47th Capablanca Memorial won by Ivanchuk

by ChessBase
5/15/2012 – While it was Leinier Domínguez's dream to shine in front of his home crowd, the plan was foiled by a certain Ukrainian who not only seized the lead but never let go of it. To add insult to injury, Vassily Ivanchuk beat him twice in their encounters. Still, while all seemed lost, a heroic last-round win against second-place Ian Nepomniachtchi gave him a tie for second-third. Final report.

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Prize fund: Elite: 5200 Peso Cubano Convertible (1 US$: 0.865 CUC): 1800 - 1300 - 800 - 600 - 400 - 300 --- Premier: 1950 CUC: 800 - 550 - 400 - 200
Time control: 90 minutes/40 moves + 30 minutes + 30 seconds/move starting with the 1st move
Duration: May 4-14 with a rest day on May 9

47th Capablanca Memorial

Rounds six to ten

While it was Leinier Domínguez's dream to shine in front of his home crowd, the plan was foiled by a certain Ukrainian who not only seized the lead but never let go of it. To make things worse, Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi also got into gear in the second half and was in clear second, trailing only a half point behind Vassily Ivanchuk, while the Cuban was yet a half-point behind Nepo.

Ivanchuk was unstoppable and beat Domínguez 2-0 in their individual meetings

Since the tournament was a double round-robin, this meant that the players all met each other twice, but the second game between Ivanchuk and Domínguez unfolded much the way the first one did.

[Event "47th Capablanca Mem Elite"] [Site "Havana CUB"] [Date "2012.05.11"] [Round "7"] [White "Dominguez Perez, Leinier"] [Black "Ivanchuk, Vassily"] [Result "0-1"] [ECO "B01"] [WhiteElo "2725"] [BlackElo "2764"] [PlyCount "76"] [EventDate "2012.05.04"] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Bd2 c6 6. Bd3 Bg4 7. f3 Bh5 8. Nge2 Nbd7 9. Nf4 Bg6 10. Nxg6 hxg6 11. Qe2 e6 12. Ne4 Bb4 13. c3 Be7 14. g3 Nxe4 15. fxe4 Bg5 16. O-O Bxd2 17. Qxd2 c5 18. Qf2 O-O 19. e5 Rad8 20. Be4 cxd4 21. cxd4 Nb8 22. Rad1 Nc6 23. Rd3 Qb6 24. Rfd1 Rd7 25. Rb3 Qa6 26. Ra3 Qb5 27. Bxc6 bxc6 28. Rf1 f5 29. b3 $2 {This move is a decisive mistake. The problem is that the rook on a3 finds itself cutoff from the rest of its team, and this allows Black to enter with decisive effect.} Rfd8 ({Black could also have played} 29... c5 {immediately with similar results. Ex:} 30. dxc5 $2 Rfd8 $1 31. b4 (31. Ra4 Rd2 32. Qf3 Qxc5+ 33. Kh1 g5 $1 {followed by Qxe5 and ...g4}) 31... Rd2 32. Qf3 Qxb4 33. c6 Qc5+ 34. Kh1 Rc2 35. Rd3 Rxd3 36. Qxd3 Qxc6+ { and White's exposed king and vulnerable pawns are his demise.}) 30. Ra4 c5 $1 31. dxc5 (31. Rd1 {is barely better.} Qb6 32. Qc2 Rxd4 33. Raxd4 cxd4 34. Rd3 Qa5 {attacking e5} 35. Qe2 g5 $19) 31... Rd2 32. Qf3 Qxc5+ 33. Kh1 Qc2 34. Rc4 Qxa2 35. Rh4 g5 36. Rh5 g4 37. Qc6 Qxb3 38. Rg5 Rd1 0-1

Nepomniachtchi tried his best to win, but was unable to crack the leader

Nepomniachtchi was also unable to destabilize Ivanchuk in their ninth round game, and going into the final round, the Ukrainian led with a full-point ahead of the Russian, who in turn had a full-point lead over the Cuban. Both Domínguez and Nepomniachtchi were paired against each other in the last round, and both were very anxious for a win. If Ivanchuk slipped at the finish line, a win might mean a share of first for the Russian, whereas if Domínguez won, it meant a tie for second-third, and a degree of consolation and face-saving in front of his fans.

Playing black, the opening went especially poorly for Nepomniachtchi, and he was never able to solve his problems, finding himself fighting a losing battle for much of the game. No miracles took place to extricate him, and Leinier drew abreast with Ian with 5.5/10.

Final standings

Pictures by Miguel E. Gomez Masjuán


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