Bled hosts the 2018 World Senior Championships

by Antonio Pereira
12/2/2018 – The Slovenian city of Bled received players from more than sixty countries for this year's World Senior Championships. Open and women's tournaments for players aged 50+ and 65+ took place from November 18th to 29th. Nona Gaprindashvili (pictured), Elvira Berend, Vlastimil Jansa and Karen Movsziszian were the winners. During the rest day, some of the participants plus other 'visitors' competed in the Albin Planinc Memorial, a 9-round rapid tournament won by Mladen Palac. | Photos: Official site

Chess News


ChessBase 15 - Mega package ChessBase 15 - Mega package

Find the right combination! ChessBase 15 program + new Mega Database 2019 with 7.6 million games and more than 70,000 master analyses. Plus ChessBase Magazine (DVD + magazine) and CB Premium membership for 1 year!

More...

A historic venue

Bled is a small community located in the Upper Carniolan region of north-western Slovenia. Less than ten thousand people inhabit the lakeside tourist destination, a locale that has once and again welcomed chess players throughout history. The verdict of those who attended previous events organised in the small town is unanimous: playing there is a delight.  

The lake is Bled's main attraction | Photo: Thorsten Cmiel

Some of the biggest events played in Bled were the 1959 Candidates (with a 16-year-old Bobby Fischer taking part), won by Mikhail Tal, the Larsen-Tal Candidates semi-final match from 1965 and the 2002 Chess Olympiad, the last one won by Russia. Going further back in time, a double round-robin tournament took place in 1931, and it was dominated by world champion Alexander Alekhine. Just like in this year's World Senior Championship, that event was played in the Grand Hotel Toplice.

Replay some of the historic games played in Bled:

 

The Championship in numbers

A total of 330 players arrived in Slovenia to participate in the four tournaments. The biggest category was the Open for players over 65, with 180 participants from 57 different countries. The biggest federation in town was from Germany, which included 43 players. Out of the 43, Klaus Bischoff had the best result — he finished fourth in the Open 50+ category thanks to an undefeated 8/11 performance.

The highest rating average among the events was actually seen at the 50+ Women's category, which averaged 2053 points with its 24 participants. The 50+ Open category averaged 2022 (106 participants), the 65+ Open averaged 1997 (180 participants) and the 65+ Women's category had a mean of 1826 (20 participants).

All four events were 11-round Swiss tournaments with a single rest day after round six, a demanding schedule that ensured there would be deserving winners at the end of the road. A prize fund of €18,000 euros was on offer, with the winners in the Open categories taking home €1,500 euros each and the winners in the Women's events taking 700 euros each. Trophies and medals were also distributed.

The playing hall

The winners

In the 65+ Women's category, there was a clear favourite: the sixth Women's World Champion from Georgia Nona Gaprindashvili. Her 2301 rating put her head and shoulders above the rest of the competitors, and she confirmed her status by taking clear first place with an undefeated 8½/11 score. 

The fourth favourite by rating, Valentina Kozlovskaya from Russia, took home the silver medal after finishing on 8/11. Two players tied on 7½ but Ludmila Tsifanskaya from Israel ended up with the bronze medal on tiebreaks — Natalia Titorenko from Russia finished fourth.

The winners of the 65+ Women's group — Nona Gaprindashvili with the trophy

Final standings - Women 65+ (top 15)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Gaprindashvili Nona 8,5 0,0
2 Kozlovskaya Valentina 8,0 0,0
3 Tsifanskaya Ludmila A 7,5 0,5
4 Titorenko Natalia I 7,5 0,5
5 Sorokina Tamara 7,0 0,5
6 Fatalibekova Elena 7,0 0,5
7 Khmiadashvili Tamar 6,0 0,0
8 Dotan Valeria 6,0 0,0
9 Serjmyadag Damdin 5,5 0,0
10 Norman Dinah M 5,5 0,0
11 Florea Dorina 5,5 0,0
12 Ristoja Aulikki 5,0 0,0
13 Kabanova Irina 5,0 0,0
14 Milashevskaja Valentina 5,0 0,0
15 Bujinlkham Purevdorj 4,5 0,0

All available games - Women 65+

 

The 50+ Women's group also saw the rating favourite taking first place. Actually, the second and third places corresponded to the second and third rating favourites as well! The gold medal went to Elvira Berend from Luxembourg, who — like Gaprindashivili — finished on an undefeated 8½/11; silver was taken by Tatiana Grabuzova from Russia on 8/11; and the bronze medal went to Galina Strutinskaia, also from Russia and also with a 8/11 score. 

The 50+ ladies prize winners — Elvira Berend holding the trophy 

Final standings - Women 50+ (top 15)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Berend Elvira 8,5 0,0
2 Grabuzova Tatiana 8,0 0,5
3 Strutinskaia Galina 8,0 0,5
4 Makropoulou Marina 7,5 0,0
5 Ankudinova Yelena 6,5 0,0
6 Kasoshvili Tsiala 6,5 0,0
7 Lauterbach Ingrid 6,0 0,0
8 Bogumil Tatiana 6,0 0,0
9 Birkholz Olga 6,0 0,0
10 Mednikova Svetlana 6,0 0,0
11 Baliuniene Margarita 6,0 0,0
12 Aseeva Marina 5,5 0,0
13 Burchardt Brigitte 5,5 0,0
14 Sirotkina Nina 5,5 0,0
15 Alikhanashvili Giuli 5,5 0,0

All available games - Women 50+

 

The largest group, by quite a margin, was the 65+ Open. It should not be a surprise therefore that a bigger score was needed to take clear first place. In fact, two players tied on 9½/11 points, an astounding result in such a strong event — Vlastimil Jansa from the Czech Republic edged Yuri Balashov from Russia on tiebreaks to take home the gold medal. Another Russian ended up third, Nukhim Rashkovsky, who was the only player to get 8½ points in this category.

65+ winners

The winners in the 65+ Open section: Rashkovsky, Balashov, Jansa

Final standings - Open 65+ (top 15)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Jansa Vlastimil 9,5 0,5
2 Balashov Yuri S 9,5 0,5
3 Rashkovsky Nukhim N 8,5 0,0
4 Renman Nils-Gustaf 8,0 0,0
5 Wahlbom Magnus 8,0 0,0
6 Lederman Leon 8,0 0,0
7 Boehnisch Manfred 7,5 0,0
8 Maryasin Boris 7,5 0,0
9 Pritchett Craig W 7,5 0,0
10 Vogt Lothar 7,5 0,0
11 Rooze Jan 7,5 0,0
12 Shevelev Arkady 7,5 0,0
13 Werner Clemens 7,5 0,0
14 Karasev Vladimir I 7,5 0,0
15 Haubt Georg 7,5 0,0

All available games - Open 65+

 

Finally, the 50+ Open was the only category that did not include any Russians in the podium. The second favourite by rating Karen Movsziszian from Armenia defeated Giorgi Bagaturov from Georgia in their direct encounter, and thus took the gold medal on tiebreaks after both finished on 8½/11. Another Georgian, Zurab Sturua — who arrived in Bled as the favourite with a 2529 rating — finished third after edging on tiebreaks three other players that got the same 8/11 score that he did. 

The podium of the 50+ Open: Zurab Sturua, Giorgi Bagaturov, Karen Movsziszian

Final standings - Open 50+ (top 15)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Movsziszian Karen 8,5 1,0
2 Bagaturov Giorgi 8,5 0,0
3 Sturua Zurab 8,0 0,0
4 Bischoff Klaus 8,0 0,0
5 Soffer Ram 8,0 0,0
6 Van Der Werf Mark 8,0 0,0
7 Kalegin Evgenij 7,5 0,0
8 Arakhamia-Grant Ketevan 7,5 0,0
9 Arkell Keith C 7,5 0,0
10 Vareille Francois 7,5 0,0
11 Haessel Dale R. 7,5 0,0
12 Biro Sandor 7,5 0,0
13 Prie Eric 7,0 0,0
14 Cummings David H. 7,0 0,0

All available games - Open 50+

 

Vlastimil Jansa, Nona Gaprindashvili, Elvira Berend and Karen Movsziszian

All the winners: Vlastimil Jansa, Nona Gaprindashvili, Elvira Berend and Karen Movsziszian | Photo: Tadej Sakelšek

Mladen Palac wins Albin Planinc Memorial

November 24th was a rest day in Bled. Some players decided to stay in the hotel, some visited Ljubljana, some followed the Carlsen-Caruana match, while the biggest chess addicts participated in the Albin Planinc Memorial, a 9-round Swiss Open with a 10+5 time control. The FIDE-rated event awarded 600 Euros to the winner and gave away many prizes for different age and rating categories.

The tournament was organised in honour of Albin Planinc, a Slovenian grandmaster who died ten years ago. He was an active player until the 1980s, but gave up competitive chess due to depression — later, he would become a trainer. According to Raymond Keene, Planinc "specialised in apparently outdated openings into which his imaginative play infused new life".

Albin Planinc | Photo: Anefo / Croes, R.C. via Wikimedia Commons

Two of the best-known games played by Planinc, against Rafael Vaganian and Karen Grigorian:

 

No less than 155 players participated, with 12 GMs and 19 IMs. Four players finished tied on 7½/9, but the tiebreak system left Mladen Palac from Croatia as the winner, Nukhim Rashkovsky from Russia in second place and Marko Tratar from Slovenia in the third spot — rating favourite Maxime Lagarde from France also finished in this group.

L-to-R: GM Mohr (organizer), GM Rashkovsky 2nd place, GM Palac 1st place, GM Tratar 3rd place, Adrian Rožič Slovenian chess federation

Final standings (top 20)

Rk. Name Pts.  TB1 
1 Palac Mladen 7,5 0,0
2 Rashkovsky Nukhim N 7,5 0,0
3 Tratar Marko 7,5 0,0
4 Lagarde Maxime 7,5 0,0
5 Cvitan Ognjen 7,0 0,0
6 Rogulj Branko 7,0 0,0
7 Sveshnikov Evgeny 7,0 0,0
8 Mazi Leon 7,0 0,0
9 Bosiocic Marin 6,5 0,0
10 Loncar Robert 6,5 0,0
11 Sakelsek Tadej 6,5 0,0
12 Loiseau Quentin 6,5 0,0
13 Kalegin Evgenij 6,5 0,0
14 Sebenik Matej 6,5 0,0
15 Lisenko Alexander V 6,5 0,0
16 Petran Peter 6,5 0,0
17 Stepovoj Vladimir 6,0 0,0
18 Movsziszian Karen 6,0 0,0
19 Trussevich Sergey 6,0 0,0
  Berkovich Mark A 6,0 0,0

Additional reporting by Thorsten Cmiel

Links




Antonio is a freelance writer and a philologist. He is mainly interested in the links between chess and culture, primarily literature. In chess games, he skews towards endgames and positional play.
Discussion and Feedback Join the public discussion or submit your feedback to the editors


Discuss

Rules for reader comments

 
 

Not registered yet? Register

macauley macauley 12/3/2018 05:35
@michael bacon - Indeed. Added as many as I could readily identify.
michael bacon michael bacon 12/3/2018 03:33
It would enhance the article considerably if the names of the winning players were part of the captions to the pictures to facilitate readers identifying the players.
1