Liepajas Rokade won by Loek van Wely

8/17/2005 – The annual chess festival on the west coast of Latvia is played in two sections: a rapid chess open and a "Superturnirs" with invited and qualified players. The latter was won by the very much in-form Dutch captain. We bring you an illustrated report with a lot of pictures and with a whole bunch of bright new faces.

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Liepajas Rokade Chess Festival 2005

"Liepajas Rokade" is an annual chess festival held in Liepaja, Latvia. It consists of two basic events – the Rapid Chess Open and the Rapid Chess Main Tournament. This year eight Grandmasters were invited to the Main Tournament, and six players qualified from the Open. The invited players were Loek van Wely, Alexander Khalifman, Jaan Ehlvest, Kaido Kulaots, Daniel Fridman, Edvins Kengis, Normunds Miezis and Aloizas Kveynis. Six qualifiers were GM Evgeny Sveshnikov, IMs Ilmars Starostits, Arturs Neiksans, Meelis Kanep, Candidate Masters Verner Putka and Vladimir Sveshnikov.


Liepaja lies on the coast of Latvia and is the country's western-most point


Liepaja on a Google satellite picture


A bird's-eye view of the city


The sandy beaches of Liepaja


A fishing vessel steams through the sea gates

The Open Tournament started on the 11th of August, the Main Tournament started on the 12th. On the 11th a blitz tournament was held. It was won by IM Vaidas Sakalauskas, second was Jaan Ehlvest, van Wely was third. The Open was won by IM Darius Zagorskis. Van Wely won the Main Tournament with 11/13. Two more events were held for the particiapants of the Open – a rapid Team Tournament and Match between Latvia and Lithuania on the 14th of August (won by Latvia 54.5 vs 45.5).

Final standings of the Main Tournament (Liepajas rokade Superturnirs)

Place Name                   Feder Rtg  Loc Score Berg.

  1   VAN WELY, Look         NED   2655     11    66.25
  2   FRIDMAN, Daniel        LAT   2566     9.5   56.25
  3   STAROSTITS, Ilmars     LAT   2474     7.5   48.25
  4   KHALIFMAN, Alexander   RUS   2653     7.5   45.50
  5   KENGIS, Edvins         LAT   2534     7.5   39.50
  6   KVEINIS, Aloizas       LTU   2510     7     40.50
  7   ELVEST, Jaan           EST   2614     6.5   36.25
  8   SVESHNIKOV, Evgeny     LAT   2507     6     34.25
  9   KULAOTS, Kaido         EST   2570     5.5   33.25
 10   NEIKSANS, Arturs       LAT   2453     5.5   30.75
 11   MIEZIS, Normunds       LAT   2527     5     31.50
 12   KANEP, Meelis          EST   2491     5     29.75
 13   PUTKA, Verners         LAT   2283     5     26.25
 14   SVESHNIKOVS, Vladimirs LAT   2194     2.5   15.75

Picture gallery


The city of Liepaja, on the west coast of Latvia


The playing hall


The players of the main tournament (Liepajas rokade Superturnirs) on the stage


The winner Loek van Wely against Verner Putka of Latvia


GM Jan Ehlvest vs IM Meelis Kanep (in the background Loek van Wely)


Kibitzers during the games


Players in the Open section


IM Meelis Kanep, 22, Estonia


IM Ilmars Starostits, 26, Latvia


Ex FIDE world champion Alexander Khalifman


Reigning Latvian champion GM Edvins Kengis


Galina Stankevica, 18, Latvia


Linda Krumina, 21, Latvia


WIM Ilze Berzina, 21, Latvia


The Latvia-Lithuania match in progress (Latvia won by 54.5-45.5)


GM Normunds Miezis of Latvia defeats GM Kaido Kulaots of Estonia


GM Janis Klovans, 70, and his student NM Katrina Skinke, 14, Latvia

All pictures and information supplied by Matiss Silis


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