2014 Euro-Ch: Motylev wins with record result

by Albert Silver
3/18/2014 – It was one for the record books, as Alexander Motylev finished his peerless tournament with a fantastic 9.0/11 and 2872 performance, for the most dominant win ever of the championship. No less incredible was the second-place finish by 19-year-old David Anton Guijarro, ranked 99th, and the bronze by teeenager Vladimir Fedoseev. Artemiev qualified at the last minute after an epic battle.

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The championship is an eleven-round Swiss system in accordance with the ECU Tournament Rules and FIDE Laws of Chess. and is held in Yerevan, Armenia from March 2 (day of arrival) until March 15 (day of departure) 2014. The tournament is held at the Elite Plaza Business Centre.  The rate of play is 90 minutes for 40 moves plus 30 minutes for the rest of the game with an increment of 30 seconds per move, starting from move one.

The tournament does not allow players to draw before the 40th move, and the controversial zero-tolerance rule will be in effect. In case of pre-arranged results the Chief Arbiter can decide that the result of the respective game is 0 - 0. If a prize-winner is absent during the closing ceremony, then the money prize will be reduced by 20%.

The total prizefund is 160 thousand Euros, with 20 thousand for first place, 16 thousand for second, down to 1000 for 25th place. There are also prizes for the best overperformer, meaning the player who performs highest over his rating.

The European Individual Championship 2014 is a qualification event for the next World Cup. According to FIDE regulations and the decision of the ECU Board, 23 players will qualify.

Round eleven

The final round of the 2014 European Championship was memorable in many ways, and is certainly one for the record books. With a full point lead, Alexander Motylev was pitted against David Navara, who was there to fight and test the mettle of the unwilting Russian. They played a strong game wherein the Czech player came out of the opening with a solid advantage, but little by little the Russian clawed his way back and the draw was agreed upon.

The draw was no formality

With an amazing 9.0/11 and a 2872 performance, Alexander Motylev signed the most dominant win of the European Championship since its inception. No player has scored 82% before, much less his rating performance in a field in which he was only 33rd in the starting list.

Alexander Motylev receives the gold medal from tournament organizer GM Smbat Lputian

A toast to the champion!

Taking the silver and bronze were two teenagers, another heralding of a new generation elbowing their way into the limelight. 19-year-old Spaniard GM David Anton Guijarro rated a modest 2559 and 99th(!) in the starting list, had a fantastic tournament, showing his superb fighting spirit as he recovered from a loss in round nine, to finish on two wins in the last rounds, over Etienne Bacrot (2739) and Baadur Jobava (2716) no less. As a result, he took silver with 8.0/11 and a 2775 performance.

An astonishing result by David Anton Guijarro, ranked 99th, who came in second
and took the silver medal

In third place, and bronze, was 19-year-old Russian GM Vladimir Fedoseev. Though Fedoseev has been a promising Russian junior for numerous years, he never seemed to live up to his potential, and even as recently as July 2013 was rated just 2515. Since then, he took off the handbrake and has rocketed to 2641, and needless to say has added another 22 Elo thanks to his stratospheric 2790 performance. That’s right: 148 Elo in nine months.

Vladimir Fedoseev, third place and the bronze medal

This brings us to the next teenager, Vladislav Artemiev, who was part of an epic battle in the final round, with everything on the line. Going into the final round with 6.5/10, he faced Maxim Matlakov (2695), who had the same score. As it were, after a few hours of play, there were exactly 23 players with 7.5/11, with only 23 qualifying spots for the World Cup. For these two players still playing, this made it all the clearer that a draw would mean missing the party.

There was no room for error, and only a win for 16-year-old Artemiev would suffice

Artemiev had a strong advantage in a queen endgame, but if there ever was a treacherous type of endgame this is it. His opponent knew it well, and the epic battle lasted hours after the other games had ended, but the 16-year-old was not to be denied, and he forced capitulation after 129 moves.  There was still some nailbiting involved as the arbiters calculated the final standings to see whether his efforts had been in vain or not, but when the results were published, he was in 13th place, with a spot guaranteed in the next World Cup.

[Event "15th ch-EUR Indiv 2014"] [Site "Yerevan ARM"] [Date "2014.03.14"] [Round "11.13"] [White "Artemiev, Vladislav"] [Black "Matlakov, Maxim"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "A07"] [WhiteElo "2621"] [BlackElo "2695"] [PlyCount "258"] [EventDate "2014.03.03"] 1. Nf3 d5 2. g3 Bg4 3. Bg2 Nd7 4. c4 e6 5. cxd5 exd5 6. O-O Ngf6 7. Nc3 c6 8. d3 Bd6 9. Qc2 O-O 10. e4 Re8 11. h3 Bxf3 12. Bxf3 dxe4 13. dxe4 Nc5 14. Be3 Qe7 15. Rad1 Ne6 16. Bg2 Bc5 17. e5 Nd7 18. Bxc5 Nexc5 19. b4 Ne6 20. Ne4 Red8 21. Qb2 Ng5 22. Nxg5 Qxg5 23. Rfe1 a6 24. e6 fxe6 25. Rxe6 Nf6 26. Rde1 Rd7 27. Re7 Rad8 28. Qb3+ Nd5 29. R7e5 Qf6 30. h4 Rf8 31. R1e2 Kh8 32. Bxd5 cxd5 33. Rxd5 Re7 34. Qc2 h6 35. Rxe7 Qxe7 36. Qd2 Qe4 37. Rd4 Qf3 38. a4 b5 39. a5 Re8 40. Rd8 Rxd8 41. Qxd8+ Kh7 42. Qd6 Qe4 43. Qc5 Kh8 44. Kf1 Kh7 45. Qc3 Kh8 46. f3 Qb1+ 47. Ke2 Qa2+ 48. Qd2 Qe6+ 49. Kf2 Qe5 50. Qd8+ Kh7 51. Qd3+ Kh8 52. Qd2 Kh7 53. Kg2 Kh8 54. Qd8+ Kh7 55. Qd3+ Kh8 56. Qe4 Qd6 57. Kh3 Qd7+ 58. g4 {The first move of progress since 46.f3 Perhaps he had only now come to realize just how vital it was that he win the game. By now all the games above him had ended, and though he does miss a few quicker routes, he finally outlasts his opponent.} Qd2 59. Kg3 Kg8 60. Qe7 Kh7 61. Qe4+ Kh8 62. Qe8+ Kh7 63. Qe7 Qc1 64. Kg2 Qc2+ 65. Kh3 Qd2 66. Qe4+ Kh8 67. Kg3 Kg8 68. Qe6+ Kh7 69. Qf5+ Kg8 70. Qe4 Kh8 71. h5 Kg8 72. Qe6+ Kh8 73. Qe7 Kh7 74. Qe4+ Kh8 75. f4 Kg8 76. Kh3 Kh8 77. Kg3 Kg8 78. Qe6+ Kh8 79. Qc8+ Kh7 80. Qf5+ Kh8 81. Qc8+ Kh7 82. Qf5+ Kh8 83. Qc5 Qd3+ 84. Kf2 Qd2+ 85. Kf3 Qd3+ 86. Qe3 Qd1+ 87. Kg3 Kg8 88. Qe8+ Kh7 89. Qe4+ Kh8 90. Kh4 Qd8+ 91. g5 Kg8 92. Qe3 Kh8 93. Kg3 hxg5 94. fxg5 Qd6+ 95. Qf4 Qd3+ 96. Kh4 Qd8 97. Qe5 {Threatening 98.h6} Kh7 98. Qf5+ Kh8 99. Qe4 Qf8 100. Qd4 Kg8 101. Kg4 Kh7 102. Qf4 Qd8 103. Qf5+ Kh8 104. h6 gxh6 105. Qe5+ Kh7 106. Qf5+ Kh8 107. gxh6 Qe7 108. Kh5 Qf7+ {It is not a mistake. If the queen is taken, it is... stalemate!} 109. Kg5 Qg8+ 110. Kf4 Qf7 111. Kg4 Qg6+ 112. Kf4 Qxh6+ 113. Ke5 Qd2 114. Qf8+ Kh7 115. Qe7+ Kg8 116. Qe6+ Kg7 117. Qf6+ Kg8 118. Qg6+ Kh8 119. Qd6 Qg5+ 120. Kd4 Qc1 121. Qc5 Qd2+ 122. Ke5 Qd8 123. Ke6 Qd2 124. Qd6 {Missing a chance to finish quicker, though the game will end in a few moves anyhow.} (124. Qc8+ Kg7 125. Qd7+ {would have ended it on the spot. }) 124... Qc1 125. Qc5 Qh6+ 126. Kd7 Qf4 127. Kc6 Qf6+ 128. Qd6 Qg6 {Once more offering the stalemate trap.} 129. Kc7 Qf7+ {There is no defense anymore.} ({ After} 129... Qf7+ 130. Kb6 Qg6 {White plays} 131. Qc6 {and the pawns will fall.}) 1-0

Theirs was not the only success story of the tournament, as
many norms were scored, including notably 11-year-old Shant
Sargsyan (2027) who won the Special Prize for the largest
overperformer, and scoring an IM norm…

…and FM Haik Martirosyan, 13 years old (2234) who came second in the Special
Prize, and scored a GM norm no less.

Photos by Arman Karakhanyan

Final standings

Rk
SNo
Ti.
Name
FED
Rtg
Pts
 TB 
Perf
rtg+/-
1
33
GM
Motylev Alexander
2656
9.0
2633
2872
28.8
2
99
GM
Anton Guijarro David
2559
8.0
2644
2775
32.5
3
48
GM
Fedoseev Vladimir
2641
8.0
2642
2790
21.8
4
66
GM
Solak Dragan
2610
8.0
2632
2774
24.6
5
2
GM
Eljanov Pavel
2723
8.0
2630
2790
9.3
6
46
GM
Lupulescu Constantin
2643
8.0
2606
2759
16.8
7
15
GM
Navara David
2700
8.0
2604
2763
8.7
8
31
GM
Saric Ivan
2661
8.0
2546
2695
5.7
9
34
GM
Lysyj Igor
2655
8.0
2539
2699
6.7
10
62
GM
Melkumyan Hrant
2613
7.5
2651
2751
21.6
11
8
GM
Wojtaszek Radoslaw
2713
7.5
2625
2742
4.7
12
3
GM
Jakovenko Dmitry
2723
7.5
2623
2740
3.3
13
57
IM
Artemiev Vladislav
2621
7.5
2614
2712
15.4
14
44
GM
Smirin Ilia
2644
7.5
2612
2723
12.3
15
11
GM
Fressinet Laurent
2709
7.5
2612
2729
3.6
16
26
GM
Sargissian Gabriel
2676
7.5
2607
2721
7.6
17
13
GM
Areshchenko Alexander
2705
7.5
2600
2718
2.4
18
59
GM
Perunovic Milos
2617
7.5
2598
2706
14.4
19
23
GM
Cheparinov Ivan
2681
7.5
2597
2713
5.1
20
77
GM
Iordachescu Viorel
2583
7.5
2596
2696
18.4
21
29
GM
Zhigalko Sergei
2671
7.5
2578
2694
4.1
22
89
GM
Ter-Sahakyan Samvel
2572
7.5
2558
2656
15.4
23
39
GM
Balogh Csaba
2651
7.5
2539
2656
2.2
24
113
GM
Oparin Grigoriy
2526
7.5
2508
2610
16.4

Click for complete standings

Links

The games are being broadcast live on the official web site and on the chess server Playchess.com. If you are not a member you can download a free Playchess client there and get immediate access. You can also use ChessBase 12 or any of our Fritz compatible chess programs.




Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications.
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