European Rapid and Blitz championships

12/28/2010 – The European Rapid championship took place in Warsaw, Poland, with a field of over 700 players, allowing the casual club player to meet some of the world elite, such as Ivanchuk, Shirov, and Judit Polgar heads-on in competition. Zoltan Almasi prevailed after a 6-way tie was decided in a blitz playoff. The European Blitz Championship saw Vachier-Lagrave take the laurels. Report and miniatures.

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The European Rapid and European Blitz championships took place in Warsaw, Poland, with a fierce competition allowing players of all strengths and all ages to play against each other. Among the stars were Ivanchuk, Shirov, Ponomariov, Gashimov, Almasi, and others

European Rapid Championship

The rapid event brought over 700 players vying for the prize, and for the lower-rated players, it meant a chance to actually play one of the world elite head-to-head. After thirteen rounds, six players were tied on 10.5/13, Ivanchuk, Shirov, Gashimov, Almasi, Naiditsch and Korobov. An impromptu blitz playoff was organized which saw Almasi as the event's victor, followed by Gashimov in second, and Ivanchuk in third. Judit Polgar was the best female in the event, coming in 19th with 9.5/13.


The prize winners (left to right) Vugar Gashimov (2nd), Zoltan Almasi (1st), Ivanchuk (3rd),
and Judit Polgar.


The champions receiving their congratulations with a somewhat melancholic Ivanchuk
who came so very close to the top, but came just short in both the rapid and blitz.


There were children galore


Players were often faced with opponents who were barely literate yet threatening to
checkmate them.


Do two Santas mean double the presents?

Here are a couple of quickies from the rapid event:

Neiksans,Arturs (2503) - Polgar,Judit (2686) [B32]
European Rapid Chess Championship Warsaw POL (4), 18.12.2010

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Qb6 5.Nb3 Nf6 6.Nc3 e6 7.Be3 Qc7 8.Bd3 a6 9.f4 h5 10.h3 b5 11.0-0 Bb7








By an oddity of move order, they have reached the same position as Sax-Banikas (2000), won by Sax, except that in that game it was black to move, so White has gained a tempo. 12.Nc5? 12.Qe2 was more logical. 12...Qb6 13.Nxb7 Qxe3+ 14.Kh1? [14.Rf2 Ra7 15.e5] 14...Ng4 15.Qe1 Rb8 16.Nd5 Qxe1 17.Raxe1 Rxb7 18.hxg4 hxg4+ 19.Kg1 exd5 20.exd5+ Kd8








21.dxc6 Bc5+ 22.Rf2








22...g3! After 23.cxb7 Black finishes with 23...gxf2+ 24.Kf1 Rh1+ 25.Ke2 fxe1Q+ 0-1. [Click to Replay]


Nedilko,Vasily (2413) - Bologan,Viktor (2686) [E60]
European Rapid Chess Championship Warsaw POL (9), 19.12.2010

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 c5 5.Nc3 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Qc7 7.b3 Nc6 8.Bg2 h5 9.h3 h4 10.g4








10...Nxg4! White had seen this shot and thought he had seen clearer than his opponent with 11.Ndb5 Bxc3+ 12.Nxc3








Unfortunately he missed 12...Nxf2! And here he had expected 12...Nf6 to which he planned 13.Bb2 followed by Nd5 and 0-0 and White would indeed stand better.; Now 13.Kxf2 crashes into 13...Qg3+ 14.Kf1 Qxc3 0-1. [Click to Replay]

European Blitz Championship

The European Blitz championship was also a 13-round event, though a double-round swiss with the players playing each other twice, once with white and once with black. French GM Maxime Vachier-Lagrave was the outright winner here with 22/26 followed by Ivanchuk on 20/26 and his compatriot Ponomariov on 19.5/26. Again the best female was Judit Polgar, unsurprisingly, 11th, with 18/26.


The winners pose for the picture: Ivanchuk (2nd), Vachier-Lagrave (1st), Ponomariov (3rd),
and Judit Polgar, (11th and best female).


Maxime Vachier-Lagrave in action on his way to the European
Blitz Champion title.


Links

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