82nd Brazilian Ch: Mekhitarian leads bloodbath

by Albert Silver
1/14/2016 – It would be precipitous to say that Leitão’s chances for a record eighth title are jeopardized, but it will most certainly be a small mountain to climb. After five rounds, Mekhitarian and Choma shared first with 4.0/5, but a dramatic win over Leitão, left Krikor in sole first with 5.0/6. The tournament has been a bloodbath with almost 80% wins. Report, photos, and games.

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Report and photos by Albert Silver

If the tournament were to be described as a battle, then the depiction would be that of a battlefield with bodies strewn left and right, and smoking craters. After six rounds of uncompromising action, just over 22% of the games ended in draws, while the sixth round saw no peaceful results.

After five rounds, the two leaders were GM Krikor Mekhitarian and FM Ernani Choma with 4.0/5

Seven-time champion Rafael Leitão had a slowish start but a key win in round five over
IM Eduardo Limp (left) kept him in contention with 3.5/5

It all came down to a key showdown between the two grandmasters. The game was relatively
balanced, but hard fought, and neither player really seemed happy with a draw...

... especially GM Krikor Mekhitarian who refused a repetion, despite a lightly worse position,
to keep on fighting.

GM Krikor Mekhitarian - GM Rafael Leitão

[Event "82nd Brazilian-ch 2015"] [Site "Rio de Janeiro"] [Date "2016.01.13"] [Round "6"] [White "Mekhitarian, Krikor Sevag"] [Black "Leitao, Rafael Duailibe"] [Result "1-0"] [ECO "B90"] [WhiteElo "2555"] [BlackElo "2633"] [PlyCount "129"] [EventDate "2016.??.??"] [EventCountry "BRA"] [TimeControl "5400+30"] 1. e4 {0} c5 {131} 2. Nf3 {0} d6 {7} 3. d4 {7} cxd4 {6} 4. Nxd4 {2} Nf6 {8} 5. Nc3 {3} a6 {5} 6. Be3 {341} e5 {30} 7. Nb3 {4} Be6 {64} 8. f3 {54} Nbd7 {110} 9. Qd2 {252} h5 {158} 10. O-O-O {88} Be7 {67} 11. Kb1 {30} Qc7 {347} (11... Rc8 12. g3 b5 13. Nd5 Bxd5 14. exd5 Nb6 15. Bxb6 Qxb6 16. Na5 Rc5 17. c4 bxc4 18. Nxc4 Qb7 19. Ne3 O-O 20. Bd3 Rb8 21. Rc1 Rbc8 22. Rxc5 Rxc5 23. Rc1 Rxc1+ 24. Qxc1 g6 25. a3 Qb6 26. Qd2 Qd4 27. Kc2 Bf8 28. Bc4 Qb6 29. Qd3 Bh6 30. Nd1 Qg1 31. Qe2 a5 32. Kb3 Nd7 33. Ka2 Nb6 34. Nc3 Nxc4 35. Qxc4 Qxh2 36. Ne4 Bf8 37. Nf6+ Kg7 38. Ne8+ Kh8 39. Qc7 Kg8 40. Nf6+ Kg7 41. Ne8+ Kg8 42. Nf6+ Kg7 43. Ne8+ Kg8 44. Nf6+ Kg7 {1/2-1/2 (44) Akopian,V (2648)-Anand,V (2803) Berlin 2015 }) 12. Nd5 {808} Bxd5 {438} 13. exd5 {3} Nb6 {40} 14. Qa5 {942} Rc8 {130} 15. c3 {14} Nc4 {314} 16. Qxc7 {67} Rxc7 {5} 17. Bf2 {574} Bd8 {1102} 18. Bd3 {912} O-O $2 {217 [#]} 19. Rhe1 $6 {297} ({Leave it to the engines to come up with the startling but impressive} 19. Nc5 $1 Nxb2 20. Kxb2 dxc5 21. d6 $1 Rc6 22. Rhe1 {with a clear advantage for White, thanks to the bishop pair as well as the passed d6-pawn.}) 19... g6 {204} 20. h3 {348} (20. Nc5 $1) 20... Kg7 {1219} 21. g3 (21. Nc5 $1) 21... Nd7 {181} 22. f4 {815} b5 {289} 23. f5 $2 {368 Time and stress are clearly having their toll on the two grandmasters, as neither is really happy with a draw.} Nf6 {40} 24. Bc2 {56} Rc8 {173} 25. Nd2 Nxd2+ { 308} 26. Rxd2 {63} Rb8 {22} 27. Be3 {48} Bb6 {407} 28. Bg5 {1} Bd8 {119} 29. Be3 {58} Bb6 {10} 30. Bg5 {16} Bd8 {5} 31. Rf1 {107} Nh7 {77} 32. Be3 {21} Bb6 {23} 33. Bxb6 {16} Rxb6 {4} 34. Rdf2 {49} Nf6 {25} 35. fxg6 {49} fxg6 36. Be4 { 30} Rbb8 {125} 37. Bg2 b4 {52} 38. cxb4 {21} Rxb4 {7} 39. Rc1 {20} Nd7 {48} ( 39... Rd4 $1 {begged to be played.} 40. Rc6 e4 $1 41. Re2 h4 42. g4 $2 (42. gxh4 Nxd5 $1) 42... Nxd5 {and e4 is untouchable due to the tactic} 43. Rxa6 ( 43. Rxe4 $2 Rd1+ 44. Rc1 Rxc1+ 45. Kxc1 Rf2) (43. Bxe4 $2 Nf4) 43... Rb8) 40. Rxf8 {15} Kxf8 {4} 41. Rc6 {45} Rb6 {63} 42. h4 {43} Ke7 {33} 43. Bh3 {9} Rb7 { 26} 44. Rxa6 {11} Nc5 {25} 45. Ra8 {70} Rb4 {31} 46. Bg2 {54} e4 {30} (46... Nd3 $1 47. Ra7+ Kf6 48. b3 Rg4 $1) 47. Kc2 {32} Rd4 {20} 48. Ra3 {19} Kf6 {16} 49. Re3 {21} Ke5 {4} 50. a3 {35} Rc4+ {85} 51. Rc3 {43} Rd4 $2 {9 Black is playing with fire considering the two passers on a- and b-, but is not immeidately punished for it.} 52. Re3 {24} Rc4+ {5} 53. Rc3 {44} Rd4 {4} 54. b4 $1 {20 and now Black's position collapses. The two pawns are too strong.} Nd3 $2 {25 Oblivious to the danger, this loses much faster, but the position was already compromised.} ({Even after the better} 54... Nd7 $1 {White continues} 55. Rc7 Nf6 56. Re7+ Kxd5 {and then brings in his bishop to help support the pawns with} 57. Bf1 $1 Ng4 58. Ba6 $1 {with a nearly decisive advantage.}) 55. Bf1 {10} Ne1+ {22} 56. Kc1 {7} Rxd5 {76} 57. b5 {12} Nd3+ {79} 58. Bxd3 {22} exd3 {5} 59. Rb3 {53} Kd4 {48} 60. Kd2 {42} Rf5 {27} 61. Rb4+ {13} Kc5 {8} 62. b6 {4} Rf2+ {61} 63. Kxd3 {15} Rf3+ {11} 64. Ke4 {47} Rxa3 {50} 65. b7 {10} 1-0

A vital victory for the young grandmaster who is now the clear leader.

Right behind him however is IM Evandro Barbosa, who has had an excellent event thus far,
and already played both grandmasters in the first two rounds.

The win-rate has been extraordinary, and one can only congratulate all the players for their
exemplary fighting spirit

IM Yago Santiago, who had had a tough 0.0/3 start, is now at 2.0/6 and is clawing his way
back to salvage what he can of this year's championship

Current standings after six rounds

ITT CXG Marcel Duchamp Memorial

Running parallel to the main event competition is the Marcel Duchamp Memorial. This is spearheaded by the Brazilian Chess Federation in collaboration with the Marcel Duchamp Foundation, whose president is Argentine Eduardo Moccero. The Marcel Duchamp Foundation is a close friend of female chess, and has helped sponsor many events in support of female chess development.

The competition is designed to create chances for WGM norms for four players seeking them, though the challenge will be considerable and exciting. Instead of having just enough to allow a norm, four grandmasters and one international master form the opponents, meaning that should any of the ladies be successful enough, even more can be achieved.

The Memorial is held late in the afternoon, and since some rounds overlap, the room can
look like this, with action in every direction

Among the Brazilian Women International Masters are Juliana Terão...

...and WIM Vanessa Feliciano.

From Argentina there is WIM Ayelen Martinez...

... and Marisa Zuriel.

Marisa Zuriel drew GM Carlos Garcia Palermo in round one. Above, Eduardo Moccero
follows the post-mortem.

Argentine GM Alonso Salvador is the top seed in the competition...

... followed by American GM Robert Hungaski

GM Carlos Garcia Palermo is the thrid grandmaster in the group...

... and Portuguese grandmaster Luis Galego is the fourth.

Rounding off the group of titled players is IM Bernardo Roselli, the organizer of the Continental
held in Montevideo, Uruguay in early 2015

Finally there is local player Luiz Manzi who is the tenth player

A special acknowledgement to Sabrina de San Vicente, in charge of the DGT boards, which
make it possible to follow the games live

Current standings after four rounds

The live games - Partidas ao vivo

Live Commentary in Portuguese

Also of special note in this year’s edition is the second straight year of live GM commentary of all the rounds, in Portuguese, by GM Darcy Lima. This year the Brazilian Federation is partnering with ChessBase so that the live commentary is broadcast via Playchess but open to all visitors, even guest accounts! This video commentary is done together with ChessBase News editor, Albert Silver, and can be viewed in the web version of Playchess as well.

Rafael Leitão joins Darcy Lima in the post-game conference

The commentary could be seen not only in the desktop software, but also the web version of Playchess

To view it live, and free, just enter PlayChess, go to Live Games and Listen to Radio

With a range of players and ratings from an untitled 2159 FIDE to a 2633 FIDE grandmaster, there is room for wild games, unpredictable results, and overall highly entertaining rounds, and the first three rounds have lived up to that.

For Brazilian viewers - Para leitores Brasileiros


Este vídeo em Português deve esclarecer como acessar a Playchess para acompanhar os
comentarios ao vivo e de graça. (Trans: this video in Portuguese should help explain how
to access Playchess in order to enjoy the free live commentary)


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, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.


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