47th Capablanca Memorial led by Ivanchuk

5/9/2012 – The Capablanca Memorial has finally found a leader, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it is Ukraine’s Vassily Ivanchuk. After the first round win, Cuba’s top-rated player, Leinier Domínguez, faced Ivanchuk, and was completely outplayed by the Ukrainian in the endgame. The Cuban bounced back, but Ivanchuk's win in round five has given him the midway lead in this tournament rich in Sicilians.

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Prize fund: Elite: 5200 Peso Cubano Convertible (1 US$: 0.865 CUC): 1800 - 1300 - 800 - 600 - 400 - 300 --- Premier: 1950 CUC: 800 - 550 - 400 - 200
Time control: 90 minutes/40 moves + 30 minutes + 30 seconds/move starting with the 1st move
Duration: May 4-14 with a rest day on May 9

47th Capablanca Memorial

Rounds two to five

The Capablanca Memorial has finally found a leader, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it is Ukraine’s Vassily Ivanchuk. After the first round win, Cuba’s top-rated player, Leinier Domínguez, faced Ivanchuk, and the game did not go well. In an endgame that he should have been able to hold, albeit with some discomfort, he was completely outplayed by the Ukrainian, and went down in flames.


Vassily Ivanchuk completely outplayed Leinier Domínguez in round two

Czech player, Viktor Laznicka also scored against the other Cuban in the tournament, Yuniesky Quesada Perez, and in the next rounds three players emerged as candidates for the gold: Ivanchuk, Domínguez, and Laznicka. Potkin had a rough start, but finally swapped places with Quesada Perez for last place.


In round three, the Cuban bounced back by beating Potkin

The games have all been hard fought, with an impressive number of Sicilians being played, six out of fifteen games so far. Still, of note is Ivanchuk’s strong win over Laznicka after the latter’s dubious 14.h3?! in a Nimzo-Indian led to a difficult position.

[Event "47th Capablanca Mem Elite"] [Site "Havana CUB"] [Date "2012.05.08"] [Round "5"] [White "Laznicka, V."] [Black "Ivanchuk, V."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E41"] [WhiteElo "2693"] [BlackElo "2764"] [PlyCount "64"] [EventDate "2012.05.03"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Bb4 4. e3 c5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bd3 Bxc3+ 7. bxc3 d6 8. O-O e5 9. Nd2 O-O 10. Rb1 b6 11. d5 Ne7 12. Qc2 g6 13. f4 exf4 14. h3 $6 {A dubious novelty by the Czech player which backfires almost as soon as it was played. Clearly it was not computer checked as the refutation is found almost immediately.} Nf5 $1 {An excellent reaction and the best move.} 15. Bxf5 Bxf5 16. e4 Bd7 17. Rxf4 Qe7 18. Bb2 {A clear sign things have gone wrong. This is the last place White had wanted to place his dark-squared bishop. There is no question he had dreamed of it creating hell on Black's kingside.} Nh5 19. Rf2 f5 {The initiative has swung.} 20. Re1 Rae8 21. Bc1 f4 22. Qd1 Qg7 23. Nf1 Re5 24. Nh2 Qe7 25. Qd3 Rg5 26. g4 fxg3 27. Rxf8+ Qxf8 28. Nf3 Re5 29. Kg2 (29. Nxe5 Qf2+ 30. Kh1 Qh2#) 29... Re7 30. e5 {Desperation.} dxe5 31. d6 Re6 32. Qd5 Nf6 0-1

Ivanchuk now leads with 3.5/5 followed by Domínguez with 3.0/5. Since the tournament is a double round-robin, expect some of the first round losers to seek to avenge themselves in the second half. The Premier group is also underway, but there is a certain difficulty obtaining games and results.

Standings after five rounds


Pictures by Miguel E. Gomez Masjuán


Links

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