Anton Korobov claims Sunway Sitges Open

by Johannes Fischer
12/23/2019 – The Ukrainian grandmaster Anton Korobov (pictured) won the strong Sunway Sitges Open with 8½ points from 10 games. Half a point behind were GMs Vasif Durarbayli from Azerbaijan and Rasmus Svane from Hamburg, Germany. They contested a two-game blitz playoff (won by Durarbayli) to determine second and third places. | Photo: Lennart Ootes (archive)

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A confident victory from start to finish

Anton Korobov arrived in Sitges as number three on the ranking list behind Vassily Ivanchuk and Parham Maghsoodloo, but he dominated the tournament from the outset. Korobov started with six wins out of six games and only made his first draw against Ivanchuk in round seven. With a final sprint of two out of three, he then secured the sole tournament victory.

The German grandmaster Rasmus Svane started number 22 on the Elo list but impressively reached 8 out of 10 to tie for second place along with Vasif Durarbayli, just a half point behind Korobov. Durarbayli bested him 1½:½ in a two-game blitz match to snag the higher prize.

Sitges winners

"Our 6th edition winners 🏆 Congratulations to all!" | Photo: @SunwayChessOpen on Twitter

Svane dropped a pawn out of the opening in the second blitz game and never recovered.

 

7...♝g4 is the normal and best move for black here, but Svane went for 7...d6 and was under pressure after 8.c4 e6 9.fxe5 when Black is down a pawn without any compensation. Just a handful of moves later Durarbayli went into steamroller mode:

 

White's next six moves are b4, a4, b5, a5, b6 and axb6 and Black can pretty much resign!

The decisive game for Korobov came in the ninth and penultimate round against the young American grandmaster Awonder Liang. In this important game, Korobov showed good nerves as well as defensive qualities:

 

Liang vs Korobov

Liang vs Korobov: Rough seas ahead | Photo: @SunwayChessOpen on Twitter


Final standings after Round 10

Rk. SNo     Name Gr FED RtgI Pts.  TB1   TB2   TB3 
1 3
 
GM Korobov Anton   UKR 2668 8,5 61,5 66,0 54,75
2 18
 
GM Durarbayli Vasif   AZE 2609 8,0 60,0 65,0 51,50
3 22
 
GM Svane Rasmus   GER 2597 8,0 56,5 60,5 48,50
4 26
 
GM Puranik Abhimanyu   IND 2580 7,5 60,0 64,5 47,50
5 35
 
GM Li Di   CHN 2543 7,5 59,5 64,5 46,00
6 11
 
GM Tabatabaei M.Amin   IRI 2635 7,5 59,0 63,5 46,00
7 21
 
GM Gareyev Timur   USA 2598 7,5 58,5 63,5 46,50
8 14
 
GM Heimann Andreas   GER 2617 7,5 58,0 62,5 45,25
9 17
 
GM Karthikeyan Murali   IND 2611 7,5 57,0 61,5 45,50
10 6
 
GM Lagarde Maxime   FRA 2655 7,5 57,0 61,5 44,25
11 16
 
GM Nihal Sarin   IND 2612 7,5 56,5 61,0 45,25
12 19
 
GM Adly Ahmed   EGY 2607 7,5 56,5 60,5 44,75
13 34
 
GM Erigaisi Arjun   IND 2544 7,0 60,0 65,5 45,00
14 9
 
GM Donchenko Alexander   GER 2644 7,0 60,0 64,0 43,75
15 27
 
GM Wagner Dennis   GER 2578 7,0 59,5 63,5 43,50
16 1
 
GM Ivanchuk Vassily   UKR 2690 7,0 59,0 63,0 43,00
17 37
 
GM Moradiabadi Elshan   USA 2539 7,0 57,5 62,5 42,25
18 23
 
GM Liang Awonder   USA 2593 7,0 57,0 62,0 41,50
19 33
 
GM Nasuta Grzegorz   POL 2545 7,0 57,0 61,0 40,75
20 31
 
GM Gukesh D   IND 2547 7,0 56,0 60,0 39,00
21 43
 
IM Bjerre Jonas Buhl   DEN 2526 7,0 55,5 60,0 39,75
22 10
 
GM Sethuraman S.P.   IND 2638 7,0 55,0 59,5 39,75
23 65
 
GM Karthik Venkataraman   IND 2470 7,0 54,5 59,0 39,50
24 42
 
GM Sindarov Javokhir   UZB 2526 7,0 54,5 58,5 37,25
25 48
 
IM Sadhwani Raunak   IND 2507 7,0 53,5 57,5 37,00
26 61
 
WGM Pogonina Natalija   RUS 2479 7,0 49,0 53,5 36,75
27 13
 
GM Narayanan.S.L   IND 2626 6,5 61,5 66,5 39,75

...311 players

All available games

 

Translation from German and additional reporting: Macauley Peterson

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Johannes Fischer was born in 1963 in Hamburg and studied English and German literature in Frankfurt. He now lives as a writer and translator in Nürnberg. He is a FIDE-Master and regularly writes for KARL, a German chess magazine focusing on the links between culture and chess. On his own blog he regularly publishes notes on "Film, Literature and Chess".

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