Uncompromising Chess in Bretagne

3/8/2007 – The ladies section saw the bloodiest chess ever – just six draws in eight rounds. And the draws all came after long, tough play. Similarly exciting the men's section. Perhaps because of a special rule that forbade draw offers until move 31. And how about Condi Chess, where the clock is ten meters away from the board. Illustrated report.

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Uncompromising Chess in Bretagne

Report by Deian Bojkov

The fifth Breizh masters took place in Guingamp (France) between at Lyceum Le Restmeur a Pabu. There were three tournaments – men and women round-robins and open, with a special anti-draw rule – no one can offer draw until move number 31.


The Lyceum Le Restmeur a Pabu


A view or the cortyard

Ladies first, as always, I would like to tell you about the bloodiest tournament that I have ever seen. After eight rounds there were only six draws! And all of them after long, tough play. There is no better advertisement for the women chess than this one.


Natasha Benmesbah

Chess is hard. The young hopeful of French chess, Natasha Benmesbah, started with 4.5/5 and needed only two more points to fulfill her IM norm. But then she failed under the pressure, and lost three games in a row.


Melissa Greef

Meet a talent – Melissa Greef is from South Africa. She was only twelve when she won the Continental African Championship under 20 years and became a WIM. Being a chess player in South Africa is not an easy task. There are no trainers, no chess schools, only very few tournaments, and most of them FIDE unrated. That is the reason why Melissa’s rating is only 1930. But this will not be for long, since she is making a real tourney here – Guingamp, Rochefort, and Cappelle la Grande. Her fighting spirit is inexhaustible, and she was also lucky to have a trainer here – Dragos Dumitrache has done his job really well.


Christin Andersson and Dragos Dumitrache

Last, but not least – Christin Andersson came one day later, but this did not stop her winning the first four games. She was a sole leader till round eight when she lost to Melissa and was caught by her. And, like in a good thriller, we had a suprising finish when both the leaders lost their final games and the Ukranians Hrabynska and Chulivska shared the win.

The men’s section was no less intriguing.


Vita Chulivska and Yuryi Krivoruchko

The rating favorites Y. Krivoruchko and M. Oleksienko from Ukraine started slowly, but before the final round they managed to occupy the top of the table. But two other players kept us in suspense until the last round. Dumitrache (Romania) was facing N. Elliet (France) both desperately eager to get the point to fulfill a GM norm.


Raphael Le Masle

“If you are going to write a report for ChessBase I have to win the blitz tournament!” The words of the organizer Raphael le Masle made me laugh at the beginning, but later on he defeated M. Oleksienko! Well, Anthony Bellaiche won the tournament at the end, but Raphael was really motivated. I asked about the chess in Bretagne, and this is the story in short: “The team of Guingamp is playing in National 1 (second French division), and at the moment is on third place. We have good chances to qualify for Top 16. The difference is obvious, our cidre (typical apple wine for the region) is much better than the one from Normandie. I proved that to my friend M. Marie blindfold."

Condi chess is another way of making the game fun. The clock is about ten meters away from the board, and every time anyone makes a move, he or she has to run to the clock.


Camille Peyre playing Condi chess

The Ukrainian GMs qualified for the final, and Oleksienko won it. They are both very well fit.

What else can I say... Oh, yes, I was lucky to win the open.


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