Third Aerosvit tournament underway in Foros

6/20/2007 – Over the past couple of years, the Aerosvit tournament at Foros, in the Ukraine, has become one of the strongest closed tournaments in the calendar. This year's third edition runs from June 17 – 30, and brings together a category 18 field. After two rounds, it is Alexey Shirov who leads, with a 2/2 start. We bring you photos and games.

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Third Aerosvit tournament underway in Foros

As in previous years, the event is taking place amidst scenic surroundings at the Ukrainian town of Foros, near its more famous neighbour Yalta. The sponsorship of Ukrainian airline Aerosvit has enabled the organisers to put together a 12-player field, which boasts an average FIDE rating of  2694, the top seeds being Svidler, Ivanchuk and Jakovenko. The field also includes Rublevsky and Shirov, two of the second-round losers in the Elista Candidates matches, plus top young star Karjakin.

The spectacular Crimean coastline has always been a favourite holiday destination for Russians and Ukrainians. Here are some visual impressions of the region (courtesy of the official web site):


A typically beautiful Russian Orthodox church


The hotel venue on the Black Sea coast


Some of the players at the opening ceremony: (seated, r-l) Shirov, van Wely, Sasikiran and Dominguez in the front row, with Nisipeanu and Rublevsky visible behind.


FIDE President Kirsan Illyumzhinov was the special guest at the Opening Ceremony.

The tournament got off to a bright start, with just four draws in the first two rounds. Despite likely fatigue from the recently-concluded Candidates matches, it was Alexey Shirov who took the early lead, after defeating Rublevsky and Dominguez in the first two rounds.


Peter Svidler vs Pavel Eljanov in round one


Loek van Vely vs Alexander Onischuk in round two

Note how the players' names are written in Ukrainian script. Although based on Cyrillic, this has a few differences, such as the use of the Roman letter i. Other differences in Ukrainian transliteration result in such unfamiliar-sounding names as Petro Svidler and Olexander Onischuk.


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