Gelfand wins in Pamplona, Kuzubov in Groningen

12/31/2004 – That veteran GM Boris Gelfand should win a category 16 tournament a full point ahead of the field is impressive, but hardly surprising. That a 14-year-old should triumph in the Harmonie Chess tournament in Groningen, to climb to 2573 on the rating scale, is nothing short of mind-boggling. Read all about it in our end-of-the-year tournament wrap-up.

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2004 End-of-the-year Tournaments

Pamplona

The Pamplona Navarra category 16 Swiss tournament was held from December 20th – 29th 2004. The tournament ended with a clear victory for Boris Gelfand from Israel, who won four games and drew three to end up with 5.5/7.0 – a full point ahead of the field. Second was the veteran 14-year-old wunderkind Sergey Karjakin, who won two and drew five for a clear 4.5/7.0 second place. Sergey's performance was a remarkable 2740.


The winner of Pamplona: Boris Gelfand


Harmonie 2004

The Harmonie Chess tournament 2004 was staged in Groningen, from December 21st – 30th, 2004. Four players tied for first, with 6.0/9.0 each. Friso Nijboer and Yuriy Kuzubov both have the same tiebreak score, but the official tournament site says "Kuzubov is the winner of the tournament because of the result of games played amongst each other and Sonneborn-Berger points."

We congratulate young Yuriy Kuzubov, who will turn 15 on January 26 (yes, yet another 14-year-old Ukraine GM) and who is now the second-highest player of his age in the world. In the January 1st rating list he will be 2563, ten points ahead of mega-talent Magnus Carlsen. After the Harmonie tournament his rating will be 2573 points!


Friso Nijboer, John van der Wiel and Yge Visser all tied for first with Kuzubov


Drammen Chess Festival

The Drammen Chess Festival began on December 27th, 2004 and lasts until January 5th, 2005. It is a meeting between generations and sexes: The world's youngest grandmaster Magnus Carlsen (just 14) will play against Victor Korchnoi (73) who is old enough to be his grandfather. Aleksander Khalifman, FIDE world champion 1999-2000 will encounter the present women's world champion Antoaneta Stefanova. And everyone will have to play Alexei "Fire on the Board" Shirov.

After four rounds Peter Heine Nielsen of Denmark and Luke McShane of England are in the lead, each with two victories and two draws. Behind them are Alexei Shirov and Kjetil Lie with a win and three draws apiece. Shirov had a bit of luck when Viktor Korchnoi walked into a trap in round four:

Shirov,A (2726) - Korchnoi,V (2601) [C02]
Smartfish Masters Drammen NOR (4), 30.12.2004
1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.c3 Qb6 5.Nf3 Bd7 6.Be2 Nc6 7.0-0 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nge7 9.Na3 Nf5 10.Nc2 h5 11.b3 a5 12.Bb2 Be7 13.Ne3 Nxe3 14.fxe3 a4 15.Rb1 axb3 16.axb3 Ra2 17.Kh1 Nb4 18.Bc3 0-0 19.Ng1 h4 20.Nh3 Nc2 21.Bd2 Na3 22.Rc1 Rb2

Korchnoi is not doing too badly with his queenside play, and in case of 23.Bc3 was planning 23...Rxe2 24.Qxe2 Bb5. But Shirov played the cunning 23.b4?! and Viktor the Terrible fell for it: 23...Bxb4? 23...Bb5 would have retained a tangible advantage for Black. 24.Bd3! Now the threat is 25.Bh7+ and mate to follow: 25...Kxh7 26.Qh5+ Kg8 27.Ng5 Rd8 28.Qh7+ Kf8 29.Qh8+ Ke7 30.Rxf7#. 24...g6 25.Qg4 and there is no good defence against the threat 26.Bxg6 with mate to follow. 1-0.

Top Polish GM Bartlomiej Macieja got mauled by 24-year-old Kjetil Lie, who ended the game with a flourish:

Macieja,B (2613) - Lie,K (2474) [B35]
Smartfish Masters Drammen NOR (4), 30.12.2004

47...Rh3+ 48.Kxh3 Rxf3+ and, since 49...Rc3 will win one of the bishops, 0-1.


Photo Rune Elven

Standings after four rounds


Reggio Emilia

The 47th Reggio Emilia Tournament in the Mercure-Astoria Hotel started on December 29th, 2004 and ends January 6th, 2005.

The participants are: GM Boris Miladinovic (GRE, 2611), GM Aleksander Delchev (BUL, 2601), GM Dimitri Komarov (UKR, 2555), GM Boris Chatalbashev (BUL, 2554), GM Miso Cebalo (CRO, 2520), GM Igor Naumkin (RUS, 2479) FM Maurizio Tirabassi (ITA, 2330) FM Calogero Di Caro (ITA, 2317), M Massimo Sciortino (ITA, 2222), CM Denis Rombaldoni (ITA, 2251)

  • Official site (Italian) with the sections Storia, Tornei, News, Corsi, Attivita and Contatti

The Hastings Chess Congress began on December 28th, 2004 and ends January 9th, 2005. The tournament has a new format: the Hastings Premier and Challengers are combined into one knockout tournament. The games will be played with White having 70 minutes and Black 90 in which to make the first 40 moves. Then each player will receive an extra 20 minutes for all the moves. There will be an addition of one minute per move cumulatively from the first. Where games are drawn, ties will be resolved first by blitz games.

So far the following GM (2500 and higher) have entered: KOTRONIAS Vassilios (GRE) gm 2599, EFIMENKO Zahar (UKR) gm 2594, SOCKO Bartosz (POL) gm 2570, KIRIAKOV Petr (RUS) gm 2555, BELOV Vladimir (RUS) gm 2552, HEBDEN Mark (ENG) gm 2550, NEVEROV Valeriy (UKR) gm 2536, LALIC Bogdan (ENG) gm 2515, CHERNIAEV Alexander (RUS) gm 2509, BLUVSHTEIN Mark (CAN) gm 2502, PERT Nicholas (ENG) gm 2501

  • Official site (English) with registration, news, live games, results

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