2009 Villarrobledo Rapid Tournament: Naiditsch edges the field

7/31/2009 – The annual rapid tournament of Villarrobledo, Spain, concluded a few days ago, with good news for German fans. GM Arkadi Naiditsch finished clear first, with a solid 7.5/9, leaving the likes of GMs Alexei Shirov and Alexander Grischuk in his wake. Though an impressive showing, the victory was not without some serious adversity. Illustrated report.

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2009 Villarrobledo Rapid Tournament, Villarrobledo, Spain

Look out Mainz! GM Arkadi Naiditsch is in form and ready to tear up the field in his home country. After his roller coaster performance in Dortmund, he got a much needed morale booster in Spain.


GM Arkadi Naiditsch, 2697, engaging the enemy.

His tournament started off well, with six consecutive victories, putting him a full point clear of the field. In the seventh round, he decided to take a break, drawing GM Alexander Grischuk in 14 moves, while maintaining his distance from the pack. Then, disaster struck in round 8, when GM Vadim Milov dismantled Naiditsch in a 47-move fight in the Panov-Botvinnik Attack of the Caro-Kann. This loss allowed not only Milov to pull even with Naiditsch in the standings, but also GM Hua Ni.

Milov,V (2659) - Naiditsch,A (2697) [B14]
XXIV Rapid Villarrobledo ESP (8), 26.07.2009
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.e3 0-0 5.Bd3 d5 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Qc2 h6 8.Nf3 c5 9.0-0 cxd4 10.exd4 Nc6 11.a3 Be7 12.Qe2 b6 13.Rd1 Bb7 14.Qe4 Nf6 15.Qh4 Re8 16.Qg3 Nh5 17.Qh3 Nf6 18.Ne5 Nxd4 19.Be3 Nb3 This move undervalued the gravity of the coming reply, giving White a long-term advantage, which he never let slip.

20.Bg6 fxg6 20...Qxd1+ 21.Rxd1 fxg6 22.Qxe6+ Kh7 23.Qxb3 and; 20...Qc7 21.Bxf7+ Kf8 22.f4 Bc5 23.Bxe6 Bxe3+ 24.Kh1 Red8 (24...Re7 25.Ng6+ Ke8 26.Bxb3) 25.Bxb3 both leave White with a decisive advantage. 21.Rxd8 Bxd8 22.Re1 g5 23.Nb5 Bd5 24.Nc3 Bb7 25.f4 g4 26.Nxg4 Nxg4 27.Qxg4 Bf6 28.Bf2 Nd4 29.Ne4 Bxe4 30.Rxe4 Nf5 31.Qe2 Rac8 32.g4 Nh4 33.Bxh4 Bxh4 34.Rxe6 Red8 35.Kg2 Bf6 36.Re4 Kh7 37.Rc4 Rxc4 38.Qxc4 Rd2+ 39.Kg3 Rxb2 40.h4 Rd2 41.Qe4+ Kg8 42.g5 hxg5 43.hxg5 Bb2 44.Qe3 Bc1 45.Qe6+ Kh7 46.Qf5+ Kh8 47.Qc8+ 1-0. [Click to replay]


It seemed Arkadi was an irresistable force, until this man proved otherwise: GM Vadim Milov, 2659

As is typical of this fighter, however, Arkadi did not despair, and his diligence paid dividends. In the ninth and final round, taking advantage of some overzealous play on the part of GM Ruslan Ponomariov in the Keres Attack of the Sicilian Scheveningen, Arkadi managed to dispatch his opponent in 29 moves. Coupled with a 12-move draw between his co-leaders, this win was enough for the German grandmaster to claim the title for this year's edition of the Villarrobledo Rapid Tournament.

Naiditsch,A (2697) - Ponomariov,R (2727) [B81]
XXIV Rapid Villarrobledo ESP (9), 26.07.2009
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d6 6.g4 h6 7.h3 Nc6 8.Bg2 Bd7 9.Be3 Ne5 10.Qe2 Rc8 11.0-0-0 Rxc3 12.bxc3 Qa5 13.f4 Qxc3 14.fxe5 dxe5 15.Rd3 Qa1+ 16.Kd2 Bb4+ This move was an inaccuracy, which left White a Rook to the good, with the given reply essentially ending the game for Black.

16...Qxa2 was called for, pinning the pawn, and allowing 17.Nb3 Bb4+ to follow. 17.c3 Qb2+ 18.Nc2 Ba5 19.Qd1 Bc6 20.Qb1 Qxb1 21.Rxb1 Nxe4+ 22.Kc1 f5 23.Nb4 Bxb4 24.Rxb4 Kf7 25.Bxe4 Bxe4 26.Rd7+ Kf6 27.Rxe4 fxe4 28.Rxb7 Rd8 29.c4 1-0. [Click to replay]


The Champion, in high spirits, receives his prize.

Final Ranking after nine Rounds

Rk. Title Name FED RtgI Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 GM Naiditsch Arkadij GER 2697 7.5 51.0 55.5 41.5
2 GM Grischuk Alexander RUS 2733 7.0 50.0 55.0 36.5
3 GM Moiseenko Alexander UKR 2682 7.0 48.5 53.5 36.5
4 GM Shirov Alexei ESP 2732 7.0 48.5 53.0 35.5
5 GM Ni Hua CHN 2701 7.0 48.5 52.5 38.0
6 GM Milov Vadim SUI 2659 7.0 48.0 51.5 37.5
7 GM Fridman Daniel GER 2665 7.0 45.5 49.5 34.5
8 GM Bacrot Etienne FRA 2721 6.5 51.0 54.5 36.5
9 GM Khenkin Igor GER 2634 6.5 47.0 51.0 33.5
10 GM Strikovic Aleksa SRB 2523 6.5 45.5 47.0 33.5
11 GM Ponomariov Ruslan UKR 2727 6.0 49.5 54.5 35.5
12 IM Larino Nieto David ESP 2455 6.0 48.5 53.0 33.5
13 GM Hou Yifan CHN 2584 6.0 48.5 52.5 34.0
14 IM Milchev Nikolay BUL 2351 6.0 48.5 52.0 33.0
15 GM Ljubojevic Ljubomir SRB 2553 6.0 48.0 52.5 33.5
16 GM Tkachiev Vladislav FRA 2650 6.0 48.0 51.5 36.0
17 GM Ibrahimov Rasul AZE 2543 6.0 46.5 50.5 34.0
18 GM Paunovic Dragan SRB 2533 6.0 46.0 49.5 32.5
19 GM Guliyev Namig AZE 2555 6.0 45.5 50.0 34.0
20 GM Rusev Krasimir BUL 2543 6.0 45.5 49.5 31.0
21 GM Lalic Bogdan CRO 2517 6.0 44.0 48.0 32.5
22 GM Pogorelov Ruslan UKR 2441 6.0 44.0 47.0 30.5
23 GM Potkin Vladimir RUS 2619 6.0 43.5 48.0 31.5
24 Torres Sanchez Jose ESP 2322 6.0 43.5 46.0 29.5
25 GM Cifuentes Parada Roberto ESP 2539 6.0 43.0 45.5 31.0
26 GM Ubilava Elizbar ESP 2547 6.0 42.0 46.0 31.5
27 IM Ninov Nikolai BUL 2562 6.0 41.0 45.0 26.0
28 IM Granero Roca Antonio ESP 2433 6.0 41.0 44.5 29.0
29 GM San Segundo Carrillo Pablo ESP 2570 6.0 41.0 44.0 29.5
30 IM Ibarra Jerez Jose Carlos ESP 2517 5.5 44.0 46.5 31.5
31 WGM Zhukova Natalia UKR 2465 5.5 43.5 47.5 31.0
32 GM Mirzoev Azer AZE 2559 5.5 42.5 46.5 30.5
33 IM Pedersen Nicolai Vesterbaek DEN 2431 5.5 42.0 45.0 27.5
34 GM Vazquez Igarza Renier ESP 2570 5.5 41.5 45.0 27.5
35 WGM Melnikova Yana RUS 2285 5.5 41.5 44.5 28.5
36 IM Arnaudov G Petar BUL 2443 5.5 41.0 44.5 28.0
37 Abul Qasem ESP 2022 5.5 40.0 43.5 24.5
38 FM Fernandez Barrera Victor ESP 2309 5.5 37.5 40.5 25.5
39 GM Djuric Stefan SRB 2437 5.5 36.5 39.5 27.0

Links

A selection of the games is being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download the free PGN reader ChessBase Light, which gives you immediate access. You can also use the program to read, replay and analyse the PGN games.



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