Markus Ragger wins Politiken Cup

by Johannes Fischer
8/7/2015 – The Politiken Cup in Helsingor, Denmark, was a strong open. Very strong. 431 players started, among them a number of grandmasters. The decision was close: after ten rounds ten grandmasters shared first place with a score of 8.0/10 each. Markus Ragger, Austria's number one, had the best tie-break of this group and became official tournament winner.

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Winner on tie-break: Markus Ragger

Ragger started the tournament with 5.0/5 but then slowed down and conceded his first draw in round six. After this draw followed a win against Jan Timman in round seven and three draws in the last three rounds. That was enough for shared first prize and best tie-break.

Final standings after ten 10 rounds

Rg.   Name Land Elo Pkt.  Wtg1   Wtg2 
1 GM Ragger Markus AUT 2688 8.0 58.5 55.75
2 GM Nisipeanu Liviu-Dieter GER 2654 8.0 56.5 54.00
3 GM Hammer Jon Ludvig NOR 2677 8.0 55.5 52.50
4 GM Fressinet Laurent FRA 2707 8.0 54.0 51.75
5 GM Hillarp Persson Tiger SWE 2563 8.0 53.5 50.50
6 GM Shankland Samuel L USA 2656 8.0 53.0 52.25
7 GM Maze Sebastien FRA 2575 8.0 52.5 50.75
8 GM Marin Mihail ROU 2579 8.0 51.0 50.25
9 GM Hansen Sune Berg DEN 2571 8.0 50.0 48.50
10 GM Kunin Vitaly GER 2576 8.0 49.0 48.25
11 IM Schroeder Jan-Christian GER 2461 7.5 57.5 51.50
12 GM Rakhmanov Aleksandr RUS 2626 7.5 55.5 48.00
13 GM Naroditsky Daniel USA 2622 7.5 55.0 49.50
14 GM Timman Jan H NED 2566 7.5 52.5 46.00
15 GM Grigoriants Sergey RUS 2594 7.5 51.0 46.75
16 GM Aagaard Jacob DEN 2506 7.5 50.0 46.25
17 GM Hector Jonny SWE 2485 7.5 48.5 43.75
18 IM Fernandez Daniel Howard ENG 2472 7.5 48.5 43.25
19 GM Jones Gawain C B ENG 2647 7.5 48.0 42.75
20 IM Delorme Axel FRA 2484 7.0 53.0 43.25
21 GM Schandorff Lars DEN 2520 7.0 53.0 42.75
22 GM Glud Jakob Vang DEN 2531 7.0 53.0 42.00
23 GM Brunello Sabino ITA 2539 7.0 52.5 43.50
24 IM Smith Axel SWE 2449 7.0 52.5 41.50
25 GM Hoi Carsten DEN 2383 7.0 51.0 42.50
26 IM Jepson Christian SWE 2428 7.0 51.0 41.75
27   Risting Eivind Olav NOR 2190 7.0 51.0 40.25
28   Kollars Dmitrij GER 2437 7.0 50.5 41.75
29 IM Sjodahl Pontus SWE 2425 7.0 50.5 41.50
30 GM Tarjan James E USA 2490 7.0 50.0 41.75
31   Haria Ravi ENG 2261 7.0 50.0 41.50
32 IM Tan Justin AUS 2417 7.0 50.0 40.50
33 FM Buchal Stephan GER 2267 7.0 49.0 40.00
34 GM Chabanon Jean-Luc FRA 2493 7.0 48.5 41.25
35   Thorsbro Peter DEN 2216 7.0 47.5 39.25
36 GM Rasmussen Allan Stig DEN 2507 7.0 47.0 41.50
37 IM Zude Erik Dr. GER 2398 7.0 47.0 38.50
38 IM Vuilleumier Alexandre SUI 2357 7.0 46.5 39.75
39   Eriksson Christian DEN 2175 7.0 46.0 39.25
40   Thuesen Mogens DEN 2158 7.0 46.0 37.50

...431 participants

Games

 

The best non-GM was the young German IM Jan-Christian Schröder. He won against grandmasters Laurent Fressinet and Mihail Marin and with a nice win against Julian Kramer in the final round Schröder secured a GM-norm.

 

The brilliancy-prize went to Norwegian GM Jon Ludvig Hammer:

 

With 8.0/10 Hammer was part of the leading ten and finished third on tie-break.

The Swedish IM Axel Smith also scored a GM-norm.

Axel Smith

GM Liviu-Dieter Nisipeanu became second.

Nisipeanu became second in Helsingor but in the rating list from August 2015 Nisipeanu is Germany's new number one. Since April 2014 the grandmaster, who has a German mother and a Romanian father, plays for Germany. In July 2015 Arkadij Naiditsch, for a long time Germany's number one, decided to change federations and play for Azerbaijan. Germany now no longer has a +2700 player and Nisipeanu, who in 1999 made it to the semifinals of the FIDE World Championships in Las Vegas and became European Champion in 2005, is the new number one.

French GM Laurent Fressinet finished fourth.

ChessBase-Autor Mihail Marin scored 8.0/10 and finished equal first.

With 7.5/10 GM Gawain Jones had only half a point less than the leaders but 19th on tie-break.

Photos: Calle Erlandsson

Links:

Official tournament page...

Lars Grahn's blog...

Danish Chess Federation...

The facebook page of the Danish Chess Federation...

Chess-results...



Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".
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Emil Cabagay Emil Cabagay 8/9/2015 05:20
Congratulation to Ragger! Champion among acclaimed known players worldwide!
hpaul hpaul 8/9/2015 12:39
Frustrating for GMs to fight for 10 rounds and wind up with 10 players tied for first, only to have the tournament victory decided by chance. The tie-break points are out of the hands of the players, and depend on whom they happen to be paired against. This is a well-known problem in large Open tournaments, where the top players spend the first few rounds dispatching low-ranked amateurs. Fun for the amateurs, but not very useful for determining first place.

There are several ways to overcome this problem: The simplest is perhaps a blitz play-off. Another is to divide the tournament into classes, or using an "accelerated pairing" system. Perhaps the most intriguing is differential scoring. The normal scoring of 1-0.5-0 only yields 21 possible final scores after 10 rounds, so with over 400 players there will be a lot of ties. The “football scoring” of 3 points for a win gives 29 possible scores, reducing the ties somewhat, but many think the 3:1 ratio of win to draw is too much. Organizers should give thought to a variant like 1.1-0.5-0, which in a 10 round tournament gives 66 different possible final scores and would greatly cut down on tie scores. We would just have to get used to looking at scores like 3.8 or 7.1. But chess players aren’t math challenged, right? A final interesting idea is increasing the points for a win as the rounds progress: For example, in the first 2 rounds a win is worth 1 point, in the next 2 rounds 1.1 point, etc., so that the win in rounds 9 and 10 would be worth 1.4 points. This system would create yet more scores and further reduce ties, in addition to adding to the excitement and rewarding the tough wins in the final rounds more than the easier early games.
Paul Lillebo, Oslo
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