Greetings from the recent past

1/7/2011 – December was rich for chess events in Tashkent. This report is about the most important one – the First Safin Memorial. Shukhrat Safin, one of most prominent Uzbek chess grandmasters, died in September last year (we published an obituary). The Memorial was a seven-round rapid Swiss and included his colleagues from the Uzbek Olympic team. Illustrated report by Jamshid Begmatov.

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Safin Memorial in Tashkent

By Jamshid Begmatov

In memoriam: Uzbek GM Shukhrat Safin died on 20 September of blood cancer at hospital in his home city of Samarqand. Shukhrat had been a member of the Uzbekistan national team since its early days, and played in numerous Olympiads, Asian and World team championships. Born in 1970, Shukhrat had been a Grandmaster since 1999, with a final FIDE rating of 2472.


The parents and widow on the right , watching the tournament in the memory of their
beloved Shukhrat who not so long ago would often play in this very tournament hall

The Memorial was a seven-round rapid Swiss, limited to players with 2300 Elo and above, and players of Uzbek national teams in various age groups. Top participants included former FIDE World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov, GM Anton Filippov, several other GMs and IMs, and ladies from the Uzbek Olympic team who had just returned from Asian games in Guangzhou, China, quite sensationally with silver medals. Time control was 15 minutes per game with a ten-second increment per move.

Top-rated Uzbek chess player Rustam Kasimdzhanov often referred to as just Kasim, place two with 5/7. He had also just returned from Guangzhou with an outstanding achievement: Gold in the men’s individual rapids! We all know Kasim as one of the world’s top rapid players (also read about this below). With this in mind, before round one, I was wondering who (if anyone) would be able to draw against him. I didn’t have to wait too long…

…before this young man playing with the black pieces managed to defend an endgame a pawn down. Eugenie Pak, Elo 2327, is of Korean roots, resides in Uzbekistan and is the Champion of Kazakhstan.


The tournament winner with 6/7 GM Anton Filippov, Elo 2620

Full tournament table

# Name
Rating
Score
M/F
BH SB BH
1 GM Filippov Anton
2620
6.0
M
28.0 23.25 20.5
2 GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov
2685
5.0
M
31.5 22.0 22.0
3 IM Kwon Andrew
2461
4.5
M
28.5 15.75 20.0
4 IM Hamrakulov Jurabek
2482
4.5
M
28.0 14.75 19.5
5 FM Alexander Kasyan
2352
4.5
M
25.0 14.0 17.0
6 GM Ziyatdinov Rashid
2406
4.5
M
24.0 15.5 17.0
7 Khoroshev Nikita
2227
4.0
M
28.0 13.25 19.5
8 Eugene Pak
2327
4.0
M
27.5 14.5 19.5
9 GM Alexei Barsov
2507
4.0
M
24.0 13.0 17.0
10 Faizullaev Akmal
2327
3.5
M
22.5 7.75 15.5
11 FM Gubaydulin Talgat
2336
3.5
M
22.0 9.25 15.5
12 WIM Khamrakulov Yulduz
2180
3.0
F F
30.0 11.0 22.0
13 Holmirzaev Bakhodir
2362
3.0
M
23.5 7.0 17.0
14 Khamrayev Ravshan
2284
2.5
M
27.5 7.75 19.5
15 Nodirzhanova Nodir
2149
2.5
F F
21.0 5.0 14.5
16 Kurbanbayev Sarvinoz
2014
2.5
F F
21.0 6.0 14.5
17 WFM Irina Gevorgian
2134
2.5
F F
20.5 5.75 14.0
18 Tohirzhanova Hulkar
2142
2.0
F F
21.5 5.5 15.0
19 Chorshanbieva Umida
2084
2.0
F F
18.5 5.0 13.0
20 Vakhidov Nodir
2139
2.0
M
17.5 4.5 12.5

I combine my work with some chess journalism and, as it often happens, Murphy law works perfectly. I do have relatively relaxed periods at work sometimes, but whenever there is some important chess event, I’m overloaded. This is why I couldn’t closely follow games at this tournament, couldn’t review them afterwards. So this report, unfortunately, will go without game examples. I will try to compensate for this with photos.


There are always reporters from several TV channels
at chess events in Tashkent, this one was no exception


The tournament hall with players and spectators


GM Alexei Barsov, 2507, place 9 with 4/7 – hardly an outstanding tournament for Alexei


Nodira Nodirjanova and...


WIM Yulduz Khamrakulova were among silver medalists of the Asian Games


The key game of round four and the tournament: Filippov-Kasimdzhanov. A tough draw.
That's Alexei Barsov watching in the background.

What I like most about chess tournaments is post-game analyses, perhaps the only way for us mortals to give a few tips or even lessons to top grandmasters. Sitting on the right, analysing with Rustam Kasimdzhanov, is IM Andrey Kvon, Elo 2461, place three with 4,5/7.


GM Rashid Ziyatdinov, Elo 2406, place six with 4.5 points


The Uzbek national team chatting between rounds: GM Rustam Kasimdzhanov,
GM Alexei Barsov, GM Anton Filippov, IM Jurabek Khamrakulov


And outside that window was a dry winter with the lonely tractor parked for whatever
reason right in front of the Chess Federation building

I will see you in March with reports on two high-level events: the 5th Agzamov Memorial, and… an eight-game rapid match between two grands: the reigning World Champion Vishy Anand, and the 2004 FIDE World Champion Rustam Kasimdzhanov! Time allowing, yours truly will be the chief press officer at both of these events. Thanks for reading.


Jamshid Begmatov


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