sergei (ARM)"] [Black "Tomashevsky Evgeny (RUS)"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C50"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "1r4k1/b1p2pp1/2n1r2p/p3p3/P3P1P1/2P3q1/2Q2PP1/R1BBR1K1 b - - 0 23"] [PlyCount "48"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:00:54"] [BlackClock "0:00:34"] {Before we reach the diagram position, let us see how the players landed on it. We begin with a deflection...} 23... Bxf2+ $1 24. Qxf2 Qxc3 25. Ra2 Qxc1 26. Bb3 Qxe1+ 27. Qxe1 Rxb3 $17 {Okay, Black is clearly better, but White shows that things aren't so simple practically, especially in rapids!} 28. Kh2 Rb4 29. Rc2 Rxa4 30. Qc1 Nd4 31. Rxc7 Ra2 32. Qb1 Rf2 33. Qb8+ Kh7 34. Rc8 Ref6 35. Rh8+ (35. Qxe5 $4 Nf3+ $19) 35... Kg6 36. Kg3 Ne2+ 37. Kh4 {[#] White's threat is to just mate with Rxh6.} Re6 $4 (37... Rc6 $3 {is the only move that deals with both the Rxh6 and Qxe5 threats and wins for Black. As an amateur student, I find this move very instructive.} 38. Qxe5 Rc1 39. Qh5+ Kf6 40. Rxh6+ { always in the air.} (40. g5+ Ke7) 40... gxh6 41. Qxh6+ Ke7 $19) (37... Nf4 { is equal after} 38. Rxh6+ Kxh6 39. g5+ Kh7 40. gxf6 Rxg2 $11) 38. Qg8 { threatening Rxh6 again.} Kf6 39. Qd8+ Kg6 40. g5 $1 {Again, the only move that wins.} Rf4+ (40... hxg5+ 41. Qxg5#) (40... Rxg2 41. Rxh6+ {Again!} gxh6 42. Qg8# {is the basic idea behind g5.}) 41. g4 Re8 42. Qxe8 hxg5+ 43. Kh3 Rf2 44. Qc6+ Rf6 45. Qc8 Rf2 46. Qa6+ f6 47. Qc8 {... threatening Qe8+ and also, still threatening Rh6+ (yet again!!)} 1-0

Former FIDE World Champion GM Ruslan Ponomariov (2672)

Of all the early leaders, only Ponomariov managed to survive, and even then, all he could manage was a tie for first place with Shakhriyar Mamedyarov on 5.0/7. An Armageddon tie-break became necessary to determine who took gold.

The Armageddon turned out to be a heart-stopping affair for the spectators

Shak won the toss and chose to play the white pieces with five minutes on the clock to win, while Pono had to play with only four minutes and the black pieces but with a draw sufficient for victory!

[Event "Elite Mind Games"] [Site "HuaiAn, China"] [Date "2016.02.27"] [Round "8.12"] [White "Mamedyarov Shakhriyar (AZE)"] [Black "Ponomariov Ruslan (UKR)"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E21"] [PlyCount "133"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [WhiteClock "0:00:24"] [BlackClock "0:00:21"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. Nf3 b6 5. Bd2 Bb7 6. g3 O-O 7. Bg2 c5 8. dxc5 Bxc5 9. O-O Be7 10. Rc1 a6 11. Bf4 Nc6 12. Qd2 Rc8 13. Rfd1 Na5 14. b3 d5 ( 14... Ba3 15. Rc2 Bb4 16. Qd3 d5 17. cxd5 Bxc3 18. Rxc3 Qxd5 19. Be5 Qxd3 20. Rcxd3 Rc2 $14) 15. Ne5 Bb4 {Perhaps Black overexerts to simplify the position.} (15... dxc4 16. Qb2 Qe8 17. Bxb7 Nxb7 18. bxc4 $11) 16. Bg5 $1 ({Black's idea with ...Bb4 was, for example:} 16. h4 dxc4 17. Qxd8 Rfxd8 18. Rxd8+ Rxd8 19. Bxb7 Bxc3 20. Rxc3 Nxb7 21. Rxc4 Nd6 {with a lot less pieces and better chances to hold.}) ({Another point is: now, if} 16. cxd5 Nxd5 $11) 16... Re8 17. Qf4 h6 18. Bxf6 Qxf6 19. Qxf6 gxf6 20. Nd7 Kg7 21. Nxb6 $16 {and Shak converts this position to a full point.} Rc7 22. Nca4 Ba3 23. Rb1 dxc4 24. Bxb7 Rxb7 25. Nxc4 Nxc4 26. bxc4 Rxb1 27. Rxb1 Rc8 28. Rb3 Be7 29. c5 $1 f5 (29... Bxc5 30. Rc3 $18) 30. e3 Kf6 31. f4 Rc7 32. Rc3 e5 33. Kg2 Ke6 34. fxe5 Kxe5 35. Kf3 Rc6 36. Rb3 Rc7 37. Rb6 Bxc5 38. Rxa6 Bf8 39. Ra8 Bb4 40. Rb8 Be1 41. Rb5+ Kf6 42. Nc5 Ra7 43. a4 Bc3 44. Rb7 Ra8 45. Rb6+ Kg7 46. Rb5 Bf6 47. Nd7 Rxa4 48. Rxf5 Be7 49. Ne5 Bf6 50. Ng4 Be7 51. Rb5 Ra7 52. Rb6 h5 53. Ne5 h4 54. g4 Bg5 55. Rb5 Re7 56. Nc4 f6 57. Rc5 Kg6 58. e4 Rd7 59. e5 Re7 60. Ke4 Bc1 61. Rc6 Bg5 62. Kd5 Kf7 63. e6+ Kg6 64. Nd6 Bf4 65. Nf5 Ra7 66. e7 Kf7 67. Rxf6+ 1-0

A victory on demand made Shak the gold medalist in the Rapids

The medalists on the podium

Final standings of Men's Rapid

Rk
SNo.
 
Name
Rtg
FED
Pts
Perf
1
7
GM
Mamedyarov Shakhriyar
2771
AZE
5
2880
2
15
GM
Ponomariov Ruslan
2672
UKR
5
2880
3
14
GM
Dominguez Perez Leinier
2775
CUB
2840
4
9
GM
Wang Hao
2752
CHN
2806
5
13
GM
Ding Liren
2686
CHN
4
2776
6
10
GM
Li Chao b
2620
CHN
4
2769
7
1
GM
Harikrishna P.
2694
IND
4
2754
8
5
GM
Wojtaszek Radoslaw
2722
POL
2718
9
8
GM
Mamedov Rauf
2655
AZE
2701
10
2
GM
Sargissian Gabriel
2667
ARM
2696
11
4
GM
Navara David
2738
CZE
3
2688
12
16
GM
Wang Yue
2758
CHN
3
2677
13
11
GM
Tomashevsky Evgeny
2719
RUS
3
2674
14
6
GM
Ivanchuk Vassily
2844
UKR
2
2565
15
12
GM
Fressinet Laurent
2723
FRA
2
2578
16
3
GM
Movsesian Sergei
2725
ARM
2493

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.



Priyadarshan Banjan is a 23-year-old club player from India. He works as an editor for ChessBase News and ChessBase India. He is a chess fanatic and an avid fan of Vishy Anand. He also maintains a blog on a variety of topics.
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Hawkman Hawkman 3/8/2016 06:25
The mighty Shak Mamedyarov (AZE) is 2747 in classic, 2791 in Rapid, and #18 in the world!
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