Eltaj Safarli wins Chess Festival Basel

by Johannes Fischer
1/9/2017 – A lot of players used the Christmas Holidays to take part in a chess tournament. Or two. One of them was Azeri grandmaster Nijat Abasov. After winning the Christmas Open in Zürich he started in Basel, in the Chess Festival that took place from 2nd to 8th January. But in Basel he "only" finished sixth. Another Azeri won the tournament on tie-break: Eltaj Safarli.

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Eltaj Safarli wins Chess Festival Basel 2017

The Chess Festival Basel included a Masters tournament, amateur tournaments, youth tournaments, and a blitz tournament. The main attraction was the Masters. This year more than 100 players took part, among them 12 grandmasters and a women grandmaster. After 9 rounds three players shared first place with 7.0/9: the Azeri Eltaj Safarli, Chinese talent Jinshi Bai and Christian Bauer from France.

Bai Jinshi, Eltai Safarli, Christian Bauer

Top seed Safarli had the best tie-break and won the tournament, Jinshi Bai was second, Christian Bauer third. Nijat Abasov, the winner of the Zürich Christmas Open, finished sixth with 6.5/9.

Final standings after 9 rounds

Rank Name Title TWZ At Club/City Country W D L Pts TB1 TB2
1. Safarli,Eltaj GM 2686 M   AZE 5 4 0 7.0 37.0 54.5
2. Bai,Jinshi GM 2560 M   CHN 5 4 0 7.0 36.0 53.0
3. Bauer, Christian GM 2635 M Zürich SG FRA 6 2 1 7.0 35.0 48.5
4. Svane,Rasmus GM 2560 M Hamburger SK vo GER 5 3 1 6.5 36.5 53.5
5. Gao,Rui GM 2544 M   CHN 5 3 1 6.5 35.0 48.5
6. Abasov,Nijat GM 2561 M   AZE 4 5 0 6.5 34.5 50.5
7. Deepan Chakkravar GM 2485 M   IND 6 1 2 6.5 33.0 44.5
8. Van Foreest,Jorde GM 2612 M Schachklub Turm NED 6 1 2 6.5 31.5 50.0
9. Donchenko,Alexand GM 2559 M Schachclub Hans GER 5 2 2 6.0 35.5 50.0
10. Schroeder,Jan-Chr GM 2550 M SV 1920 Hofheim GER 4 4 1 6.0 32.5 47.0
11. Karthikeyan,P IM 2488 M   IND 5 2 2 6.0 31.5 48.5
12. Heimann, Andreas GM 2603 M Riehen Schachge GER 4 4 1 6.0 31.5 48.5
13. Bellahcene, Bilel IM 2493 M Porrentruy Echi FRA 5 2 2 6.0 31.5 44.5
14. Mesaros,Florian FM 2372 M SV Wulkaproders AUT 4 4 1 6.0 28.0 41.0
15. Pratyusha,Bodda WIM 2247 W   IND 5 2 2 6.0 23.5 39.5
16. Chu,Wei Chao IM 2289 M   CHN 5 1 3 5.5 32.5 50.0
17. Kunin,Vitaly GM 2576 M Freibauer Mörle GER 3 5 1 5.5 31.5 46.0
18. Korpa,Bence IM 2473 M Schachclub Hans HUN 4 3 2 5.5 31.0 47.5
19. van Foreest,Lucas   2356 M Schachklub Turm NED 4 3 2 5.5 30.0 50.5
20. Low,Zhen Yu Cyrus FM 2245 M   SIN 4 3 2 5.5 30.0 48.0
21. Alvarez Marquez,J IM 2404 M   VEN 4 3 2 5.5 29.5 43.0
22. Filipovic, Branko IM 2402 M Trubschachen SUI 4 3 2 5.5 29.0 46.5
23. Collins,Sam E IM 2455 M   IRL 4 3 2 5.5 28.5 45.0
24. Akshat,Khamparia IM 2358 M   IND 4 3 2 5.5 28.5 44.0
25. Gomes,Mary Ann WGM 2299 W   IND 3 5 1 5.5 28.0 45.5
26. Bao,Qilin   2343 M   CHN 3 5 1 5.5 27.5 47.0
27. Antal,Tibor Kende FM 2420 M   HUN 4 3 2 5.5 27.0 46.0
27. Heinz,Timothée FM 2346 M Riehen Schachge FRA 4 3 2 5.5 27.0 46.0
29. Botta, Gabriele FM 2377 M Echallens SUI 3 5 1 5.5 25.5 37.0
30. Tschann,Stephan   2208 M SK 1926 Ettling GER 4 3 2 5.5 24.0 40.0

... 107 players

Tournament winner Eltaj Safarli

With five wins and four draws Safarli played a solid tournament. He started with 4.5/5 and then finished the tournament with three draws and a win against Christian Bauer in round eight.

In round five Safarli scored a surprisingly quick win against the young German Alexander Donchenko after a tactical oversight by his opponent:

 

Games

 

Next year, the Chess Festival Basel will take place from 2nd to 7th January 2018.

Tournament page...



Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".
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