Maxim Matlakov is 2017 European Individual Champion

by Elshan Moradiabadi
6/20/2017 – While a strong start is always desirable, it is how you finish that matters in a tournament. Ask Georgian GM Baadur Jobava who started with 2 losses, but finished second after seven straight wins, or Russian talent Vladimir Fedoseev who stumbled midway but came in third. Still, it was the class act by Maxim Matlakov, who was steady as she goes all the way, and ended a deserved 2017 European Individual Champion. Final report with GM analyses.

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Round nine

There is a Persian proverb that states “a job is done by he who finishes it”. The proverb may not be applicable to every complex human activity but it is quite applicable to chess. Any drama, or up and down swing during a tournament, especially an open tournament, always comes down to the race that takes place in the last two or three rounds, where those in contention for the coveted seat in the World Cup try to give their best to ensure a ticket to Georgia.

After a crucial win in round eight, David Howell played it calm and conceded a quick draw against Russian Demchenko in round nine. On the other hand, things got pretty gloomy for the Bulgarian Ivan Cheparinov against Russian Maxim Matlakov when his opening adventure went wrong and Matlakov got a very good version of a Stonewall. Things went downhill from there, and the Russian essayed a central breakthrough and got a much better queenless middlegame. Matlakov went on to exploit white’s weakness on f4 and won a pawn on f3. I wonder how many times Cheparinov kicked himself for this poor game.

Ivan Cheparinov vs Maxim Matlakov

[Event "European Individual championship 2017"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.06.09"] [Round "9"] [White "Cheparinov, I."] [Black "Matlakov, M."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "E11"] [Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi"] [PlyCount "84"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 {Ivan Cheparinov is capable of any opening and he has had a good tournament up to this point. In round nine, however, it seems that he had a day off at the office.} Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. g3 Bb4+ {Matlakov almost exclusively plays this line.} 5. Bd2 Be7 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O Nbd7 $5 {Does Matlakov want to take on c4?} (7... c6 8. Qc2 b6 9. Rd1 {and here Black has three continuations that lead to more or less similar positions.} Ba6 (9... Nbd7 {Cheparinov himself handled this masterfully.} 10. b3 Bb7 11. Nc3 a5 12. e4 h6 13. exd5 cxd5 14. Ne5 Rc8 15. Bf4 Nb8 16. Qe2 Na6 17. Rac1 Ba3 18. Rb1 Nc7 19. h3 Ba8 20. Bf3 Bb4 21. Rbc1 Nce8 22. Nb5 Nd6 23. a3 Nxb5 24. axb4 Na7 25. b5 dxc4 26. bxc4 Bxf3 27. Qxf3 Qe7 28. Kg2 Rfe8 29. Rb1 Nh7 30. Nc6 Qd7 31. Ne5 Qe7 32. h4 Nf6 33. Rd3 Rf8 34. Nc6 Qd7 35. d5 exd5 36. cxd5 Rfe8 37. Bxh6 Ne4 38. Bf4 Nc5 39. Rdd1 Ra8 40. Be3 Nc8 41. h5 Nd6 42. h6 Qf5 43. Qxf5 Nxf5 44. Bxc5 bxc5 45. b6 Nd4 46. b7 Rab8 47. Nxb8 Rxb8 48. d6 Ne6 49. d7 Nd8 50. Re1 {1-0 (50) Cheparinov,I (2689)-Riazantsev,A (2671) Doha 2016}) (9... Bb7)) 8. a4 {This move is picking up pace in 2017.} (8. Qc2 dxc4 9. Qxc4 c5 10. dxc5 Nxc5 11. Be3 {and White has a monster on g2!}) 8... a5 {hard to think of any other move. The queenside is almost locked now.} 9. Qc2 c6 10. Na3 Ne4 11. Be3 (11. Bf4 {was Gelfand's adventure against Ding Liren where the Chinese easily won with Black and scored an outright victory in the FIDE Grand Prix in Moscow! } g5 12. Be3 f5 13. Rad1 Bf6 14. Nb1 Qe7 15. Nc3 b6 16. Ne5 Nxe5 17. dxe5 Bxe5 18. Bxb6 Qb4 19. Nxe4 fxe4 20. cxd5 Qxb6 21. Qxe4 Qxb2 22. dxc6 Bc7 23. Rd7 Bxd7 24. cxd7 Qf6 25. Bh3 Rab8 26. Qxe6+ Qxe6 27. Bxe6+ Kg7 28. Rc1 Kf6 29. Bg4 Bd8 30. Rc6+ Kg7 31. Bh5 Rb2 32. Rc8 Rd2 33. Be8 Bb6 34. Rb8 Rf6 35. e3 g4 { 0-1 (35) Gelfand,B (2724) -Ding, L (2773) Moscow 2017}) 11... Bd6 $146 (11... f5 12. Ne1 g5 13. f3 Nd6 14. Nd3 Qe8 15. c5 Nf7 16. Qc3 Bf6 17. f4 gxf4 18. Bxf4 e5 19. Be3 e4 20. Nf4 Bd8 21. Nc2 Nf6 22. Bd2 Ng5 23. Ne3 Nh5 24. Rf2 Nxf4 25. gxf4 Ne6 26. Kh1 Bh4 27. Rff1 Qh5 28. Be1 Bf6 29. Rd1 Kh8 30. Rd2 Rg8 31. Nc2 Rg4 32. Qh3 Nxf4 33. Qxh5 Nxh5 34. Bh3 f4 35. Bxg4 Bxg4 36. e3 fxe3 37. Nxe3 Bf3+ 38. Rxf3 exf3 39. Ng4 Re8 40. Bf2 Re4 41. h3 Bg7 42. Nh2 Nf4 43. Nxf3 Nxh3 44. Kg2 Bh6 45. Rd1 Re2 46. Kxh3 Rxf2 47. Kg4 Rxb2 48. Kf5 Rf2 49. Rd3 Bg7 50. Ke6 h5 51. Rb3 Kh7 52. Kd6 h4 53. Nxh4 Bxd4 54. Rxb7+ Kh6 55. Kxc6 Bf6 56. Kxd5 Bxh4 57. c6 Bg3 58. c7 Rd2+ 59. Kc6 Rc2+ 60. Kd7 Rd2+ 61. Kc6 Rc2+ { 1/2-1/2 (61) Hertneck,G (2572) -Bareev,E (2719) Germany 2002}) 12. Ne1 f5 13. Nd3 Qe7 {Black seems to be doing very well.} 14. f3 {I'm not a fan of this move, which kills the bishop on g2 while e4 won't appear on the horizon anytime soon.} (14. Qc1 {looks like a reasonable move to play, preventing g5.}) 14... Nef6 15. Bf4 e5 $1 {Black is slightly better thanks to his superior pawn structure. Something went very wrong for Cheparinov.} 16. dxe5 Nxe5 17. Kh1 ( 17. Rfe1 Nxd3 18. exd3 Bc5+ 19. Kh1 Qf7 {is still bad for White.}) 17... Nxd3 18. Bxd6 Qxd6 19. Qxd3 f4 $1 {taking advantage of earlier f3 by White.} 20. gxf4 Qxf4 21. e3 Qh4 22. Qd4 $2 {This weakens f4 and gives Black strategically winning position.} Qxd4 23. exd4 Be6 24. Rfe1 Rae8 25. b3 Nh5 $1 {The knight lands on f4 and Black is winning. Again, it is hard to say when things exactly got hard for White.} 26. Kg1 Nf4 27. Bf1 Rf6 28. cxd5 cxd5 29. Nb5 Ref8 30. Ra2 Nh3+ 31. Kh1 Rxf3 32. Bg2 Bg4 $1 {cheap tactic.} 33. Raa1 Nf2+ 34. Kg1 Nh3+ 35. Kh1 h5 36. Re5 Kh7 37. Nc7 Rxb3 38. Nxd5 Rf2 39. Ne3 Nf4 40. Be4+ Kh6 41. Nxg4+ hxg4 42. Rg1 Rh3 {A fine victory for Matlakov.} 0-1

In spite of a scare in round nine, Ivan Cheparinov finished strong and came in 5th place with 8.0/11

After a near disastrous start with two losses in his first three games, the aggressive Georgian GM Jobava scored win after win. In round nine his victim was none other than another British GM Gawain Jones. Jones, known for being aggressive himself, should have felt very patriotic as he opened his game with the English system 1.c4. Jobava’s seemingly solid reply with c6 turned into a wild opening battle. In the ensuing bout Jobava always seemed in his element and made several strong and energetic moves. In an already much better position for black, Jones blundered a queen exchange for two rooks which would have led to an immediate checkmate and had to resign in only twenty-five moves.

Gawain Jones vs Baadur Jobava 

[Event "European Individual championship 2017"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.06.09"] [Round "9"] [White "Jones, G."] [Black "Jobava, B."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "A11"] [Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi"] [PlyCount "50"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. c4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 {had Jones played 1.d4, we might have expected a Schlechter system!} 3. g3 dxc4 {Baadur always seeks complications and this time he is able to create them as early as move 3!} 4. Bg2 Nd7 {Black does not intend to preserve the c4 pawn yet goes for immediate control of the center with e5.} 5. Na3 (5. O-O { is the most common way of handling this line. Here is a sample game between Aronian and Andreikin from the Candidates tournament!} Ngf6 6. Qc2 Nb6 7. Na3 Be6 8. Ne5 Qd4 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. Bxc6+ Kd8 11. Nb5 Qc5 12. Bxa8 Qxb5 13. Bg2 Bd7 14. b3 e5 15. Rb1 cxb3 16. Rxb3 Qxe2 17. Ba3 Bxa3 18. Rxa3 Qc4 19. Qb1 Ke7 20. Rxa7 Qd4 21. Rb7 Na4 22. Rc1 Rd8 23. h3 Kf8 24. Qb3 e4 25. Rc4 Qd5 26. Qb4+ Kg8 27. Rd4 Qc6 28. Rbxd7 Nxd7 29. Qxa4 Qxa4 30. Rxa4 Nf8 31. Rxe4 Rxd2 32. a4 Ra2 33. Bf3 g6 34. Kg2 Ne6 35. Rc4 Kg7 36. Bd5 Kf6 37. Re4 Ra3 38. Bxe6 fxe6 39. Rf4+ Ke7 40. h4 h5 41. Re4 Kf7 42. Kf1 Ra2 43. Ke1 Kf6 44. Kd1 Ke7 45. f4 Ra3 46. Kc2 Rxg3 47. Rd4 Re3 48. Kb2 e5 {1/2-1/2 (48) Aronian,L (2830)-Andreikin,D (2709) Khanty-Mansiysk 2014}) 5... e5 6. Qc2 (6. Nxc4 e4 7. Nd4 Ne5 $1 8. Nxe5 Qxd4 {and Black is better because the knight on e5 is already very uncomfortable.} 9. f4 f6 10. e3 Qd5 11. Ng4 Bxg4 12. Qxg4 f5 13. Qe2 g6 { and White does not have enough space.}) 6... b5 (6... Bxa3 7. bxa3 {is more appealing to white as he can win the c4 pawn because} b5 8. a4 a6 9. O-O Ne7 10. Rd1 Bb7 11. d3 cxd3 12. Qxd3 Qc7 13. axb5 axb5 14. Ng5 Nf6 15. Ba3 O-O 16. Bd6 {and Black is in deep trouble. Of course this line is not forced but it shows the potential in White's position.}) 7. O-O Ngf6 8. b3 Bc5 $1 {energetic! } 9. bxc4 b4 10. Nb1 $2 {not in the spirit of the game.} (10. d4 exd4 11. Nb1 O-O 12. Bb2 a5 13. Nxd4 Ra6 14. Nd2 {and White is doing well.}) 10... e4 11. Ng5 Bd4 12. Bb2 Nc5 $1 {Jobava's play is very inspired and accurate!} 13. Nxe4 $2 {This is a serious mistake.} (13. d3 {was needed no matter what happens next!}) 13... Nfxe4 14. Bxe4 O-O $1 {You may be surprised, but Black is already winning!} 15. d3 (15. Bxh7+ Kh8 16. Bd3 Nxd3 17. exd3 Bxb2 18. Qxb2 Bh3 19. Re1 Qxd3 20. Qb3 Rfe8 {and material loss is inevitable.}) (15. Bg2 Qf6 $1 {and again things get gloomy along the a1-h8 diagonal!}) 15... Nxe4 16. dxe4 Bh3 17. Re1 f5 $1 {Of course! White has no development and Black takes advantage of it! } 18. e3 Bxb2 19. Qxb2 fxe4 {[#] White is completely busted. weak light squares and pressure along f-file are crucial factors, let alone the poor knight on b1!} 20. Nd2 Qe7 (20... Qe8 {is more accurate.}) 21. Nb3 Rf6 (21... c5 22. a3 a5 {destroys White positionally. Jobava, however, wants only blood!}) 22. c5 Raf8 23. Rac1 (23. Re2 h5 {is positionally dead}) 23... Rxf2 24. Qxf2 Rxf2 25. Kxf2 Qf6+ (25... Qf6+ 26. Kg1 Qb2 {and mate on g2 is inevitable.}) 0-1

After a 1.0/3 start, Baadur Jobava scored seven straight wins

This win put Jobava among the handful of players with 7.0/9, half a point behind the sole leader David Howell. Among these players was a familiar figure from previous reports: The sensation of the event indeed, IM Arman Mikalyan, who went on to score yet another victory against David Anton Guijarro. Probably angry after his loss against Howell on the eighth round, Anton Guijarro played overly optimistic and Mikaelyan punished him convincingly to clinch a succulent GM norm and a most coveted +5 score after 9 rounds! A feat deserving of praise from this apparently non-professional but very talented Armenian!

Igor Klevko and Eteri Kublashvili were the official photographers of the event

Final round

The European championship finished on Saturday June 10th in the Belorussian capital Minsk. The last two rounds saw a dramatic turn of event for players, who wished to be among the 22 lucky guys to qualify for the 2017 World Cup in Georgia. Also, things were quite tense on the top boards with only two players with 8.0/10, Jobava and Matlakov, playing each other for the coveted first place, while players with 7.5/10 could catch them should the leaders draw.

Having turned his Swiss gambit into a massive success by winning seven games in a row, Baadur Jobava had already secured a seat in the World Cup and all that was left was the tough task of winning his eighth game in a row and the title. He knew that a draw would only give him second or third place as his tie-break was worse than his opponent, Maxim Matlakov who had a solid and impressive performance and had been among the leaders throughout the entire tournament.

One cannot fault the fighting spirt of Baadur Jobava (right) who came to the last round ready to do battle with co-leader Maxim Matlakov (left) with no compromises

The flamoboyant Georgian went for broke with a Ponziani that eventually ended up becoming a form of reversed Phillidor. The Russian, who knew a draw should suffice to win the title played overly cautiously and in a somewhat benign position, Jobava started to complicate matters in his favor. On move 38 Matlakov made a decisive mistake which could have given Jobava good winning chances. Unfortunately for the Georgian, he missed his chance on the 40th move, after which the material was liquidated and a draw agreed. Thus, Maxim Matlakov became the 2017 European Champion.

Baadur Jobava vs Maxim Matlakov

[Event "European Individual Championship"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.06.10"] [Round "11"] [White "Jobava, B."] [Black "Matlakov, M."] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C44"] [Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi "] [PlyCount "97"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. c3 Nf6 4. d3 d5 5. Qc2 a5 6. Be2 Bc5 7. O-O O-O 8. a4 h6 9. Na3 Re8 10. h3 Be6 11. Re1 Qd7 12. Bf1 Rad8 13. Nb5 Bb6 14. Be3 Bxe3 15. Rxe3 Qe7 16. Ree1 dxe4 17. dxe4 Rd7 18. Rad1 Red8 19. Rxd7 Rxd7 20. Na3 Rd8 21. Bb5 Qc5 22. Qe2 Ne8 23. Bc4 Bxc4 24. Nxc4 Nd6 25. Na3 b6 26. h4 Nb7 27. Qa6 Nd6 28. Qe2 Nb7 29. Nb5 Qe7 30. Rd1 Nc5 31. Rd5 {[#] The position is solid yet annoying for black. Matlakov decides to solve his problem but his approach was about to backfire severely.} Rxd5 $6 {Now white has a better endgame.} 32. exd5 Nb8 33. b4 $6 (33. Qxe5 Qxe5 34. Nxe5 Nxa4 35. Nc4 c6 36. Nc7 cxd5 37. Nxd5 b5 38. Nxa5 Nxb2 39. Nc7 {and White is a pawn up but the existence of two knights on the board as opposed to just one increases the drawing tendency even if a pawn is always a pawn!}) 33... axb4 34. cxb4 Ncd7 35. Qe4 Na6 36. d6 $1 { The best practical move.} cxd6 37. Nc3 Qe6 $2 {This is a serious mistake.} ( 37... Qd8 {to cover a8 was necessary.}) 38. Nd2 $1 (38. Nd5 $1 f5 39. Qc4 Kh7 40. Qb5 {would have given White excellent winning chances too.}) 38... f5 39. Qa8+ Nab8 40. a5 $2 {White misses an almost forced win.} (40. Nd5 Kh7 41. Qb7 e4 42. Nf1 Ne5 43. Nf4 Qe8 44. Qxb6 {and Black's position is hopeless!}) 40... bxa5 41. bxa5 d5 $1 {This move opens the queen to defend a6.} 42. Nxd5 Kf7 43. Nc4 $2 {This is a draw offer. The queens will be exchanged.} (43. Nb6 {and White should be still winning.} Qd6 44. Ndc4 Qd1+ 45. Kh2 Qd4 46. Nxd7 Nxd7 47. Ne3 Qxh4+ 48. Kg1 Qd4 49. a6 {I do not see a way for Black to stop the a-pawn!} ) 43... Qc6 $1 {Now it is all over!} 44. Qxc6 Nxc6 45. a6 Na7 46. h5 Nc5 47. Nb4 Kf6 48. Kh2 e4 49. f4 1/2-1/2

The Russian played solidly and consistently throughout the whole event and won a whopping 17 points to sit on 2724 FIDE rating. The Russian now has his eye on invitational events, hoping to prove his strength and abilities in the future.

2017 has been a great year for young Vladimir Fedoseev. The Russian won the Aeroflot Open and he just recently crossed 2700. After a strong start, the ultra-aggressive Russian lost back-to-back games in rounds five and six to drop down to only +1 after six rounds. However, ambitious and confident, Fedoseev scored five consecutive wins against five GMs to score an overall 8.5/11 against 10 GMs and and IMs. The third place (tied for first in fact) was a deserved achievement for this young man. A power to be reckoned very soon among the elite!

In his last round game, he beat former Top 10 player Dmitry Jakovenko to eliminate the latter from the World Cup.

The Russians are coming! A true success for them in the European Championship! Vladimir Fedoseev made a magnificent recovery after a terrible stumble mid-tournament, losing rounds five and six, and finished in third.

Vladimir Fedoseev vs Dmitry Jakovenko

[Event "European Individual Championship"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.06.10"] [Round "11"] [White "Fedoseev, V."] [Black "Jakovenko, D."] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "D37"] [Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi "] [PlyCount "89"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Nc3 Be7 5. Bf4 O-O 6. e3 Nbd7 7. Qc2 c5 8. cxd5 Nxd5 9. Nxd5 exd5 10. Bd3 h6 11. dxc5 Nxc5 12. O-O Bg4 13. Bf5 Bxf3 14. gxf3 Ne6 15. Bg3 Qb6 16. Rfd1 Rfd8 17. Be5 Rac8 18. Qe2 Rc6 19. f4 Nc7 {[#] Black was doing ok but his last move is a serious mistake. Black's queen is uncomfortable and Fedoseev wastes no time in taking advantage of it.} 20. Rd3 $1 {Now the next few moves are more or less forced.} Bf6 21. Rb3 Qa6 22. Qxa6 bxa6 23. Rb7 Nb5 24. Rd7 Rxd7 25. Bxd7 Rc5 26. Bxf6 gxf6 {Black's pawn structure is shattered and none of his pawns are able to support each other. With a combination of rook and bishop, White should be able to win this endgame. Fedoseev does the job masterfully.} 27. Rd1 Nc7 28. Ba4 a5 29. Rd2 Kf8 30. Kg2 Ke7 31. Kf3 f5 32. Kg3 Rc1 33. Bb3 Ke6 34. Kh4 Rg1 35. h3 Rg2 36. Bd1 $1 {A beautiful manuver for! The bishop lands on f3 and forces black's rook off its active place.} Kd6 37. Bf3 Rg6 38. Rc2 Rg1 39. Bh5 Rg7 {Black is tied-down now} 40. Be2 Ne6 $2 {Black blunders a pawn under pressure.} 41. Bd3 d4 42. Bxf5 dxe3 43. fxe3 Nc5 44. Rd2+ Kc6 45. e4 {And Jakovenko throws in the towel. Black's pawns are still weak and Fedoseev would collect them one by one. A true positional masterpiece!} 1-0

WGM Olga Girya was the best female performer an nearly scored a GM norm

While qualifying for the World Cup was a certainty for the top winners, the question was about the others. 22 spots might seem like a lot, until one remembers the sheer depth of the event. With only 8.0/11 one could guarantee a spot while 7.5/11 was leaving it very much in the hands of the Tiebreak Gods, where some would be blessed with a spot in the World Cup, and some would be left following it from home.

Some preferred to force the pace rather than let their spot depend on such a lottery, though this backfired more often than not such as this game where Kovalenko fell to the hands of in-shape and experienced Daniel Friedman.

Igor Kovalenko vs Daniel Fridman

[Event "European Individual Championship"] [Site "?"] [Date "2017.06.10"] [Round "11"] [White "Kovalenko, I."] [Black "Fridman, D."] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "C24"] [Annotator "GM Elshan Moradiabadi "] [PlyCount "96"] [EventDate "2017.??.??"] 1. e4 e5 2. Bc4 Nf6 3. d3 c6 4. Nf3 d5 5. Bb3 Bd6 6. exd5 Nxd5 7. O-O O-O 8. Re1 Bg4 9. h3 Bh5 10. g4 Bg6 11. Nxe5 a5 12. Bd2 a4 13. Bxd5 cxd5 14. Nc3 Nc6 15. d4 Bxe5 16. dxe5 d4 17. Nb5 Qb6 18. Na3 {[#] At the cost of pawn, Kovalenko has a very bad position. His knight is bad and his king is weak. Friedman gradually exploits both weaknesses. Despite his inaccuracies, Friedman remained in control for the entire game.} f6 (18... Qxb2 19. Qc1 Qb6 20. f4 Qc5 21. f5 Nxe5 22. Rf1 Rac8 {and surprisingly Black is close to winning despite losing his bishop on g6. However, this is for artificial intelligence and not the human mind. Friedman goes for the safe choice: Opening up White's king.}) 19. e6 Rae8 20. f4 f5 21. g5 Re7 22. Qf3 Rfe8 23. Qd5 Qxb2 24. Qc5 Rxe6 25. Rab1 Rxe1+ 26. Bxe1 Qxa2 (26... Qxb1 27. Nxb1 Rxe1+ 28. Kf2 Rxb1 {is completely winning. I am surprised that Friedman did not choose this safe route.}) 27. Bf2 Nd8 28. Qd6 Qe6 (28... Ne6 29. Rxb7 Qa1+ 30. Nb1 a3 31. Qxa3 Qxa3 32. Nxa3 Nxf4 {makes more sense.}) 29. Qxd4 Qc6 30. Rb6 $2 {Instead of trying to build up his position, Kovalenko decides to wrap things up, in his opponent's favor!} Qf3 31. Qxa4 Bf7 {now Re2 is an imminent threat.} 32. Rb3 Qd1+ 33. Kg2 Re4 34. Qb5 Bxb3 35. Qxb3+ Ne6 {with an exchange up and a fully exposed king, it was only a matter of time for Friedman to convert.} 36. Qxb7 Nxf4+ 37. Kg3 Qd8 38. h4 Nh5+ 39. Kh3 Nf4+ 40. Kg3 Ne2+ 41. Kf3 Nd4+ 42. Kg2 Re7 43. Qa6 Qd5+ 44. Kh2 Re2 45. Qc8+ Kf7 46. Qc7+ Kg6 47. Qf4 Nf3+ 48. Kg3 Ne1 0-1

Finally, there were others we must no forget in this tournament:

13-year-old WFM Bibisara Assaubayeva scored a solid 11-round IM-norm, facing five grandmasters and four IMs, and earned a whopping 140 Elo points as a result. Since this is a FIDE continental event, this norm is worth double! This young lady has big dreams!

13-year-old WFM Bibisara Assaubayeva

Three Armenian IMs, Baghdasaryan, Martirosyan, and Hakobyan, also won their last round games to score GM norms. Given that two of these three IMs are under 18, the Armenians were delighted to see  fuel being prepared for the future Olympiads for their national team!

15-year-old FM Andrey Esipenko from Russia scored a double GM norm as well

Final standings

Rk
SNo
Ti.
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
 TB 
Perf
rtg+/-
1
5
GM
Matlakov Maxim
2714
8,5
69,5
2834
16,6
2
6
GM
Jobava Baadur
2713
8,5
68,0
2745
6,6
3
14
GM
Fedoseev Vladimir
2690
8,5
65,5
2797
14,7
4
79
GM
Fridman Daniel
2605
8,0
74,5
2778
25,3
5
16
GM
Cheparinov Ivan
2688
8,0
70,0
2783
13,4
6
28
GM
Motylev Alexander
2665
8,0
68,0
2726
8,2
7
13
GM
Duda Jan-Krzysztof
2693
8,0
67,5
2740
6,8
8
1
GM
Navara David
2739
8,0
67,0
2682
-0,2
9
18
GM
Howell David W L
2684
8,0
65,5
2754
10,0
10
38
GM
Kravtsiv Martyn
2653
8,0
64,5
2702
6,6
11
22
GM
Areshchenko Alexander
2677
8,0
63,0
2747
9,4
12
56
GM
Bluebaum Matthias
2632
8,0
62,5
2675
6,2
13
33
GM
Grachev Boris
2658
8,0
61,5
2713
7,3
14
130
GM
Kunin Vitaly
2551
8,0
59,0
2675
19,1
15
87
GM
Bok Benjamin
2598
7,5
71,0
2735
21,0
16
36
GM
Jones Gawain C B
2654
7,5
69,5
2697
6,6
17
31
GM
Dubov Daniil
2660
7,5
69,5
2699
6,2
18
11
GM
Bacrot Etienne
2696
7,5
69,5
2750
6,8
19
72
GM
Melkumyan Hrant
2613
7,5
69,0
2692
12,3
20
105
GM
Mastrovasilis Dimitrios
2580
7,5
69,0
2709
22,0
21
45
GM
Zhigalko Sergei
2643
7,5
68,5
2681
6,2
22
19
GM
Artemiev Vladislav
2682
7,5
68,0
2705
3,8

Click for complete standings

Links

You can use ChessBase 14 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs to replay the games in PGN. You can also download our free Playchess client, which will in addition give you immediate access to the chess server Playchess.com.



Elshan Moradiabadi is a GM born and raised in Tehran, Iran. He moved to the US in 2012. Ever since, he has been active in US college chess scenes and in US chess. is a veteran instructor and teaches chess to every level, with students ranging from beginners to IM. He can be contacted for projects or teaching.
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