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AeroSvit R11: Rublevsky wins, Ivanchuk second

6/29/2006 – The AeroSvit tournament in Foros ended with draws by all top boards, giving Russian GM Sergei Rublevsky undivided first, with 7.5/11 and a 2824 performance. Second was Ukrainian perennial Vassily Ivanchuk, with 7/11 and a 2784 performance. We bring you all results, games and a special report on the Crimean venue.
 

The Aerosvit International GM tournament is taking place in from June 16 to 29, 2006, in Foros/Yalta, the southern-most part of the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine. It is a category 18 event with 12 GMs rated 2600 or higher. Time controls are 120 minutes for the entire game, with an increment of 30 sec. per move. In case of a tie the final places are determined by the result of the direct encounter; then Sonneborn-Berger; and finally the number of won games.

Round eleven report by GM Mikhail Golubev

Round 11 – Wed. June 28, 15:00h
Ponomariov
½:½
Nisipeanu
Karjakin
1-0
Volokitin
Mamedyarov
½:½
Bologan
Grischuk
½:½
Rublevsky
Ivanchuk
½:½
Shirov
Areshchenko
½:½
Harikrishna
Games

Grischuk – Rublevsky ½:½
In the Sicilian Taimanov White played a rare 5.Nc3 a6 6.f3!?. On the 13th move Grischuk sacrificed a knight: 13.Ndxb5. A correctness of this idea is under question. After 16.Bf2 Rublevsky accepted Grischuk's draw offer. The final position is quite complex, but Black is at least not worse. Rublevsky considered 16...Qd8 17.Nxd6+ Bxd6 18.Qxd6 Qxd6 19.Rxd6 Bxe4 20.Bg3!? to be a main line. But maybe he underestimated Black's chances in the line 16...Qc6 17.Na7 Nc4 18.Bxc4 Qxc4 19.Nxc8 Qxc8 20.c4!? with the idea 20...Qxc4 21.Rc1. (Earlier, When Grischuk sacrificed his knight, he missed that 16.Nxd6+? Bxd6 17.Qxd6 is refuted by 17...Nc6!). 0.5 - 0.5

Ivanchuk – Shirov ½:½
The old rivals! The score in their previous classic encounters is (approximately) +13 =17 –4 in Ivanchuk's favour. Ruy Lopez, the acute Neo-Arkhangelsk Variation. Shirov played 13...d5, following the game Topalov-Shirov, Wijk aan Zee 1996. Ivanchuk deviated from that game by playing 14.h3. After 16.Bg5! (a novelty) Ivanchuk stands clearly better. After all, opponents entered into endgame with an extra exchange for Ivanchuk. Shirov preserved chances for a draw. Finally, Black has managed to built up the fortress.

Mamedyarov – Bologan ½:½
A quick draw in the King's Indian Defence. Bologan, in his own words, prepared for the game during five hours. But his opponent, who had White, was in the peaceful mood.

Areshchenko – Harikrishna ½:½
"The Giuoco Piano. On the 15th move White could win a pawn, but after 15.fxe3 Qxd6 16.Ne4 Qg6 17.Nxg5 Qxg5 18.e4 Qg6 Black has some compensation. Instead, Areshchenko played 15.Ne4 with a slight advantage. By the move 22 Harikrishna equalised, but opponents fought for two more dozens of moves.

Ponomariov – Nisipeanu ½:½
A rare line of the Scheveningen: 10...Nxd4 11.Qxd4 b6. The game quickly transposed into an endgame with a slim White's advantage. Ponomariov tried to win, but without success.

Karjakin – Volokitin 1-0
A classical main line of the Ruy Lopez; Black played 9...Nd7 (sometimes called the Karpov Variation). Instead of the most common 15...Ba6, Volokitin sacrificed a pawn by 15...c6!?. His 19th move (19...Rd8) is a sensible novelty. Black obtained a more active position. It is hard to judge, however, whether the compensation for the pawn is fully sufficient - White has no weaknesses. After 29.Qxc5 White's advantage became obvious. (Probably Black could play stronger before: e.g. 26...Qa6, 24...Be7, 23...Bh6.) In desperation, Volokitin sacrificed a rook: 29...Rd1!?. Soon, White returned a rook, obtaining the queen endgame with a "healthy" extra pawn. 36.Rd2! was an important move. (Instead, 36.Ke4? fails to 36...Qh1+!). Finally, Karjakin achieved his first victory!

Notes from the official web site

Final standings


Schedule and results

Round 1 – Sat. June 17, 15:00h
Nisipeanu
½:½
Harikrishna
Volokitin
1-0
Ponomariov
Bologan
1-0
Karjakin
Rublevsky
0-1
Mamedyarov
Shirov
½:½
Grischuk
Areshchenko
½:½
Ivanchuk
Games
Round 2 – Sun. June 18, 15:00h
Nisipeanu
½:½
Volokitin
Ponomariov
½:½
Bologan
Karjakin
½:½
Rublevsky
Mamedyarov
½:½
Shirov
Grischuk
½:½
Areshchenko
Harikrishna
½:½
Ivanchuk
Games
Round 3 – Mon. June 19, 15:00h
Bologan
1-0
Nisipeanu
Volokitin
½:½
Harikrishna
Rublevsky
1-0
Ponomariov
Shirov
1-0
Karjakin
Areshchenko
0-1
Mamedyarov
Ivanchuk
½:½
Grischuk
Games
Round 4 – Tues. June 20, 15:00h
Nisipeanu
0-1
Rublevsky
Volokitin
½:½
Bologan
Ponomariov
½:½
Shirov
Karjakin
½:½
Areshchenko
Mamedyarov
0-1
Ivanchuk
Harikrishna
0-1
Grischuk
Games
Round 5 – Wed. June 21, 15:00h
Shirov
½:½
Nisipeanu
Rublevsky
1-0
Volokitin
Bologan
1-0
Harikrishna
Areshchenko
½:½
Ponomariov
Ivanchuk
½:½
Karjakin
Grischuk
½:½
Mamedyarov
Games
Round 6 – Thurs. June 22, 15:00h
Nisipeanu
1-0
Areshchenko
Volokitin
1-0
Shirov
Bologan
0-1
Rublevsky
Ponomariov
½:½
Ivanchuk
Karjakin
½:½
Grischuk
Harikrishna
0-1
Mamedyarov
Games
Friday June 23
 
Rest day
Round 7– Sat. June 24, 15:00h
Ivanchuk
1-0
Nisipeanu
Areshchenko
1-0
Volokitin
Shirov
½:½
Bologan
Rublevsky
1.0
Harikrishna
Grischuk
½:½
Ponomariov
Mamedyarov
½:½
Karjakin
Games
Round 8 – Sun. June 25, 15:00h
Nisipeanu
1-0
Grischuk
Volokitin
0-1
Ivanchuk
Bologan
½:½
Areshchenko
Rublevsky
½:½
Shirov
Ponomariov
0-1
Mamedyarov
Harikrishna
½:½
Karjakin
Games
Round 9 – Mon. June 26, 15:00h
Mamedyarov
½:½
Nisipeanu
Grischuk
1-0
Volokitin
Ivanchuk
½:½
Bologan
Areshchenko
½:½
Rublevsky
Shirov
1-0
Harikrishna
Karjakin
0-1
Ponomariov
Games
Round 10 – Tues. June 27, 15:00h
Nisipeanu
½:½
Karjakin
Volokitin
½:½
Mamedyarov
Bologan
½:½
Grischuk
Rublevsky
½:½
Ivanchuk
Shirov
½:½
Areshchenko
Harikrishna
½:½
Ponomariov
Games
Round 11 – Wed. June 28, 15:00h
Ponomariov
½:½
Nisipeanu
Karjakin
1-0
Volokitin
Mamedyarov
½:½
Bologan
Grischuk
½:½
Rublevsky
Ivanchuk
½:½
Shirov
Areshchenko
½:½
Harikrishna
Games

Chess vacation in Crimea

By Olena Boytsun

I have always seen chess tournaments as a great reason to travel to places with a definite goal. You have never been to the Netherlands or never touched the North Sea? Then simply visit the Wijk-ann-Zee Corus Chess tournament in January. If you have never heard about the regional development projects of the Ruhr region in Germany, you must come to Dortmund Sparkassen Meeting in July. To experience the white nights, when the sun is always shining, you should rush right now to the Norwegian town of Tromsø. You can plan a trip to Mexico for Autumn 2007, because that’s when the World Chess Championship Tournament will be held there. And if you want to see beautiful natural scenery, take sun baths, go on cave expeditions, climb mountains, swim in the sea, visit historical places, do something for your health, and in addition visit a strong chess tournament with top players participating, I am afraid, you have only one option. Go to the peninsula of Crimea in Ukraine.

The river Dnepr (or Dnipro in Ukrainian, or sometimes Dnieper), clearly visible in the Google Earth satellite map above, is 2285 km long, which makes it one of the longest rivers in Europe. During the boat trip you can enjoy the incredible views of the Ukrainian landscape and will have a lot of time to play chess as well.

In Crimea you can not only swim in the Sea, but also explore mountains. They are about 10 km from the sea along the southern coast, with the rest of the Crimean peninsula consisting of prairie lands. I would also suggest you take a river tour by boat to Kiev.

The region is also known as the Autonomous Republic of Crimea – in Ukrainian: Крим, Автономна Республіка Крим – Avtonomna Respublika Krym) and lies on the northern coast of the Black Sea. The population is two million inhabitants, the capital is the city of Simferopol.

The first strong chess tournament in Foros is over. It was an interesting tournament, full of excitement and emotions. Everybody hopes that the sponsor “AeroSvit”, the leading Ukrainian airline company, will continue to host the chess event for the great pleasure of the chess world. And then, next time, next year, you should not miss the opportunity to explore the Ukrainian Crimea.

Foros, where the AeroSvit tournament was held, is a small village situated about 40 km from Yalta, in the southern part of Crimea. The climate conditions are gorgeous. Foros is the place were the dacha (summer-house) of the President of Ukraine is situated. The Russian writer Maxim Gorkiy lived and worked for some time in Foros. Today Ukrainian politicians and businessmen own summer houses there. Students spend their summers in Foros. There is the orthodox Foros Church and a beautiful national park. What is also good in Foros – you spell the name of the village exactly the way you pronounce it – F-o-r-o-s.

When you are in Crimea, don’t forget to visit Yalta as well, the most famous city of Crimea. It’s just 40 km away, and you can enjoy the great spirit of the seaside city, which has so many vineyards and orchards. The world-famous Yalta Conference was held at the Livadia Palace in 1945.


Churchill, Roosevelt, Stalin in Yalta, 1945

Walking through the city you can meet chess lovers, playing or offering chess lessons for the children “aged from 2 till 99 years”. It was in Yalta that the match Kasparov-Ponomariov was going to be held.


A chess teacher in Yalta

So, if you plan vacations for the next year June, please, don’t forget to ask your travel agent about Crimea as well. At least, ask. And even if you are not interested in Ukraine, don’t give up the idea of chess traveling.

Pictures by Olena Boytsun

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