Mar del Plata 2012: A day of records

by Albert Silver
10/15/2012 – For anyone hoping to see the lineup of leaders by the end of four rounds, they have been served. Despite a tough playing schedule with no easy games, and a double-rounder on Sunday, none of the players were able to muster the strength for a perfect 4.0/4 and 100% score, and seventeen are tied at 3.5/4. Nevertheless it was a day for records. Illustrated report with analysis by GM Sergio Slipak

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7th Continental Chess Tournament / Mar del Plata 2012

Tourney type: Eleven-round swiss open
Time control: 90 minutes for 40 moves followed by 30 minutes for the rest of the game and a 30 second increment as of move one.
Location: Mar del Plata, Argentina
Dates: October 12-21, 2012
Prizes: 1st - US$5000, 2nd - US$3400, 3rd - US$2400, 20 prizes in all, not including prizes per category.

Special: Event is considered a world championship qualifier thus all norms earned are worth double.

Mar del Plata 2012 : A day of records

Report and pictures by Albert Silver


Venezuelan GM Eduardo Iturrizaga has been in great form


The top American is not one of the GMs, it is IM Robert Andrew Hungaski (2451 FIDE)

For anyone hoping to see the lineup of leaders by the end of four rounds, they have been served. Despite a tough playing schedule with no easy games, and a double-rounder on Sunday, none of the players were able to muster the strength for a perfect 4.0/4 and 100% score. Though the games were played to the end, with major efforts by most players to try and edge past the pack, none were able to and seventeen players remain tied with 3.5/4.


Argentine DIego Flores suffered a lapse of his own, losing to Uruguayan IM Roselli


Top Brazilian GM Rafael Leitao was held to a draw by American IM Hungaski. As a
matter of fact he was quite fortunate to save the game.


The very creative Argentine GM Pablo Ricardi faces top seed
Lazaro Bruzon in round five.


Argentine IM Carolina Lujan (2379 FIDE)


If you can't outclass them on the board, you can outfashion them
off it.


Venezuelan IM Rafael Gascon


Brazilian FM Dirceu Viana was once the chess columnist for
Brazil's largest newspaper "O Globo".

Of note in the fourth round was Brazilian GM Krikor Mekhitarian’s valiant attempts to beat the brilliant Peruvian Julio Granda Zuniga, constantly finding ways to keep the game alive. Worth checking out.


In spite of the strongest players all playing still, this game on board 25 was the one
with the greatest number of spectators. Why? It is because IM Jorge Rosito, playing
white, is from Mar del Plata, and the locals came to support him.

Annotated game by GM Sergio Slipak

[Event "VII Continental Americano"] [Site "Mar del Plata, ARG"] [Date "2012.10.13"] [Round "2.9"] [White "Feliciano Ebert, Vanessa"] [Black "Felgaer, Ruben"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B07"] [WhiteElo "2268"] [BlackElo "2579"] [Annotator "Sergio Slipak"] [PlyCount "52"] [EventDate "2012.??.??"] {Today we will see a victory of one of the best Argentine player, four-time national champion, GM Ruben Felgaer, who just came back from a brilliant performance at the Istanbul Olympiad in Turkey. The difficulties he faces, in just the second round, attests to how difficult the tournament is. The young and talented Brazilian WFM, Vanessa Feliciano Ebert, gives Ruben serious problems as will be seen.} 1. d4 d6 2. e4 Nf6 3. f3 c5 $5 {Seeking to play complicated systems from the very first moves, this is usual for strong players in Swiss Opens, since it is necessary to win with both White and Black. } 4. d5 e6 5. c4 b5 $5 {Playing in the spirit of the Benko and contuing to provoke complications.} 6. cxb5 exd5 7. exd5 Be7 8. Ne2 $1 {An excellent plan by Vanessa, the knight will go to c3, leaving the one on b1 to sustain the position in a3. This is the best way to coordinate the pieces.} O-O 9. Nec3 Bb7 10. Bc4 a6 11. O-O Nfd7 $1 {Well played, deploying the knight to b6 and leaving the f6 square for the bishop.} 12. Bf4 Nb6 13. Na3 {Completing the development and upholding the advanced outpost.} Bf6 $6 {An imprecision which will be convincingly refuted.} (13... axb5 $1 {was correct. At the moment, White cannot take with the knight, so this gives Black sufficient counterplay for the pawn with a complicated position.}) 14. Qd3 $1 {Now the bishop on c4 is sufficiently protected and White has a clear advantage.} axb5 15. Naxb5 Nxc4 16. Qxc4 Ba6 17. a4 {On top of the pawn deficit, Black has problems with his b8-knight. Ruben bravely sacrifices his pawn on d6. From a technical perspective this decision is debatable, but from a practical point of view it is vital to obtain counterplay and the final result of the game will end of rewarding the risk taken.} Nd7 $5 18. Bxd6 Bd4+ 19. Kh1 Nb6 20. Qb3 Bxc3 21. Bxf8 $6 {White's first mistake.} ({With} 21. Qxc3 $1 {White would maintain a significant advantage since} Bxb5 $2 {is refuted with} 22. Bxf8 {which allows the bishop to be recaptured, since Black must defend against the mate threat on g7.}) 21... Bb4 $1 {Now Black continues worse, but with a sharp and complicated game.} 22. Bxg7 Kxg7 23. f4 {White loses the thread of the game.} ( 23. Rfd1 {was the correct and logical continuation.}) 23... Qd7 24. f5 Kh8 25. Qg3 f6 26. Nc7 $4 {An unfortunate blunder that loses the game on the spot.} ({ After} 26. d6 {There would be plenty of play ahead.}) 26... Rg8 {with Bxf1 to follow.} 0-1

Records are broken

That said, it was nevertheless a day for records, and several. Unless you slept throughout the entire day, there is no way you cannot know of it, and here in Argentina it took place between rounds three and four. You guessed it, I am referring to Felix Baumgartner’s amazing fall from the edge of space, breaking the previous 50-year-old record. Part of what made it such a wonder was that no one was dependent on their local TV channel to carry it, and it was viewed live on YouTube by over eight million viewers. That is not eight million views, that is eight million viewers at the same time. The beginning of a trend.


Over eight million viewers ended up connecting to watch the amazing leap

Baumgartner’s giant leap, sponsored by Red Bull, was more than simply a daredevil stunt to enter the record books, though he certainly did that. He not only trounced the old record of 32 thousand meters by falling from a capsule taken to 39 thousand meters by balloon, but also reached a staggering speed of Mach 1.24, pulverizing the sound of speed, the first man to do so in freefall.

All that is nice and well, but how does this serve mankind? For one thing, this might create the means for astronauts to eject from failing spacecraft without obligatorily being forced to just sacrifice themselves in the name of science. As space development begins to go beyond space stations and enters the commercial era, this resource could easily be the difference between life and death. No doubt further developments will come from this.

The official video, available in full HD. Well worth seeing.

Standings after four rounds

Rk
Tit
Name
Fed
Rtg
Pts.
1
IM
Tristan Leonardo
ARG
2442
3.5
2
GM
Granda Zuniga Julio E
PER
2647
3.5
IM
Hungaski Robert Andrew
USA
2451
3.5
4
GM
Mareco Sandro
ARG
2581
3.5
GM
Mekhitarian Krikor Sevag
BRA
2503
3.5
6
GM
Bruzon Batista Lazaro
CUB
2717
3.5
7
GM
Iturrizaga Eduardo
VEN
2639
3.5
GM
Ortiz Suarez Isan Reynaldo
CUB
2579
3.5
9
FM
Julia Ernesto
ARG
2370
3.5
10
GM
Ricardi Pablo
ARG
2505
3.5
11
GM
Valerga Diego
ARG
2485
3.5
12
GM
Leitao Rafael
BRA
2617
3.5
GM
Bacallao Alonso Yusnel
CUB
2580
3.5
14
IM
Roselli Mailhe Bernardo
URU
2430
3.5
15
GM
Hernandez Guerrero Gilberto
MEX
2531
3.5
16
GM
Perez Ponsa Federico
ARG
2489
3.5
17
IM
Real De Azua Ernesto
ARG
2482
3.5
18
FM
Sabas Jorge
ARG
2274
3.0
19
GM
Felgaer Ruben
ARG
2579
3.0
IM
Fusco Leonardo
ARG
2379
3.0
21
IM
Kanefsck Gustavo
ARG
2358
3.0
22
IM
Hansen Eric
CAN
2527
3.0
IM
Diaz Hollemaert Nahuel
ARG
2408
3.0
24
GM
Matamoros Franco Carlos S.
ECU
2534
3.0

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Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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