54th Reggio Emilia: Morozevich continues his winning ways

by ChessBase
12/29/2011 – After three rounds, Alexander Morozevich has taken the early lead after an impressive attack against Anish Giri in round two, also taking him to sixth in the live ratings, two points from fifth. Vassily Ivanchuk joined Hikaru Nakamura in second after beating Fabiano Caruana in round three. In the women's section, WGM Sopiko Guramishvili leads with a perfect score. Rounds two and three.

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The 54th Reggio Emilia is underway at Reggio Emilia, Italy, and runs from December 27, 2011 to January 6, 2012. The tournament is a six-player, double round-robin with ten rounds played at 50 moves for 100 minutes plus a 30-second increment per move. January 1st is a rest day. Games start at 3 PM Paris time (9 AM NY time).

54th Reggio Emilia

Round two

By Martha Fierro and Augusto Caruso (accademia internazionale di scacchi)

The second day of Reggio Emilia was very exciting, and the games between Giri and Morozevich, Nakamura against Caruana and Ivanchuk opposed to Vitugov generated great interest in the audience and in the Italian coach Giulio Borgo's analysis room.

The match between Giri and Morozevich was easily the most exciting: the Dutch player started with brave moves, but Morozevich, who has been called “the magician” by the audience, took control of the situation and in a few moves imprisoned the white king, which became an easy mark.

Morozevich continues his winning ways and is currently in sixth in the live ratings

Morozevich leads alone with six points (in this tournament every victory is worth three points, and a draw is worth one) and just after him we find Hikaru Nakamura who played a very wise game, though maybe too careful. Indeed Caruana was always prepared for Nakamura's attacks and took constant care to obstruct his opponent's breakthrough efforts.

Ivanchuk against Vitiugov led to a balanced endgame which ended in a draw.

It was a hard day for the Italian ladies, none of whom was able to win a game: Rosa, who faced Guramishvili, lost after a very hard game and even the Georgian player admitted that her opponent played a good game.

Chierici's loss really hurt as her position had seemed extremely promising, and the pawn sacrifice in the opening left Black very behind in development. The position seemed won after Qg4, but after Black castled the Italian player realized that Bh6 runs up against Qxc3, though in the analysis room, after Rc1, Black's defense didn't appear so clear.

Marina Brunello and Iva Videnova was an extremely exciting ending with four rooks on the board, but finally ended in a draw after the fortieth move.

Round three

By Martha Fierro and Augusto Caruso (accademia internazionale di scacchi)

We were expecting great games today at the 54th NewYear's Eve Tournament of Reggio Emilia: the national star Fabiano Caruana faced Vassily Ivanchuk, one of the giants of chess, while the ranking leader Morozevich had to contend with the American Hikaru Nakamura. Last but not least we find Vitugov versus Giri.

Hmmm..... Where's the lucky tie?

Morozevich did his best to preserve the advantage, but faced a great Nakamura, who defended himself valiantly. White was unable to take home the victory, but still leads the tournament.

Ivanchuk outclassed Caruana in their endgame

Caruana chose to face off Ivanchuk with a g3 Sveshnikov, considered to be one of White’s most solid continuations. Black played a new move with 19…Kh8, and after some changes and moves Black had a small advantage. With the few pieces it seemed as if White would maintain control of the situation, however after five hours, a very tough ending and a crazy zeitnot, White threw in the towel.

Anish Giri was prepared for Nikita Vitiugov's attempts to throw him off

Vitiugov started the game by using a variation of the Indian Grünfeld, but Giri was prepared. The Russian’s efforts to attack were ineffective and the game ended with a draw.

In the women’s tournament, Sopiko won again and even if Chierici tried to stem the Georgian's attack, at the end of the game she had to bow to the law of the jungle. Let's see what happens tomorrow against Iva Videnova.

Marina Brunello gave Italy the first victory against a foreign player, by beating WGM Sharevich. During the final moves Black got an extremely useful pawn which was crucial for victory.

WGM Anna Sharevich continues in sole second despite her loss

Maria De Rosa suffered a long time until she finally achieved a theoretical advantage, however could not win and had to content herself with a draw.

Pictures by Martha Fierro and Roberto Mongranzini

Men's standings after three rounds

Men's standings after three rounds (traditional scoring)

Women's standings after three rounds

Women's standings after three rounds (traditional scoring)


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 and get immediate access. Or you can get our latest Fritz 13 program, which includes six months free premium membership to Playchess.

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