82nd Brazilian Ch: Mekhitarian gold, Barbosa silver

by Albert Silver
1/19/2016 – It needs to be said that the finale of the event was somewhat anti-climatic, even if the competition itself remained a fun and qualitative step forward on several levels. The final round saw Mekhitarian assure his victory as his opponent failed to show up, securing gold with 10.0/11. In the Marcel Duchamp Memorial WIM Marisa Zuriel scored her WGM norm. Large photographic report.

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Report and photos by Albert Silver

Who would win? GM Krikor Mekhitarian had certainly done a warrior’s job by arriving at the final round with 9.0/10, but his close rival IM Evandro Barbosa had every right to hope for a miracle, having stayed close behind with 8.5/10. The tiebreaks favored Krikor, and his last round opponent was certainly much lower-rated, but it wouldn’t be the first time expectations go up in a puff of smoke.

In the end, a miscommunication led to an unfortunate no-show by FM Ricardo Teixeira, and
Mekhitarian signed the blank scoresheet. Seeing no point in fighting on, Evandro Barbosa
immediately offered his opponent a draw.

No sooner had they finished their games, both Evandro Barbosa (left) and the new two-time
champion Krikor Mekhitarian congratulated each other for their fine performances

There still remained the issue of third place and bronze. More than one could aspire to it,
though the probabilities favored Rafael Leitão whose rating towered over his last round
opponent, the veteran Luismar Brito. However the older player proved a tough nut to crack
and a draw gave the third place to FM Ernani Choma.

At the prize ceremony, Luciano Nilo de Andrade, 91 years old, and former president of the
Brazilian Federation, was extremely anxious to congratulate the new champion, and shake
his hand. His stories on the great champions he has met over the decades bring boundless
wonder. Here he has the ear of IM Eduardo Limp.

Current Brazilian Federation president GM Darcy Lima could not deny the energetic and
irrepressible Luciano, and the honor of giving the grand trophy was given to him. His delight
was contagious. On a personal note, the grand old man calls me up fairly regularly for
advice on computers or simply to comment on an article he read in ChessBase.

Chief arbiter Elcio Mourão poses with runner-up IM Evandro Barbosa

It should be noted that the arbiter, and a dozen others, combined two
passions to make up the Chess Moto Club, a motorcycle club for chess
aficionados

The three top finishers FM Ernani Choma (third), IM Evandro Barbosa (second) and GM Krikor
Mekhitarian (first)

An important innovation in this year's event was the collaboration with ChessBase, bringing
live GM commentary on Playchess in Portuguese for the first time, and made open to all audiences.
Your author provided the amateur perspective with due anecdotes, while GM Darcy Lima gave the
grandmaster analysis.

 

Above is an excerpt when GM Rafael Leitão commented his game (in Portuguese)

Final standings

ITT CXG Marcel Duchamp Memorial

The Marcel Duchamp Memorial that was run in parallel to the main event was also an interesting and innovative idea. It isn't simply the idea of a competition designed to offer WGM norms for aspiring female players, but it also offered opportunities for more should the talent and skill manifest itself. There would not be any tales of "one point over the WGM norm", but rather a full-fledged IM norm. Even a GM norm was possible with four grandmasters playing and one International Master, albeit not easily.

Four WIMs came to try their luck, two from Brazil and two from Argentina, though only one
succeeded in her goal

Nevertheless, it wasn't just about results and titles. It was a chance to play a grandmaster
and later analyze in depth. Here Ayelen Martinez picks the brain of GM Salvador Alonso.

Brazilian WIM Vanessa Feliciano had a rough time of it, but fought until the very end

Many thought the final round would be one of formalities where titles and norms were no
longer options on the table, but in the final round GM Luis Galego was extremely anxious to
win, declaring he had to win at least one game. It was a close affair as his opponent missed
chances to draw in the endgame, but ultimately he succeeded in his wish.

The event was a success inasmuch as its purpose was fulfilled as WIM Marisa Zuriel scored
her WGM norm. Above is the certificate FIDE will receive.

WIM Marisa Zuriel poses with her norm, with Darcy Lima one her left, Blas Pingas on her right,
and Eduardo Moccero, president of the Marcel Duchamp Foundation, which co-sponsored the
event together with the Brazilian Chess Federation

GM Robert Hungaski (right) receives his third prize trophy from the hands of IM Bernardo Roselli
giving it as president of the Uruguayan Chess Federation

In second was GM Carlos Garcia Palermo...

... and the winner, with a full point and a half lead, with 7.5/9, was
GM Salvador Alonso

Arbiter Marcelo Einhorn ensured a smooth operation


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 13 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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