Aeroflot Open 2009 – photographic impressions

2/24/2009 – What was missing from our reports on the Aeroflot Open? Why pictures, visual impressions of the action. Not a single one was on the official site, and so it was a pleasant surprise when a colleague sent us a very nice bunch from Moscow. The include some critical shots of the contentious game Mamedyarov-Kurnosov from round six. From Moscow here is Misha Savinov's big pictorial report.

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Aeroflot Open 2009

Photographic report by Misha Savinov

The economic crisis definitely made some impact on chess. The Aeroflot open main event (A1) did not feel much decrease in numbers, and even the 2700-group is represented by two respectable players – Shakhriyar Mamedyarov and Etienne Bacrot. However, the lower events, more heavily oriented to amateurs and experience-seekers, were seriously affected, and the competition for relatively high prizes is rather withered, compared to the previous years.

The Moscow weather prepared an unpleasant surprise to the festival guests – the temperature dramatically fell to below minus 10° Celsius, which is especially noticeable after two months of very mild early-November-looking winter. According to Gismeteo.ru, there is no hope of improvement, so many players are impatiently waiting for the blitz part of the festival, when they can really warm up. Yes, the blitz part. For the first time the main Aeroflot open is followed by the World Blitz Championship Qualifier. This event, apart from the opportunity to qualify for the World Championship, has its own merit in the 40,000 Euro prize money, and each A1 and A2 Aeroflot open player can join the fun absolutely free (while strangers have to pay the entry fee). I love blitz and will surely watch it very closely. Many blitz superstars will be playing, with one sad exception of Alexander Grischuk, who, however, has a perfect excuse, as he is crushing his opponents in Linares.

Grandmaster Igor Kurnosov started winning game after game and became an early leader of the A1 event. After a couple of draws he destroyed Shakhriyar Mamedyarov with black, which resulted in the Azerbaijani player withdrawing from the event! He will, however, play the blitz.

Among the contenders are Evgeny Tomashevsky, Etienne Bacrot, Alexander Moiseenko and some other notable players. Everything is likely to be decided, as usual, in the last round, with the distribution of colors being the key factor.

There are many unexpected results, from van Wely’s disastrous start to the rise of Ray Robson and Tatiana Kosintseva – but please consult your database if you want to see the games, and I will restrict myself to the photographic report. Have fun!

Standings after seven rounds

# Player Pts FED Rtng Perf. w-We
1 GM Kurnosov, Igor 5.5 RUS 2602 2862 +2.29
2 GM Moiseenko, Alexander 5.0 UKR 2676 2765 +0.83
3 GM Tomashevsky, Evgeny 5.0 RUS 2664 2767 +0.96
4 GM Predojevic, Borki 5.0 BIH 2650 2723 +0.67
5 GM Pashikian, Arman 5.0 ARM 2621 2745 +1.18
6 GM Zhou, Jianchao 5.0 CHN 2612 2785 +1.65
7 GM Zhigalko, Sergei 5.0 BLR 2587 2806 +2.08
8 GM Bacrot, Etienne 4.5 FRA 2722 2702 -0.16
9 GM Sargissian, Gabriel 4.5 ARM 2677 2710 +0.33
10 GM Zvjaginsev, Vadim 4.5 RUS 2636 2696 +0.59
11 GM Riazantsev, Alexander 4.5 RUS 2634 2665 +0.31
12 GM Potkin, Vladimir 4.5 RUS 2613 2734 +1.18
13 GM Ehlvest, Jaan 4.5 USA 2595 2686 +0.91
14 GM Khairullin, Ildar 4.5 RUS 2574 2718 +1.41
15 GM Zhou, Weiqi 4.5 CHN 2542 2730 +1.84
16 IM Kosintseva, Tatiana 4.5 RUS 2497 2720 +2.15
17 GM Mamedyarov, Shakhriyar 4.0 AZE 2724 2735 +0.07
18 GM Amonatov, Farrukh 4.0 TJK 2647 2619 -0.24
19 GM Smirin, Ilia 4.0 ISR 2647 2616 -0.27
20 GM Bareev, Evgeny 4.0 RUS 2645 2619 -0.22
21 GM Aleksandrov, Aleksej 4.0 BLR 2636 2624 -0.10
22 GM Kazhgaleyev, Murtas 4.0 KAZ 2630 2638 +0.10
23 GM Nepomniachtchi, Ian 4.0 RUS 2628 2600 -0.25
24 GM So, Wesley 4.0 PHI 2627 2586 -0.38
25 GM Landa, Konstantin 4.0 RUS 2626 2620 -0.04
26 GM Zhigalko, Andrey 4.0 BLR 2572 2710 +1.34
27 GM Grigoriants, Sergey 4.0 RUS 2565 2693 +1.27
28 GM Safarli, Eltaj 4.0 AZE 2564 2684 +1.19
29 IM Yudin, Sergei 4.0 RUS 2562 2674 +1.09
30 GM Minasian, Artashes 4.0 ARM 2557 2684 +1.24
31 GM Filippov, Anton 4.0 UZB 2556 2679 +1.22
32 GM Dyachkov, Sergej 4.0 RUS 2553 2671 +1.15
33 GM Ajrapetjan, Yuriy 4.0 UKR 2490 2641 +1.47
34 GM Dreev, Alexey 3.5 RUS 2688 2564 -1.18
35 GM Vitiugov, Nikita 3.5 RUS 2687 2597 -0.86
36 GM Grachev, Boris 3.5 RUS 2655 2622 -0.31
37 GM Mamedov, Rauf 3.5 AZE 2638 2562 -0.72
38 GM Li, Chao b 3.5 CHN 2628 2556 -0.70
39 GM Petrosian, Tigran L. 3.5 ARM 2623 2545 -0.74
40 GM Huzman, Alexander 3.5 ISR 2602 2546 -0.52
41 GM Smirnov, Pavel 3.5 RUS 2579 2648 +0.66
42 GM Romanov, Evgeny 3.5 RUS 2576 2635 +0.57
43 GM Andriasian, Zaven 3.5 ARM 2564 2652 +0.83
44 GM Kotsur, Pavel 3.5 KAZ 2563 2635 +0.70
45 GM Sjugirov, Sanan 3.5 RUS 2562 2599 +0.34
46 IM Ponkratov, Pavel 3.5 RUS 2557 2628 +0.68
47 GM Wen, Yang 3.5 CHN 2504 2600 +0.92
48 IM Robson, Ray 3.5 USA 2455 2597 +1.33
49 GM Naiditsch, Arkadij 3.0 GER 2693 2564 -1.25
50 GM Milov, Vadim 3.0 SUI 2669 2511 -1.53
51 GM Onischuk, Alexander 3.0 USA 2659 2521 -1.34
52 GM Rodshtein, Maxim 3.0 ISR 2650 2514 -1.34
53 GM Van Wely, Loek 3.0 NED 2625 2409 -1.75
54 GM Lysyj, Igor 3.0 RUS 2620 2550 -0.70
55 GM Akobian, Varuzhan 3.0 USA 2619 2497 -1.20
56 GM Vaganian, Rafael A 3.0 ARM 2596 2518 -0.77
57 GM Li, Shilong 3.0 CHN 2559 2536 -0.23
58 GM Maslak, Konstantin 3.0 RUS 2541 2569 +0.26
59 GM Melkumyan, Hrant 3.0 ARM 2519 2570 +0.47
60 WGM Shen, Yang 3.0 CHN 2448 2533 +0.77
61 GM Bocharov, Dmitry 2.5 RUS 2647 2440 -1.99
62 GM Volkov, Sergey 2.5 RUS 2627 2436 -1.86
63 GM Ghaem Maghami, Ehsan 2.5 IRI 2604 2485 -1.17
64 GM Bartel, Mateusz 2.5 POL 2594 2480 -1.11
65 GM Maze, Sebastien 2.5 FRA 2578 2469 -1.06
66 IM Chadaev, Nikolai 2.5 RUS 2568 2487 -0.81
67 GM Shomoev, Anton 2.5 RUS 2567 2501 -0.66
68 GM Vazquez Igarza, Renier 2.5 ESP 2558 2478 -0.78
69 GM Dziuba, Marcin 2.5 POL 2556 2528 -0.28
70 IM Ipatov, Alexander 2.5 ESP 2493 2464 -0.31
71 IM Kosintseva, Nadezhda 2.5 RUS 2486 2487 -0.03
72 GM Gajewski, Grzegorz 2.0 POL 2581 2294 -2.13
73 GM Zherebukh, Yaroslav 2.0 UKR 2558 2474 -0.79
74 GM Ragger, Markus 2.0 AUT 2540 2431 -1.03
75 GM Grigoryan, Avetik 2.0 ARM 2506 2418 -0.83
76 IM Salem, A.R. Saleh 2.0 UAE 2473 2230 -1.86
77 GM Chuprov, Dmitry 1.5 RUS 2571 2419 -1.02
78 GM Kotanjian, Tigran 0.5 ARM 2568 2240 -1.53


Photo gallery from Moscow


The Aeroflot 2009 playing venue in Moscow


Vladimir Potkin and Konstantin Landa enjoying a conversation with Andrzej Filipowicz,
one of the best chess arbiters in the world


The improved state of the US Dollar (compared to our Rouble) brought more Americans
to Moscow than usual – like Varuzhan Akobian, bronze medalist of the Dresden Olympiad


The leading female player in the US, Irina Krush, also participated
in the Moscow Open (a couple of weeks before the Aeroflot)


Evgeny Tomashevsky – he has a good chance to join the Russian national team,
considering the clear need for new blood after two poor Olympiads in a row


Looking strong – Arkadij Naiditsch from Germany


"The Shakh" – Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, before he pulled out of the event in protest


Wesley So, fresh from winning the Wijk C-Group


The flask of coffee didn't help – Vladimir Potkin drew against Tatiana Kosintseva in round one


Will they make him lose the locks? This will be one of the last civil tournaments of
Israeli GM Maxim Rodshtein before he goes to the army


Grimly determined: Gabriel Sargissian, many-time second to Levon Aronian


Vadim Zvjaginsev in a typical pose


Obama fan Alexander Onischuk, who recently won the Moscow Open


Young and talented Valentina Gunina


The Armenian duo Rafael Vaganian and Artashes Minasian are Aeroflot regulars


Top boards: Pavel Ponrkatov vs Igor Kurnosov, Etienne Bacrot vs Vladimir Potkin (background)


Where have we seen these two before? Ray Robson vs. Sanan Sjugirov


Ray, 15, is the youngest International Master in the USA


GM Ian Nepomniatchschi, 18, one of Russia's great talents


Oh no, another boring Sveshnikov! Pavel Ponkratov achieved a winning position
against Moiseenko and blew it in three terrible blunders.


Mamedyarov vs Grachev was a very sharp encounter, but Shakh outsmarted his opponent
in wild tactical complications


Nikita Vitiugov, a very creative player one needs to keep an eye on


The fateful game: Igor Kurnosov ponders his 12th move against Shakhriyar Mamedyarov


Omygod – Mamedyarov thinks about his 13th move

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