David wins Open Greek Championship in Kavala

8/10/2009 – There are at least three great reasons to attend this event, says GM Dejan Bojkov, who reports for us from Greece. Luxembourger Alberto David won the A tournament on tiebreak points. It took place during the hottest part of the year in a beautiful location, with wonderful conditions for the player and great hospitality of the locals. Kavala is in a historically interesting. Big pictorial report.

Open Greek Championship in Kavala

Report by GM Dejan Bojkov

The tournament took place traditionally at the end of July/ beginning of August (31.07-01.08). By that time in Kavala the weather is extremely hot, like everywhere in Greece in fact, at least by my standards. However, the tournament is always appreciated by the many chess players who participate. This year was no exception: 160 players competed just in the A tournament. Among them were 48 GMs and 25 IMs from 23 different federations! Together with approximately the same number of participants in the “B” section, and around 60 players in the children “C” tournament Kavala is the largest chess festival in Greece.

The tournament is popular for many reasons. First of all it has the status of an Open Greek Championship. This means that the best Greek player in the tournament will qualify directly for the round-robin Greek Individual Championship. Last year the lucky winner was Panos Dagkakis from the local club, with rating around 2250 – democracy in its pureest form. The best female player also qualifies for the national women championship.

Secondly, the wonderful conditions. The prize fund that is not bad at all – 15,000 Euros in total for both the A and B tournaments, and 3,000 Euros for the winner of the main event. There are strictly fixed starting conditions for the titled participants. On the announcement of the tournament there is a scale by which any player can calculate what conditions he or she will receive: a double or a single room, how many days in the hotel, travel expenses coverage, etc. This is a very simple and very effective system. When the organizers have used up all theor resources they simply close the registration. In this way the organizers can fairly distribute the financial funds they have and no player can claim that he was misled in his expectations.

Third is the wonderful hospitality of the locals and the excellent touristic sites to be seen. Kavala is the fourth largest town in Greece and a famous touristic destination. Picturesquely situated on the seashore, the town, which was founded by the Thasos people at around sixth century BC and initially named Neapol (new city), has a harbour, an old part of the town with taverns, live music and excellent food. Amongst the many places of interest are the fortress, the ancient aqueduct, the house of Mehmed Ali Pasha (Egyptian, founder of a dynasty later in his native Egypt, who did many good deeds for the town), a tobacco museum, etc.


Kavala – the fortress and the old part of the town


A view towards the Mediterranean


Thasos Island, which can be seen from the fortress, is famous for its great wines

Fourteen kilometers away from Kavala is Philippi, an important town in the ancient times, founded by Philipp the Second, the father of Alexander the Great. You can still visit there the ancient theater and the Church of St. Lidia, the first European to adopt Christianity from St Paul.


Remains of the ancient town of Philippi


These walls and stairs were built in the times of Philipp the Second, father of Alexander the Great


The amphitheater in Philippi

Last but not least there are the remarkable beaches. In Kavala there are a few that are excellent, but my favourit is the one in Nea Peramos, some 15 km away from the town. It is situated in vineyards, surrounded by green plants – clean sand, warm water, and superb abilities welcome the visitors.


The winner on tiebreak: GM Alberto David of Luxembourg


Equal 1–7: GM Sergey Volkov of Russia

The “A” tournament was rather tense, with the Luxembourg GM Alberto David storming the first five rounds. Later on he reduced his speed and was first caught by the Indian Sandipan Chanda in round six, and later by Vlad Nevednichy (ROM) and Abhijeet Gupta (IND) in the penultimate round. There was also a large group of players half a point behind them. Chanda and Nevednichy quickly signed the peace pact in the final round, while Gupta was torturing David in a rook endgame three versus two on one flank for a while. The defense of the Lunembourger GM proved perfect, and Alberto David claimed the title due to his better tie-break. Three more players jumped from the back to tie for the first: Hrant Melkhumian (ARM), Sergey Volkov (RUS), and Nidjat Mamedov (AZE). Thus, except for the two Indian players the podium became totally international.

Top final ranking (6.0/9 and higher)

Rk.

Ti.

Name

FED

Rtg

Pts.

TB1 

TB2 

TB3 

1

GM

David Alberto

LUX

2565

7.0

0.0

40.0

0.0

2

GM

Sandipan Chanda

IND

2585

7.0

0.0

39.0

0.0

3

GM

Gupta Abhijeet

IND

2565

7.0

0.0

37.5

0.0

4

GM

Melkumyan Hrant

ARM

2530

7.0

0.0

36.5

0.0

5

GM

Nevednichy Vladislav

ROU

2570

7.0

0.0

35.5

0.0

6

GM

Volkov Sergey

RUS

2607

7.0

0.0

34.0

0.0

7

GM

Mamedov Nidjat

AZE

2614

7.0

0.0

33.5

0.0

8

GM

Markus Robert

SRB

2587

6.5

0.0

34.0

0.0

9

GM

Predojevic Borki

BIH

2644

6.5

0.0

33.5

0.0

10

GM

Gelashvili Tamaz

GEO

2605

6.5

0.0

32.5

0.0

11

GM

Deviatkin Andrei

RUS

2589

6.5

0.0

31.0

0.0

12

IM

Aloma Vidal Robert

ESP

2418

6.5

0.0

29.5

0.0

13

GM

Andriasian Zaven

ARM

2585

6.0

0.0

34.5

0.0

14

IM

Chadaev Nikolai

RUS

2549

6.0

0.0

34.0

0.0

15

GM

Arun Prasad S

IND

2556

6.0

0.0

33.5

0.0

16

GM

Banikas Hristos

GRE

2570

6.0

0.0

33.5

0.0

17

GM

Gajewski Grzegorz

POL

2572

6.0

0.0

32.5

0.0

18

GM

Koneru Humpy

IND

2623

6.0

0.0

32.5

0.0

19

GM

Damljanovic Branko

SRB

2551

6.0

0.0

32.5

0.0

20

GM

Rychagov Andrey

RUS

2534

6.0

0.0

32.0

0.0

21

GM

Zubarev Alexander

UKR

2548

6.0

0.0

31.5

0.0

22

GM

Yakovich Yuri

RUS

2576

6.0

0.0

31.5

0.0

23

IM

Khukhashvili Sopiko

GEO

2430

6.0

0.0

30.5

0.0

24

GM

Bartel Mateusz

POL

2619

6.0

0.0

30.0

0.0

25

GM

Burmakin Vladimir

RUS

2627

6.0

0.0

26.5

0.0

Results of all players in Group AGroup BGroup C


Rating favourite GM Borki Predojevic, BIH 2644, ninth with 6.5/9


GM Branko Damljanovic of Serbia, 2551, 6.0/9


Indian GM Koneru Humpy, 2623, with 6.0/9 points


GM Stelios Halkias (foreground), IM Robert Ris


India's IM Harika Dronavalli, 2445, with 5.5/9 in Group A


Hungarian WGM Anna Rudolf, 2313, with 4.5/9 in Group A


Dimitra Vatkali, 29th in Group B, with 5.5/9 points


Vera Papadopolou during the tournament


Close-up of players in action in Kavala

There are two men in the organisation that have to be mentioned. Vasilis Theodoris, and Vasilis Liogkas are the personalities mainly responsible for this event taking place, even at the times of financial crisis. The first is a vice-president of the Greek Chess Federation, president of the East Macedonia Thrace Chess Union, and chief in the club. An architect by occupation, this chess devotee spends his evenings in the chess club, making sure that all the things will go smoothly.

Vasilis Liogkas in turn is a politician with strong connections, the leader of the communist party in the town, and president of the Kavala Chess Club. The efforts and the connections of these two men provide the financial funds required for the tournament. However, this is a long and hard process that starts often immediately after the Kavala open has finished.

We should not underestimate the efforts of the other helpers from the club. It is one big family, in which everyone gives whatever they can – translations, Internet support, tournament site, live transmission of the game, photos, organizations – all of these are done by members of the Kavala Chess Club.

Pictures by GM Dejan Bojkov and the tournament site

In addition, I would like to show you a game of my ex-student George Ketzetzis, who managed to completely outplay the second-seeded Russian GM Vladimir Belov. But the heavy time-trouble took away the deserved win.

Ketzetzis,George (2222) - Belov,Vladimir (2627) [B18]
Kavala Open 2009 Halkidiki (3), 03.08.2009 [George Ketzetzis]
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.Nh3 e6 7.Nf4 Bd6 8.h4 Bxf4 9.Bxf4 h6 10.Bd3 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 Nf6 12.0-0-0 0-0 13.Ne2 Qd5 14.Nc3 Qa5 15.g4 Nd5 16.Nxd5 Qxd5 17.Kb1 Nd7 18.c4 Qa5 19.Bd2 Qd8 20.g5 h5 21.Bc3 Nb6 22.b3 Qe7 23.Rhg1 a5 24.g6 a4 25.d5 e5 26.d6 Qf6

27.f4!!+– axb3? 27...Qxf4 28.Rdf1 Qh2 29.Qf5!+- (29.Rh1 Qg2 30.Rhg1=) 28.Bxe5 bxa2+ 29.Ka1 Qe6 30.gxf7+! 30.Bxg7? Was my second thought.. 30...Kxg7 31.gxf7+ Kh6! (31...Kxf7 32.Qh7+ Ke8 33.Rge1+–) 32.Qd4 Rxf7 33.f5! Qxf5 34.Qxb6 Qf6+ 35.Qd4 Qxd4+ 36.Rxd4=. 30...Rxf7 31.Rg6 Qxc4 [31...Qf5 32.Rxg7+ Kf8 33.Rdg1!+–]

32.Qg3! Kf8 33.Re1?! Instead 33.Rxg7! Ke8 34.Qg6 led to mate in a few more moves. 33...Nd7 34.Rxg7 Nf6

35.Bxf6?? Played with 50 seconds left on the clock. After the game in the analysis room I saw the winning variation in just two minutes: 35.Rxf7+! Qxf7 (35...Kxf7 36.Bxf6! Rg8 37.Bg7+-) 36.d7! Ng4 37.Qa3+!! and mate to follow. 35...Rxf6 36.Rge7. I pressed the clock at 00.1 seconds and immediately resigned, since mate in two follows. 0-1. Full replayable analysis of this game is available here.

Links

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