ECC 2015 R5: Siberia and Nona lead

by Sagar Shah
10/24/2015 – After five rounds at the European Club Cup the team from Siberia in the open section and Nona in the women’s are the only teams with a perfect score of 10.0/10. Vladimir Kramnik is giving us some wonderful lessons in the art of playing perfect chess. There are some more instructive game annotations and your chance to find a winning move against a 2740 opposition.

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Watch it live on Playchess! + Women's section

European Club Cup R5: Siberia and Nona lead

The 31st European Club Cup and 20th European Club Cup for Women are being held from the 18th to 24th of October 2015 in Skopje, Macedonia. Fifty teams from different parts of Europe are participating in the open event, while the women section consists of twelve teams. Both the championships are seven round Swiss events with six boards per team in the open and four per team in the women’s. The time control is 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game, with an increment of 30 seconds per move starting from move one. The first prize in the open section is €12,000, while for the women it is €7000.

In our previous report we had covered the tournament until the third round. At that point six teams were in the lead with a perfect score of 6.0/6. This is how the fourth round pairings looked:

A perfect pairing where all the top six seeds were playing against each other on the top three boards

Mamedyarov was able to provide the lead to SOCAR by beating Etienne Bacrot in fine style. On the top board it looked like Peter Leko would be able to press Veselin Topalov with the black pieces after he got a wonderful position out of the opening. But within a couple of moves the tide of the game completely changed. Almost through imperceptible errors Leko handed over the initiative to the Bulgarian, who finished off the game quite easily after that.

[Event "31st ECC Open 2015"] [Site "Skopje MKD"] [Date "2015.10.21"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Topalov, Veselin"] [Black "Leko, Peter"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "E15"] [WhiteElo "2813"] [BlackElo "2707"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r6k/1bbq2p1/1pp4p/r2p4/P2Pp3/1QN1P1P1/1R3P1P/2R2BK1 w - - 0 31"] [PlyCount "57"] [EventDate "2015.10.18"] [WhiteTeam "SOCAR (AZE)"] [BlackTeam "OBIETTIVO RISARCIMENTO PADOVA (ITA)"] {How would you assess this position? At first sight it looks as if nothing is happening. White has a weakness on a4 and Black has weaknesses on b6 and c6. It seems as if they cancel out each other. But the important thing to note here is that the b6 and c6 weaknesses can be protected by bishops on d8 and d7. Then they are defending the weaknesses and also eyeing the kingside. Also crucial is the semi-open f-file. While one of the black rooks can continuously put pressure on the a4 pawn, the other one can go to the f-file and start attacking the f2 pawn and also threaten a kingside attack. Black has a clear advantage. It is interesting to see how Peter Leko misplayed this promising position.} 31. Qd1 Bd8 $2 {An error. It was much more important to transfer the rook to the f-file first.} (31... Rf8 $1 32. Qh5 Bc8 {Stopping Bh3.} 33. Rbc2 Bb8 34. Ne2 Rf5 35. Qg4 Rf6 36. Qxd7 Bxd7 $17) 32. Qh5 Bc8 {Now the rook is stuck on a8 and White can bring his knight into the game via e2.} 33. Rbc2 ( 33. Ne2 $1 {was more accurate.}) 33... Be7 34. Ne2 Ba3 35. Rb1 Rxa4 36. Rxb6 { All of Black's superior co-ordination is lost and White has nearly a winning position. The mistakes made by Leko were very subtle - he didn't organize his forces in the best possible way.} Bb7 37. Nf4 Rb4 38. Ng6+ Kh7 39. Ne5 Qe8 40. Qxe8 Rxe8 41. Rxb4 Bxb4 42. Rb2 c5 43. dxc5 Rxe5 44. Rxb4 $18 {White has won a pawn and the rest is a matter of straightforward technique.} Re7 45. Rb6 Rc7 46. Bb5 Bc8 47. Rc6 Rb7 48. Rxc8 Rxb5 49. c6 Rc5 50. Kg2 Rc2 51. h4 h5 52. c7 g6 53. g4 d4 54. exd4 e3 55. Kf1 e2+ 56. Ke1 g5 57. hxg5 h4 58. Rf8 h3 59. Rf6 1-0

Peter Leko played a good opening but a bad middlegame (This and all other pictures by Maria Emelianova from chesspro website)

Thus SOCAR beat Obiettivo Risarcimento Padova with a score of 4.0-2.0, and with 8.0/8 match points were on course for defending their title. On the second table in the duel between the two Russian teams, Mednyi Vsadnik and Siberia, it was the latter spearheaded by Vladimir Kramnik that scored a convincing 4.5-1.5 victory. For Siberia it was the two Chinese players, Li Chao and Wang Yue, who came out all guns blazing against Maxim Matlakov and Maxim Rodstein respectively, to give the team a 2-0 lead. Kramnik, after a fine win against Nepomniachtchi in the third round, kept up the momentum and scored an endgame victory based on theme of knight domination against Peter Svidler.

Peter Svidler and Vladimir Kramnik: Haven’t these guys grown tired of playing each other? Including all the classical, rapid and blitz encounters they have played a total of 78 games between them! Any idea who is leading? 27-30-21 in the favour of the ex-World Champion.

In the match between Alkaloid, the team from Macedonia, and 2013 winners Aze Novy Bor things were very close until the very end. The first five boards ended in draws. It was all down to the last game between Zbynek Hracek (Novy Bor) and Yu Yangyi (Alkaloid). The position reached after 73 moves was a completely drawn queen endgame, but then the Czech player blundered!

[Event "31st ECC Open 2015"] [Site "Skopje MKD"] [Date "2015.10.21"] [Round "4.6"] [White "Hracek, Zbynek"] [Black "Yu, Yangyi"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B84"] [WhiteElo "2613"] [BlackElo "2721"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "8/5p2/5pk1/6q1/5QP1/6K1/8/8 b - - 0 73"] [PlyCount "23"] [EventDate "2015.10.18"] [WhiteTeam "AVE NOVY BOR (CZE)"] [BlackTeam "ALKALOID (MKD)"] {Yu Yangyi (black) has an extra pawn, but it is almost useless, as any reasonable pawn endgame would be a draw. After shuffling around a bit, the Chinese player uses his final trump to play f6-f5.} 73... f5 74. Qd6+ $2 {This is the critical mistake. Now White is just lost.} (74. Kf3 $1 {would have ensured an easy draw but this was the only way to secure the half point.} Qxf4+ 75. Kxf4 fxg4 76. Kxg4 $11 {White has the opposition and there is absolutely no way that the black king can make his way up to the key squares (g5,f5,e5).}) (74. Qxf5+ Qxf5 75. gxf5+ Kxf5 76. Kf3 {would have been a draw if it wouldn't have been for the dreaded waiting move in the pawn endgames!} f6 $1 $19 {The key squares for the f6 pawn are e4,f4,g4 and the black king will reach one of them on his next move.}) 74... Kh7 $1 (74... f6 $2 75. Qd4 fxg4 76. Qxg4 Qxg4+ 77. Kxg4 $11) 75. Qd7 (75. Qd4 Qxg4+ 76. Qxg4 fxg4 77. Kxg4 Kg6 $1 $19 {Black has the opposition and he just wins the game.}) 75... Qxg4+ {This win might involve some effort but considering the match situation and also how things changed in just one move, you can safely say that it is an easy win for the Chinese player.} 76. Kf2 Qf4+ 77. Kg2 Kg6 78. Qc8 Qe4+ 79. Kf2 f4 80. Qg8+ Kf6 81. Qd8+ Kf5 82. Qc8+ Qe6 83. Qc2+ Kg5 84. Kg2 f3+ 0-1

Single handedly winning it for his team – Yu Yangyi of Alkaloid

After four rounds three teams were on a perfect score of 8.0/8: SOCAR, Siberia and Alkaloid. In the fifth round the top two seeds SOCAR and Siberia clashed against each other. The most awaited battle of the entire tournament, and on the top board, we had the two greatest rivals face off against each other.

No handshakes and brutally fighting chess is what these two players have been
indulging in for quite a few years now. This time it ended in Kramnik’s favour.

This could very well be the game of the tournament. Vladimir Kramnik played some fantastic chess to beat his arch rival Veslin Topalov. The opening was handled to perfection, the middlegame had some splendidly executed ideas, and the finish was swift and accurate. It is a game worth going over many times – in short, a classic.

[Event "31st ECC Open 2015"] [Site "Skopje MKD"] [Date "2015.10.22"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Kramnik, Vladimir"] [Black "Topalov, Veselin"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A46"] [WhiteElo "2777"] [BlackElo "2813"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "71"] [EventDate "2015.10.18"] [WhiteTeam "SIBERIA (RUS)"] [BlackTeam "SOCAR (AZE)"] {Maybe the most important game of the tournament. The top seeds SOCAR were up against Siberia and Kramnik faced Topalov. It was excitement at the maximum.} 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. e3 $5 {Kramnik sticks to his policy of play relatively unknown, but not unsound, variations. The point with e3 is that there is a lot of scope for deviations.} c5 4. Bd3 b6 5. O-O Bb7 6. c4 $5 {The move 6.c3 would have taken the game into the Colle, 6.b3 into Colle-Zukertort. With the move 6.c4 we are into the e3 variation of the Queen's Indian.} cxd4 7. exd4 Be7 (7... d5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Ne5 {[%cal Gd1g4,Gg4h5] Will lead to similar positions as in the game with a queen soon coming to g4 or h5.}) 8. Nc3 d5 ( 8... O-O $6 9. d5 $1 $14) 9. cxd5 Nxd5 {Black would have a great position if he could castle and play Nc6, but it's White to move and he gets his attack started with the next move.} 10. Ne5 $1 O-O 11. Qg4 (11. Qh5 {leads to a funny variation after} Nf6 12. Qh4 Ne4 (12... Nc6 13. Bg5 g6 (13... Nxe5 14. Bxf6 Nxd3 15. Bxe7 Qd7 16. Bxf8 $16) 14. Ba6 $3 {is a well known trick which many famous players have fallen into.}) 13. Qh3 Qxd4 14. Bf4 {More than 45 games have been played with this move.} (14. Bxe4 Bxe4 15. Nf3 {It seems as if Black will lose some material but it isn't the case after} Bxf3 16. Qxf3 Qd7 $1 17. Qxa8 Nc6 $17) 14... Nf6 15. Ne2 Qa4 16. Rfc1 $44 {This leads to a complex position where White has enough compensation for the pawn.}) 11... f5 (11... Nf6 12. Qh4 {This move transposes into the variation that we saw above.} (12. Qg3 {is an additional option.})) 12. Qe2 Bf6 13. Bc4 Re8 14. Rd1 Nd7 {This has all been seen before in the game Polgar-Bischoff. Now Kramnik improves White's play with} 15. Bb5 $1 (15. Bxd5 {was played by Polgar and after} exd5 16. Bf4 Nf8 $11 {The position was round about equal.}) 15... Bxe5 16. dxe5 Qe7 17. Nxd5 Bxd5 18. Qh5 {Kramnik is probing the kingside, trying to induce dark squared weaknesses with the move g6.} (18. Rxd5 exd5 19. e6 {doesn't really work on many counts, the main one being the back rank weakness.} Qxe6 20. Qxe6+ Rxe6 $19 {[%cal Ge6e1]}) 18... g6 {One could say that this move was not necessary, but the question then is what should have been played? The threat of Bg5 is not so easy to meet.} (18... a6 19. Bg5 g6 20. Qh6 Qf7 21. Bxd7 Qxd7 {and we transpose into a position similar to the game.}) 19. Qh6 Rec8 20. Bg5 Qf7 21. Bxd7 $1 {Kramnik realizes that after the exchange of bishop for knight, it is going to be just one way traffic. What is the reason for that? Because in opposite coloured bishop middlegames the side with the initiative is the one who has the better chances. Here White has the initiative because Black's kingside is weak and in a practical game it is very difficult to defend such a position.} Qxd7 22. Bf6 Qf7 23. b3 Qf8 24. Qf4 {Of course the queens should not be exchanged at all costs.} Rc2 {What should be done next? It's time to introduce a new warrior into the battle. A small one but one who will bring about huge damage.} 25. h4 $1 {[%cal Gh4h5]} Rac8 26. h5 Qe8 27. Rd3 $1 { White's attack develops like clockwork.} R2c3 28. Rad1 gxh5 {This allows a strong combination, which is not very obvious. But nevertheless it is difficult to suggest a good move for Black.} (28... Qf7 {Maybe Black should wait and watch passively but even here White can slowly improve his position with moves like Kh2 and then Qb4 or Qg3.}) 29. Rxd5 $1 exd5 30. e6 {Why exactly did White sacrifice an exchange? First of all the rook on c3 is attacked. Secondly just have a look at the black king. It is in desperate need of new clothes which he will not get until the next game. And thirdly the exchange sacrifice was mainly to open a few lines for the rook to come into the game. Now the combination of queen+rook+bishop will be unstoppable.} (30. Rxd5 {was also very strong.}) 30... R3c7 (30... Qxe6 31. Qg5+ Kf7 32. Qg7+ Ke8 33. Bxc3 $18) 31. Rxd5 Qxe6 32. Qg5+ Kf8 (32... Kf7 33. Rxf5 $18) 33. Rxf5 Rf7 (33... Rc1+ 34. Kh2 Qd6+ 35. Be5+ $18) 34. Qh6+ {All these calculations are easy for a player of Kramnik's class.} Ke8 35. Re5 Rc6 36. Qxh5 $1 {Topalov is going to lose a queen, after which he will end up being a piece down. And so he resigned. What a smooth game by Kramnik! How can we classify this battle? A positional game or an attacking one? I would say this is a brilliant example of a positional attack. The move Bxd7 was the key positional idea of giving up your bishop to end up in an opposite bishop scenario where your attack will slowly but surely be unstoppable.} (36. Rxe6+ $2 Rxe6 {of course Kramnik is not going to be so careless and let Black come back into the game.}) 1-0

The 3.0/3 score has earned Kramnik 16 Elo points, taken him to 2793 and fifth in the world rankings

Kramnik’s win gave Siberia the lead. Levon Aronian and Anish Giri split the point, and so did Wang Yue against Teimour Radjabov, and Anton Korobov against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov. Alexander Grischuk beat Fabiano Caruana from the white side of a Berlin Defence and increased Siberia’s lead to +2. Michael Adams pulled one back with a win against Li Chao, but it was not sufficient to salvage the match. Team Siberia won 3.5-2.5.

Not particularly happy with how the fifth round went: SOCAR’s coach Vladimir Tukmakov

Siberia were now on a perfect 10.0/10. Alkaloid had a chance to stay up there with them if they were to beat Obiettiva Risarcimento Padova. But it was not to be. Peter Leko versus Vassily Ivanchuk was the only decisive game of the match that helped the Italian team to win by a score of 3.5-2.5.

Peter Leko redeemed himself for his loss against Topalov in the fourth round by beating Ivanchuk in the fifth

The game was far from smooth for the Hungarian – he had a very uncomfortable position in an opposite coloured bishop middlegame where the Ukrainian was going for his opponent’s throat. Leko somehow managed to muddy the waters and escape, not just with a half, but an entire point!

[Event "31st ECC Open 2015"] [Site "Skopje MKD"] [Date "2015.10.22"] [Round "5.1"] [White "Leko, Peter"] [Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "C42"] [WhiteElo "2707"] [BlackElo "2726"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [PlyCount "77"] [EventDate "2015.10.18"] [WhiteTeam "OBIETTIVO RISARCIMENTO PADOVA (ITA)"] [BlackTeam "ALKALOID (MKD)"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. Nxe5 d6 4. Nf3 Nxe4 5. Nc3 Nxc3 6. dxc3 Be7 7. Be3 Nc6 8. Qd2 Bf5 9. O-O-O Qd7 10. Kb1 O-O 11. h4 Rae8 12. Be2 Bd8 13. h5 h6 14. Nh2 Ne7 15. Bf3 Be6 16. Bxb7 c6 17. Ba6 Nd5 18. Nf3 Qc7 19. Qd3 Nxe3 20. fxe3 d5 21. Qe2 Qb6 22. Nd4 Bg5 23. Nxe6 Rxe6 24. Bd3 Bf6 25. Qd2 {[#] White is a pawn up but as we already know when it is an opposite coloured bishop middlegame initiative is more important than material. And in this position Ivanchuk has a clear initiative. You might think it to be exaggerated, but it is true that with accurate play, Black should be winning here.} Rb8 26. b3 Qc5 (26... Qa5 $1 27. Kb2 c5 $1 $19 {[%cal Gc5c4,Ge6a6] With the idea of Ra6 as well as c4 is very strong.}) 27. Kb2 a5 28. a4 Rb4 (28... Rxe3 {winning back the pawn and maintainin the initiative was also pretty good.}) 29. Rb1 Re8 30. Rhf1 Reb8 31. Ra1 {Leko tries to defend as tenaciously as he can.} Rg4 32. Rxf6 $5 {A very interesting practical sacrifice.} gxf6 33. Qf2 {Black is still better but it is no longer a one way traffic.} Qd6 34. Qf5 Rxg2 35. Qh7+ Kf8 36. Bg6 $2 { Leko tries this desperate sacrifice thinking that he would have enough for an entire rook. In a practical game, especially when you are low on time, picking up this bishop looks extremely dangerous. But objectively fxg6 is a winning move.} Rb7 {This move doesn't throw away Black's advantage but he had something stronger at his disposal.} (36... fxg6 $1 37. hxg6 {This might have been Leko's idea. But now Black has a winning move with} Ke8 $1 38. Rf1 (38. g7 Qg3 $19 {[%cal Gg3b8,Gg3g8]}) 38... Kd8 39. g7 Qe6 40. Rf2 Rg5 41. Qh8+ Kc7 42. Qxh6 Qd7 43. Rxf6 Rxg7 $19 {I would be kidding myself if I said that Black's defensive task was easy. But it did exist and Ivanchuk was objectively winning. }) 37. Rf1 Ke8 $2 {The losing mistake by Ivanchuk.} (37... c5 $17) 38. Qg8+ $1 Qf8 (38... Kd7 39. Bf5+ Kc7 40. Qxg2 $18) 39. Bxf7+ $1 (39. Bxf7+ $1 Rxf7 40. Qxg2 $18 {The tables have turned and White is completely winning. Not only is his king safer but he is also a pawn up. Ivanchuk saw no reason to continue the fight.}) 1-0

Alkaloid, with this defeat, have not been able to maintain their perfect score. In the sixth round they will face the team-in-form, Siberia, on the top board. Ivanchuk against Kramnik will be a game to look forward to.

Top rankings after round six (which has now been completed)

Rk.
SNo
Team
  + 
  = 
  - 
 TB1 
 TB2 
 TB3 
1
2
SIBERIA (RUS)
6
0
0
12
180,0
25,5
2
1
SOCAR (AZE)
5
0
1
10
172,5
25,0
3
5
MEDNYI VSADNIK (RUS)
5
0
1
10
152,0
25,0
4
10
BEER-SHEVA (ISR)
5
0
1
10
144,5
25,0
5
4
OBIETTIVO RISARCIMENTO PADOVA (ITA)
5
0
1
10
144,0
21,5
6
8
SHSM LEGACY SQUARE (RUS)
4
0
2
8
153,0
25,5
7
6
AVE NOVY BOR (CZE)
4
0
2
8
144,0
26,0
8
3
ALKALOID (MKD)
4
0
2
8
144,0
23,0
9
7
UNIVERZITY-BELORECHENSK (RUS)
4
0
2
8
137,0
26,0
10
9
ODLAR YURDU (AZE)
4
0
2
8
135,0
22,0
11
11
SCHACHGESELLSCHAFT ZURICH (SUI)
4
0
2
8
120,0
21,0
12
19
SC MPA - MARIA SAAL (AUT)
4
0
2
8
109,0
22,0
13
13
WORLDTRADINGLAB CLUB 64 MODENA (ITA)
4
0
2
8
106,0
19,5
14
14
LSG LEIDEN (NED)
4
0
2
8
105,0
23,0
15
15
VAALERENGA (NOR)
4
0
2
8
97,0
19,5

The two prospective candidates to fight for the World Championship title: Fabiano Caruana and Anish Giri

With 2.5/4 World Cup winner Sergey Karjakin is doing quite decently for his team,
Obiettiva Risarcimento Padova

“When you play too much chess in a short period, bad things tend to happen.”
Hikaru Nakamura’s tweet and post on Facebook after his lackluster performance at this tournament.
From 2815 he has lost 20 Elo points in the last month and has a live rating of 2795.

The team from Novy Bor headed by Radoslaw Wojtaszek are currently in joint second position

Based on performance India’s Pentala Harikrishna is doing the best with a score of 4.5/5. But in the fifth round he had a very lucky escape from the claws of Leif Erlend Johanssen. Here’s a little test for you to see whether you could have finished off the number two Indian player:

Johanssen – Harikrishna, fifth round

Black’s last move was Rc8-c5. How should White execute the coup de grâce?

[Event "31st ECC Open 2015"] [Site "Skopje MKD"] [Date "2015.10.22"] [Round "5.2"] [White "Johannessen, Leif Erlend"] [Black "Harikrishna, Pentala"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E15"] [WhiteElo "2503"] [BlackElo "2737"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "2r2rk1/p4ppp/qn2p3/1p2N3/1Q1RP3/6P1/1P3PKP/3R4 w - - 0 25"] [PlyCount "62"] [EventDate "2015.10.18"] [WhiteTeam "OSLO SCHAKSELSKAP (NOR)"] [BlackTeam "AVE NOVY BOR (CZE)"] {We catch the game from a few moves before the diagrammed position was reached. Here Johanssen played a nice sacrifice.} 25. Nxf7 $1 {Not too difficult to see. } Kxf7 $2 {A bad blunder which should have resulted in a loss.} (25... Qa2 26. Ne5 $16 {would lead to an inferior position. but Black is still fighting.}) ( 25... Rxf7 26. Rd8+ Rxd8 27. Rxd8+ Rf8 28. Qxf8#) 26. Rd7+ $1 Nxd7 27. Rxd7+ Kg6 (27... Kg8 28. Qe7 $18) 28. Qe7 $1 {The queen and the rook are enough to finish off the black king.} Rg8 (28... Rxf2+ 29. Kxf2 Rc2+ 30. Kf3 {the checks run out and white wins.}) 29. Qf7+ Kh6 30. g4 $1 {A fine move by Johanssen threatening Qh5#.} Rc5 31. Qxg8 $2 {A little lazy, a little greedy. This is still winning but there was a much more direct win.} (31. Rd3 $1 $18 {There is no way to stop Rh3-h5 mate.}) (31. h4 {is also strong with the threat of Qf4+.} Qc6 32. Qf4+ (32. g5+ Rxg5+ 33. hxg5+ Kxg5 {is unclear.}) 32... Kg6 33. h5+ Rxh5 34. gxh5+ Kxh5 35. Rd3 $18) 31... Rg5 32. Re7 $2 (32. f3 $18) 32... Rxg4+ {Now Black is back in the game.} 33. Kh3 Rg6 34. Qb8 e5 35. Qxe5 Qc8+ 36. Qf5 Qxf5+ 37. exf5 {The position is completely equal but as is true with many such winning games, if you have missed your chance, it's very difficult to hold the drawn endgames.} Rg5 38. Rxa7 Rxf5 39. Rb7 Rf3+ 40. Kg2 Rb3 41. f3 Rxb2+ 42. Kg3 b4 43. Rb5 b3 44. Rb7 Rb1 45. Kg2 Kg6 46. Rb5 Kf6 47. Rb7 h5 48. Kh3 g6 49. Rb6+ Kf5 50. Kh4 Rb2 51. Kg3 g5 52. Rb5+ Kf6 53. h4 gxh4+ 54. Kxh4 Rb1 55. Kxh5 b2 0-1

Women’s Cup

There is one team that is completely crushing the competition in the women’s event, and it is the top seeded Georgian team Nona. They have won all their five rounds and with 10.0/10 are two points ahead of their nearest rival Gambit Asseko See (Macedonia), whom they defeated in the third round.

The girls from Georgia are just unbeatable!

Nana Dzagnidze started from where she had left in the Monaco Women’s Grand Prix. There she ended the tournament with four points in the last four rounds. In Skopje she has scored 4.5/5, beating strong players like Monika Socko, Valentina Gunina, Anna Ushenina and Anne Haast. She has a rating performance of 2822! Look at the tactical alertness on show by the Georgian in her game against Anna Ushenina.

[Event "31st ECC Women 2015"] [Site "Skopje MKD"] [Date "2015.10.21"] [Round "4.1"] [White "Dzagnidze, Nana"] [Black "Ushenina, Anna"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D02"] [WhiteElo "2573"] [BlackElo "2426"] [Annotator "Sagar Shah"] [SetUp "1"] [FEN "r5k1/1p2p1bp/4b1p1/pB1p1p2/3PnP2/1P2PNP1/P6P/2R1B1K1 b - - 0 22"] [PlyCount "60"] [EventDate "2015.10.18"] [WhiteTeam "NONA (GEO)"] [BlackTeam "UGRA (RUS)"] {A very interesting tactical melee started in this simple looking position.} 22... Nd6 {Black attacks the bishop on b5.} 23. Ng5 $5 {White in return attacks the bishop on e6.} Rc8 $2 {Black tries to solve all her problems with the rook exchange. If the rook is taken then Black would have no problems at all. But Dzagnidze plays a strong move.} (23... Nxb5 24. Nxe6 a4 $14 {was better giving Black decent fighting chances.}) 24. Rc5 $1 b6 (24... Nxb5 25. Nxe6 Rxc5 26. Nxc5 b6 27. Nd7 $18 {loses a pawn.}) (24... Rxc5 25. dxc5 Nxb5 26. Nxe6 Bc3 27. Kf2 Bxe1+ 28. Kxe1 $16 {is also a clear advantage.}) 25. Nxe6 bxc5 26. Bd7 $1 cxd4 (26... Rb8 27. dxc5 Ne4 28. c6 $18 {There is simply no one who can stop the c-pawn.}) 27. Bxc8 Nxc8 28. Nxg7 Kxg7 29. exd4 {White has not only won a pawn but the one on a5 is also falling. The rest is a matter of technique for Dzagnidze.} a4 30. bxa4 Kf7 31. a5 Ke6 32. Bb4 Kd7 33. Bc5 Kc6 34. a6 e6 35. a4 Kc7 36. Kf2 Kb8 37. Ke3 Na7 38. Bxa7+ Kxa7 39. Kd3 Kxa6 40. Kc3 Ka5 41. Kb3 Ka6 42. Kb4 Kb6 43. a5+ Ka6 44. Ka4 Ka7 45. Kb5 Kb7 46. a6+ Ka7 47. Ka5 Ka8 48. Kb6 Kb8 49. a7+ Ka8 50. Ka6 h6 51. h4 h5 52. Kb6 {Very well played by the Georgian number one!} 1-0

Bela Khotenashvili also has been quite solid on board two,
beating players like Pogonina and Goryachkina

Alexandra Goryachkina (right), the young Russian super-talent,
is playing for Gambit Asseko See. Her team is in the second place with 8.0/10

If there is one player who can match Dzagnidze’s performance, then it is surely Antanoeta Stefanova (above left), who has scored 4.5/5. She has beaten Anastasia Bodnaruk, Anne Haast and Alexandra Kosteniuk on her way to a 2801 performance.

Rankings after round six

Rk.
SNo
Team
  + 
  = 
  - 
 TB1 
 TB2 
 TB3 
1
1
NONA (GEO)
6
0
0
12
117,5
19,0
2
3
GAMBIT ASSEKO SEE (MKD)
5
0
1
10
79,0
19,5
3
4
UGRA (RUS)
4
1
1
9
60,0
16,0
4
8
BOSSA NOVA (BLR)
4
0
2
8
37,0
13,0
5
2
SHSM LEGACY SQUARE (RUS)
3
1
2
7
88,0
14,0
6
7
ASD CIRCOLO SCACCHI R.FISCHER CHIETI (IT
3
1
2
7
37,5
12,5
7
6
DE STUKKENJAGERS (NED)
2
0
4
4
51,5
9,0
8
5
SPB (RUS)
2
0
4
4
44,5
9,5
9
10
RISHON LEZION (ISR)
2
0
4
4
30,0
8,5
10
9
MIDLAND MONARCHS (ENG)
1
1
4
3
35,0
8,0
11
11
OSLO SCHAKSELSKAP (NOR)
1
1
4
3
20,0
6,5
12
12
HERZLIYA CHESS CLUB (ISR)
0
1
5
1
35,0
8,5

About the photographer

WFM Maria Emelianova is 27 years old, born in Ekaterinburg, Russia, Women FIDE Master, with a 2113 Elo rating.

After finishing school Maria moved to Moscow to study at the university, so chess was forgotten for some time. She worked for about a year with Alexander Roshal in the chess magazine "64".

Maria's carrier as a chess photographer started at the Olympiad in Khanty-Mansiysk. "It was just a hobby, but somehow became an interesting job," says Maria, who works with a Canon 1DX.

She is photographing for the web site ChessPro.


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 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.
 

Topics European Team

Sagar Shah is an International Master from India with two GM norms. He is also a chartered accountant and would like to become the first CA+GM of India. He loves to cover chess tournaments, as that helps him understand and improve at the game he loves so much. He is the co-founder of the ChessBase India website.
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imdvb_8793 imdvb_8793 10/25/2015 08:11
Actually, I also remember them exchanging scoresheets (without looking at eachother, I believe), so I guess he signed both, which makes sense, since you have to do that. Then Kramnik smiled and did a fist pump, believe it or not!... It was weird. But OK, I guess, after such a good game.
imdvb_8793 imdvb_8793 10/25/2015 08:08
From what I remember seeing on the live stream, Veselin stopped the clock and signed the scoresheet, then got up and left.
beerpatzer beerpatzer 10/25/2015 07:23
You're 2 days behind. 24th was already when the final Round 7 was played. Siberia won, followed by SOCAR.
david young david young 10/25/2015 04:56
In the game above, Johannessen, Leif Erlend2503–Harikrishna, Pentala27370–1, would the move 31 Rook to D5 also win?
Yuan Mei Yuan Mei 10/25/2015 02:12
If Vlad and Veselin are not on hand-shaking terms I wonder how the latter resigns: a nod or a shaking of the head? Lies the king to rest?
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