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12/26/2004 – Most people spend the Christmas holidays in the circle of their families. Not so chess players, who roam the globe in search of chess tournaments. We bring you the most exciting of these end-of-the-year events. In one Viktor Korchnoi will face a grandmaster who is 101 years younger than a previous opponent. Here are the details...
 

2004 End-of-the-year Tournament

Pamplona

The Pamplona Navarra category 16 Swiss tournament is being held from December 20th - 29th 2004. After three rounds Boris Gelfand (ISR, 2693) is in the lead with 2.5 points.

Other interesting players: Sergey Karjakin (UKR, 2576, 1.5 points), Emil Sutovsky (ISR, 2697, 1.5), Arkadij Naiditsch (GER, 2611, 1.0), Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (AZE, 2660, 1.0), Rafael Vaganian (ARM, 2640, 0.5).

  • Official site (in Spanish) with results and games, run by the chess magazine Jaque.

Harmonie 2004

The Harmonie Chess tournament 2004 is being staged in Groningen, from December 21st - 30th, 2004. After four rounds John van der Wiel (NL, 2493) and Merab Gagunashvili (GEO, 2567) are in the lead with 3½ each. Other stars: Friso Nijboer (NL, 2567), Yuriy Kuzubov (UKR, 2530, 14 years old).


In the lead: GM John van der Wiel

  • Official site (English) with live coverage, games, results and report.

Drammen Chess Festival

The Drammen Chess Festival starts on December 27th, 2004 and lasts until January 5th, 2005. Participants of the Smartfish Chess Masters section are:

Alexei Shirov ESP 2726
Alexander Khalifman RUS 2669
Peter Heine Nielsen DEN 2663
Luke McShane ENG 2629
Bartlomiej Macieja POL 2613
Viktor Korchnoi SUI 2601
Simen Agdestein NOR 2589
Magnus Carlsen NOR 2581
Antoaneta Stefanova BUL 2523
Leif E. Johannessen NOR 2519

The Smartfish Chess Masters sets 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. Alexander 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.


Viktor Lvovich Korchnoi, during a visit in Hamburg

During his recent visit in Hamburg (for ChessBase DVD recordings) Viktor Korchoi mentioned a game he had played in the fifties against Grigori Yakelovich Levenfish (or Loewenfisch in English). "It was an exciting game," Viktor Lvovich said, "which my opponent in fact won, and was very proud of. The game is interesting for me because next week I will be playing a serious game against Magnus Carlsen, probably the most talented young chessplayer of his generation. Why is it interesting? Because Magnus was born exactly 101 years later than Levenfish. So I realize that I have been playing against opponents from six different generations!"


Magnus Carlsen, the 14-year-old grandmaster Korchnoi will have to face


Reggio Emilia

The 47th Reggio Emilia Tournament in the Mercure-Astoria Hotel starts 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 starts 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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