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Dominguez Perez wins the 43rd Capablanca Memorial

5/22/2008 – It was the 43rd edition of a great and prestigeous event, and was won by Cuba's top GM Lenier Dominguez Perez, who took clear first with 6.0/9 points. Unfortunately no games are yet available from Havana, Cuba, where the event took place. But: we have received splendid pictures and impressions from one of the players. Enjoy part one of Sergey Tiviakov's pictorial report from Cuba.
 

XLIV Edición del Torneo Capablanca in Memoriam 2008

The Roman numeral XLIV translates to 43 – L is 50, X is 10, but is subtracted from 50 since it comes before the digit, V is five but I before it is subtracted so it is 4, which means 44. So according to our calculations it must either be XLIII for 43 or XLIV for 44. The tournament web site gives the latter, although it is clearly the 43rd event. But who are we to change the official title? And who can understand how the Romans were able to build roads and bridges with this convoluted numeral system?

Whatever. The 43rd Torneo Capablanca In Memoriam took place in La Habana (Havana), Cuba, from May 8th- 17th, 2008. It was a category 15 event with an average rating of 2602. No games have become available – we will attempt to supply them in the next edition of ChessBase Magazine.

The Capablanca Memorial

The Capablanca Memorial is a tournament commemorating José Raúl Capablanca y Graupera (1888–1942), the greatest Cuban chess master, who was World Champion from 1921 to 1927. The event has been held annually in Cuba. The first José Raúl Capablanca Memorial was held 20 April to 20 May 1962 in the Habana Libre hotel in Havana, Cuba. Miguel Najdorf was first in a field of 22 players. Here are the final standings:

Primer Torneo Internacional Capablanca in Memoriam – La Habana, 1962

1 Najdorf,Miguel 16.5
2 Spassky,Boris V 16.0
3 Polugaevsky,Lev 16.0
4 Gligoric,Svetozar 15.5
5 Smyslov,Vassily 15.5
6 Ivkov,Borislav 14.5
7 Pietzsch,Wolfgang 13.0
8 Haag,Ervin 13.0
9 Ciocaltea,Victor 12.5
10 Guimard,Carlos E 11.0
11 Pachman,Ludek 10.5
 
12 Cobo Arteaga,Eldis 10.0
13 Matanovic,Aleksandar 9.5
14 Perez Perez,Francisco Jose 8.5
15 Jimenez Zerquera,Eleazar 8.0
16 Gonzalez,Juan Carlos 8.0
17 Milev,Zdravko 7.5
18 De Greif,Boris 7.0
19 Ortega,Rogelio 5.5
20 Siero 5.0
21 Alvarez del Monte,Jose Luis 4.5
22 Garcia,Gilberto 3.5

The fourth edition of the tournament in 1965 was unusual. US Champion Bobby Fischer was invited and offered a $3,000 appearance fee, but the U.S. State Department would not allow him to travel to Cuba due to hostile Cuba-US relations. So Fischer played his games by telex from the Marshall Chess Club in New York City. Former World Champion Vasily Smyslov (USSR) won the tournament with 15½/21, Borislav Ivkov (Yugoslavia), Efim Geller (USSR), and Fischer shared second through fourth, a half point behind.

Here for the record are the winners of the pervious 41 editions of the Capablanca Memorial

1 1962 Havana  Miguel Najdorf (Argentina)
2 1963 Havana  Viktor Korchnoi (Soviet Union)
3 1964 Havana  Vasily Smyslov (Soviet Union), Wolfgang Uhlmann (East Germany)
4 1965 Havana  Vasily Smyslov (Soviet Union)
5 1967 Havana  Bent Larsen (Denmark)
6 1968 Havana  Ratmir Kholmov (Soviet Union)
7 1969 Havana  Alexey Suetin (Soviet Union), Viktor Korchnoi (Soviet Union)
8 1971 Havana  Vlastimil Hort (Czechoslovakia)
9 1972 Cienfuegos   Anatoly Lein (Soviet Union)
10 1973 Cienfuegos  Vasily Smyslov (Soviet Union)
11 1974 Cienfuegos  Ulf Andersson (Sweden)
12 1975 Cienfuegos  Ulf Andersson (Sweden)
13 1976 Cienfuegos  Boris Gulko (Soviet Union)
14 1977 Cienfuegos  Oleg Romanishin (Soviet Union), Guillermo García González (Cuba)
15 1979 Cienfuegos  Evgeny Sveshnikov (Soviet Union)
16 1980 Cienfuegos  Alonso Zapata (Colombia), Lubomir Ftacnik (Czechoslovakia)
17 1981 Cienfuegos  Vitaly Tseshkovsky (Soviet Union)
18 1983 Cienfuegos  Lev Psakhis (Soviet Union)
19 1984 Cienfuegos  Jesus Nogueiras (Cuba)
20 1985 Havana  Borislav Ivkov (Yugoslavia)
21 1986 Havana  Carlos García Palermo (Argentina), Julio Granda Zúñiga (Peru)
22 1987 Camagüey  Carlos García Palermo (Argentina), Denis Verduga (Mexico)
23 1988 Havana  Zurab Azmaiparashvili (Soviet Union)
24 1989 Holguín  Amador Rodriguez (Cuba)
25 1990 Havana  Adelkis Remón (Cuba)
26 1991 Havana  Valeriy Neverov (Soviet Union)
27 1992 Matanzas  Henry Urday Cáceres (Peru)
28 1993 Matanzas  Mark Hebden (England)
29 1994 Matanzas  Loek van Wely (Netherlands), Tony Miles (England), Alonso Zapata (Colombia)
30 1995 Matanzas  Tony Miles (England)
31 1996 Cienfuegos  Tony Miles (England)
32 1997 Cienfuegos  Peter Leko (Hungary)
33 1998 Havana  Robert Hübner (Germany), Ivan Morovic (Chile), Yaacov Zilberman (Israel)
34 1999 Havana  Tony Miles (England)
35 2000 Varadero  Alexander Volzhin (Russia)
36 2001 Havana  Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain)
37 2002 Havana  Lázaro Bruzón (Cuba)
38 2003 Havana  Julio Granda Zúñiga (Peru)
39 2004 Havana  Lenier Domínguez (Cuba)
40 2005 Havana  Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)
41 2006 Havana  Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)
42 2007 Havana  Vassily Ivanchuk (Ukraine)

43rd Capablanca Memorial 2008


This year's event was won by top seed Lenier Dominguez Perez,
who took clear first with 6.0/9 points.

43rd Capablanca Memorial Havana CUB (CUB), 8-17.5.2008 cat. XV (2605)

# Player Nat. Rtng
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Pts
Perf.
1. Dominguez Perez, Lenier CUB 2695
*
½
½
½
½
1
1
½
1
½
6
2719
2. Amonatov, Farrukh TJK 2649
½
*
½
½
½
½
1
½
1
½
2680
3. Khenkin, Igor GER 2609
½
½
*
½
½
½
½
1
1
½
2684
4. Hernandez Carmenates, Holden CUB 2568
½
½
½
*
½
½
½
1
0
1
5
2652
5. Tiviakov, Sergei NED 2635
½
½
½
½
*
½
½
½
½
½
2601
6. Wojtaszek, Radoslaw POL 2625
0
½
½
½
½
*
½
½
½
1
2602
7. Nogueiras Santiago, Jesus CUB 2559
0
0
½
½
½
½
*
½
½
1
4
2567
8. Quezada Perez, Yuniesky CUB 2567
½
½
0
0
½
½
½
*
½
½
2529
9. Arencibia Rodriguez, Walter CUB 2534
0
0
0
1
½
½
½
½
*
½
2532
10. Bruzon Batista, Lazaro CUB 2608
½
½
½
0
½
0
0
½
½
*
3
2479


The first three: Lenier Dominguez Perez, Farrukh Amonatov and Igor Khenkin


As mentioned above we have received no games from the 43rd Capablanca memorial, and general information was very sparse. However: we did have a photo reporter onsite, who supplied us with literally hundreds of pictures from the tournament and from Cuba. The reporter happened to be one of the players, and we are grateful to him for dividing his time between preparation and photography, and bringing us these unique impressions from the Caribbean nation.

Pictorial report from Cuba – part one

By GM Sergei Tiviakov


All participants of the 43rd Capablanca Memorial stayed in the hotel Neptuno Triton


A modern hotel in the Diplomatic Area of Havana. Excellent playing conditions, food, accomodation!!


A view of the city of Havana from the hotel window


Havana is the capital city, the major port and the commercial centre of Cuba.

Havana (Spanish: La Habana) was founded by Conquistador Diego Velázquez de Cuéllar in 1515, on the southern coast of the island. King Philip II of Spain granted it the title of City in 1592, and it soon became the "Key to the New World and Rampart of the West Indies" (the Havana coat of arms still carries this inscription).


A veiw of the sea from the upper floors of the hotel


The weather was nice – sunny, +32°C. It is very nice to sunbathe and swim in the Atlantic Ocean before the games.

For those who want to combine chess and vacation Cuba is an excellent place to be! Besides the invitational round-robin tournament there is also an open in Havana. And two another open tournaments, one after another immediately after the Capablanca Memorial.


The open tournament


Top seed Lenier Dominguez Perez, CUB, rated 2695, prepares for a game


A key game: Farrukh Amonatov, left, vs Lenier Dominguez Perez


A turkey vulture (Cathartes aura) visits the event

The Turkey Vulture (Turkey Buzzard – or simply "buzzard") is a scavenger and feeds almost exclusively on carrion. It finds its meals using its sense of smell, flying low enough to detect the gases produced by the beginnings of the process of decay in dead animals. It has a wingspan of up to 70 inches (180 cm). It communicates with grunts or low hisses, and feeds its chicks by regurgitation. Charming personality.


A more conventional fellow, whose species we are unable to identify [A friend, biologist Kevan Cowcill, who works in Canada, told us it was a giant kingbird (Tyrannus Cubensis). Tyrannosaurus rex is a second cousin.]

Addendum. 24 hours later Kevan writes: "We've been looking at pictures of the kingbird here at the office, and we think it is a Gray Kingbird (Tyrannus dominicensis). On the Tiviakov picture, note the faint yellow wash on the undertail coverts. The Giant Kingbird doesn't show that, but the Gray Kingbird does. Also there appears to be a darker auricular patch around the ear/eye area (hard to tell as the head is tilted to the side). Our consensus (Pierre-Paul Bitton and myself) is that it is a Gray Kingbird. Neither of us has been to Cuba, but just based on the pictures we found – and the relative scarcity of the Giant (about a 1000 world-wide) – this is most likely a Gray.


Guava trees everywhere. This is a tropical trees in the myrtle family, native to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America and northern South America, but now cultivated throughout the tropics. The tress have tough dark leaves, the flowers are white.


The guava fruit is round, from 3-10 cm in diameter, pale green and yellowing at maturity. It is edible and has a strong, characteristic aroma reminiscent of apples, passionfruit or strawberries.


A collonial church in Havana


After the games back to the hotel and back to the beach


GM Igor Khenkin of Germany, rated 2609, ready for a swim


A friendly crab with little fear of grandmasters or photographers


That's Igor in the waters of the Caribbean


...and your intrepid reporter Sergei Tiviakov

All photos by Sergei Tiviakov – more to follow soon...

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